Ukraine is a country with pronounced regional differences and a longstanding indigenous tradition of thinking on decentralization and federalism. Yet upon emerging as an independent polity, Ukraine failed to reform the territorial division inherited from the Soviet Union and opted for a centralized territorial-administrative system and territorial autonomy for the Crimean peninsula. The path of post-Soviet reforms can largely be attributed to a profound disagreement on what constituted the indigenous tradition and fear of centrifugal tendencies, which manifested themselves after independence. In the context of historical legacies of statelessness, the preservation of national unity and territorial cohesion was deemed of paramount importance. This would consolidate Ukraine's transformation into a truly European nation-state.
This article validates the Regional Authority Index with seven widely used decentralization indices in the literature. A principal axis analysis reveals a common structure. The major source of disagreement between the Regional Authority Index and the other indices stems from the fact that the Regional Authority Index does not include local governance whereas most other indices do. Two other sources of disagreement concern the treatment of federal versus non-federal countries, and countries which have recently regionalized and/or have asymmetrical regions, whereby the more fine-grained Regional Authority index captures greater variation. The second part discusses content validity of fiscal indicators.
Transcarpathia's special identity was formed by repeated annexations by rival states, of which it was always a remote backwater. The result was a multi-cultural ethnic mosaic, whose major groups all suffered under successive regimes. In the 1980s, Rusyn ethno-national identity re-emerged to challenge the 'Ukrainianizing' efforts of the Kiev government, with, at times, the opportunistic support of the local former communist elite. Autonomy is also sought by the local Hungarian minority. 'Central European' identity is invoked to emphasize the region's cultural distance from the capital, and justify aspirations to a special regional status and closer links with the west. But the impending EU's Schengen border threatens these links, prompting many to emigrate. Those who remain feel 'betrayed' by the 'Europe' at whose 'centre' they lie.
This article discusses the growth in the number of state regions in Norway in relation to two alternative theoretical perspectives on multi-level governance: a federal perspective and a club theoretical perspective. While the multi-functional and federal part of Norwegian regional government has been weakened over recent years, there has been a significant growth in the number of single-purpose regions and where the various regional divisions seem to follow a club theoretical logic. Empirical evidence demonstrates that a major justification for this development from federalist to club theoretical principles in the organization of public activities at the regional level is to be found in the professional and the collective nature of the tasks being transferred to this governmental level.
Many social scientists have recommended autonomy as a cure-all for territorially-based intrastate conflict. Lately, however, social scientists have begun to explore the possibility that autonomy may actually contribute to, rather than ameliorate, intrastate conflict by creating new opportunities for conflict and providing state-like institutions through which regional groups in conflict are able to pursue secession. This article fills a gap in the recent literature by specifying the dynamic interaction between autonomy and secessionism. Federalism - a common form of autonomy - provides groups in conflict with state-like institutions that provide crucial short-cuts on the path to secession, not the least of which is that these state-like institutions will hold over into independence. This article explores the dynamic of federalism and secession through an analysis of the secession movements that have developed in the United States and Canada. The article demonstrates that autonomy may actually contribute to, rather than resolve, secessionism and secessionist conflict.
The establishment of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales in 1999 was accompanied by the introduction of a new system of what is commonly referred to as 'intergovernmental relations' (IGR). Four themes emerge from an analysis of the early development of the British system of IGR: the executive dominance of relations; a reliance on both multilateral and bilateral mechanisms; an increasing predominance of informal relations; and the pervasiveness of concern for confidentiality. Taken together, these attributes embody a distinctive British version of the executive-focused IGR characteristic of the parliamentary federations.
As the European Union has sought to develop a political and cultural personality beyond mere trade and regulatory harmonization, the modern federal model has an obvious appeal. Federalism's advantages for diverse or widely dispersed populations have always included the notion of legitimate shared rule as well as scope for local autonomy. Intergovernmental relations like those in Canada can emerge when governments enjoy relative autonomy yet are obliged by the complexities of modern governing to consult and collaborate in order to be more effective within their own spheres of jurisdiction. This article examines a number of the provisions in the EU's Constitutional Treaty and measures them against traditional notions of federalism and federal constitutionalism. On the basis of these criteria, many of the provisions of the Constitutional Treaty are found wanting. An examination of the practice and experience of Canadian federalism further demonstrates the problems to which these provisions might lead.
