In its process of enlarging to the East, the European Union, the world's largest single market for international companies, has significantly expanded its position within the global Triad. The abolition of national trade barriers between Member States has served at the same time to boost the worldwide influence of the EU in areas such as competition, standardisation, environmental legislation, health care, and consumer protection. Clearly, this requires a company operating on an international level to take decision-making processes in Brussels into account in and through its global market strategies. The present study reveals how access to the institutions of the European Union can be efficiently structured by means of professional representation of interests, taking the new European decision-making structures and processes into account.
Forming the Single Domestic Market in Europe, the institutions of the EU have taken on outstanding significance in the regulation of the economy. However, the decision-making structures created in this process are so complex that even companies within the EU have difficulties in grasping the requirements and understanding the challenge. This applies all the more to non-EU companies, outsiders within the existing organisation of European industrial interests facing particular problems in the representation of their interests due to fundamental differences between political decision-making processes in the EU, on the one hand, and, say, Japan and the USA, on the other.
This is the first English-language publication to
* present the need for and significance of structural representation of interests on behalf of international companies with the institutions of the European Union,
* provide an overall model allowing a Japanese company, regardless of the sector of the economy or industry, to structure its particular, tailor-made representation of interests,
* and to offer results applicable without restriction to any international company.
This study is based on a doctor's thesis published by Klemens Joos in 1998, focusing at the time on the representation of German corporate interests with the institutions of the EU. From the start, the author has studied this subject matter not only from an academic perspective, but also in practice: Established and chaired by the author, EUTOP has been successfully converting the theoretical concepts described herein into practice for more than 14 years. Indeed, EUTOP is to date the only company to offer comprehensive representation of private corporate and organisational interests with the various institutions of the EU, operating in an integrative process on all levels of communication.
The present study considers both the ongoing development of the EU since the publication of the original doctor's paper and the particular focus of Japanese companies in representing their interests, thus highlighting the support professional representation of interests is able to offer in particular to foreign companies acting as outsiders in the political process of the European Union. The special focus on Japanese needs and requirements required particular knowledge on the situation of Japanese companies in the EU and, making suitable comparisons, on the representation of interests in Japan. It was therefore only obvious to write this revised version together with an expert on Japan and the specific requirements of that country.