Cities and Regions in Competition? Negotiations for the 2014-2020 Programming Period in the Czech Republic



Over the past two decades, the concept ofmulti-level governance (MLG) has been increasinglydiscussed by scholars in the fi eld of Europeanintegration. While Gary Marks wrote abouta four-level arrangement (supranational, national,regional, and local), over time the regionaland local levels often became lumped togetheras ‘substate actors’ and so easily conceptuallyinterchangeable. This text, however, showsthe fallaciousness of this reasoning. In certaincircumstances we can fi nd a competitive relationshipbetween cities and regions, positioningthemselves against each other for resources andaccess to national and supranational fora, especiallyin the context of the new regionalism. Thecities have been given substantial support fromthe European Commission in recent years andwe argue that this new constellation may havea remarkable infl uence on relations and possiblyalso lead to confl icts among local and regionalactors in EU multi-level governance. This waspossible to be clearly seen in the Czech Republic(CR) between 2012 and 2014, when heatednegotiations took place regarding the implementationof the Integrated Territorial Investment(ITI), a fi nancial instrument of EU Cohesion Policywhich was implemented on the substate level– i.e., in cities and regions. In the CR this competitiontook place in a specifi c context, which alsoinfl uenced its outcome.


new regionalism, multi-level governance, governance, substate actors.

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