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Offices in Brussels representing the interests of regional actors in the EU have carved out a niche position within Europe's expanding multi-level political system. They are now the most visible indicators of the growing role played by EU regions. How can we understand their contribution to EU governance? What do they deliver to Europe's regions?

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Regional Representations in the EU: An Introduction

Abstract
What are regional representations in the EU? A stroll around the EU quarter of Brussels will take you past several of the highest-profile representative offices. Scores of others — individual representations, joint representations — are situated in the maze of streets in and around the Schuman and Place Luxembourg districts of Brussels. But do we really understand what these representations are? Why are they there? What are they doing? Who is running them? Are they delivering a real service to regions? And are they having any impact by being active in Brussels?
Carolyn Rowe

2. Regional Representations in the EU: A Framework for Analysis

Abstract
Regional representations have become commonplace in the EU’s institutional environment, and form part of the “ecology” of collective action (Nielsen and Salk, 1998) in the EU. But their specific purpose and impacts are obscured by the tendency to bracket together all types of regional representations as part of the same sub-state dynamic for permanent engagement in the EU (Greenwood, 2003; Keating and Hooghe, 2006, Tatham, 2008). However, there are a number of avenues of enquiry that can clarify the differences between the various types of regional representation currently operating in the EU. Unpacking what is meant by the “regional lobby” through comparative analysis is the core objective of this book.
Carolyn Rowe

3. Regional Offices and the Domestic Politics of Europe

Abstract
Since they first emerged on the European scene in the 1980s, regional representations in the EU have carved out a niche role for themselves on the EU institutional landscape and have established a foothold as partners and interlocutors in the decision-making and policy arena which pulsates in Europe’s capital city. But this role has developed over time. In many instances, particularly for the constitutional regions, the first wave of EU representations were reproached overstepping the boundaries of their legitimate role in international affairs, and were challenged — in some cases through the courts — by national governments. In other instances, more modest aspirations were quickly met, and the perceived value added by a Brussels base led to their rapid expansion over time.
Carolyn Rowe

4. The Activity Profile of Regional Representations in the EU

Abstract
As we have seen in the previous chapters, today, it is rare to find a regional authority within the EU27 which does not have some form of permanent representative presence at the heart of the EU in Brussels. Yet each regional representation that has opened in Brussels has developed a core set of aims and strategies that vary in accordance with the goals and European objectives of its sending authorities, be those regionally-elected governments, collections of local authorities and city administrations, or broad coalitions of public and private-sector interests which are regionally aggregated. Whilst there are many core areas of overlap in their activities, there are nonetheless numerous differences in emphasis between their operational portfolios which underscore the differences between types of offices.
Carolyn Rowe

5. Resourcing and Organisational Principles

Abstract
One of the most effective means of capturing variation between types of regional representations in the EU — those representing the interests of regions with legislative competences, those representing regional administrations with no formal constitutional role or a group of subscribing interests, and the bureaux representing regions from the new member states — is through an understanding of their resourcing and organisational principles. These dynamics provide a means of exploring the extent to which the different types of EU representations operate as functional tools of domestic administrations, or rather, whether they aim primarily to provide services to end users or clients. Analysis of the downstream relationship between Brussels office and domestic agency offers insights into what a region aims to achieve through active representation in the EU, and how that strategic aim is delivered. These differences in turn underpin variation in objectives and outputs.
Carolyn Rowe

6. Strategic Direction and Accountability

Abstract
The complexity of the domestic arrangements underpinning the work of regional representations in the EU is not well understood. To the contrary; analyses of European integration, lobbying and interest mediation as well as studies of the dynamics of multi-level governance tend to group together the “regional lobby” or the regional voice in Europe. A more nuanced analysis of the partnership arrangements within the domestic system at the regional level yields essential data which can help to distinguish various sets of motivations and goals amongst Brussels regional representations. Breaking down regional representations into types shows the extent to which such motivations diverge.
Carolyn Rowe

7. Conclusion

Abstract
This book has explored the complex and varied nature of regional representative activity in Brussels, as manifested through the deployment and institutionalisation of representative offices, sustained by sub-state actors from the 27 member states, in all their governmental forms. The main purpose of this enquiry has been to establish a greater understanding of the degree of differentiation that exists between a series of types of regional representation in the EU. These differences are determined within the national political context, but ultimately the precise aims of individual regional representations at the EU level are determined by their activities, the manner in which they are resourced and, finally, their organisational and operational forms. What this book has underscored is the need for a more nuanced appreciation of the regional lobby in Brussels — one that is founded not just on a superficial reading of their outward similarity, but seeks to understand more fully the objectives and ultimate purpose of these different types of representative office. To suggest that regional representations function cohesively as the “regional lobby” in Brussels is to deny the complexity of the reality of regional politics in the 27 member states — a complexity which has undermined the role of the EU’s own Committee of the Regions and has ultimately limited its capacity to engage fully in the policy development process of the EU.
Carolyn Rowe

Backmatter

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