Interest groups and Accountability in European Union Agencies
The growth of “the regulatory state” has resulted in the creation of a significant number of specialised and non-elected bodies which carry out executive powers (such as central banks or regulatory agencies). The creation of European agencies (EAs) stems from the so-called “credible commitment”. According to some scholars, EAs were created as independent bodies in order to enhance the credibility of the EU decision-making process. The number of European Union agencies has been increasing over the last two decades as a result of the delegation of powers to agencies in different policy domains, such as food security, financial markets, evaluation of medicinal products, and management of the Union's external borders, among others.
The objective of this research is to examine stakeholders involvement in European agencies. In the one hand, the research seeks to examine the careers of current board members/top-level civil servants of European agencies, identifying their links with politicians (such as national governments or national political parties) and specific interest groups (such as business associations, firms, NGOs, professional associations or trade unions). In addition, this research aims to examine what factors explain the variation in stakeholder participation across agencies. This study is based on an original dataset on the career trajectories of current board members of EAs