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The promotion of participatory governance in the EU's external policies: compromised by sectoral economic interests?

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Besides the more conventional top-down leverage and bottom-up linkage approach, the European Union (EU) uses a third way to promote democracy in third countries: promotion of democratic governance through functional cooperation in policy sectors. This governance model of democracy promotion has so far been studied only with regard to its effectiveness in target countries. In contrast to earlier research, this contribution takes an ‘input’ perspective and asks whether adverse sectoral economic interests prevent the EU from consistent democratic governance promotion. Based on three case studies from the two policy sectors of environmental and fisheries policy, the contribution concludes that EU democratic governance promotion is indeed inconsistent when sectoral economic interests are at stake. The governance model is thus subject to the same pattern of inconsistency as the leverage and linkage model with regard to economic interests.

Keywords: Common Fisheries Policy; European Neighbourhood Policy; European Union; Fisheries Partnership Agreements; democracy promotion; democratic governance; functional cooperation; genetically modified organisms; public participation; water governance

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for EU Studies,Ghent University, Belgium

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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