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Browsing by Author "Sääksjärvi, Sanna"

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  • Sääksjärvi, Sanna (2013)
    The decision-making processes of the European Union are in continuous change, and shaped by many actors, both political and non-political. The aim of this study is to examine the ways in which participants influence the political decision-making process and which variety of advocacy strategies’ they use to reach their goals. In connection to the material, the following research questions can be formulated: 1. What kind of connection exists between the working paper, the comments and the Directive? 2. What kind of influence do the participants groups have on the policy process? 3. Which interest group can be seen as most successful in getting the rule shift they want? Kamieniecki’s theory of agenda building and blocking is used as the main theory in this study, and a variable developed by Webb Yackee called 'desired rule shift'. The framework for the analysis is called 'Environmental Liability: Consultation of interest parties on a working document on the prevention and restoration of Significant Environmental Damage' and the material consisted of comments made by interest groups in the context of the framework. The comments were 68 in total, and the commentators were divided into four interest groups, depending on the interests they can be seen as pursuing: member states, labour organizations, organizations and charities. In the qualitative part of the study, different agenda-setting theories were used for identifying different strategies used by the interest groups to get the rule shift they want. The method used in the study is content analysis in both its' quantitative and qualitative form. The group most successful in getting the rule shift they wanted was the member states, where desired rule shift was achieved in 5 of 6 (83%) cases. For the other groups, desired rule shift was achieved in the group labour organizations in 9 cases of 46 (20%) and in the group organizations in 7 cases of 13 (54%). The group charities, was the only group where desired rule shift wasn't achieved at all. For the whole material, desired rule shift was achieved 21 times of 68 (31%). For the qualitative part of the study, all of the agenda-setting theories used by Kamieniecki in his research concerning American environmental legislation could be found in the material. The study shows that participants do influence the policy process of the European Union, and can influence it by taking part in the Commissions’ consultation process. The interest group most successful in getting the rule shift they want was the member states who actively took a stand on questions concerning governmental influence.