Multilevel Governance or Government(s)?: evidence from Territorial Cooperation in the Iberian Peninsula

GT 2.3 Procesos políticos en la Unión Europea en tiempos de crisis: respuestas de distintos actores en una gobernanza multinivel

Andrea Noferini (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Francesc Morata Tierra (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
Sesión 1
Día: jueves,19 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 11:45 a 14:15
Lugar: E10SEM05

The parallel processes of supranational integration, state decentralization and regionalization have spurred renewed academic interest in the field of territorial politics. Many debates on changing relations between territorial political levels, the distinctive space of regions and new forms and mechanisms of multi-level policy-making have evolved. Territorial rescaling has been perceived as both a challenge and an opportunity by political institutions and by political actors.

The EU initiated the Regional Policy in order to deliberately reduce the regional income disparities of its territories. For 2007-2013 financial perspective, territorial cooperation was one of the three official objectives of regional policy. Territorial cooperation has also meant an incredible laboratory for institutional innovation in which sub-national actors have experienced multilevel agreements on the field of cross-border, interregional and transnational cooperation. The emergence of an extensive number of Euroregions is, for example, only the most visible aspect of such phenomenon.

But do euroregions (or macro-regions) really constitute a new mode of (multilevel) governance where both horizontal and vertical relations are widened? Or, on the contrary, do they correspond only to a deliberate strategy for getting more funds from European institutions? By comparing three of the most relevant euroregional experiences in the Iberian Peninsula (Galicia-Portugal; Basque Country-France and Catalonia-France), the paper investigates the rationale for cross border cooperation and critically revise the notion of multilevel governance in the light of the selected empirical cases.  The paper presents the results of two projects: the COOP-RECOT project financed for the period 2010-2012 by the Spanish ministry of Science and Technology and the 2010-2013 MERITER project (Centre of excellence in EU sub-regional cooperation studies: bridging territories through teaching and research in the Mediterranean basin) financed by the European Commission.

Palabras clave: territorial coperation, multilevel governance, European Union