Kern, Kristine. (2007) When Europe Hits City Hall: The Europeanization of Cities in the EU Multi-level System. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction] Although local politics is increasingly shaped by EU decisions, the Europeanization of cities has only emerged as a topic for analysis recently (John 2000; Marshall 2005; Kassim 2005: 303-307). While Europeanization has become an important approach in European studies (Olsen 2002; Featherstone/Radaelli 2003; Bulmer/Lequesne 2005; Graziano/Vink 2007), the local level has played only a marginal role in Europeanization research. Despite the fact that most Europeanization studies focus on the domestic (national and subnational) impact of EU legislation, the effects on cities and towns barely feature in the current debate, although most EU legislation is eventually implemented at the local level. Thus, this paper aims to analyze three different dimensions of urban-level Europeanization. First, Europeanization can be defined as the implementation of EU legislation and its impacts at local level. This top-down approach has shaped the debate among scholars and practitioners who have highlighted the (negative) implications for local self-government. Second, the effects of top-down Europeanization have been altered because cities have started to bypass nation-states. Like the general debate on Europeanization, this perspective combines top-down and bottom-up arguments. Third, these approaches must be complemented by a third dimension which concentrates on horizontal Europeanization, namely city twinning and networking. Cities have developed various tools to facilitate best practice transfer. Although EU institutions play either no role here or merely a facilitative one (e.g., through project funding), this is an important aspect of urban-level Europeanization.
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