Comparing Regions’ European Policies: A Comparative Policy Analysis and Assessment of the Role of European Identity
This chapter explores the scope of the four case study regions’ European policies and specifically assesses to which extent the respective regions’ policies build a European identity. This lies at the core of whether a region promotes EU membership and integration or whether it distances itself from an ever closer Union. Particularly the evolution of the United Kingdom’s case study region will be insightful in understanding how a vote for Brexit could have come about in that very region—and how, perhaps, this result could have been avoided. This chapter’s analysis includes policies and programmes designed and implemented by the regions themselves, and those that have been dispensed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Policy. This section is based on both a document analysis of the four case study regions’ European directorates and the European Commission’s Regional Policy, as well as on interview findings from officials of the Directorate General for Regional Policy. This chapter will also look at the regional characteristics and features more closely, analysing their influence and impact on the scope of the four case study regions’ European engagement. This chapter will be complemented by Chaps. 4 and 5, which will present regional political elites’ and civil servants’ perceptions on the scope of both their respective regions’ European engagement and whether they aim to form a European identity through their work.