Getting a seat at the table: Capital, capture and expert groups in the European Union

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

European Commission expert groups provide powerful platforms from which interest organisations can steer the EU consultation process and weigh in on policy outcomes. Commission decision-makers and bureaucrats rely heavily on expert groups to provide expert policy advice on highly technical issues in the early stages of the policymaking process. Interest organisations provide this advice in order to have their voices heard at the EU level. But whose interests are being represented in these expert groups? Which types of interest organisations, in other words, get a seat at the table and why? This article, using data on over 800 expert groups and nearly 3,000 interest organisations, argues that expert group membership is largely a function of superior resources, EU-level interests and existing institutionalised ties to decision-makers. Far from simply addressing the Commission’s need for expertise, expert group membership is more a story of capital and capture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-992
Number of pages17
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number5
Early online date14 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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