The Impact of the European Union Regional Policy on Sub-National Mobilisation in a Unitary State

Presentation at RSA Annual Conference: Understanding and Shaping Regions: Spatial, Social and Economic Futures

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of Europeanisation on sub-national mobilisation through the implementation of the SF partnership principle and growing activities at the Brussels level in a small unitary and centralised new Member State – Estonia – in order to contribute to further theoretical development of MLG and Europeanisation theses.

The case study confirms that most of the patterns already developed in the context of these mobilisation channels in EU15 and also in CEEC à simple polities on Schmidt continuum. There can be seen a rather weak Europeanisation effect on sub-national empowerment emanate mostly from the path-dependent political norms and constitutional position (strong de jure autonomy but de facto restricted) of local authorities which has caused the situation where local governments are not strong partners for the state and have no resources to improve the existing state of affairs.