Engaging with Europe:
: the Welsh Assembly Government and EU policy-making

  • Einion Dafydd

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


This study is an empirical investigation of the activities undertaken by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in its attempts to promote its policy interests within EU policy-making processes. It argues that working with the UK Government in the formulation and promotion of UK-EU policy forms the centrepiece of WAG’s strategy, but that it also explores other channels through the work of its representatives in Brussels. As the mechanisms which enable WAG to participate in UK-EU policy processes are informal, maintaining good relationships with central government officials is necessary for ensuring quality engagement with these processes. WAG therefore makes a conscious effort to refrain from acting in ways which might jeopardize its relationship with Whitehall, displaying caution both in its engagement with the UK Government, and in its interest-promotion activity in Brussels. WAG’s strategy is also characterized by creativity. It explores various channels to promote its interests, working with actors such as the Commission, Welsh MEPs, regional networks, and other European regions. The nature of its relationship with many of these actors is highly informal. WAG needs to target other actors because of the lack of formal mechanisms at WAG’s disposal, because of the distribution of power between EU institutions, and because WAG is able to use other actors to promote interests which diverge from those of the UK Government. In conclusion, it is argued that the high degree of dependency on the UK Government which characterizes WAG’s engagement in EU affairs support the claims made by Moravcsik’s theory of liberal intergovernmentalism rather than those made by multi-level governance scholars.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorHuw Lewis (Supervisor)

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