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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

Europeanisation and the Changes in Interest-Group Types in the Post-Communist Context

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Interest Groups
European Union
Danica Fink Hafner
University of Ljubljana
Danica Fink Hafner
University of Ljubljana
Mitja Hafner-Fink
University of Ljubljana
Meta Novak
University of Ljubljana

This paper contributes to the literature on the impact of Europeanisation on national interest groups in general, and in a post-communist context (new EU member states) in particular. We analyse the data from two surveys of Slovenian interest groups active in eleven policy fields, conducted in 1996 and in 2012 within the framework of the INTEREURO project. This data offers an insight into (1) the dynamics of interest-group types, and (2) the interrelation of Europeanisation and the typology of interest groups based on the characteristics of interest-group activities. Our key finding is that there is some evidence of a causal link: ‘the more Europeanised interest groups are the more active they are’. Although there may be clear domestic reasons why interest-group activity evolves over time in the national milieu, it is important (particularly in the post-communist context) to understand that EU links with interest groups do make a difference to the national interest-group politics
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