Resources Sabotaging Policy

Corporate Coalitions and Policy Making in the European Union: How and Why British American Tobacco Promoted “Better Regulation”

April 1, 2015

Drawing on documentary and interview data, this article by Duke University Press discusses how and why large corporations, notably British American Tobacco (BAT), work to influence and promote a set of regulatory reforms, known as Better Regulation. Over the past 15 years, these reforms have been adopted across Europe, marking a significant shift in how European Union policies are developed. However, there has been little exploration of the origins of these reforms. This article highlights: 

  • How policy entrepreneurs can shape advocacy coalitions; 
  • The extent to which “think tanks” may be prepared to lobby on behalf of commercial clients and;
  • Why regulated industries (including tobacco) may favor the use of “evidence tools”, such as impact assessments, in policy making.

The article addresses the theoretical implications of these findings for the Advocacy Coalition Framework, as well as the practical implications for efforts to promote transparency and public health in the European Union.