Research


What is regional democracy in Europe?

The ERDM visualises data for regions with and regions without separate, institutional structures of democratic governance. This basic variation between types of regions is captured with the distinction: regions with regional democracy and regions without regional democracy. The research compiling the data of the ERDM defines the basic concepts of this distinction in the following ways.

 

What is a region?

On the ERDM, a region is defined as the subordinate unit of government below the national level with the highest degree of regional authority (measured using the respective value of the Regional Authority Index).

In some member states of the EU, there is no such vertical division of authority due to factors like small size and/or a very high degree of centralization (eg. Estonia, Cyprus, Luxemburg). Thus, on the ERDM, no regional borders are displayed in these EU member states; the small set of data available refers to the mere administrative divisions of regions in these states respectively.

 

What defines regions with regional democracy?

Regions are taken to have structures of regional democracy if they have a governing assembly directly determined in democratic elections. It is those regions on which the selection of indicators of the ERDM focuses. Therefore, they have the most data displayed on the map and in their regional profiles. For regions not fulfilling this definition, the ERDM might have less or no data available. This is reflected by both missing data on the map and scaled down versions of the regional profiles respectively.

 

What are Regions with legislative competences?

Regions are taken to possess legislative competences if they have a directly elected assembly with rule-making powers in their jurisdiction, which are constitutionally guaranteed. The ERDM makes this additional distinction because these regions have a special role in the European multilevel system: they have the right to participate in the EU’s Early Warning Mechanism (EWS), which is the only channel via which regions can participate directly in the European legislative process.

 

What are Regions without regional democracy?

Regions that do not meet our definition of regional democracy can have other forms of regional government. In this case, regional governments are usually appointed or assembled by other directly elected representatives from the lower (local) or higher (national) level of government. Our dataset does not include this remaining variety of regional structures and processes of regional European governance. However, the ERDM’s long-term ambition is to close this gap and expand its scope to include these regions and structures.

 



Variables in detail / code book

 

REGIONAL ELECTIONS

Data source: Schakel, Arjan H. & Verdoes, Alexander. (forthcoming) Regional Electoral Democracy – Elections (RED-ELEC-regions) dataset.

 

# Cast votes – The total number of cast votes including blank and invalid votes in a regional election.

# Division of seat shares (%) in parliament – The share of seats relative to the total number of seats in a regional assembly for parties which are affiliated to an EU party group.

# Division of vote shares (%) in parliament – The vote share relative to the total number of votes cast in a regional election for parties which are affiliated to an EU party group.

# Electorate – The total number of voters who are entitled to vote in a regional election.

# Effective number of elective parties – The effective number of elective parties denotes the number of equal-sized parties. A higher number of effective elective parties entails that voters are distributed more equally among different parties, while a lower number denotes that voters are concentrated on a few parties.

# Effective number of parliamentary parties – The effective number of parliamentary parties denotes the number of equal-sized parties in a regional assembly. A higher number of effective elective parties entails that seats are distributed more equally among different parties, while a lower number denotes that a few parties obtain most seats.

# Number of competing lists – The total number of lists that won at least one vote in a regional election.

# Number of parties represented in regional assembly – The total number of parties that are represented in a regional assembly.

# Seat share (%) by EU party group – The seat share of EU party groups in the regional assembly. The seat share is calculated by dividing the seats all parties which are affiliated with an EU party group obtained by the total number of seats in the regional assembly.

# Seat share (%) of largest, second largest, etc. party – The seat share is calculated by dividing the seats a party obtained  by the total number of seats in the regional assembly.

# Seat share (%) of parties by EU party group – The seat share relative to the total number of seats in a regional assembly by EU party group.

# Valid votes – The total number of valid votes cast in a regional election.

# Vote share (%) of largest, second largest, etc. party – The vote share (%) of the largest, second largest, etc. party. Vote share is calculated by dividing the number of votes cast on a party by the total number of valid votes cast.

# Vote share (%) of parties by EU party group – The vote share relative to the total number of votes cast in a regional assembly by EU party group.

# Turnout (%) – Turnout in regional elections is calculated by dividing the number of cast votes by the total electorate multiplied by 100.

 

 

REGIONAL ELECTION SYSTEM

Data source: Schakel, Arjan H. & Verdoes, Alexander. (forthcoming) Regional Electoral Democracy – Electoral Systems (RED-ES) dataset.

 

# Ballot form – The ballot form and the possibility for voters to adjust the list order:

  • Closed list: Voters can only vote for a party.
  • Flexible list: A party determines the list order, but voters can adjust the list order.
  • Open list: Voters entirely determine the election of candidates.
  • Panachage: Voters have multiple votes and can cast their votes for (candidates from) multiple lists.
  • Rank order: Voters rank order the parties/candidates.

# Electoral rule – The basic type of electoral system used in the a regional election:

  • Two-round system: If no candidate obtains a majority in the first round, a second (run-off) round will be held.
  • List proportional representation: All seats are allocated proportionally based on the election result.
  • Single Transferable Vote: Voters rank order candidates and the candidates who win sufficient votes to fill the quota are elected. Candidates with insufficient votes are elimnated and votes are transferred to the second ranked candidate, surplus votes of a elected candidate are transferred to the remaining candidates until all seats are distributed.
  • Mixed electoral system: Some seats are proportionally allocated, while other seats are allocated based on majority rule.

