European Union Agencies and Non-State Stakeholder Involvement Why, how, and does it matter?
4 December 2017
Stadscampus, Promotiezaal van de Grauwzusters - Lange St-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus
Prof Jan Beyers
Phd defence Sarah Arras - Faculty of Social Sciences
This study deals with the ambiguous relation between independent agencies and non-state stakeholders, such as firms, business associations, trade unions or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), at the European Union (EU) level in particular. On the one hand, agencies actively reach out to stakeholders to fulfill specific needs, for instance their need for expert information or implementation capacity, with the aim of increasing the legitimacy of agency decisions. On the other hand, closely interacting with stakeholders might also jeopardize legitimacy, if consultation procedures enable specialized interest influence and lead to sub-optimal decisions.
This study focuses on two main research questions. First, why and how do agencies involve stakeholders? What are the underlying motivations for agencies to reach out to stakeholders and install different types of consultation procedures? Second, what are the effects of agency consultation procedures, in terms of interest representation and legitimacy? How does consultation design affect participation and access patterns of stakeholders? And finally, under what conditions does stakeholder involvement increase or decrease legitimacy?
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