Access of Experts: Information and EU Decision-making

Åse Gornitzka and Ulf Sverdrup have published the article 'Access of Experts: Information and EU Decision-making' in a special isssue of West European Politics 34(1).


Who provides the European Union with information? This article examines patterns of participation in the large expert group system under the European Commission. It explores competing propositions about the character of the Commission's information system, and tests four hypotheses about what affects participation in the EU expert group system.

The authors distinguish between three kinds of information providers: scientists, societal actors and government officials. The empirical section of the paper builds upon an analysis of a data set covering all of the Commission expert groups (N = 1237). Although scientists, and interest groups, industries and NGOs are prevalent information providers for the Commission, the authors show that the informational foundation is strongly biased towards officials from national administrations.

They argue that these distinct patterns of participation are significantly affected by inter-institutional and environmental conditions that the Commission Directorate Generals operate under. Access of experts increases the ability of the Commission to anticipate reactions to its proposals and initiatives and hence it impinges on the inter-institutional dynamic of the EU.

Published Feb. 2, 2011 10:41 AM - Last modified Aug. 5, 2011 2:10 PM