Interest Representation in Administrative Proceedings
One of the central challenges facing public decision-makers at the national and supranational levels in Europe is how to maximise citizen participation in processes that lead to determinations with legal effects. In classic political and public law theory, the challenge has typically been analysed with reference to models of representative democracy (for instance, as relate to exercises of legislative power) or due process guarantees (as apply to those to be directly affected by administrative decisions). However, while such models may previously have provided a sufficient intellectual framework for critiquing levels of participation, the issue of citizen engagement is now regarded as markedly more complex. This is because power is no longer exercised solely by the State and its administrative bodies, but also by a range of other national, international and supranational actors who may not easily (or at all) be viewed through the prism of delegation theory. Of these actors, the most influential are the EU institutions, and it has become commonplace to doubt whether the exercise of public power at the European level can ever be attributed to the legitimating repository of “the public”. Traditional democratic discourse has thus reached its terminus, and something new is required.