Is There a Real Model in Spain for Autonomous Communities to Participate in the Council of the European Union or Is It Only a Mirage?

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Since December 2004 theAutonomous Communities have been able to form a part of the Spanish Delegation in the Council of European Union. Specifically, in the Conference on Affairs Related to the European Union (Conferencia para Asuntos Relacionados conla Unión Europea, CARUE). In December 2004, the CARUE adopted two agreements to regulate the participation of the Autonomous Communities in some of the Council formations and its preparatory bodies. This article analyses whether there really is a system of participation for the Spanish regions before the Council and preparatory bodies, or whether it is merely a mirage. To answer the above question, we should consider two areas: first, the participation process of the Autonomous Communities in the preparatory bodies-the Working Parties and the Permanent Representatives Committee; second, the Autonomous Communities direct representation on the Spanish Delegation in some configurations of the Council. The application of these agreements has been a little confusing and subject to change depending on the configurations of the Council.The initial starting point was that greater involvement of the Autonomous Communities in the European Union decision-making process would strengthen the internal cohesion of the State. However, the extent of that involvement, far from being consensual, appears as a difficulty. At present, despite some attempts to isolate European affairs from other controversial issues regarding the Spanish territorial model, it is mixed in practice. In fact, the current model, instead of contributing to the cohesion between administrations, is an additional source of dispute. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-440
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • decentralization
  • multilevel governance
  • regional self-government
  • regionalism


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