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The impact of the EU accession process and EU funding on the professionalization of national interest groups: the Slovenian case

Lookup NU author(s): Professor William Maloney



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article investigates the extent to which European Union (EU) accession and EU funding affects the professionalization process in national interest group systems. To what extent does EU accession and EU funding contribute to the professionalization of interest groups in Slovenia?” Has EU accession had a more profound impact on the professionalization of interest groups than the shift from socialism to capitalism? Our novel empirical evidence is drawn from two surveys of interest groups in Slovenia – the first in 1996 eight years prior to Slovenia's membership of the EU (in 2004) and the second in 2012 eight years after its accession. Our findings show that EU accession and funding accentuate the professionalization of interest groups. However, these processes are intertwined with the partitocratic role of national political parties and that parties mediate the shape and structure of interest group professionalization via their decisions on the allocation of EU funding to groups.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maloney WA, Hafner-Fink M, Fink-Hafner D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Interest Groups & Advocacy

Year: 2018

Volume: 7

Issue: 1

Pages: 41-60

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 22/03/2018

Acceptance date: 18/02/2018

Date deposited: 18/02/2018

ISSN (print): 2047-7414

ISSN (electronic): 2047-7422

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.


DOI: 10.1057/s41309-018-0032-6


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