It is believed that regions currently implement 60% of EU law and policies. However, they still have a minor role in EU decision-making and policy processes.
This is counterproductive for two reasons :
- In terms of efficiency: because the regions are linchpins of EU policies, they are well placed to be involved in their development and revision.
- In terms of legitimacy: the regions are a tier of government close to citizens, and they act as intermediaries between their citizens and town and city authorities on the one hand, and national and EU authorities on the other hand. The regions use this dialogue, which is an integral part of the democratic process, to promote the specific interests of their areas, and they adapt policies developed at a higher level to local circumstances by providing them with a greater degree of legitimacy.
European integration will falter unless citizens are given a stronger role. It is vital that Europeans should take part in and identify with the European adventure. The region, as a tier of government close to citizens, can play a major role in this process.