The focus of this chapter concerns sub-national, regional and local interest representation at the European level, which are dominated by the perspectives of territorial public authorities. Much of the ‘hype’ of decades ago about regions being a coming ‘third level’ of EU multi-level governance (to member states and supranational institutions) has long since evaporated. Much of this hype seemed aspirational. It seems somewhat doubtful that arrangements for some countries to be represented by regional entities in specific discussions in the Council of Ministers, and for regions to be partners in policy instruments, 'have transformed the European Union from a primarily state centric system of authority into a system of multi-level governance' (Hooghe 2002:370–1). The slogan of a ‘Europe of the regions’ gradually gave way to ‘Europe with the regions’ (Hooghe 1995) to one of, at best, ‘Europe with … some of … the regions’. Yet incremental developments in territorial interest representation continue to yield a succession of issues surrounding the presence of the ‘Brussels offices of the regions’. These are reviewed in turn.
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