The Committee of the Regions: A Springboard for the Citizens

Open access


This study focuses on the relation between the Committee of the Regions (CoR), an advisory institution of the European Union defined as the political assembly of holders of a regional or local electoral mandate serving the cause of European integration, and the democratic deficit, understood as the effective ways of citizens’ participation in the institutional decision making. The work hypothesis is that the CoR, in spite of being mostly unknown to citizens, could be an effective tool for tackling the democratic deficit. Through qualitative interviews and surveys at different levels, the article analyzes the current situation and the potential opportunities of the CoR in its relation with citizens.

Börzel, T. A. & Heard-Lauréote, K. (2009), ‘Networks in EU multi-level governance: concepts and contributions,’ Journal of Public Policy, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 135-151.

Burson Marsteller (2011), Trust and Purpose Survey 2011, Brussels: Burson-Marsteller EMEA, pp. 1-42.

Christiansen, T. (1996), “Second thoughts on Europe’s ‘third level’: the European Union’s Committee of the Regions,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 93-116.

Clark, N. & Rohrschneider, R. (2009), ‘Second-Order Elections versus First‐Order Thinking: How Voters Perceive the Representation Process in a Multi-Layered System of Governance,’ European Integration, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 645-664.

Crombez, C. (2003), ‘The Democratic Deficit in the European Union: Much Ado about Nothing?’ European Union Politics, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 101-120.

Crum, B. & Fossum, J. E. (2009), ‘The Multilevel Parliamentary Field: a framework for theorizing representative democracy in the EU,’ European Political ScienceReview, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 249-271.

Eijsbouts, W. & Claes, M. (2007), ‘Democracy and the Union: Dressing up Cinderella,’ European Constitutional Law Review, vol. 3, pp. 353-356.

Farrows, M. & McCarthy, R. (1997), ‘Opinion Formulation and Impact in the Committee of the Regions,’ Regional & Federal Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 23-49.

Føllesdal, A. & Hix, S. (2006), ‘Why there is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik,’ JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 533-562.

Goodhart, M. (2007), “Europe’s democratic deficits through the looking glass: the European Union as a challenge for democracy,” Perspectives onPolitics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 567-584.

Hönnige, C. & Panke, D. (2012), ‘The Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee: How Influential are Consultative Committees in the European Union?’ JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 452-471.

Hooghe, L. & Marks, G. (1996), “‘Europe with the regions’: channels of regional representation in the European Union,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 73-92.

Hupe, P. & Edwards, A. (2011), ‘The accountability of power: Democracy and governance in modern times,’ European Political Science Review, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-18.

Majone, G. (2002), “Europe’s ‘democratic deficit’: The question of standards,” European Law Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 5-28.

McCarthy, R. E. (1997), “The Committee of the Regions: an advisory body’s tortuous path to influence,” Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 439-454.

Nash, M. (1994), ‘The committee of the regions: A committee for Europe,’ ContemporaryReview, vol. 265, no. 1547, pp. 289-294.

Roht-Arriaza, N. (1996), ‘Committee on the Regions and the Role of Regional Governments in the European Union,’ Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev., vol. 20, p. 413.

Scharpf, F. W. (2009), ‘Legitimacy in the multilevel European polity,’ EuropeanPolitical Science Review, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 173-204.

Warleigh, A. (1997), ‘A committee of no importance? Assessing the relevance of the Committee of the Regions,’ Politics, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 101-107.

Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, TalTech University

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.119
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.113


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 78 78 8
PDF Downloads 19 19 1