EU Legitimacy and Stakeholder Engagement

Matt Wood, Deputy Director of the Crick Centre, has launched a new project examining how stakeholder engagement can improve the democratic legitimacy of the EU, and the authority of EU institutions

The European Union is in a momentous crisis. Member states dissent against its overbearing austerity policies, fundamental rights and the Schengen area are under threat, and citizens lament bureaucratic deadlock.

And yet, some areas of EU level decision making have become widely accepted and part of our everyday lives.

Aviation and railway regulation have become even more ‘Europeanized’, and widely accepted by industry and users, and there is widespread consensus that food and medicine should be safety checked by transnational authorities.

Often this is because EU agencies in charge of these areas have engaged with stakeholders in industry, relevant professions, and the public more widely, enabling better policy implementation and visibility throughout Europe.

European_flag_outside_the_Commission EU

Supported by ESRC Future Leaders Funding, this project aims to understand how stakeholder engagement can improve the democratic legitimacy of the EU, and the authority of EU institutions. Looking at lessons from the EU’s decentralised agencies and the Commission, the project aims to identify the best practices of stakeholder communication and engagement.

The project includes an innovative methodology of co-production, working with EU agencies to produce and analyse stakeholder surveys and make concrete recommendations, for example on best practicing website design and key target groups for engagement. The project has already successfully advised agencies on best practice for stakeholder involvement and communication, promoting reach out to the public through agency websites.

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For more information and to get involved, contact the project director: Dr Matt Wood

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