The Influence of Regional Governments on National Positions in the Council of the EU: A Legal and Constitutional Perspective

  • Pavel Dvořák
  • Markéta Pitrová
Keywords: legislative regions, autonomy, EU decision-making, member states’ EU policies, Council of the EU


In spite of the fact that some EU member states are fully-fledged federations, some are centralized and many lie somewhere in between these two poles, EU perceives its constituent countries as unitary, indivisible actors. This can prove problematic since almost one-third of them bestow autonomous legislative and executive power upon their sub-state units. Thus the transfer of powers in favour of supranational institutions does not affect only the central governments, but also the self-governing regional bodies. As ‘compensation’ for supranationalization the states have guaranteed access to the decision-making process on the supranational level. However no such guaranties are given to the self-governing regions. It is up to the member state’s internal legal configuration to integrate the otherwise autonomous sub-state governments into the work of the pivotal EU institution, the Council of the EU. The ways and schemes of providing such integration are in the focus of this article. We intend to uncover constitutional and legal models of the internal process of formulation and articulation of member states’ EU policies, analyse them and compare them.

Author Biographies

Pavel Dvořák
born 1987, he is a PhD student at the Department of International Relations and European Studies of the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University. He graduated from Masaryk University in Brno with a Bachelor of Arts degree in European Studies and International Relations in 2010 and from Charles University in Prague with a Master’s degree in West European Studies in 2012. He specializes in the processes of decentralization, regionalism, modern European history and political and constitutional systems of West European countries.
Markéta Pitrová
born in 1973, she is associate professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies of the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. She focuses on institutional aspects of the EU. She also devotes special attention to the area of interest represenatation in the EU.