This article examines the decision to include interest group representation (IGR) in the most important decisionmaking bodies of European Union agencies (EAs). The study shows that there is considerable variation among agencies: some agencies have no IGR, others have formal rules that establish a clear distribution of the number of representatives among stakeholders, while other agencies are ambiguous with regard to the number of representatives that each group should have. In addition, interest group representatives have the right to vote in some of the agencies with IGR, while in others they only have an advisory role. This article identifies three broad types of groups normally represented: representatives of capital (e.g. industry), representatives of labor (e.g. trade unions), and citizens' representatives (e.g. non-governmental organizations, consumer groups). The findings suggest that informative agencies are more likely to have IGR than agencies performing operational/management tasks. The findings also suggest that the involvement of the European Parliament in the design of EAs is more likely to lead to a provision for the representation of stakeholders. Finally, case studies of the European Food Safety Agency and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work demonstrate that interest groups could play an important role by pushing European Union institutions to include stakeholder representatives in EAs.
- environmental governance
- private authority
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration