Bringing Europe closer to the citizen? Regions, stateless nations and the European Convention

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Series Details Vol.16, No.1, March 2006, p1-19
Publication Date March 2006
ISSN 1359-7566
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This article investigates whether increased concern to ‘bring Europe closer to the citizen’ and the more inclusive European Convention format enhanced the influence of member state territorial actors in EU treaty-making. To this end, four questions are explored in a case study of Spanish territorial actors' experience of the Convention process: What did regions and minority nationalists hope to gain from the Convention? Who represented them there? What domestic pressures could they apply on Convention members? To what extent did individual Convention members defend or articulate regional and minority nationalist preferences? It is concluded that while the Convention method facilitated participation of actors formally representing certain Spanish territorial actors for the first time, overall the Convention method did not greatly improve their involvement in debate. This was largely due to the partisan and representative mandates of the Spanish Convention delegation, limited domestic collaboration between territorial actors, limited pressure territorial actors could apply on Convention members via domestic institutions, and the tendency of Convention members to articulate government or purely partisan positions.

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