Cameron, Edward, and Joas, Marko. (2007) EU Support for Cities towards Sustainable Development – An Empirical Study about Failure or Success at the Local Government Level. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
The European Union is often viewed as a quasi-federal construct characterised by a voluntary pooling of sovereignty by member national governments. However, the integration of Europe also has serious consequences for sub national governance including significant impacts on local authorities and cities. Over the past two decades in particular the relationship between Europe and local/regional government has undergone profound change. What began as an "ever closer union" between nation states fifty years ago is today showing more and more signs of an evolving system of multi-level governance. There is a growing activism in the relations between the EU and local government. Local and regional authorities are becoming far more insistent and dynamic in the way they demand a voice in the preparation of European plans, programmes and policies. In particular, local authorities stress that the principle of subsidiarity as enshrined in European treaties, gives them legal, moral, and practical credibility as stakeholders in the European policy process. From the EU perspective, it is clear that more and more European initiatives, whether legislative or funding in nature, permeate to the local level. The growing partnership is recognition of a fundamental understanding between the different levels of governance, namely that the European Union needs sub-national bodies to implement policy, and on the other side, that local and regional authorities need European assistance to build the necessary knowledge, human resource, and financial capacity to facilitate improved implementation.
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