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Subnational 'co-operative' Mobilization through Territorial Co-operation: the Case of EGTCs

Giorgio Oikonomou

Since 2006 a new type of subnational mobilization has emerged across the EU. Regulation 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council has facilitated the creation of a brand-new supranational institution at the territorial level, the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC). The establishment of the new legal entity has intended to promote territorial cross-border co-operation among local, regional and -since 2013- national actors either by implementing co-funded by the EU projects or by serving as a formal platform for exchanging best practices and diffusing knowledge among its members.Respectively, subnational authorities have gained a policy instrument which serves as a formal channel for fostering their collaboration at the supranational (cross-border) level. Drawing on the literature of multi-level governance (Hooghe and Marks, 2001), the main aim of the proposed paper is to investigate and present evidence of: a) the nature of EGTCs as a typical horizontal dimension of Europeanisation; b) some basic functional traits of them such as the broader categories of their members (local, regional, national authorities) in conjunction with the architecture of governance of the EU member state of origin (unitary, decentralized or federal). Empirical data are drawn from the Committee of the Regions EGTC Monitoring Report (2015). It is argued that EGTCs fall into a third type of subnational 'co-operative' mobilization, next to the other two generic types (financial and regulative) that have already been suggested (Callanan and Tatham, 2013).

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