Coping with Mandated Public Participation: The Case of Implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands

Perspectives on European Politics and Society Forthcoming

RegNet Research Paper No. 2013/10

34 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013

See all articles by Jeroen van der Heijden

Jeroen van der Heijden

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government; School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Ernst ten Heuvelhof

Delft University of Technology

Date Written: July 18, 2013

Abstract

An important aspect of contemporary European policy-making is public participation. The European Commission increasingly mandates its Member States to involve the general public in policy-making through public participation. Public participation is generally considered to improve the legitimacy and democracy of the policy-making process and its outcomes. However, mandated public participation creates severe difficulties for Member States whose policy-making process may be characterized as a (neo)corporatist system of interest representation. This paper presents the case of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands, aiming to highlight these difficulties, to provide an example of how a Member State may cope with forced public participation in a (neo)corporatist environment, and to question whether and, if so, how mandated public participation actually results in a more democratic and legitimate policy-making process.

Keywords: policy-making, interest group representation, corporatism, public participation, water policy

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

van der Heijden, Jeroen and ten Heuvelhof, Ernst, Coping with Mandated Public Participation: The Case of Implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands (July 18, 2013). Perspectives on European Politics and Society Forthcoming, RegNet Research Paper No. 2013/10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295232

Jeroen Van der Heijden (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.victoria.ac.nz/sog/about/staff/jeroen-vanderheijden

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Australian National University
Building #8
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Ernst Ten Heuvelhof

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

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