Chapter 7: Regionalization in the Regulatory State
CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN REGIONALIZATION Continental European political regionalization in its beginning may be said to be vertically organized with the central state as the superior power. Regions were first and foremost subject to the policies of the state. However, as we have seen elsewhere, under the aegis of the new regulatory regime of the EU, an extended process of devolution of national state competence to regions commenced in the 1980s in several member states. It happened in accordance with the ambiguity we have uncovered in the principle of subsidiarity. Along with the principle, state power was not only distributed to regional governments, but, in keeping with the Anglo-Saxon tradition, even more was distributed to independent arm’s-length administrations and other governmental bodies, which the OECD report has documented (Veggeland 2001, 2003; OECD 2002). It was in regional policies, however, that subsidiarity particularly manifested itself performances and forms (Gidlund and Jerneck 2000). The structural order of subsidiarity, specifically the downward process of devolution, did not occur as a coincidence in the EU. The former French minister, Jacques Delors, now from his new position in the 1980s as president of the EU Commission, initiated the system of multi-level governance. He did it in the spirit of Continental subsidiarity and in the context of the idea of an arising new regionalism in Europe (Keating 1998; Veggeland 2000). The administrative method was the contractualization of tier agreements on the basis of shared competence, responsibility and financial obligations between region, central state and the EU in partnerships...
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