This book looks at how agricultural, environmental and anti-poverty organisations engage with EU affairs; the ways they conceive of interest representation and the strategies they choose to represent their constituencies across the regional, national and European levels of governance; and how being engaged with the EU affects them.
Taking a subjective approach in which the perceptions of civil society actors are centre-stage, it breaks new ground in covering the different levels of governance and combining representation theory with EU studies.
Kröger finds that these groups for the most part are quite ‘Europeanised’, and as such can work against the institutional deficit of the EU. However, they do not defend a European interest, as opposed to regional, national or sectoral interests, are therefore not ‘European’ and can do little against the social deficit of the EU. This is particularly true for the redistributive policy fields of agricultural and social policy, where actors often mention the lowest common denominator policies of the EU and, as a result, often engage in bilateral interest representation strategies.
'In a densely populated market of books on civil society organisations in the European Union, Sandra Kröger’s is a must-read. Her capacity to combine empirical methods with political theory centred on political representation sheds a new and fascinating light on the role of civil society organisations in the EU. She encourages the reader, rightly, to go beyond well-known aspects of deliberation and participation. While these remain important factors, they must be deepened through the analysis of CSOs' self-understanding of their representative role.'
Sabine Saurugger, Sciences Po Grenoble
'In this new study of representation by civil society organisations in the European Union, Kröger does an excellent job in drawing out critical aspects of the politics of representation today. Fully versed in recent theoretical debates on representation, she provides a convincing framework within which to analyse a rich array of empirical material in three key areas of EU governance. The book sustains a clear and nuanced line of argument without simplifying the real-world complexities of CSO politics across the EU or the multiple channels and styles of representation involved. For scholars and practitioners in search of fresh insights into pressing issues of democracy and representation in the EU, Europeanised or European? will be essential reading.’
Michael Saward, University of Warwick