The Influence of Interest Groups on the EU’s Foreign Policy: Assessing and Explaining the Influence of Human Rights NGOs on the EU’s Human Rights Promotion in the Post-Soviet Space

Publication Date: 
26 March 2021
Taylor and Francis Online
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
Contemporary Politics

This article examines to what extent human rights NGOs influence the European Union (EU)’s promotion of human rights in the post-Soviet space, and what factors explain that influence. The article hypothesises that there will be variation in the extent to which human rights NGOs influence the EU’s human rights promotion depending on a number of factors relating to how human rights NGOs gather and transmit information. To test the hypothesised explanations, a multivariate regression analysis is applied based on data retrieved through an online survey with human rights NGOs. The article finds that human rights NGOs have a moderate degree of influence on the EU’s human rights promotion in post-Soviet countries. The NGOs’ influence depends on whether they provide information timely, whether the information provided fulfils the officials’ informational needs and is based on (scientific) research, and whether the NGOs use different tactics for conveying the information to the officials.

EU Foreign Policy, Human Rights Promotion, NGOs, Interest Groups, Influence