Sherrington, Philippa. (1999) “Shaping European Union Policy: The Significance of Think Tank Activity”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
Despite a growing academic interest in notions of agenda-setting, advocacy coalitions, and the role of ideas in the development of the European Union (EU), little attention has been given to the role of think tanks. EU-oriented think tanks are not a new phenomenon. Some of those operating from a national base have a longer history than the EU itself. Others however are still in their infancy. Most of the exclusively EU-oriented think tanks only emerged in the 1980s, and the European Commission’s internal think tank is just ten years old. There appears to have been a growth in think tank activity at the European level in the last two decades, perhaps simply explained by the deepening of EU competences, the increased impact of EU policy-making on member states, and thus a heightened awareness of all things European. Some national institutes are responding accordingly by increasingly moving from a specific domestic to a European-focussed agenda. As a consequence of increased policy activity at the EU level, the growth in think tanks may also have arisen out of EU institutional and national administrative needs for greater policy advocacy.
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