The local level in a European environment. Finding explanations for participation of Dutch municipalities in the transnational municipal network "Eurocities"

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Dutch municipalities increasingly encounter the European Union, but struggle to embed the European ‘way of work’ in their organization. Participating in transnational municipal networks (TMNs) could help municipalities to cope with European affairs. However, there are differences in engagement of Dutch municipalities in these networks. This thesis discusses what explains whether or not Dutch municipalities participate in Eurocities, one of the most prominent TMNs. Municipalities have rational motives to participate in TMNs. A demand-supply analysis allows to measure the fit between what municipalities want or need (the demand) and what Eurocities offers (the supply). This thesis reveals that municipalities mainly participate in Eurocities to exchange knowledge and to improve their lobbying position at the European level. For municipalities that do not participate in Eurocities, the added value of the network is not always clear. In addition, municipalities emphasize the impact of constraining conditions, such as small capacity and a lack of Europe-minded staff, on the ability to participate. Because of the great amount of variables and the rich and nuanced results, it is difficult to answer the main question with one all-encompassing conclusion. Nevertheless, in sum, it can be said that the participating municipalities have a higher demand for participation in Eurocities than non-participating municipalities.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen