"In the traditional model of a liberal democracy, civil society comes together to put pressure on the government to take action on issues of public concern. A new paper from the Institute of Economic Affairs Sock Puppets: How the government lobbies itself and why today argues that the tables are being turned and that there has been a growing tendency in the past fifteen years for state-funded pressure groups to masquerade as civil society, thereby creating the illusion of grass-roots support for policies which the public views with ambivalence if not hostility. The government is effectively lobbying itself, and lobbying us.
"It is well documented that the European Commission has for years been funding dozens of environmental groups who lobby MEPs and promote EU policy at a grass-roots level. It also gives substantial sums of money to groups such as the Young European Federalists and the International Union of Socialist Youth, although we can find no evidence of similar grants being given to Eurosceptics or radical free marketeers."
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