This election report focuses on the vulnerable complexity of the Brussels institutional system. It presents the institutions of the bilingual Brussels Capital Region in which the decision-making processes rely on negotiations, common agreements and mutual vetoes. The vulnerability of this consensus model became clear when the right-wing extremist Vlaams Blok grew and aimed at winning the majority within the Dutch language group in the Brussels regional Parliament. Given the fact that nobody wants to govern with the Vlaams Blok, that would mean the end of the Brussels consensus model and endanger the Belgian consensus model. In 2004 the Vlaams Blok did not succeed in gaining the majority, but the problem remains on the agenda for the next regional elections of 2009.
The third election to the devolved National Assembly for Wales (NAW) took place on 3 May 2007. The election produced a result that was, on the surface at least, wholly unremarkable. The governing Labour Party, against a background of general unpopularity for the party across the UK, lost a small amount of ground; the main opposition parties made modest gains without enjoying any major breakthroughs. Yet, when the election result is examined in greater detail, the outcome looks far more interesting and suggests some significant and far-reaching consequences for Welsh politics. After briefly outlining the context within which the election took place, and summarizing the results, the article turns to consider the implications of the election in greater detail. The 2007 election may be most significant for providing further evidence of the decline of Labour Party dominance in Wales. Labour in Wales has enjoyed a sustained hegemony that has few parallels in the democratic world.1 But the 2007 election may well have marked the final fracturing of this hegemony, with both immediate consequences for the governance of Wales, as well as longer-term consequences for the establishment of a more genuinely competitive party politics within Wales.
Regionalization processes across Western Europe have triggered analyses of regional policy divergence. Yet, in a number of cases, regional governments appear to have deliberately strived to achieve policy conformity. Previous research tends to emphasize exogenous explanations of regional policy convergence. In contrast, this paper addresses the issue of regional policy convergence by focusing on endogenous explanatory factors. Its objective is to carry out an investigation of when, how, and with what effect a ‘desire for conformity’ arises, and contends that regional governments may actively cultivate policy similarity as a strategy to develop or secure their policy capacity. Specifically, the paper argues that the adoption of this strategy is contingent upon two requirements that may or may not be met, and that its outcome is the convergence on targeted dimensions of regional policies. The two requirements are: (i) a countrywide public preference for policy uniformity in the policy area of concern, and (ii) the presence of a threat posed to regional policy capacity by various political entrepreneurs, including the central state, who blame regions for providing divergent policies on particular dimensions. This paper is based on the comparison of two case studies where regional governments deliberately pursued policy conformity on targeted dimensions of their education policy: school-building policy in France and curricula policy in Germany. The two case studies also present dissimilar features that make it possible to investigate the effects of institutional setting and policy distribution on the adoption and operation of the active-cultivation-of-policy-similarity strategy.
This article analyses the evolution of the institutional setting that the Spanish multi-level system provides for regional European Union (EU) adaptation, and the effects that recent developments of the EU (the Eastern enlargement, the Treaty reform process and the Euro-zone crisis) have had on the more or less pro-European positions and adaptive strategies of Spanish regions and on inter-governmental arrangements. It thus describes the increasing institutionalization of regional participation and EU policy coordination, both at the domestic and supra-national level, and the evolution of regional strategies, looking at its effects both on the degree of vertical and horizontal coordination, and the actual relative power and discretion of both levels of government. It argues that regional strategies have increasingly become more defensive and less pro-European and that increasing participation in European matters seemed to have favoured multi-lateralism and increased coordination without having produced further centralization until the recent crisis and associated budget consolidation targets induced new coordination requirements and a centralization of power towards the central government and EU authorities. This has, as a side-effect, reinforced some centrifugal tendencies of the system and therefore may affect the operation of IGR.
