Politicization and the public interest: When do the elites in Brussels address public interests in EU policy debates?

Iskander De Bruycker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Contemporary European studies concur that public pressure and responsiveness have become key ingredients of the EU policy arena. Nonetheless, there is little known about when and how the elites in Brussels articulate public interests in EU policy debates. This article bridges this gap by examining the conditions under which political elites involved in EU legislative procedures address public interests in the news. It is expected that the politicization of EU policy processes stimulates elites to articulate public interests. The dataset consists of 2164 media statements in six European media outlets on a sample of 125 legislative proposals (2008-2010). The results demonstrate that elites address public interests in the media predominantly when issues are publicly salient and attract intensive mobilization by civil society groups. Elites stay silent about public interests when policy processes are crowded with business lobbyists and are of low salience to European citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-619
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • European Union
  • political communication
  • elites
  • representation
  • interest groups
  • EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
  • MEDIA
  • OPINION
  • NEWS
  • DYNAMICS
  • UNION
  • ARENA
  • BIAS

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