A Europe of the Regions?
A Europe of the Regions?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

A Europe of the Regions?

6.2 Looking forward

The sovereign authority of states has not been replaced, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future, but it is already significantly less clear-cut than it was only some decades ago. Rather than sovereignty being based on a single territorial level, whether that of the state or a scale replica, we are more likely moving toward a situation of segmented, overlapping or shared authority, where regions are one level among several territorial and non-territorial political entities.

A fully federal ‘United States of Europe’ seems highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. The states would hardly agree to ‘sink their differences’ in a federal state, not least because of uneven regional development and the fact that the pace of cultural unification in Europe has not been at all commensurate with the moves toward economic union. All the states, and some of the regions, remain important as repositories of distinct cultures. Equally, and for similar reasons, the nation states are not about to acquiesce to a ‘post-nationalist’ and loosely federal ‘Europe of the Regions’. The comparative importance of the different territorial levels will continue to change, perhaps in unpredictable ways, and in some policy areas both the EU and the regional levels may continue to gain relative to the states. But the broad outlines of more complex multi-level governance and multiple identities are already visible in present structures and relationships. In that sense the future has already arrived.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371