This introduction to the special issue concentrates on the theoretical, methodological and conceptual aspects of the research project, as well as on the synoptic presentation of the main research findings of the comparative study. The article draws on the theoretical debate on the impact of Europeanization of regional policy on the EU multi-level system of governance, and discusses the conceptual variation and underpinnings of the learning process, the crucial conceptual tool of institutional and policy adaptation at the domestic level of governance. It presents the methodology adopted for the comparative study, including the logic of the comparison, the choice of cases and ways the results are measured, and draws the main conclusion and lessons for both the Cohesion and CEE countries under investigation.
Historically, British MPs had established high levels of commitment to constituency work. The introduction of devolution in Scotland and Wales posed new challenges locally from AMs and MSPs. The article shows that the volume of constituency work for MPs in Scotland and Wales has declined, but this has not been as sharp as may have been expected. Co-operation and competition between members over constituency work is strongly, though not exclusively, related to partisan relationships. In particular, MPs in Scotland are much more inclined than those in Wales to forward enquiries relating to devolved matters to members of the relevant devolved institution. Evidence supports findings that constituency work is driven in part by electoral incentives—but this does not tell the whole story. Institutional and cultural factors are also important, as are individual members' preferences and styles. Scottish and Welsh MPs are sanguine about their experience, although it has diminished enthusiasm, such as it was, for introducing an MMP electoral system at Westminster.
This Special Issue re-assesses regional mobilization in the ‘New Europe’. We anticipate that enlargement to Central Europe, the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the largest economic and financial crisis since the birth of the European Community have affected how regional governments respond to Europeanization along three different dimensions: (1) the position they take vis-à-vis the process of EU integration more generally, (2) the strategies they adopt in response to Europeanization pressures and (3) their internal structures and dynamics of the EU member states as multi-level states. The article introduces a framework and formulates hypotheses to examine why and how Europeanization pressures in the ‘New Europe’ affect regional mobilization along these three dimensions. In the final section, the article also introduces the various contributions to this Special Issue and relates them to the analytical framework.
This essay investigates the effect of uses of history in shaping public attitudes to the European Union in the case of the United Kingdom. It argues that perceptions of historical experiences still exert a significant influence in forming public opinions on European integration. In order to illustrate this, it proposes to disaggregate the ‘British’ view to the Anglo-British and Scottish views of Europe. The essay notes that mobilisation of historical memory or ideas about the nation based on a particular perception of history in public discourses plays an important role in moulding particular public attitudes to Europe in the UK. It concludes with policy recommendations that pro-European aspects of the English past need to be sought and brought into the public discourse so as to nurture a European identity in the UK.
This article reviews the past decade of decentralization and regionalization research on the new Eastern European member states of the EU (EU-10). We classify the existing literature according to focus of analysis, explanatory programme and methodological preferences, and propose a distinction between three different research agendas: system transformation, EU conditionality and subnational governance. We argue that with respect to the EU-10, scholarly interest in the perspectives of state transformation and conditionality is waning. By contrast, the subnational governance approach is growing in relevance because it represents the cornerstone of a multi-level governance perspective that is able to integrate what have up to now been separate debates about regionalism in Eastern and Western Europe.
This contribution is concerned with the assignment of regional policy powers to different tiers of government within the European Union. The case of tourism promotion policies (an important part of regional policy in most EU regions) in French and English regions is used to highlight the issues. Unlike the wide new governance literature which looks to political science theory for its inspiration, this contribution concentrates on economic aspects of the assignment debate and utilizes fiscal federalism theory as its basis. It argues that the fiscal federalism approach has much to offer, particularly when tourism policy is 'unbundled' into its constituent parts. Fiscal federalism theory uniquely analyzes the concept of an optimum assignment of powers rather than simply describing and classifying governance systems. This essay demonstrates that there are strong economic reasons for all tiers to be involved in tourism promotion, but that each tier has its own distinctive role to play.
This contribution analyses the current arrangements for financing devolved government in Spain and explains the asymmetry between the tax powers of the historic or foral Autonomous Communities - the Basque Country and Navarre - and the so-called 'common system' used by the rest. There were major reforms in the assignment of taxation powers in 1997 and 2002 which have led to some convergence between the two systems. This has provided the advantage of greater transparency while also levelling the playing field to prevent territorial tax competition.
