The Rise of Common Political Order
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The Rise of Common Political Order

Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space

Edited by Jarle Trondal

The Rise of Common Political Order brings together leading research focusing on the conditions for the formation of common political order in Europe. The book aims to define common political order in conceptual terms, to study instances of order formation at different levels of governance and ultimately to comprehend how they profoundly challenge inherent political orders.
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Chapter 7: Experimentalist governance in a multi-level environment: the EU’s macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea and Danube Regions

Stefan Gänzle and Jörg Mirtl


Chapter 7 explores the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the EU’s most established macro-regional strategies (in operation since 2009 and 2011 respectively), in more depth. The macro-regional strategies of the European Union (EU) – new elements of EU Cohesion Policy and European Territorial Cooperation – have emerged at a critical juncture of the European common political order. In a nutshell, these strategies aim to foster functional and transnational ‘macro-regions’ involving the EU and its member states, as well as partner countries and other stakeholders of the loosely defined ‘macro-region’ such as that of the Baltic Sea Region. Although EU macro-regional strategies have hitherto neither been equipped with substantial financial resources nor been equipped with proper institutions or specific legislation, they have triggered the establishment of a governance architecture which includes several issue-specific trans-governmental networks. Combining theoretical assumptions drawn from the experimentalist governance and multilevel governance approaches, this contribution first explores the dynamics of the macro-regional governance architecture, second assesses the effects in terms of the political mobilization and interplay between international, intergovernmental and non-governmental actors, and third provides a comparative discussion of these most established macro-regional strategies. It finds that EU macro-regional strategies represent an innovative combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches of EU governance, and also combine features of experimentalist governance with more conventional forms of governance.

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