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NUMERO 7 - 03/04/2019

 The integration project and the problem of democratic legitimacy in the European legislative decision-making process

Despite the over sixty years since the inauguration of the European integration project, the issue of the participation of territorial autonomies in European decision-making process has never stopped arousing the interest of scholars in the sector, revealing itself particularly current in times of difficulty for the European path, like the present one, dominated by distrust and the distancing of European citizens from the idea of a strong and unitary European Union (EU). Such interest is easily ascertainable observing the incessant study effort made by the European academic context about a governance model capable of implementing the highest degree of reciprocal impulses and contributions between the institutions of the EU and the peripheral levels of government of the Member States: this effort is also motivated by the awareness that bringing the latter closer to the former is a real tool to solve the old problem of the democratic deficit of the Union. This interest is explained by the fact that, although from the first steps taken by the EU a substantial portion of its acts needed, to ensure compliance, the collaboration of the sub-state authorities, as owners of respective legislative competences, for a long time these ones have been completely ignored by the EU institutions and, therefore, excluded from European political and decision-making processes. The main reason of this indifference towards the sub-state dimension of the Member States has been found in the “so called” “Regional blindness” (LandesBlindheit) of the initial project of European integration, determined by the marked internationalist approach of the original European Community, born as an organization with a strictly state entry base input that, only starting from the 80s of the last century began to evolve in the direction of integration of territorial autonomies in a functional sense, that is recognizing them as real active subjectivities of the European system. To fuel the myopia of the Union against the sub-state authorities it has also contributed the uneven territorial articulation that characterized, at the beginning of the second half of the last century, some of its Member States, among which only some of them were provided with a regional distribution (Italy with special statute Regions), while others were structured in a unitary (France) or federal way (Germany with the Lander)… (segue)

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