Essay on Western European Politics

Essay on Western European Politics

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Western European Politics

Assess the arguments for and against a ‘Europe of the regions’

A ‘Europe of the Regions’ seems to be a phrase, which encourages the dissolution of states in favour of smaller regional identities. A region can be defined by four criteria: a region does not have a limited size; it displays homogeneity in terms of specific criteria; it may also be distinguished from bordering areas by a particular kind of association of related features; and it should possess some kind of internal cohesion.
Since the passage of the Single European Act: “the goal of economic and social cohesion has become a central part of the debate on the prospect for an impact of economic integration and monetary union on member states and regions in the European Community.” The definition of cohesion, in the Single European Act, is the attenuation of the disparities between the well off regions and the least favoured ones. Some member states have shown more interest and have provided more freedom to regions than others. The importance and the autonomy of regions have been significantly increasing over the years. This implies that all regions in Europe are facing the need for adjustment and for instance they must develop their own response shaped by their social context. Therefore in response to the development of regional dimension of Community affairs, the Commission in 1988 decided to establish the Consultative Council of Regional Development.
Because of the sudden significance of regions, many sub-national levels of government have formed direct lines of communication with decision-making in Brussels. There are definite positive assets in a ‘Europe of regions’. However there are also lots of disadvantages for some regions. ...

... middle of paper ...

...t forces, the single market project involved many new projects strongly impacting upon territorial authorities.
A ‘Europe of the regions’ could work if only they focused on the less developed regions. If the gap between developed regions and poor regions diminishes, then economically everyone will be better off.


· Cook et al.; Developments in West European Politics; edited by Rodhes, Heywood, and Wright; McMillan Press LTD; 1997
· Greenwood, Justin; Representing Interests in the European Union; Macmillan, 1997
· Leonardi, Robert; ‘Cohesion in the European Community: Illusion or Reality’; West European Politics; vol.16, no.4; 1993
· Mc Connell and Brue; Economics: Principles, Problems and Policies; Irwin, McGraw-Hill; 1999
· Nungent, Neill; The Government and Politics of the European Union; McMillan Press LTD; 1999

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