This analysis aims to shed light on the role of online consultations in interest representation of civil society at European level. Consultations have the great potential to strengthen civil society and legitimize decision-making. But this can only happen, if participation is unbiased. Previous research found that OCs are highly business dominated. The analysis of 12.014 contributions to initiatives in four different topic areas from 2019 until 2021 aims at finding out more about user types and country of origin. Contrary to previous research, the data does not support the hypothesis of consultations being highly business dominated. In fact, citizens make up the largest share of participants. This suggests that participation has diversified over the years. Looking at the country of origin, this is not the case. Most participants are from richer, north-western European countries. Especially the newer member states still abstain from using this consultation tool. Public online consultations are a valuable tool to strengthen civil society and this research suggests that participation patterns have improved. Still, further initiatives and measures are needed in order to ensure that the public opinion portrayed in consultations is one, that not only includes many citizens, but also represents all member states.
300 Sozialwissenschaften::320 Politikwissenschaft::324 Der politische Prozess
What role do Online Consultations (OCs) of the European Commission play in interest representation of civil society at the European level?
Welche Rolle spielen Online Konsultationen der Europäischen Kommission in der Vertretung zivilgesellschaftlicher Interessen auf europäischer Ebene?
Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften
Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft