Jeffrey, Charlie. (1997) "Sub-national authorities and European integration: Moving beyond the nation-state?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
The 1990s have seen intense discussion of the role of sub-national authorities (SNAs) in European integration. A burgeoning literature has emerged on what has been termed 'sub-national mobilisation' (Hooghe, 1995) in the EU: the growing engagement of sub-national governmental actors with the institutions and processes of EU policy making. The features of this 'mobilisation' have been widely documented: the establishment within some member states of formal mechanisms of involvement of sub-national governments in EU policy-making: the wider refocusing of policy activity and strategy of sub-national governments throughout the Union onto an EU-related agenda; the post-1988 reforms of the structural funding process which have demanded, at least on paper, fuller sub-national involvement in European structural policy; the establishment and activity of organisations of inter-regional cooperation focused on the EU; the location of ever-growing numbers of regional information and liaison offices in Brussels; and the EU treaty changes which have opened up the possibility of sub-national input into the Council of Ministers, created the Committee of the Regions, and established the principle of subsidiarity as a part of the currency of sub-national debate about Europe. This paper does not take issue with the broad notion of transformation. The relative roles played by SNAs and central state institutions in EU policy-making have indisputably been recalibrated in a significant way. It does take issue, though, with the idea that the transformation consists in SNAs moving beyond the central state, that SNAs have become internationalised and now stride purposefully and with significant independent policy influence in the extra-state arena of European policy-making. These assertions do not accord with an empirical reality which, I argue, suggests that the real transformation in the relative roles of SNAs and the central state in EU policy-making has taken place in the intra-state arena.
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