You’ll never lobby alone: explaining the participation of sub-national authorities in the European Commission’s open consultations

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Series Details Vol.54, No.6, November 2016, p1433–1448
Publication Date November 2016
ISSN 0021-9886
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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.

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Countries / Regions