ARENA Tuesday seminar: Adriana Bunea

Adriana Bunea presents the co-authored paper Public consultations and stakeholder support for legislative proposals: Evidence from the European Union at the Tuesday Seminar on 6 September 2022.


Stakeholder engagement in the design and formulation of policy proposals is a landmark of modern governance. This is particularly relevant for non-elected institutions, such as bureaucracies, for which stakeholder engagement represents an important opportunity to build input legitimacy and gather public support for their proposed policies. When and how the constellation of different consultation mechanisms affects the levels of stakeholder support for policy proposals represents a key theoretical and empirical puzzle that currently remains unaddressed in the literature on stakeholder engagement in bureaucratic policymaking. We address this gap in research and develop an argument about the extent to which procedural fairness plays an important role in understanding how stakeholder engagement may increase stakeholders’ support for policy proposals. We argue that the extent to which the consultation process was inclusive and attentive to stakeholders’ policy inputs shapes the levels of stakeholder support for policy outputs. We test our argument on a new dataset set of 262 draft legislative proposals formulated by the European Commission during the 2016-2021 period, on which more than 6,500 stakeholder feedback texts have been submitted. Our preliminary analyses indicate that the presence of an open public consultation during the formulation stage of policy proposals has a strong positive effect on citizens and non-business stakeholders’ support for these proposals. However, other key characteristics of the consultation design such as the number or the combination of different consultation activities do not seem to matter for securing stakeholder support. Also, we find no systematic pattern of association between the extent to which EC policymakers refer to and formally acknowledge consultation activities and stakeholders’ inputs in their tabled policy proposals and how these proposals are received by stakeholders.

Download paper (restricted access).

Please note that this paper is work in progress and thus has limited distribution, please contact us if you would like access. Do not cite without permission from the author.

The event is hybrid. If you would like to attend digitally, contact Silva Hoffmann to get the zoom link. 

Published May 31, 2022 1:45 PM - Last modified Sep. 1, 2022 2:31 PM