Nothing but consultation: The place of organised civil society in EU policy-making across policies
In recent years, not only governance, but also civil society has been a veritable growth industry both in politics and academia. Depending on the author, organised civil society was associated with expectations of increasing input or output legitimacy. With regard to the EU, participation of civil society organisations are officially seen as a means of bridging the gap between the EU and its citizens, as materialised in the EU-discourse of participatory democracy. On the basis of an extensive literature review, the article examines the place of organised civil society in EU policy-making processes, in particular in the following policy fields: social affairs, health, consumer protection, environment, and trade as well as in the Convention process. It does so by evaluating the democratic core norms of participation, representation and accountability and comes to disillusioning conclusions. The inclusion of organised civil society contributes little to the democratic legitimacy of the EU and is instrumental to institutional power games of the European Commission and the European Parliament. Worse, the Commission, through its consultation practices, may be contributing to an aggravation of the democratic deficit. Furthermore, there is little empirical evidence that would confirm the normative expectations of deliberative democracy.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Scharpf, Fritz W., 1999. "Regieren in Europa: Effektiv und demokratisch?," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 0, number sbd-1999.
- Follesdal, Andreas & Hix, Simon, 2005. "Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 2, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
- Clark, Gordon L. & Whiteside, Noel (ed.), 2003. "Pension Security in the 21st Century: Redrawing the Public-Private Debate," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261765.
- Webster, Ruth, 2000. "What drives interest group collaboration at the EU level? Evidence from the European environmental interest groups," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 4, December.
- Claus Offe & Ulrich K. Preuss, 2006. "The Problem of Legitimacy in the European Polity. Is Democratization the Answer?," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0028, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
- Eckardt, Martina, 2003. "The Open Method of Co-ordination on Pensions - An Economic Analysis of its Effects on Pension Reforms," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 39, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
- Alex Warleigh, 2001. "'Europeanizing' Civil Society: NGOs as Agents of Political Socialization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 619-639, November.
- Andreas Broscheid & David Coen, 2003. "Insider and Outsider Lobbying of the European Commission," European Union Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 165-189, June.
- Trygve Ugland & Frode Veggeland, 2006. "Experiments in Food Safety Policy Integration in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 607-624, 09.
- Paul Magnette, 2003. "European Governance and Civic Participation: Beyond Elitist Citizenship?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-160, 03.
- Andrew Moravcsik, 1993. "Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 473-524, December.
- Smismans, Stijn, 2006. "New Modes of Governance and the Participatory Myth," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 1, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
- Mary Daly, 2006. "EU Social Policy after Lisbon," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 461-481, 09.
- Kröger, Sandra, 2006. "When learning hits politics or: Social policy coordination left to the administrations and the NGOs?," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 10, 05.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:eurogo:p0019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jessica Spiegel)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.