HomeThe Impact of Regionalisation, Intermunicipal Cooperation, and Metropolitanisation on Local, Regional, and National Governments in Europe

The Impact of Regionalisation, Intermunicipal Cooperation, and Metropolitanisation on Local, Regional, and National Governments in Europe

L’impact de la régionalisation, de l’intercommunalité, et de la métropolisation sur les autorités locales, régionales et centrales en Europe

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Published on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

In every European nation, the impact of the financial crisis’ intensification can be felt ever more radically in terms of the budgetary constraints imposed on public service management. One solution brought to light during the conference in Bologne (30-31 October 2014) is grouping local governments together or even extending the borders of European regions. This is why, as a direct continuation of the symposium in Bologna, the conference that will be held in Bratislava on 30 June and 1 July 2016 will explore the theme of the promotion of rural intermunicipal cooperation and metropolitanisation as modern forms of grouping local governments together, along with the topic of increased European regionalisation within changing member states that are said to be ever-more regional.

Announcement

The CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions), the OLA network (Observatory on Local Autonomy) and Comenius University will organise a two-day symposium on 30 June and 1 July 2016, in Bratislava (Slovakia). The topic of the symposium is "The Impact of Regionalisation, Intermunicipal Cooperation, and Metropolitanisation on Local, Regional, and National Governments in Europe".

Argument

In every European nation, the impact of the financial crisis’ intensification can be felt ever more radically in terms of the budgetary constraints imposed on public service management. One solution brought to light during the conference in Bologne (30-31 October 2014) is grouping local governments together or even extending the borders of European regions. This is why, as a direct continuation of the symposium in Bologna, the conference that will be held in Bratislava on 30 June and 1 July 2016 will explore the theme of the promotion of rural intermunicipal cooperation and metropolitanisation as modern forms of grouping local governments together, along with the topic of increased European regionalisation within changing member states that are said to be ever-more regional.

Workshop 1: Regionalisation, Decentralisation, and Federalism: Contributing to a Renewed Typology of Forms of Government

The research presented at OLA’s conferences in Constanta (2011), Valenciennes (2012), and, in part, Vilnius (2014) produced a body of knowledge on the notion of regionalisation, but did not attempt to establish a global theoretical point of view on this notion in relation to the traditional view of the State (that is, the opposition between unitary and federal states). Yet it is clear that this traditional typology has been seriously undermined by the expansion of regionalisation. It therefore seems appropriate to compare different national systems in order to establish a modern typology that will provide a theory of the form of nations as they exist in today’s world.

After showing the limits of the classical theory (unitary/federal state), new constitutional criteria or definitions can be proposed. The influence of European Union law might also be taken into account (as a factor that promotes certain criteria).

This workshop will return to legal scholarship’s classic questions, which – far from being of no use in analysing local government activities – give us the tools needed to understand their background. In this way, this workshop should allow a more granular classification of countries. Although this development might, first and foremost, be of interest to academics, it will also make it possible for local governments and local government associations to adjust their perceptions of the European model of local government and its building blocks. It will allow constitutional barriers to be identified and put into context, thereby taking stock of their boundaries and – perhaps – finding ways to overcome them in building a pan-european framework for government activities.

Articles should answer the following questions, among others:

  1. Generally, what impact do local government activities and decentralising reforms have on the form of the national government? Is this impact immediate, or is it medium- or long-term?
  2. Conversely, what impact do changing criteria or the obsolescence/change in the classical typology of national government have on local government activities?
  3. Are we headed toward a homogenisation of national government forms in the European Union (in particular, because of the current trend in regionalisation)?

Workshop 2: Modern Governance in Rural Areas

In the context of a prolonged financial crisis that has highlighted both existing socio-economic disparities between municipalities and the fact that cities and towns are too numerous – paired with the EU’s recent interest for the urban programmes of international institutions – rural areas seem ever-more vulnerable.

Characterised by large territorial areas and small populations, rural governments often face difficulties in creating collaborations that reinforce the coherence of local government activities (infrastructure, housing, employment), but also in devising dynamic territorial development projects, sometimes undertaken with the help of European grants such as the EAFRD.

To this end, the issue at hand is that of the requirement imposed upon rural governments to re-imagine their collaborations with other towns – in order to make up for ever-more limited human and financial resources (in the wake of the crisis) while ever-more responsibilities are transferred from national governments to local ones. Is pooling resources and personnel a solution to the increased number of responsibilities in the face of less funding? What are the challenges?

