Regional Presence in the EU: A Qualitative Study of Regional Offices’ Activity in Brussels

In this report Marte Christophersen Haugen investigates how the Norwegian and Swedish regional offices work at the European level asking whether EU membership and remoteness affect their work. 

Image may contain: Font, Electric blue, Brand, Logo, Publication.All Norwegian Counties are represented in Brussels and engaged in different activities in the EU. This report investigates the Norwegian and Swedish regional offices in Brussels based on two overall perspectives on European integration: State-Centric versus Multi-Level Governance. The report asks the question of how membership and remoteness affect how regional offices work and interact at the European level. To answer this, the report analyses the overall theoretical perspectives concerning two factors: Regions from EU member states and non-member states, and regions from the metropolitan area versus regions from the peripheral areas of Sweden and Norway. Interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders to provide information about the regional dimension in the EU and the Swedish and Norwegian regional offices’ activity at the EU level. I tested the theories through preconceived hypotheses based on the two above-mentioned factors. The empirical analysis demonstrates that regional advocacy in Brussels varies greatly. The informal route to the EU still gives room for regions to operate autonomously at an EU level despite the states’ affiliation forms. Furthermore, the report finds that the EU clearly has a multi-level structure and that the Centre-Periphery dimension is therefore not necessarily relevant for studying regional activity in Brussels.

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ARENA Report 8/22 (pdf) (135 pages)

Regional Presence in the EU: A Qualitative Study of Regional Offices’ Activity in Brussels

Marte Christophersen Haugen

October 2022

Published Oct. 20, 2022 2:33 PM - Last modified Oct. 20, 2022 2:34 PM