Responding to the New Europe and the Crisis: The Adaptation of Sub-national Governments’ Strategies and its Effects on Inter-governmental Relations in Spain

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Series Details Vol.24, No.3, July 2014, p281-299
Publication Date July 2014
ISSN 1359-7566
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This article analyses the evolution of the institutional setting that the Spanish multi-level system provides for regional European Union (EU) adaptation, and the effects that recent developments of the EU (the Eastern enlargement, the Treaty reform process and the Euro-zone crisis) have had on the more or less pro-European positions and adaptive strategies of Spanish regions and on inter-governmental arrangements. It thus describes the increasing institutionalization of regional participation and EU policy coordination, both at the domestic and supra-national level, and the evolution of regional strategies, looking at its effects both on the degree of vertical and horizontal coordination, and the actual relative power and discretion of both levels of government. It argues that regional strategies have increasingly become more defensive and less pro-European and that increasing participation in European matters seemed to have favoured multi-lateralism and increased coordination without having produced further centralization until the recent crisis and associated budget consolidation targets induced new coordination requirements and a centralization of power towards the central government and EU authorities. This has, as a side-effect, reinforced some centrifugal tendencies of the system and therefore may affect the operation of IGR.

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