The European Commission and the public governance of interest groups in the European Union: seeking a niche between accreditation and laissez-faire.
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GREENWOOD, J. and HALPIN, D., 2007. The European Commission and the public governance of interest groups in the European Union: seeking a niche between accreditation and laissez-faire. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 8 (2), pp. 189-210.
As interest groups participate in public policy, so demands arise for the regulation of their input. These vary between purposeful laissez-faire, and accreditation in return for norm observance, with attempts to find points between these often focusing on supervised and/or incentivised self-regulation. We classify the EU system as ‘de-facto’ accreditation, based around generalised and ill-defined notions, and on preferences for the simplification of consultative life and to screen out outsider groups with a narrow membership basis that don’t follow the ‘rules of the game’. The operationalisation of ‘representativity’ criteria carries with it the danger of privileging certain categories of groups over other types of groups. A wider legitimacy basis is suggested by a limited comparative literature, a sharpening of the concept of accountability and types of interest groups.