I have participated in the 5th Annual Green Economics Conference, organised by the Green Economics Institute, between 29-31 July 2010 at Mansfield College, Oxford University.
During the conference Michael Briguglio presented a paper entitled 'EU Accession and Civil Society Lobbying: The case of Maltese ENGOs', which is based on some findings from his work-in-progress PhD dissertation in Sociology, entitled 'EU Accession and Civil Society Empowerment: the case of Environmental NGOs in Malta'.
Reference of the paper presented in the conference:
Briguglio, Michael (2010). ‘EU Accession and Civil Society Lobbying: The case of Maltese ENGOs’, in, Jociute, K. and Kennet, M. (2010), Proceedings of the Green Economics Institute Annual Green Economics Conference: Green Economics and Green Jobs. 29-31 July 2010 at Mansfield College, Oxford University, UK. Series Editor Heinemann V.A., pp.40-43. A Green Economics Institute Publication.
The paper argues that EU Accession has enhanced empowerment of Maltese ENGOs. This has occurred as a result of EU-driven policy and legislative reforms, leading to the institutionalisation of ENGOs through their participation in environmental reform. In addition, lobbying opportunities for ENGOs within EU Institutions have increased. However various factors constrain the ENGOs' empowerment, including neo-liberal ideology; political pressure from other lobby groups; and economic pressures.
However, it should be qualified in that empowerment has effected ENGOs differently, with conservationists gaining most, followed by sustainable development, radical and local ENGOs. The differences and similarities amongst different ENGOs exemplifies the creative tension of such organisations within the environmental movement.