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Playing at multiple levels in biodiversity governance: The case of Hungarian ENGOs in Natura 2000

  • Cordula Mertens


    (1St. István University Department of Environmental Economics Budapest Hungary)

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    The Hungarian biodiversity governance setting changed with Hungary’s accession to the EU: an additional supranational level brought new interaction opportunities for ENGOs. Based on the concept of multi-level governance, this paper analyses what kind of interactions Hungarian nature conservation NGOs have with state and non-state actors across different governance levels. The implementation of Natura 2000, as a flagship of EU nature conservation, was chosen to investigate the role of ENGOs in nature conservation policy making. The research reported here applied qualitative research techniques combining semi-structured expert interviews with document analysis. At the national level, Hungarian ENGOs cooperated effectively with each other and state nature conservation bodies. New channels for information flow and knowledge transfer were opened and have been actively used by Hungarian ENGOs via European umbrella organisations and through directly contacting EU institutions. Although ENGOs gained some links to the agricultural policy sector, a constructive cooperation with these actors could not be established. As the national ENGOs focused on international and national level interactions, they relatively neglected exchanges with local ENGOs. So when the authorities of the agricultural sector and local farmers became crucial for a successful implementation of Natura 2000, ENGOs had only few contacts to cooperate with.

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    Article provided by Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary in its journal Society and Economy.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 187-208

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    Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:35:y:2013:i:2:p:187-208
    Note: The author thanks all interviewees for their time and the information shared, and György Pataki for his valuable comments on drafts of this paper. This research was financially supported by the EU (European Commission, Marie Curie RTN GoverNat, Contract No. 0035536,
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