The European Commission has increasingly focused on the benefits it can derive from the greater participation of organized civil society in its role and activities. In the face of general decline in public trust in the institutions of government, it facilitated and encouraged new channels of access and consultation opportunities as a means to legitimize its position within the European political system.
Karen Heard-Lauréote’s comparative analysis of four European Commission advisory forums innovatively investigates the existence of a conflict between the capacities of such forums to deliver standards of good governance. The author questions whether these venues can provide efficiency gains via the production of sufficient policy output without delays or deadlocks at reasonable cost and sustain adequate democratic credentials such as legitimacy.
This study makes a significant contribution to its field by pursuing contemporary legitimacy debates asking whether under certain conditions or in certain policy-making contexts, legitimacy and efficiency may be reconciled or become at least partially compatible in European Commission committees.
European Union Governance will be of interest to students and researchers of European Union politics and policy-making.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Abbreviations and Acronyms. Introduction. 1. Legitimacy and Effectiveness – Two Principal Standards of Good Governance 2. Assessing (Input/Output) Legitimacy 3. The EU Eco-Labelling Board Consultation Forum 4. The European Health Policy Forum 5. The Trade Contact Group and Civil Society Dialogue 6. The Agricultural Advisory Groups. Conclusion: Trapped between Legitimacy Claims – Managing Expectations for ECAFs. Bibliography
Karen Heard-Laureote is a Lecturer in European Politics and Public Policy at the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies at Portsmouth University, UK