Skilled, interested, and governmental – the average participant A case study of participation opportunities in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Do all actors have equal opportunities to participate in multi-level governance arrangements? As the first EU macro-regional strategy, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is an interesting and important case for studying actors’ participation opportunities in multi-level governance arrangements. This thesis undertakes to identify factors that are favourable for an actor’s opportunity to participate, by studying the case of the EUSBSR. The findings serve to open up discussions concerning equal opportunities to participate, which is fundamental for legitimacy. It is concluded that there is a strong overrepresentation of national governmental actors, and it is their strong position in society that seems to be the favourable factor for their opportunity to participate. Furthermore, experience, in addition to expertise, also appears to be a favourable factor. Yet, it seems crucial that an actor perceives itself as affected, and especially by the issue, if it is to participate at all. Further research concerning the effect of affectedness, as well as concerning the concept of expertise, is therefore proposed.

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