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3.1 Program for the Study of Germany and Europe

The Political Response of Firms to the 1992 Single Market Program: The Case of the German Automobile Industry

1993 – Pamela Camerra-Rowe


This paper examines the political responses of German automobile firms to the 1992 Single Market initiative. I argue that the decision by firms to try to influence EC policies depends on the perceived economic impact of the single market and ,the market alternative open to firms, while the decision on how to lobby depends on the size of the finn and the institutional and strategic environment in which a firm operates. I use this framework to explain why German automobile firms were slow in responding the single market initiative and why, when they did choose to lobby, the firms pursued different political strategies. The research suggests that we should not limit our studies to the political activity of trade associations and sectors, but should also examine the political strategies and activities of individual firms. It also suggests that, as integration efforts in Europe proceed, there is likely to be increased activity by individual firms and national associations because European trade associations may not be able to agree on specific EC policy proposals.