| 2022-2025

Using stakeholders strategically to gain authority over principals in the EU


This project assesses whether and how EU agencies use stakeholder engagement to gain authority over the decision-making of their principals: the European Commission and Member State agencies. Regulatory authority is derived from the formal mandate of an agency, but also from its reputation. A reputation reflects how the agency is perceived by and embedded in its environment, which is crucial for its ability to be authoritative. This ability is under threat in the case of EU agencies, yet we lack a clear explanation of how these agencies aim to enhance their reputation and authority and whether these efforts are effective. The project fills these crucial gaps in the literature by looking at how different stakeholder engagement practices affect the authority of EU agencies. It, furthermore, assesses whether EU agencies can enhance their authority under high politicisation. While their authority is most under threat in these cases, increased oversight from principals may mean that EU agencies are less able to enhance their reputation and authority when issues are highly politicised. This project employs an innovative combination of a survey with European Commission and Member State officials, (automated) document analysis of policy documents and Bayesian models to test these expectations.


  • FWO Research Foundation Flanders - Junior Postdoctoral Fellowship

Project team