Shaping EU Policy from Below

Shaping EU Policy from Below

EU Democracy and the Committee of the Regions

New Horizons in European Politics series

Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau

This book looks at the way in which the Committee of the Regions (CoR) can influence EU policy making from below, despite its relatively weak position in the decision-making process. Bringing together theoretical arguments about the central role of the formation of judgment in addition to the more conventionally emphasized expression of will, with an up-to-date account of the CoR's institutional development and activities, Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau make a strong case not to overlook the significance of the Committee's contribution to EU-level democracy.

Chapter 5: The Committee of the Regions and the debate on EU cohesion policy (2014–20): exercising voice to promote territorial cohesion

Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy


The key competence of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), in terms of its influence and visibility vis-à-vis the European Parliament (EP), the European Commission, the member states and possibly the public at large, is clearly in the area of cohesion policy, understood as an umbrella term for EU policies and financial instruments created to support different territorial subunits in the interests of overall economic, social and territorial cohesion (Warleigh 1999). As we have argued, the CoR is institutionally a sequel, at least in its advisory function, to the structures that were created by the European Commission for consultation of the subnational levels in the process of developing a redistributive EU policy to balance the market integration programme in the late 1980s. Consequently, the CoR with its mixed local and regional membership, but with an increasingly political focus, has developed its role of expressing the voice of subnational interests in discussions about the allocation and distribution of EU funding. The political role of the CoR manifests itself particularly in its activating the institutional partners and proposing new solutions in the successive cycles of cohesion policy since the major reform in 1988 and the related battles over its budget.

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