ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

No participation without representation: demands and supplies on representation in European participatory governance

Dawid Friedrich
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Dawid Friedrich
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Meike Rodekamp
Universität Bremen
Open Panel

Abstract

The hype about participatory governance and the, assumed, democratic credentials of civil society participation in European governance arrangements seems to have pushed the notions of representation and representative democracy aside. At a closer look, however, it becomes apparent that a) the participation of civil society organisations is not democratically unambiguous, that b) the European Union, notably the European Commission, makes demands of representation on these actors, and that c) the CSOs also try to establish themselves as being representative both with regard to the concept of descriptive representation and also in their internal structure. It is unclear, however, in how far the representative demands are met by, or matches the, representative supplies of the CSOs, empirically, and to what extent the reintroduction of notions representation into participatory governance is able to address the latter’s key democratic problems that are highlighted by research on CSO participation in EU governance. This paper introduces the concept of participatory democracy and demonstrates how it became the prominent model in the EU discourse of the last decade; then it analyses the representative demands of the EU and juxtaposes them with the CSOs’ representative supplies. It does so by a textual analysis of the Commission’s central publications on participation and by exemplarily assessing the internal organisations of CSOs in the fields EU External Trade, Environment, and Migration policy.