Academic journal article Global Economic Observer

European Institutions Involved in the Regionalization and Regionalization Policy Instruments

Academic journal article Global Economic Observer

European Institutions Involved in the Regionalization and Regionalization Policy Instruments

Article excerpt

Introduction

In a "Europe of Regions" in winch regions are public bodies pursuing solutions to excessive central administration trends and meant to combat corruption and bureaucracy, to bring citizens closer to the administrative decision, the process of regionalization represents a more advanced form of territorial organization in European countries today. Within EU we find different form of territorial organization, the first category of countries is that with no intermediar)' level, but only with the basic level and national level; the second category of countries has three levels of governance- basic, intermediate and national, conventionally called departmental system; the third category of states includes those with two levels of the interim administration, the four levels in total - the regional system.

Departmental system is purely a conventional/traditional regional system and is inspired from the administrative-territorial department existing in France, where department is the first intermediate link, and region is the second2.

Based on a study by the European Parliament one could identify five types of regionalization3:

1. Administrative regionalization is characterized by the fact that the national government has created subordinated authorities or institutions working under his control or in his name. Examples are provided by countries such as Greece, Portugal, England, Sweden, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia.

2. Regionalization through local authorities. In this case, the specific functions of existing local and regional authorities meet, either by extending the initial responsibilities either by cooperation in a broader context, countries like Germany, Denmark, Finland and Ireland offering this example.

3. Regional decentralization. This system involves the creation or replacement of a new regional authority at a level above the existing territorial authorities. The typical example is offered by France and Eastern Europe, as countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Slovenia have introduced a new system of regional decentralization.

4. Political regionalization or regional autonomy. This regionalization is considered a model that tends towards regional autonomy and it is found only in certain areas of Portugal and the UK, specifically Scotland and Wales. The essential difference lies in the legislative powers granted by the constitutional system to this type of regions.

5. Federal regionalization. A federal state is in itself is an advanced form of regionalization, though its specific institutions are influenced by the trend of regionalization. Also, regionalization is not a uniform process. In some federal countries there may be several types of regions. Germany and Austria are federal states in EU which have also regions.

If the five types of regionalization are distinguished through the position they detain within national states it should be noted that the central govermnents are never absent, even though their powers are limited in countries where regional autonomy is strong. Regardless of how it performs, regionalization should not lead to the removal of the role that the central state plays in the regional development process.

Thus, we may say that regionalization aims at speeding up the economic development and creating a better balance in the distribution of wealth at national and European level by trying to raise the less developed areas. In turn, regionalism is usually bringing more power and more governance in the region in all its components, reinforcing identity and cultural aspects.

In the literature, regionalization process was given 3 meanings: pseudo-regionalization (understood as a form of de-concentration of state administration at the territorial level), stricto sensu regionalization (the administrative one that works at an intermediate power level between basic level ensured by cities, counties or municipalities, departments and national level represented by the government) and political regionalization (super-regionalization, that is no longer an administrative one halfway between regionalization and federalism). …

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