This paper addresses two hypotheses. The first is that holding two or more elections at the same time is an institutional device to legitimize newly created regional governments by ensuring an acceptable electoral turnout at their formation. The second is that regional elections provide a participation incentive in relatively poor regions. The study draws upon evidence from the first round of Spanish regional elections (1980-99) when Spanish devolution was still asymmetrical. It empirically examines whether calling simultaneous elections for the European, national, regional and local parliaments and councils increased the aggregate voter turnout. Secondly, it tests whether regional income, inflation and unemployment rates influenced voter turnout. Its findings indicate that calling simultaneous elections can boost electoral turnout for newly created governments. Less affluent autonomous regions exhibited higher turnout—arguably due to a heavier reliance on regional government activity.
[From the introduction] This paper summarizes some fundamental characteristics of regional authority in 42 democracies over the period 1950 to 2006 as evidenced in a new index.
The index covers countries in the OECD, the EU, and former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. We assess regional authority for these countries on an annual basis from 1950, or since the introduction of democracy. So, for example, we evaluate Canada and Denmark from 1950, Portugal from 1976, Spain from 1978, and Hungary from 1990.2 An appendix to this paper summarizes the coding scheme and presents numerical estimates for all levels of regional governance aggregated to the country level.
The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (“CT”) strengthens some of the federal features of the future European political order, and hence makes it more appropriate to apply standards of assessment from federal thought. Stable and legitimate federal political orders require multiple forms of balancing. Many of the changes in the CT are improvements on the Nice Treaty in these regards, and the CT would therefore go some way toward creating a European political order more likely to both merit and facilitate trust and trustworthiness. Such trust is crucial if the institutions are to foster willing support and ‘dual loyalty’ among the citizenry and authorities toward both one’s own member state and toward the union as a whole.
In political science literature, federal systems can be classified as ‘dual’ or ‘cooperative’ polities. Also for legal research, this classification has proven to be a good tool for analysis as evidenced by the recent work of Robert Schütze when he described the evolution of the EU from a dual to a cooperative system based on the development of its legislative activity. Under the influence of Europeanization EU Member States that are ‘classified’ as dual systems are said to develop more cooperative systems of government in order to meet the exigencies of participation in EU policy building and its implementation. This article ‘tests’ previous research in this matter by looking at the way the Lisbon Protocol on Subsidiarity (‘Protocol Nr. 2’) is implemented in two countries that can be said to be dual federal systems: Spain and Belgium. This article concludes that the previous research that revealed this ‘EU-induced’ cooperative trend in dual federal systems is not confirmed for Belgium and Spain when taking into regard the way these countries implement the Lisbon Protocol on Subsidiarity.
The role of the public service in managing territorial diversity has too often been overlooked in the literature on multilingual states. In the article, we explore the issue of bureaucratic representation of the federal public administration of Belgium, Canada and Switzerland, three economically advanced federal states in which language has become over time the dominant cultural marker and dividing line. We argue that variations observed in mechanisms of bureaucratic representation can be explained by differences in the configuration of two variables: discourse about the contours of the political community and how it has been channelled through the policy-making process of each country.
One conclusion in the literature on domestic European Union (EU) coordination is that the formal institutional properties of countries—devolved versus centralized or unitary—affect the nature of coordination practices. Basically, the view has emerged that domestic coordination is a largely bureaucratic process in which political control mechanisms remain relatively weak. Instead of only looking at public authorities and their formal networks, this article relies on a data set that allows us to analyse informal political-administrative networks and look at how societal interests mobilize and target policymakers in order to shape the position governments defend at the EU level. One of our conclusions is that despite devolution in Belgium, its intergovernmental coordination shows a considerable level of network centralization, even when compared to unitary countries such as France and the Netherlands, meaning that there are large differences between the three states with respect to the connectedness of the actors involved.
