A number of related phenomena and changing patterns have been referred as Europeanization by many experts and professionals in their different studies and researches in this field. Outside of the social sciences, when a European continental identity grows, it is commonly referred as the definition of the Europeanization.
In this case, national identities, countries, and polities in the European continent are regarded as growing under the banner of Europeanization. When the organizational logic of national politics allows the political and economic dynamics of the European Union to become its part, it might also refer as the process of Europeanization. Policy-making in this governmental judgment has also been included in the definition of the Europeanization.
Within a European context, national, regional, and other identities are re-defined by the leading of European governance at its various levels by the institutional interaction of policy actors, as posits by a more nuanced analysis. In this regard, opposition is not usually seen among the multiple levels of governance in the continent of Europe.
In this way, a stronger, strengthened, and the United States is found to be gathering collectively under the name of Europeanization. In the result, identification of these European states is being done collectively, rather than identifying them as German, French, etc, as it was done in the past by different European states in the continent
Institutions of Europe consist of an obvious area of change in them particularly. In addition, the growth of the European Union has also been changed during the process of Europeanization. In this case, the European Central Bank has been provided with the monetary policy of various nations that have been using the euro as their national currency.
In this regard, Spain is one of the European countries that have gone through the process of Europeanization since many years, and a full European government has been eventually lead by the continuing process of Europeanization in the country. In this study, we will try to understand the process of Europeanization from the case study of Spain. Government, politics, and culture of the Spain will be focused, in order to understand the significance of Europeanization, as well as, the European Union in the continent of Europe.
An example of pacific democratization has been underlined by the establishment of democratic model, as well as, after the Franco’s death during the transition of the Spain. A unique example has been highlighted by the abovementioned in this regard. The devolution of competencies concerning the different regions has been achieved by the first steps of autonomous communities’ concept and system in the Spain.
In the last years, appearance of regional statutes has been done in different reforms due to high extent of strong questioning than ever before. In one’s perception, more competencies and decentralization have being claimed by the regional powers. Almost independent projects have been covered by these reforms. The Spanish parliament rejected Ibarretxe’s Plan on February 2005.
Some of the main points of the new statutes are the equality between autonomous communities and countries, empowering the self-government, and nationality in the region. As the central-state in shape of unique actor in international matters has been recognized by the Spanish constitution only, one of the most problematic aspects has been the direct international representation of the Spain in the world.
In this sense, some of the aspects that conflict between the regional forces and central state are the implementation and decision-making processes of the European Union. The autonomous communities have been influenced by one of the most influential factors with the help of the regional policy of the European level, even after twenty years of association with the European Union by the Spain.
The barriers of national state of Spain have been over gone by the integration process of Europeanization in the continent. In 1988, the structural funds were reformed during the process. In this process, the commission, the concerned member states, and the recognized and designated competent authorities have consulted closely, in order to define the term partnership.
In this case, the problems and priorities of targeted regions were familiarizing with the local, as well as, the regional actors, in order to create the efficiency of the regional policy through the abovementioned local and regional involvement by an attempt of the partnership principle. In this case, the regions were given the chance and opportunities for the first time to create their own regional policy, rather than following one in the region.
From the beginning of the text, this point was reinforced by the Treaty of Maastricht. According to this treaty, the citizens of the continent were encouraged to become closer, in order to make effective decisions in the region, and to recognize the objective based on united Europe, rather than for individual states.
Therefore, the structures would not be left equally in the European Union by the expansion of actors in it. In this case, private spheres were also included along with the regional actors during the expansion. In the result, the complex system of transnational decision-making has been integrated in the continent of the Europe.
In this regard, the wider framework of European policy system has been provided to these regional and national states, in order to defend and represent their interest in the continent. The process of the combination of different European states with the Spain has been referred as the sandwich model by some authors. However, the Spain has faced the lost of territorial sovereignty, but in the European level, its regional position has been strengthened and revaluated during the process of Europeanization.
In the European level, the empowerment of regional actors has not only been faced by the Spanish national state, however, it has also been faced within its own barriers. In other words, the territorial space and the functional space have been facing a friction in the Spanish state. Newly functional bonds have been replaced by the long existing territorial lies in the region. In the Spain, the concept of government has been widened with that of the governance due to this continuous process of Europeanization in the region.
At the same time, the role of national governments, and particularly Spain, has been strengthened by the regional policy of the European Union in the region. In this regard, the policy-making and decision-making opportunities have been given to the Spanish national state by the European Union.
PARTICIPATION OF AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN EUROPEANIZATION
The process of Europeanization has been made difficult by the weak territorial framework, as well as, the institutions. In the last twenty years, an initial competitive adaptive strategy has been replaced by the autonomous communities, in which, each competencies against the central state has been preserved by each region.
