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The Europe Direct Network - Are Europe Direct Information Relays an Adequate Means to Fight the Perceived Democratic Deficit? : Experiences From the German Network

Winter, Stephanie (2009) The Europe Direct Network - Are Europe Direct Information Relays an Adequate Means to Fight the Perceived Democratic Deficit? : Experiences From the German Network.

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Abstract:This thesis examines whether Europe Direct information relays are an adequate means to fight the perceived democratic deficit. Devised by the European Commission as a means to close the gap between the citizens of the EU and Brussels, the relays have a dual role assuming a mediating function. On the one hand, they provide access to information to increase people’s knowledge on EU related issues; on the other hand, they constitute a platform that enables people to join in a dialogue with each other and the institutions. In theory, the relays appear to be an adequate means to fight the perceived democratic deficit. However, a number of independent variables impact on the relays’ capacity to act, such as their host structure, the services offered by the Commission, as well communication priorities issued by the Commission. Our empirical research shows that the relays’ work is dependent on those factors irrespective of the European Commission’s guidelines and wishes. Furthermore, the Commission’s approach is far too broad to meet the needs of all Europe Direct information relays in Germany. Finally, the relays do not fulfil both roles in equal measures. The relays’ feedback function is clearly outweighed by the processing of enquiries, which most relays regard as their main function.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60342
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