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EU regions with legislative powers: Exploring the appetite, capacity and direction for EU policy influencing and delivery

Regions / REPORT
Alison Hunter , Perle Petit , Marialena Pantazi

Date: 10/12/2021
How can EU regions with legislative powers amplify their presence through the RLEG initiative and play a stronger role in EU decion-making? Made up of 16 regions with legislative powers, the RLEG initiative aims to contribute to and improve the functioning of EU multilevel governance systems. The joint initiative also aims to bring citizens closer to the EU, such that a stronger ‘line of sight’ is generated between them and the EU’s multilevel governance system. This requires that the role of regions with legislative powers is better acknowledged by key partners. However, that recognition is not currently present, which directly impacts the role RLEG can play in EU decision-making. 

This report recommends that RLEG improves the positioning of their agenda for greater coherence and visibility so as to foster improved dialogue with decision-makers. 

To do this, the authors provide several recommendations: 
  • Reach out to this wider group to explore the possibility for collaboration.
  • Adopt a more collaborative approach to working with other EU regional networks.
  • Introduce stronger political leadership to create its desired presence, profile and credibility.

Furthermore, the study outlines a strategic ‘framework’ for the RLEG initiative to apply when shifting towards a more strategic and impactful pathway. 

Proposed activities include:
  • positioning a clear and distinct RLEG ‘voice’ within a collaborative EU regional network landscape
  • undertaking outreach efforts with wider EU regional networks to raise awareness about RLEG and signal willingness to cooperate on shared areas of interest
  • establishing a new momentum to create an inter-institutional forum
  • strengthening the internal capacity between individual RLEG members and their respective member states to respond to domestic issues
  • improving strategic tracking of the EU’s legislative and policymaking timeline to optimise structural dialogue. identifying specific policy opportunities where RLEG can demonstrate its expertise and capacity to engage with and optimise policy developments. (Ideas include the current debate concerning European Semester governance and the European Commission’s commitment to introduce Territorial Impact Assessments.)

Lastly, the authors suggest that the RLEG’s upcoming high-level event in January 2022 is an opportunity to demonstrate its political commitment and revitalise efforts to champion the positive role and value of regions with legislative powers. This event could facilitate positive collaboration with key stakeholder groups and emphasise the ambition of the initiative to generate a long-term, strategic agenda.

Read the full paper here.
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