Domestic European Union Coordination and Interest Group Mobilization in Three Member States: Looking Beyond the Formal Mechanisms

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Series Details Volume 24, Number 3, Pages 363-381
Publication Date July 2014
ISSN 1359-7566
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One conclusion in the literature on domestic European Union (EU) coordination is that the formal institutional properties of countries — devolved versus centralized or unitary — affect the nature of coordination practices. Basically, the view has emerged that domestic coordination is a largely bureaucratic process in which political control mechanisms remain relatively weak.

Instead of only looking at public authorities and their formal networks, this article relies on a data set that allows us to analyse informal political-administrative networks and look at how societal interests mobilize and target policymakers in order to shape the position governments defend at the EU level. One of our conclusions is that despite devolution in Belgium, its intergovernmental coordination shows a considerable level of network centralization, even when compared to unitary countries such as France and the Netherlands, meaning that there are large differences between the three states with respect to the connectedness of the actors involved.

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