Coping with Mandated Public Participation: The Case of Implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands
Perspectives on European Politics and Society Forthcoming
34 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 18, 2013
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
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