The role of subnational authorities in the implementation of EU directives

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Series Details No 119, November 2009
Publication Date 2009
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Studies on the role of regions in the EU policy process concentrate mainly on policy formulation and implementation of regional funds. In this article, we redress this bias by investigating the formal role of subnational authorities in the implementation of EU regulatory policies, specifically in the transposition of directives. Subnational authorities play a secondary, but increasingly important, role in the application of these measures. Their impact is greater on environmental and social policies, as also on public contract legislation. More decentralized states display higher levels of subnational involvement but, in these states, regional participation in national policymaking and a high number of regional authorities decrease the likelihood of finding subnational measures of transposition. There is also more subnational involvement in states with territories that have both an elected government as well as special arrangements regulating their relations with the EU. Finally, subnational involvement tends to prolong the process of transposition.

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