Interest representation is conditioned by the nature of the decision-making system in which it is embedded. ‘Majoritarian’ systems in which a government commands a parliamentary majority can create outright ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in legislative initiatives, whereas ‘consensual’ systems produce compromised policy initiatives in which there is mostly ‘something for everyone’. As was outlined in Chapter 1, the highly fragmented nature of EU decision-making means that no one type of interest can ever routinely dominate it. And without the chance to be an outright winner or loser, civil society constituencies have to find broadly based alliances. Fragmented, multi-level structures of decision-making afford ease of access for a wide range of civil society players but dilute the impact of any given constituency, whereas centralized structures create difficulties of access but once obtained the near monopolistic ‘insider’ status can result in high policy impact (Risse-Kappen 1995).
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