REGIONAL REPRESENTATION OFFICES AND THEIR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES IN THE EU ARENA - A comparative interview study of Swedish regional offices in Brussels
Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to study the lobbying activities among regional offices representing administrative regions to explore differences and similarities in relation to three theoretical aspects; mission and principals, resources and lobbying tactics. Moreover, the thesis also aims to analyse how these differences and similarities correspond to theoretical perceptions from previous research on administrative regions’ offices and their lobbying activities. Essentially, administrative regions have been defined in previous research as weaker with poorer conditions, resources and ambitions to influence EU policy and their representation offices having a less clear representational function, weak strategic policy agendas, and vaguely articulated ambitions. To investigate these offices’ lobbying activities, the thesis uses a qualitative approach based on a deductive analysis with a framework and analytical scheme based on the three theoretical aspects. The empirical material is collected through eight semi-structured interviews with officials working at the Swedish regional offices in Brussels. The results show that main differences are identified connected to concepts within the theoretical aspect of mission and principals, followed by resources and lobbying tactics. Moreover, the results indicate that theoretical perceptions about administrative regions’ offices can be questioned as these offices do have ambitions to influence EU policy and practices several activities to increase their voice towards the officials in the EU arena.
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