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Spanish regional offices in Brussels: are they vital for effective participation in the EU?

Keywords: Council of the European Union , autonomous participation , autonomous communities , regional offices , Conference for EU-Related Affairs

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The agreements signed at the Conference for EU-Related Affairs (CARUE) in November 2004 represented an attempt to ensure the formal participation of Spain’s autonomous communities in the Council of the EU and its preparatory bodies. The role that the offices and delegations of the autonomous communities play in Brussels in this entire process is fundamental, because in practice they represent an important part of this participation, even if is not envisaged within the 2004 agreements. However, the diversity of the offices in terms of resources, the current context of economic crises and the fact that it could allow escape positive secondary effects for the autonomous communities themselves suggest the need to adopt another model of participation, where the offices and delegations would instead be a vehicle to back up the autonomous communities engaged in formal regional participation, rather than the protagonists of the system.


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