Over the past twenty years, EU agencies have proliferated as part of the Eurocracy. Notwithstanding their different tasks and varying competences, they tend to share a common feature: they engage closely with non-state stakeholders, including industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organizations. In their article “Stakeholders wanted! Why and how European Union agencies involve non-state stakeholders” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Sarah Arras and Caelesta Braun note that although non-state stakeholder appear to assume an important role in EU agencies’ affairs, we know little about how EU agencies involve non-state stakeholders – or why agencies engage them in the first place. To address these questions, Sarah and Caelesta draw on a novel dataset of access instruments employed by EU agencies and a series of interviews with EU agency officials. Evidence from their analysis suggests that non-state stakeholder involvement not only responds to EU agencies’ demands, such as requests for expertise or attempts to shore up their organizational reputation, but also serves the European Parliament as an instrument of indirect control over the myriad of independent agencies. However, Sarah and Caelesta’s analysis also highlights “that rather than being independent and insulated from external pressures, as the idea of delegation to experts suggests, EU regulatory agencies are strongly embedded in a network of stakeholders”, risking a dependence on the regulated industry.
A cornerstone of European integration, the freedom to work and live anywhere within the European Union is possibly the most visible and cherished perk of EU citizenship. However, for several years the freedom of movement has been the source of a contentious debate, featuring prominently in the rhetoric of Eurosceptic parties re-shaping the political landscape and the EU’s ongoing negotiations over the United Kingdom’s exit from the union in March 2019. In their article “Opportunity or threat? Public attitudes towards EU freedom of movement” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Sofia Vasilopoulou and Liisa Talving explore the drivers of the public’s attitudes towards intra-EU migration. Combining evidence from four waves of Eurobarometer surveys administered between 2015 and 2017, Sofia and Liisa’s analysis shows that respondents with low levels of skills and education as well as those holding strong feelings about national identity are the ones most likely to oppose freedom of movement. These findings need to be evaluated in a domestic context, however. Digging a little deeper, Sofia and Liisa show that individual-level factors are clearly moderated by country affluence, with generally high levels of support for intra-EU migration in poorer EU member states, even among respondents typically perceived as Eurosceptic. Crucially, Sofia and Liisa’s analysis highlights that “[c]itizens in richer countries that tend to receive more EU migrants and where the question of EU mobility is more salient seem to be more prone to perceiving EU freedom of movement as a threat.”
The latest Google Scholar journal metrics are out and they had a welcome surprise in store for us. JEPP climbed two ranks and now sits in 4th place in the Political Science category. The journal’s h5-index increased from 39 to 51 (with a h5-median score of 71).
We won’t tire to stress that JEPP’s success reflects the quality of our authors’ work, the countless hours our reviewers invest to keep the journal rolling, and the continued interest from our readers. We greatly appreciate your time and support.