By European Commission, 2011


This European Commission document explains how EU funding works and emphasises the importance of regional cooperation to enhance EU governance

By Massetti, E. and Schakel, H. A., 2017


The article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of decentralisation on regionalist parties’ strength in both national and regional elections. We consider decentralisation both as a putatively crucial event, that is, the creation of an elected regional government, and as a process. Our study is based on a dataset including aggregate vote shares for 227 regionalist parties competing in 329 regions across 18 Western democracies. Our findings show that decentralisation as an event has a strong impact on the number of regionalist parties, as it triggers processes of proliferation and diffusion. Decentralisation as a process has an overall empowerment effect in regional elections, while it does not have an effect in national elections. However, our analysis also reveals that the overall null effect in national elections is actually the result of an empowering effect on new regionalist parties and of an accommodating effect on old regionalist parties.

By Massetti, E. and Schakel, H. A., 2016


The literature on regionalist parties has traditionally focused on the origins of their electoral strength while their ideology
remains an under-explored aspect of territorial party politics. This is surprising because for the question of whether
decentralization ‘accommodates’ or ‘empowers’ regionalist pressure one needs to consider both. In this paper we single
out the factors that increase the probability of adopting a radical (secessionist) as opposed to a moderate (autonomist)
ideological stance, with a particular focus on the effect of decentralization. We make use of a large and original dataset,
covering 11 countries, 49 regions, and 78 parties for the 1940s–2000s. Beyond the level of decentralization and decentralization reforms, we analyze the impact of two sets of factors: the first concerns regional identity and includes regional language, regional history and geographical remoteness; while the second concerns institutional/political variables which include voting systems, competition from statewide parties and from other regionalist parties, and office responsibility. We find that all variables matter for regionalist party ideology but with different effects across regional and national electoral arenas. We also find that level of decentralization and regional reform is significantly associated with radicalism, which suggests that policy success and accommodative strategies by statewide parties may lead to a polarization on the centre-periphery dimension.

By Massetti, E. and Schakel, H. A., 2015


The primary dimension of political contestation for regionalist parties is the centre-periphery dimension but they are pressured to adopt positions on the left-right dimension by competition with state-wide parties. We argue that the relative economic position of a region is a key variable for explaining how regionalist parties adopt left-right positions and link them to the centre-periphery dimension. Based on a quantitative analysis of 74 regionalist parties – distributed in 49 regions and 11 countries – over four decades, we find strong evidence that regionalist parties acting in relatively rich regions tend to adopt a rightist ideology, while regionalist parties acting in relatively poor regions tend to adopt a leftist ideology. A qualitative illustration of two paradigmatic cases, the Lega Nord (LN) and the Scottish National Party (SNP), appears to support our interpretation that left-right orientations are subsumed into centre-periphery politics through the adoption of two ideal types of regionalist discourse: one labelled as ‘bourgeois regionalism’ (Harvie, 1994) and one labelled as ‘internal colonialism’ (Hechter, 1975).