This commentary examines the EU’s halting development of territorial policy, most recently in macro-regional planning, and the responses of member states’ local and national governmental elites. Whether populist or not in their overall programmes, these elites have tended to resist EU initiatives in the name of a perceived national interest or to instrumentalise them in order to maximise their domestic political pay-off. These ‘sovereignty games’ (Adler-Nissen and Gammeltoft-Hansen 2008) have been a constant feature of the European integration process, but transnational territorial initiatives, involving a flexible mix of European and sub-regional bodies as well as national states (both members and non-members of the EU) tend to raise the stakes in these games.
Macro-regions, Territorial policy, Sovereignty, Cohesion
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