With this master thesis, I seek to explain how national interest organizations adapt to changing forms of governance at the European level. This is done through a case study where I focus on the Norwegian Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA, the EU-level associations in which NATCA participates (IFATCA and ATCEUC) and how they deal with European issues. On the one hand, I try to explain the preferred channel when NATCA works towards the European level: Do they go European or national? On the other hand, and more importantly, I raise the more fundamental question: How are the prospects for a common EU-level platform to develop amongst European air traffic controllers? The main data source has been interviews with key informants in the associations.
The choice of channel is analyzed through a Multi-level Governance and a Liberal Intergovermentalist perspective. A mixed strategy towards the EU, working at both the national and European level, appears to be preferred by NATCA. However, NATCA rarely approach the EU directly. To channel the issue through the EU-level associations seems to be the preferred choice. When the EU is approached, supranational institutions such as the Commission, EASA and the Parliament appear to be preferred over the Council.
In the latter part of the thesis, I apply organizational theory and show that the European associations investigated in this thesis (IFATCA and ATCEUC) appear to have vaguely defined organizational characteristics. The inverviewees express that they experience to get heard within EU. This appears to owe more to fortunate circumstances and highly committed individuals than to the organizational features of the associations. Hence, I conclude that the prospects for a viable European platform is somewhat limited.