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A transparency gap? the case of European Agricultural Committee governance

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How much are European citizens entitled to know about the European Union's (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) governance system in general and the European Commission's Agricultural Advisory Committees (AACs) (Agricultural Advisory Groups since April 2004) in particular, and to what extent can EU institutions, the public, and committee members exercise scrutiny over the AACs? Two themes underlie these questions: access to information and scrutiny. These are intrinsic to the notion of transparency, which the article sets out to explore and comment on. It attempts to define the notion in relation to its essential components and in order to assess whether CAP governance through committees is transparent enough to ensure that citizens are ultimately able to exercise democratic control over it, this article gauges AAC intelligibility. Using original empirical research carried out in Autumn 2003, based on interviews with AAC members derived from socio-economic groups as well as European institutions' internal documentary evidence, the article argues that these structures suffer a substantial transparency deficit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Policy and Administration
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

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