In trying to explain and assess the impact of European policy initiatives on regional policy-making in the member states, the article identifies three dichotomies (or competing functioning logics) that have shaped regional policy-making in Europe. Against the background of these dichotomies, the article addresses three questions that are crucial for analysing regional policy-making in Europe. Are the Structural Funds primarily a compensatory mechanism for imbalances in net-contributions to the EU budget? Has the logic of decision-making in the area of European regional policy moved towards multi-level governance? Are European cohesion objectives undermined by the Commission's activities in the area of state-aid control? Evidence from East Germany's integration into the EC's regional policy regime supports the claim that European regional policy initiatives can constitute a double-edged sword for member states. While member states have been able to reap financial benefits, these benefits have come at a political cost as European regional policy initiatives have curtailed the independence of national authorities.
This conclusion links the various contributions in light of the introductory framework. In line with our framework, scepticism towards the EU has increased since 2004 across most of the EU regions (old and new) and state-centric approaches (regional influence mediated through the central executives) have become the dominant strategy for regional mobilization. Unmediated access through direct regional representation in Brussels remains an important side-strategy though, especially for sub-state nations and regions with the highest level of regional authority, as theoretically expected. Regional authority—more so than the difference between competitive versus cooperative multi-level designs—is an important predictor against centralization pressures resulting from European integration. Overall, changes in the ‘New Europe’ have intensified but not transformed the dominant patterns of regional mobilization, while system-level and regional variables mediate impacts of Europeanization.
This article investigates whether increased concern to 'bring Europe closer to the citizen' and the more inclusive European Convention format enhanced the influence of member state territorial actors in EU treaty-making. To this end, four questions are explored in a case study of Spanish territorial actors' experience of the Convention process: What did regions and minority nationalists hope to gain from the Convention? Who represented them there? What domestic pressures could they apply on Convention members? To what extent did individual Convention members defend or articulate regional and minority nationalist preferences? It is concluded that while the Convention method facilitated participation of actors formally representing certain Spanish territorial actors for the first time, overall the Convention method did not greatly improve their involvement in debate. This was largely due to the partisan and representative mandates of the Spanish Convention delegation, limited domestic collaboration between territorial actors, limited pressure territorial actors could apply on Convention members via domestic institutions, and the tendency of Convention members to articulate government or purely partisan positions.
Analysis of regional representation in the EU today provides us with something of a paradox. Whilst the idea of a Europe of the Regions replacing a state-centred EU has been marginalized in mainstream political thought, regional actors continue to strengthen their engagement with European affairs and to challenge central state authority directly in the EU arena. This article argues that one can best understand this paradox by assessing the strategic objectives of the various 'types' of regional representations. Idealism has been replaced by a pragmatic focus at the Brussels level on securing outcomes appropriate to the EU aims of different sets of regional actors.
Are subnational offices decorative or are they substantively important? What do subnational governments hope to gain by funding offices in Brussels? Are they listening posts to detect upcoming legislation? Are they means to situate particular regions and localities in European networks of similar (or different) actors? Finally, and for our purpose most importantly, are they intended to influence policy making in the EU? Answers to these questions promise to deepen our understanding of the politics of multi-level governance in the EU. We know
that supranational institutions exert real authority in EU decision making, and we also know that the authority of subnational governments has grown to significant proportions across several EU countries. We know far less, however, about how subnational and supranational actors connect.
The debate on the effects of regionalism and European integration on European nation states has been prominent for more than a decade. Regionalization of EU states has not brought with it genuine regional autonomy and regionalism has not emerged as a bottom-up public demand in European regions. It is contended here that to determine the future of regional devolution, whether as a result of bottom-up or top-down processes, the factors at play must be contextualized. This paper examines some determinants of regional political capacity, as identified in the policy literature, in tandem with a number of determinants of conomic prospects and the existence of an economic milieu. This is done in a comparative context across 12 regions of the EU. It is suggested that the potential for regionalist pressures to emerge is dependent on regional governance capacity and the relative economic weight of a region.
This article investigates how the positions, strategies and modes of interaction of the German Länder have changed over time in response to the process of Europeanization. By applying the method of process tracing within a theoretical framework of rational choice institutionalism, the article concentrates on the Länder's responses to (1) the transfer of policy competences to the European level and (2) the enlargement of the European polity. Thereby, the article sheds new light on the Europeanization of the German federal system. It is shown that the transfer of policy competences to the European level have had the greatest impact on the Länder, which have reacted increasingly strategically by successfully demanding more power in the national coordination mechanism. However, the European Union enlargements have also had an effect as together with the transfer of policy competences they have resulted in a more sceptical attitude of the Länder towards (the perceived ever expanding) European Union.
