Going Solo: Direct Regional Representation in the European Union
Title: Going Solo: Direct Regional Representation in the European Union
Author: TATHAM, Michael Robert
Citation: Regional and Federal Studies, 2008, 18, 5, 493-515.
ISSN: 1743-9434 (electronic); 1359-7566 (paper)
This article seeks to map out routes of direct regional interest representation in the European Union. It identifies six main opportunity structures available to regions: the Committee of the Regions, the Council of Ministers, the Commission, the European Parliament, regional Brussels offices and European networks and associations. Using original interview material, the article analyses how and under what conditions each route can be most efficient for regional interest representation. It concludes that though these opportunity structures have not triggered the emergence of a 'Europe of the Regions' as some of the literature in the 1990s had predicted, they do represent important channels of access that regions can use in an attempt to influence the EU policy process. These regional para-diplomatic activities bypass EU member states and consequently challenge liberal intergovernmentalist assumptions regarding the nature of EU politics.
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