You'll never lobby alone : explaining the participation of sub-national authorities in the European Commissions open consultationsYou'll never lobby alone : explaining the participation of sub-national authorities in the European Commissions open consultations
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multi-Level Politics (ACIM)
Journal of common market studies. - Oxford
University of Antwerp
The multi-level system of the EU constrains the institutionalized representation of the regional tier of government. Consequently, sub-national authorities seek to represent their interests through various lobbying practices, including taking part in the European Commissions open consultations. In this paper, 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: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Environment Action Program (EAP), Horizon 2020, Cohesion Policy and TEN-T. 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.