The rise of regional autonomy movements across Europe seems light years away from the European Union’s supranational ambitions. But if regions have become the new rivals to nations, regionalism is not necessarily a bad thing for the EU. Empowering regions in the context of a supranational EU could actually be an interesting way to organize governance in Europe, albeit at the expense of the nation state.

The Continentalist: Regionalism as the Basis for a Post-Crisis EU

By , , Column

Yesterday’s regional elections in Spain’s Basque region have demonstrated again the strength of blood ties and the resurgence of localism in a time of globalization. People are increasingly seeking protection close to home, an urge that seems light years away from the European Union’s postmodern supranational ambitions.

The good news is that, these days, the push for local autonomy comes without violence. But if the Basque country has moved beyond the separatist terrorism of the ETA, the strong showing by the pro-independence party Bildu means that assertive regionalism now means taking over real political responsibility. It is no longer a game or a claim without consequences, where being “against” the central power is the only goal and thus sufficient. ...

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