Regional Governance in the EU
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Regional Governance in the EU

Regions and the Future of Europe

Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke

The role of regions in the European Union has been frequently debated since the 1980s. This comprehensive book provides a thorough overview of the issue from a variety of perspectives, analysing regional governance and territorial dynamics in the EU and its member states. Focusing on the implications of the democratisation–regionalisation nexus, it argues that a ‘Europe with the regions’ may promote good governance and ameliorate the democratic deficits of the EU.
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Chapter 14: Conclusions: a ‘Europe with the regions’ in the making

Jan Battke and Gabriele Abels


This book takes stock of an emerging multilevel ‘Europe with the regions’, taking into account normative, theoretical and empirical dimensions of the ‘new regionalism’. Today, it is broadly acknowledged that the regional level has to be taken into account in addition to the national and supranational levels of European governance - especially with regard to the democratic quality of the latter. No one, neither scholar nor practitioner, should stay ‘federal blind’. Europe’s regions, understood as ‘soft spaces’, are here to stay and increasingly act across the EU’s multilevel structure, often jointly, with the goal of increasing their problem-solving capacities and shaping policies. Against this background of recent and multifaceted real-world developments and the intense debate on ‘The Future of Europe’ we propose a ‘more modest’ yet multidisciplinary notion termed ‘Europe with the regions’, which helps to adequately capture both the flexibility in today’s territorial politics in Europe and the ambiguity involved.

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