Essay about European Union and Eu

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Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the
European Union
Volume 2013 2013

Article 8

1-14-2014

The Hour of the Regions: An Analysis of the State of Governance in the European Union
Shaniqua L. Singleton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Recommended Citation
Singleton, Shaniqua L. (2013) "The Hour of the Regions: An Analysis of the State of Governance in the European Union," ClaremontUC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union: Vol. 2013, Article 8. DOI: 10.5642/urceu.20132013.08
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2013/iss1/8

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Claremont–UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union

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The Hour of the Regions: An Analysis of the State of Governance in the European
Union
Shaniqua L. Singleton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract
As the European Union (EU) has expanded and delved into new policy areas, the need for cooperation among local, national, and supranational actors has become evident. Scholars have characterized this new wave of EU and regional cooperation as multilevel governance.
However, the exact role of regional entities remains a hotly contested issue. This paper analyzes the current state of regional government participation in the EU. I argue that despite its initial fame in the late nineties, multilevel governance is not a viable description of the type of governance seen in today’s EU. Instead, I show that governance in the EU most closely resembles a combination of multilevel governance and liberal intergovernmentalism.
Keywords
multilevel governance, regionalism, and integration

The Hour of the Regions: An Analysis of the State of Governance i

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Shaniqua Singleton University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapter 1: Introduction
The European Union (EU), in its ever increasing supranational sense, has wrested some power away from the national governments to its institutions. Almost simultaneously, the EU has worked to forge partnerships with regional and local governments across Europe. The apparent interest in promoting cooperation between the EU and regional entities has been heralded by scholars as signifying the hour of the regions. Hooghe and Marks, two of the most insightful scholars on regionalism in Europe, argue that power in the EU is now shared among various territorial levels instead of being concentrated within one group. Others have been skeptical of Hooghe and Marks’ argument, stating that overall power in the EU still rests with the nation states. Given these two sides of the debate, the question has become who is correct. Has the EU moved towards a system of governance in which the regions have a more viable role in policy-making? That is to say, can the current system of governance in the EU be described as multilevel governance? Or are liberal intergovernmentalists correct in arguing that decision-making power in the institutions still rests with the nation-states?
This thesis does not take a side on either of those points. In thinking about the ways the EU, member states and regions come together perhaps the best way to describe governance in this organization is a system that marries both multilevel governance and liberal intergovernmentalism.
Regionalism in the EU is a fairly recent phenomenon, one that has completely shaken up the existing power structure of the supranational body. Prior to 1985, the idea of regional involvement in the EU seemed outlandish. While the member states were…