You'll Never Lobby Alone. Explaining the Participation of Sub‐National Authorities in the European Commission's Open Consultations

16 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2016

See all articles by Matti Van Hecke

Matti Van Hecke

University of Antwerp

Peter Bursens

Universiteit Antwerpen

Jan Beyers

KU Leuven

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

The multi‐level system of the EU (European Union) constrains the institutionalized representation of the regional tier of government. Consequently, SNAs (sub‐national authorities) seek to represent their interests through various lobbying practices, including taking part in the European Commission's open consultations. In this article, we argue that varying levels with which SNAs take part in open consultations cannot be adequately explained by regional‐level conditions such as resources or autonomy. Instead, we hypothesize that the specific policy context strongly affects regional involvement in open consultations. We test our hypotheses with evidence of the participation pattern of 296 SNAs in eight online consultations situated in five policy areas: CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), EAP (Environment Action Programme), Horizon 2020, COH (Cohesion Policy) and TEN‐T (Trans‐European Network for Transport). Our analysis demonstrates that the probability that SNAs take part in open consultations increases significantly when private interests of the same region and/or other SNAs of the same country participate in the same consultation.

Keywords: EU policy‐making, sub‐national authorities, open consultations, regional interest representation

Suggested Citation

Van Hecke, Matti and Bursens, Peter and Beyers, Jan, You'll Never Lobby Alone. Explaining the Participation of Sub‐National Authorities in the European Commission's Open Consultations (November 2016). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 54, Issue 6, pp. 1433-1448, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852637 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12425

Matti Van Hecke

University of Antwerp

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

Peter Bursens

Universiteit Antwerpen ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerpen, B-2000
Belgium

Jan Beyers (Contact Author)

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant
Belgium

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