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Same numbers, Different Practices: Transformation of Interests representation through Europeanisation

Athanasios Pallis
University of the Aegean
Athanasios Pallis
University of the Aegean
Open Panel

Abstract

The paper aims to conceptualize the extent and the ways that participation in the EU policy-making has resulted in the transformation of the format and organized interests articulation at EU level. It does so examining developments of a particular sectoral policy, the European Port Policy (EPP) that evolved in the late 1990s, and since then experienced a turbulent process marked by the rejection of two European Commission policy proposals (2004, 2006), the endorsement of a ‘soft law’ approach (2007), while a revision of the entire EU strategy is pending and expected to be concluded in early 2011. With the entire EPP process being accompanied by the evolution and active involvement of organized interests, the paper discusses how the format and practices of the latter have been progressively transformed, including the major affect that the has had. The study concludes that the same interest groups have progressively endorsed different ‘calculus’ and ‘cultural’ approaches seeking intensively the role of ‘agenda setters’, rather than that of the reacting interests advocacy that they had originally exercised.