The influence of regional NGO lobby for circular economic municipal policy

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The consequences of climate change call for societal transformations that bring back humanity within social and ecological boundaries (Meadowcroft, 2009; Raworth, 2021). For this, national governments are increasingly paying attention to CE. However, application in cities and regions is lagging (Cramer, 2020; Hobson & Lynch, 2016). Additionally, the role of mediating actors pushing CE has not yet been extensively studied (Cramer, 2020). This research aims to give insights into lobby effectiveness and influence of regional NGOs for political adoption of CE into municipal programs. The case of a regional NGO lobbying during the 2022 Dutch municipal election and formation processes is used to assess lobby influence. This is done through Ego-perception, Alter-perception, and Causal analysis (EAC-method). Data is collected through semi-structured interviews and document analyses. A small amount of lobby influence is observed. The majority of lobby activities are considered relevant. Lobby influence is achieved through activities such as delivering texts; offering practical solutions that are locally relevant; and the provision of missing knowledge, information and capacity. However, lobby influence depends on the personal interests and knowledge of people within political parties. Furthermore, effects are shared with many other explanatory factors that might be at least as important as lobby, like national trends and municipal capacity. Keywords: Circular economy; non-governmental organisations; municipal lobby; political influence; policy implementation
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen