Has the European Union empowered the regions? A pre- and post-Brexit preliminary investigation of the United Kingdom
The literature on the relationship between regions and the European Union (EU) has generated important insights. Firstly, existing scholarship has found that the EU has empowered, as well as disempowered, regions and sub-national governments. Secondly, researchers have convincingly demonstrated how regions have adapted to the EU opportunity structure. Finally, studies exist that have investigated the ways in which regions and sub-national governments have also influenced the EU opportunity structure. These dimensions are rarely brought together to examine the mutual influence and constant interaction of regions and the EU. Accordingly, this article aims to provide a short systematic account of how empowering and disempowering structures and sub-national governments’ endeavours in the United Kingdom (UK) interacted with the European level. It will do so through the Strategic-Relational Approach, showing how regional motivations, processes of devolution, differential opportunities and constraints and strategies of adaptation and transformation are interrelated. The last section will discuss some of the disempowering issues Brexit presents for the UK’s territorial and constitutional future.
Lagana G. Has the European Union empowered the regions? A pre- and post-Brexit preliminary investigation of the United Kingdom. European Urban and Regional Studies. 2021;28(1):34-39. doi:10.1177/0969776420972159