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Abstract

Although depicted as an instrument oriented towards improving European governance as well as the democratic quality of European decision-making, the application of online consultations (OC) by the European Commission is accompanied by scepticism about their actual use. Based on a large-N, quantitative analysis, this article examines the application of and participation patterns in OC. With regard to the most relevant indicators applied in the study – openness, transparency and inclusiveness – the analysis reveals rather mixed results: while OC enhance the involvement of interested parties and formally offer the possibility to give qualitative input, at present, OC are far from being inclusive, nor is their practice transparent.