No place like home? Explaining venue selection of regional offices in Brussels
While subnational authorities strongly mobilize in Brussels, they do not lobby all EU-level venues to the same extent. This article explains the varying intensity with which regional offices interact with various EU-level policy-making venues when seeking to influence EU policies. Theoretically, we complement an exchange-based perspective with political-institutional and contextual factors, such as regional political autonomy and the degree of preference alignment with key policy-making venues. To test our hypotheses, we rely on evidence collected through 33 face-to-face interviews with regional representations concerning their lobbying activities in four salient policy processes. Our results highlight that while most offices regularly interact with both national and supranational venues, the central government representation in Brussels is always, irrespective of what is at stake, the most important contact point. Furthermore, we also find that policy alignments shape venue selection, indicating some evidence of strategic manoeuvring.