It was anticipated that devolution and the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales would promote partnership, inclusiveness and openness in governance in Wales. Civil society engagement was viewed as crucial to making this new democracy work. Consequently, civil society's engagement with the Assembly is one of the benchmarks against which to assess political and economic developments post-devolution. This article takes advantage of the coincidence between devolution and the development of the European Structural Fund Programmes for 2000-2006 in Wales to examine the engagement of civil society organizations in these programmes, focusing particularly on the West Wales and the Valleys Objective 1 Programme. The article concludes that the first term of devolution promoted a more inclusive and open policy-making culture. However, disparities in the capacities of civil society organizations to engage in the programmes, more executive forms of government and a greater emphasis on the effectiveness of the Structural Funds during the second term of devolution highlighted the challenges facing the Assembly in order to deepen democracy in post-devolution Wales. In addition to contributing to the literature on devolution and policy making, the findings inform broader debates on contemporary governance; social networks; notions of participatory democracy; models of public policy making; and the state in post-industrial development.
One of the key elements of the strategies of interest representation of strong legislative regions in EU policy making is active participation in the co-ordination processes within the member state. This article argues that Europeanization of inter-governmental relations leads to a greater emphasis on cooperation in the formal rules on inter-governmental cooperation in EU affairs. However, when informal practices are taken into account, some member states become more cooperative, others arguably less. This divergence can be explained by the circular interplay of formal and informal practices.
This comparative study of post-Soviet conflicts stresses the role of political-institutional changes and adjustments to Soviet legacies made during transition in the causation, prolongation and accommodation of ethnic and regional conflicts. The main theoretical assumptions of the diverse literatures on transition, ethnic conflict and regionalism, are evaluated to highlight both their shortcomings and their potential usefulness for understanding post-Soviet conflicts. Four main questions are investigated: the causes and distinctive features of post-Soviet conflicts, the distinction between ethnic and regional conflicts, the impact of the conflicts on broader processes of transition, in particular institutional engineering, and the interaction between domestic and external factors as a formative dynamic of the conflicts.
The article studies the impact of enlargement on subnational governments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. It compares the resources and political constellations of subnational governments and analyses how these variables interact with Europeanization to influence domestic intergovernmental relations, the management of structural funds and the European Union relations of subnational governments. The article argues that stronger regional governments (in Poland and the Czech Republic) have been able to resist attempts to centralize intergovernmental relations. Decentralizing reforms occurred where incumbent governing parties dominated subnational government (Poland). Under ‘vertically divided’ government (Czech Republic), subnational governments sought unmediated access to European Union institutions.
Over time, the influence of parliaments has been called into question and academic studies have tended to portray them as inherently reactive. The net result has arguably been the 'deparliamentarization' of contemporary politics. Their limited influence has been further circumscribed by external constraints, including European integration. The situation for regional legislatures is exacerbated further because their executives are usually one step removed from decision making in the EU. Whilst both the multi-level governance and the Europeanization of domestic policy concepts have served to highlight the involvement of regional actors in the EU, questions remain as to the efficacy of regional legislatures over European affairs. Examining the Scottish Parliament, this article argues that despite its lack of formal powers over the UK government's conduct in the EU, Holyrood has succeeded in carving out a distinctive role for itself, albeit that this relates primarily to those EU issues that are of direct relevance to Scotland.
The consequence of recent devolution is that territories in the UK are now governed in different ways. Elected government has yet to be extended to the English regions but they, too, have experienced institutional change in the form of administrative decentralization. Regional governance should provide the opportunity for increased co-ordination of regional strategies but it is frustrated by lack of policy co-ordination within central government. Drawing upon recent interviews with Whitehall civil servants the article examines how government is responding to this challenge. It suggests that responses among central government departments to ‘regional working’ are far more diverse than had previously been realized and that there are considerable obstacles to more ‘joined up’ approaches to policies with a regional dimension. We conclude that while the government has made some progress in responding to the need to build a territorial dimension into its activities, the prospect of regional government will give rise to pressures for new government machinery to manage intergovernmental relations.
