Does the ‘European Grouping of Territorial Co-operation’ Promote Multi-level Governance within the European Union?


  • For very helpful comments and advice I am grateful to Charles Hudson, John Leslie, Pablo Jiménez Lobeira, Simon McMahon and Juliet Pietsch.


Elisabetta Nadalutti

Centre for European Studies

Australian National University

1 Liversidge Street

ACT 0200 Canberra




Through the analysis of Regulation 1082/2006 (also known as ‘The European Grouping of Territorial Co-operation’), which enables regional and local authorities from different European Union (EU) countries to set up co-operation groupings as legal entities for projects of cross-border and trans-European significance, this article aims to assess whether the daily politics of the EU is still state driven in a zero-sum game, and conversely, whether states and state representatives are no longer the only interface between the sub-national and supranational levels and the operation of power across the various levels of governance on a local/national/supranational level in a non-zero-sum game. The article will show that a type of ‘multi-level governance’ is emerging in cross-border regions in which cross-border activities are empowering the regional/local level (sub-national level), permitting it to circumvent/supersede the national level through a process of negotiation and ‘alliances’. Furthermore, it will be highlighted that Regulation 1082/2006 is a clear example of multi-level governance in practice.