The Processes of Regionalization in the European Union. Two Cases: Italy and France
12 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2007
Date Written: October 6, 2003
The end of the XXth century could be described as a period of State reforms in the majority of the countries of the European Union, oriented towards a major decentralization of power, to the benefit of the peripheries (mainly of the Regions). The reasons for this phenomenon are multiple, but the most recent reforms all demonstrate that concerns related to democracy and transparency, on the one hand, and to efficiency requirements, on the other hand, have steered them. Different degrees of desconcentration, of course, exist between the Member States of the European Union, from the most federalist ones (Germany, Austria, Belgium) to the most centralist (the Nordic countries, Greece, Ireland, among others). Between these extremes, there are still two other groups: one, consisting of States which are on their way towards a federal organization of their State, and another, consisting of States traditionally "centralist" which are undertaking reforms aimed at a major decentralization of power, without, nevertheless, reaching a process of federalization of their political organization. Italy and France are two examples which perfectly illustrate these tendencies: in the year 2001, Italy adopted a very important constitutional reform which goes towards a federalization; France has recently, on 17 March 2003, adopted a constitutional reform which permits it to introduce a reference to a "decentralized organization" in the Constitution of this traditionally centralized country. These reforms do not take place without causing problems and raising questions.
Keywords: State reform, Decentralization, Federalization, Regions, European Union, Italy, France
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