Power to the people? Evaluating the European Commission’s engagement efforts in EU copyright policy

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This paper asks to what extent the European Commission’s stakeholder participation model takes into account non-expert citizen contributions in policy processes pertaining to copyright. In theory, the increasing scale of citizen engagement in stakeholder consultations on copyright could help address the EU’s democratic deficit. The paper analyses the European Commission’s consultation processes in copyright policy across the Barroso 1&2 and Juncker Commissions (2004–2019). It documents the scale and the type of stakeholder involvement in public consultations. Through expert interviews and a survey, the paper gives critical insight into stakeholders’ perception of the Commission’s consultation practices and citizens’ role in policymaking. It concludes that the Commission is inclusive of different types of stakeholders, but casts doubt on the (perceived) motivation and appropriateness of its stakeholder participation model for non-expert citizens. The paper thus sheds light on the attempts and the struggle to engage with citizens in a digital age.



1. Polish National Science Centre (NCN) [DEC-2014/12/S/HS5/00006], 2. VUB Onderzoeksraad for the GREMLIN: Global and Regional Multistakeholder Institutions project [OZR/2016/381] in the context of support for the United Nations University in Bruges (2017–2022).


Better Regulation, citizen engagement, copyright, online governance, participatory democracy, European Commission


Journal of European Integration 2021, vol. 43 (8), pp. 1025-1043.

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego