Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space
Edited by Jarle Trondal
Chapter 7: Experimentalist governance in a multi-level environment: the EU’s macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea and Danube Regions
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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