The contribution considers recent developments in the politics and administration of the English regions and the wider implications for devolution across the United Kingdom. It considers why the regional issue has taken on increasing significance in the past decade and how the challenges of a new form of regional governance have been addressed by Conservative and Labour administrations. It concludes with an assessment of New Labour's emerging approach, arguing that the failure to address the English regional dimension proved to be the 'achilles heel' of Labour's previous devolution initiative and that it could again prove problematic in the reshaping of UK territorial politics.
This contribution builds on the insights provided by the literature on sub-national mobilization in the European Union (EU) to assess whether the 2004–2007 rounds of enlargement have changed anything in this respect. Empirical analysis uses two types of data sources. The first is a survey of over a 100 regional offices in Brussels, and the second consists of 29 semi-structured interviews with Commission officials led in the aftermath of the 2004–2007 enlargements. These data are used to answer the following two research questions: (1) is there a ‘new’ versus ‘old’ cleavage at the territorial level in Brussels? (2) Is there anything like an ‘enlargement effect’ on sub-national mobilization? Analysis reveals that, while there is fading evidence of a ‘new’ versus ‘old’ cleavage in Brussels, enlargement has nevertheless had an impact on sub-national mobilization at the EU level, reinforcing older but also newer trends.
From the late 1980s, European integration has been seen to have benefits for minority nationalist parties in terms of setting the political agenda, reinforcing the role of regional governments and providing second-order electoral opportunities at European elections. However, recent EU enlargements have produced a negative environment for minority nationalist parties, evident in the loss of support and MEPs in the 2004 European election. This article examines the development of minority nationalist parties at the European level since 1979, and evaluates different potential explanations for the demise of the party family since 2004.
The paper uses insights from comparative federalism to reflect upon the structure and functioning of the European Union. The first part of the paper will explore the extent to which the EU can be characterized as a federal system. After having shown that the EU corresponds rather closely to the model of cooperative federalism, the second part will analyze its structural deficiencies by drawing on the German federal experience. The comparison helps to understand why the EU has maneuvered itself into a double legitimacy trap where declining problem-solving capacity (output legitimacy) can no longer compensate for the lack of democratic participation and accountability (input legitimacy). The third part, finally, questions whether the Constitutional Treaty will be able to provide an escape route from the double legitimacy trap.
This article focuses on the attempts towards regionalization in Poland in light of the increasing Europeanization of regional policy-making. It attempts to evaluate in a comprehensive way the learning capacity of the domestic regional policy network, by concentrating on the structure of the state and the centre–periphery relations, the presence of important veto points and resistance to change, the level of social capital and cooperative culture, and the role of non-state actors, namely the private sector, experts and NGOs in the policy process. The article points to the importance of socio-cultural traditions at the territorial level for the shaping of Poland's regional policy-making structures, while simultaneously assessing the impact of EU structural policy rules on facilitating or inhibiting this process. The Lodz region has been chosen for fieldwork research to assess the learning capacity of the domestic policy network.
Multinational Federalism: Problems and Prospects
Michel Seymour and Alain-G. Gagnon (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, Comparative Territorial Politics Series, 2012
This volume focuses on the viability of multinational federalism as a model for accommodating stateless peoples. At its core is the conflict that collective rights and differentiation produce within liberal democracies—a type of democracy that has tended to homogenize diversity in cultural, social and political terms by assimilating national
minorities into the majority nation or into the national group controlling the state.
The book’s attractiveness resides in the multidimensional perspective from which it approaches the issue of the distribution of political power, connecting multinational federalism to democracy and presenting it as a mechanism for empowering political collectivities from the bottom up. The authors do not confine their contributions to
descriptive and theoretical analysis: they go further into both the normative and practical dimensions of multinational federalism and defend the idea that democracy can only be strengthened by decentralizing and distributing power—not only cultural, but also political and economic power—to both individuals and political communities.