EU Democracy and the Committee of the Regions
New Horizons in European Politics series
Chapter 2: The Committee of the Regions: competing interpretations
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) was established in 1992 by the Treaty of the European Union (TEU), under the pressure of the European Commission, some member states with strong regions and the main inter-regional associations amid divergent hopes and expectations. From its inception, the CoR was caught between two potentially conflicting visions: on the one hand, it was seen as a representative chamber of regional interests and minority nationalisms; on the other, it was seen as consultative committee of regional and local experts. Although clearly a committee of regional and local authorities, the CoR was also meant to channel the more differentiated interests of regional and local civil societies. The events leading to the creation of the CoR have been already recounted (Warleigh 1999), but they have been interpreted in different ways. They have been described by some as an attempt on the part of the Commission and the subnational authorities of the European Union to create direct links with one another that could bypass the ‘gate-keeping’ powers of the national governments (Hooghe and Marks 1996, Jeffery 2000).
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