Studies frequently show that regional identities have become stronger in many parts of Europe. Regional backgrounds and traditions seem to be even more important in the era of Europeanization and globalisation. Regional identity therefore plays an important aspect of the “Europe of Regions”. However, EU citizens feel that they have little say in the EU decision making processes which take place far away from them in Brussels.
Our panel looks ahead: How will the European regions achieve the triad of tradition, identity and progress in the future? How should structural and cohesion funds be handled in the new multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020? How can we guarantee the primacy of proximity to citizens and subsidiarity in the discussion on EU policies? How can the competitiveness of communes and regions in Europe be strengthened so that they become true motors of innovation? Which institutional role should the regions play in the legislative process at the EU? Could the current lack of democratic legitimacy at the EU institutions at some point be balanced by an increasing influence of the regions? Will the Committee of the Regions eventually develop into a real third chamber of the EU, alongside the Council and the European Parliament?
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