The Europeanisation of interest groups: beyond access, fit and resources

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Series Details Vol.40, No.1, January 2018, p17-31
Publication Date January 2018
ISSN 0703-6337
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When addressing the Europeanisation of interest groups, the literature so far has mostly probed three factors: fit, access and resources. This contribution takes a different approach to the topic and proceeds inductively, focusing on how the actors themselves perceive of the EU and their engagement with it.

Taking anti-poverty groups as the case, three observations can be made. The first is that none of the factors that emerge from the data on its own seems to be able to explain the degree of Europeanisation of anti-poverty IGs. Instead, they seem complementary, with resources playing a major role. The second observation is that a focus on the factors of fit, access and resources alone is too narrow.

In fact, the two first of these three do not seem to go a long way in explaining the degree of Europeanisation of anti-poverty groups. By contrast, factors relating to the organisation as well as to the political environment it operates in emerge as important.

Finally, and in regard to methodology, the analysis shows that focusing on the subjective perceptions of actors allows the discovery of aspects of the Europeanisation of anti-poverty groups that would otherwise have remained in the dark.

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