Similarly, in a context in which rural citizens’ expectations in terms of public services – and, implicitly, their expected standard of living – are closer and closer to those of city-dwellers, it is interesting to examine the necessary encroachment of the digital revolution on daily life and the role that this might play in the improvement of rural government services. What are the challenges or difficulties that pit e-government against traditional government in rural areas (elderly population, difficulties accessing the Internet, lacking infrastructure or government employee training, etc.)?

Whatever form intermunicipal cooperation takes, it is certain that in countries with large rural areas, it will represent a real social and economic challenge in the years to come. What is the current state of affairs? And above all, what considerations have different countries made, from a short- or long-term perspective, as to the reinforcement and strengthening of cooperation between rural governments and the relationship between urban and rural areas.

Workshop 3: Regionalisation and Intermunicipal Cooperation: Taking on the Challenge of Metropolitanisation

Globalisation and the emergence of a post-Fordist global economy have transformed the way individuals use space. The free movement of peoples and values has created new borders that no longer correspond to political and governmental systems based on territory. Metropolitanisation, as an incarnation of globalisation, has an influence on the territorial organisation of countries. National governments are on a quest for the right solutions in the context of this new globalised economy and its nexus: metropolitan areas. Influenced by the sociohistorical origins of their territories, governments create structures (new types of consolidated and joint governments, new local government entities), which are the result of a compromise between global economic necessities and territorial realities. There are many strategies used to adapt, and the results of these strategies affect the parallel phenomena of regionalisation and intermunicipal cooperation in different ways. 

The discussions during this workshop will concentrate on the following questions:

  1. To what extent can we say that regional reforms and the advent of intermunicipal cooperation represent a reaction by European political/governmental systems to global phenomena – and in particular to the metropolitanisation of their territory?
  2. Does regionalisation weaken or strengthen metropolitanisation? And what relation/correlation is there between regions and metropolitan areas?
  3. Can cooperating local governments replace metropolitan areas as a specific type of local government entity?
  4. Intermunicipal cooperation or interterritorial cooperation: do we have to choose?
  5. What is the impact of regionalisation and intermunicipal cooperation on local economies from the perspective of “development” or “project” metropolitanisation?
  6. Is sociohistorical heritage a determining factor in metropolitan reform (a political anthropology approach)?
  7. To what extent and why do metropolitan areas perform better in terms of managing local government activities?
  8. Does metropolitanisation take civil society, citizens, and residents into consideration? How can everyone involved in this process be mobilised at the earliest possible stage?
  9. How can national governments be incited to transfer both powers/responsibilitiesand financial resources to metropolitan areas (such as what recently took place in the United Kingdom, for the first time, in Greater Manchester, with the exception of London)?
  10. How do metropolitan areas overcome the challenges of inequality and segregation?   ----

Submission guidelines

Precedence will be given to articles that provide answers to these questions and which, all while meeting demanding academic and theoretical standards, keep their reflection firmly grounded in reality. Comparative research, and particularly research grounded in a European perspective, will also be given precedence.

Proposals should be submitted to Ms Line Salmon-Legagneur: line.salmon-legagneur@univ-lille2.fr

no later than Sunday 30 August 2015

Notification of acceptance will be sent by e-mail during the week of 28 September 2015.

Practical informations

The conference organisers will cover expenses related to the accommodation and meals of all selected speakers. 

Participants will be in charge of their travel expenses.

If several authors are submitting a single proposal, OLA reserves the right to cover costs for only one of them.

The proceedings will be published in English and French (each article will be in English and in French) by a reputed publisher. Authors who wish to be published may be asked to provide a translated version of their work, as well as a financial contribution.

Scientific committee

  • Stéphane Guérard, associate professor, Lille university
  • Daniel Klimovski, Comenius University 
  • Ludmila Malikova, Professor, Comenius University
  • Nathalie Noupadja, Research and Studies Officer - CEMR
  • Angelika Poth-Moegele, Executive Director European Affairs - CEMR

Places

  • Bratislava, Slovakia

Date(s)

  • Sunday, August 30, 2015

Keywords

  • régionalisation, intercommunalité, métropolisation, autorités locales

Contact(s)

  • Line Salmon-Legagneur
    courriel : line [dot] salmon-legagneur [at] univ-lille2 [dot] fr

Information source

  • line Salmon Legagneur
    courriel : line [dot] salmon-legagneur [at] univ-lille2 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The Impact of Regionalisation, Intermunicipal Cooperation, and Metropolitanisation on Local, Regional, and National Governments in Europe », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, https://calenda.org/335653

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