Some of the examples of this moving from an initial strategy are the new framework of 2004, which were created in the CARCE, as well as, the Inter-ministerial Conference on the European Affairs, which was held in the year 1988.
The transfer of both national and regional competencies has been allowed by the Spanish constitution, as well as, its legal framework to the European level. In this regard, the consent of the autonomous communities has not been required during the transformation. In this case, the regional powers and central state have gone through a feeling of friction between them.
At the beginning of the Europeanization process, the losing of competencies was not concerned by the autonomous competencies in their important fields of agriculture, fishery, industry, etc. Even they felt that competencies were regained by the central state by the utilization of transfer power, and by implementing community law to the autonomous communities.
The central administration and regional governments came under the competitive situation due to the abovementioned reason, which occurred during the 80s, as well as, in the beginning of 90s in region. Therefore, the abovementioned are some of the factors that changed the situation of Spain during the process of Europeanization in the region, and which changed the perception of local, as well as, the regional states in the continent.
AGREEMENT OF 1985
In 1985, the Spain accessed to the European Council, before which, European policy-making was analyzed, in order to find the coordination and cooperation inter-governmentally in the central regions. In the implementation of European legal acts, the Spanish regions were tried to participate by the regulation of proposal of the central administration.
In relation with the Spanish stage, the distribution of responsibilities was proposed by the Spanish government, where the European policies were transposed by the central state, while the practice was put on by the autonomous communities. The project of agreement of 1985 was not found to be so specific during the decision-making process in the European level. However, this agreement is considered as one of the important aspects during the transformation of Spanish government into a unified European state.
SPANISH GOVERNMENT’S SECOND PROPOSAL
After the rejection of the first proposal in 1985, second proposal was given by the Spanish legal framework in the year 1986. In this proposal, some considerations of the first proposal that was failed were taken by the Spanish central-administration. Domestic policy-making was proposed by the Spain, in order to distribute the responsibilities effectively in the region.
On the decision making stage, the regional governments were provided with all European governments as per the proposal of Spanish government. The competencies, their interests, and their related information were also provided in this second proposal of the Spain.
Interestingly, the idea of an inter-autonomous coordination body was the most interesting and fascinating point of the second proposal of the Spain, which was affected the proud culture of the Spain, which was usually depended on its domestic policies, rather than depending on the responsibilities and actions of the regional states in the region.
SPANISH GOVERNMENT’S THIRD PROPOSAL
The conditions of the 1986 project were kept similar in the third draft of the Spanish government regarding the European policies in the Spain, as well as, in the other regional states. However, the participation of autonomous communities changed in the level of decision-making. In this proposal, the idea of an inter-autonomous coordinating body was dropped by the Spain, and a possible forum was seen as the Sectarian Conferences. However, new inter-governmental coordination mechanism was allowed for the discussion in this third proposal of the Spain.
After the rejection of all the three proposals of the Spanish government regarding the participation of autonomous communities in the implementation of the European policies, an institutionalized dialogue was created by partial agreements, known as the intergovernmental agreements. Therefore, the Inter-ministerial Conference on the European Affairs was created on December 1988. The three basic principles were formulated in the second session of this conference in the year 1989.
According to these principles, the central state belong the exclusive competence regarding its foreign relations with the regional bodies of the region. Secondly, the internal distribution of the competencies must not be affected by the accession of Spanish government in the European Union. Thirdly, the second session formulated that the legal framework of the Spanish Constitution should be followed by the central state during the exercise of their competencies.
PROCEDURAL FRAMEWORK IN 1994
Finally, intrastate participation of autonomous communities was provided by a comprehensive agreement of the Spanish government, the European Union policies were implemented in the decision making level as per the agreement. The principle of unity in external representation was respected by the new agreement.
In this way, the autonomous participation was allowed in their different fields of agriculture, environment, employment, fishery, health, social policies, education, etc. In addition, youth and culture were also given a significance importance, in order to keep their significant magnitude in the region.
In the Spanish recent history, the relation and act of the two processes that are, Europeanization, and decentralization have been observed parallel with each other. In the result, the problems of intrusion and conflict have been caused most of the time between the regional and central-state governments.
In the last years, one of the most important questions have been faced by the European Union regarding its integration process, which is the question of democracy, as the reflection of France and Netherlands have been observed in the shape of their constitutional referendums.
Conclusively, the process of Europeanization can be understood interestingly by the example of the Spanish reality in asymmetrical states. The governance in European Union level and its work can be extrapolated in this sense. Lastly, we have tried our best to define, understand, and discuss the meaning of Europeanization with the case study of Spain and its central state, as well as, their different proposals regarding the Europeanization in the region.
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Rosamond. Theories of European Integration. St. Marin’s Press, New York, 2000.
Aalberts. The Future of Sovereignty in Multilevel Governance Europe. JCMS, 2004.
Luis Moreno. The Federalization of Spain. Routledge, 2001.
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