# Electoral term – The number of years for which a regional parliament is elected.

# Function of electoral tiers – If there is more than one electoral tier, this variable denotes the function of the other tier:

  • Independent: There is no relationship between the tiers.
  • Candidate election: Seats are allocated in the first tier and candidates are elected in the second tier. Compensatory: Compensatory seats are allocated in a second tier based on the regionwide election result.
  • Remainder: Remainder seats in the districts are pooled and allocated in a second tier

# Legal electoral threshold (%) – The vote share which a candidate or party legally requires to win a seat in a regional parliament. If there is no legally speficied threshold, this variable is set 0%.

Number of electoral districts – The number of electoral districts in which seats are allocated. In case of a mixed electoral system, this is the number of districts in the compensatory tier.

# Number of electoral tiers – The number of electoral tiers.

# Number of seats in regional assembly – The total number of seats in a regional assembly.

# Type of legal threshold – Whether a legal threshold applies to the electoral districts or to the region as a whole:

  • Legal threshold applies to the electoral districts.
  • Legal threshold applies to the region as a whole.

 

REGIONAL AUTHORITY INDEX

Data sources:
Hooghe, L., Marks, G., Schakel, A. H., Chapman-Osterkatz, S., Niedzwiecki, S., and Shair-Rosenfield, S. (2016), Measuring regional authority. Volume I: A postfunctionalist theory of governance(Oxford: Oxford University Press);
Shair-Rosenfield, S., Schakel, A. H., Niedzwiecki, S., Marks, G., Hooghe, L., and Chapman-Osterkatz, S. (2021), 'Language difference and regional authority', Regional & Federal Studies, 31 (1), 73-97.

# Regional Authority Index (RAI) – Regional authority is measured along ten dimensions, five tap self-rule – institutional depth, policy scope, fiscal autonomy, borrowing autonomy, and representation (assembly plus representative) – and five capture shared rule – law making, executive control, fiscal control, borrowing control, and constitutional reform. Scores range from 0 to 30.

# RAI self-rule score – Self-rule is the sum of scores (0-18) on five sub-indicators showing the degree of authority exercised by the regional government over those who live in the region: institutional depth, policy scope, fiscal autonomy, borrowing autonomy and representation.

# RAI shared-rule score – Shared-rule is the sum of scores on five sub-indicators showing the degree of authority exercised by regional government or its representatives in country as whole: institutional depth, policy scope, fiscal autonomy, borrowing autonomy and representation.

Institutional depth – Extent to which regional government is autonomous rather than deconcentrated.

  • 0 = No functioning general purpose administration at regional level. 
  • 1 = Deconcentrated, general purpose administration. 
  • 2 = Non-deconcentrated, general purpose, administration subject to central government veto. 
  • 3 = Non-deconcentrated, general purpose, administration not subject to central government veto. 

Policy scope – Range of policies for which regional government is responsible.

  • 0 = Very weak authoritative competences in a), b), c), or d) whereby a) economic policy; b) cultural-educational policy; c) welfare policy; d) one of the following: residual powers, police, own institutional set-up, local government. 
  • 1 = Authoritative competencies in one of a), b), c), or d). 
  • 2 = Authoritiative competences in at least two of a), b), c), or d). 
  • 3 = Authoritative competences in d) and at least two of a), b), or c). 
  • 4 = Criteria for 3 plus authority over immigration, citizenship, right of domicile. 

Fiscal autonomy – Extent to which regional government can independently tax its population.

  • 0 = Central government can set the base and rate of all regional taxes. 
  • 1 = Regional government can set the rate of a minor tax. 
  • 2 = Regional government can set the base and rate of a minor tax. 
  • 3 = Regional government sets the rate of at least one major tax: personal income, corporate, value added, or sales tax. 
  • 4 = Regional government sets base and rate of at least one major tax.

Borrowing autonomy – Extent to which regional government can borrow.

  • 0 = The regional government does not borrow (e.g. centrally imposed rules prohibit borrowing).  
  • 1 = The regional government may borrow under prior authoritization (ex ante) by the central government and with one or more of the following centrally imposed restrictions: 
    a) golden rule (e.g. no borrowing to cover current account deficits),
    b) no foreign borrowing or borrowing from the central bank,
    c) no borrowing above a ceiling,
    d) borrowing is limited to specific purposes. 
  • 2 = The regional government may borrow without prior authoritization and under one or more of a), b), c) or d). 
  • 3 = The regional government may borrow without centrally imposed restrictions.

Representation – Extent to which region has independent legislature and executive. The indicator is compounded of the sum of assembly and representation. 
Assembly

  • 0 = No regional assembly. 
  • 1 = Indirectly elected regional assembly. 
  • 2 = Directly elected regional assembly. 

Executive

  • 0 = Regional executive appointed by central government. 
  • 1 = Dual executive appointed by central government and regional assembly. 
  • 2 = Regional executive is appointed by a regional assembly or directly elected. 

# RAI shared-rule score – Shared-rule is the sum of scores (0-12) on five sub-indicators showing the degree of authority exercised by regional government or its representatives in country as whole: law making, executive control, fiscal control, borrowing control, and constitutional reform.

Law making – Extent to which regional representatives can co-determine national legislation. For each of the options a value of 0.5 is assigned, which are summed up to a score between 0 and 2:

  • Regions are the unit of representation in a national legislature.
  • Regional governments designate representatives in a national legislature.
  • Regions have majority representation in a national legislature based on regional representation.
  • The legislature based on regional representation has extensive legislative auhtority.

Executive control – Extent to which regional government co-determines national policy in intergovernmental meetings:

  • 0 = No routine meetings between central and regional governments to negotiate policy. 
  • 1 = Routine meetings between central and regional governments without legally binding authority. 
  • 2 = Routine meetings between central and regional governments with legally binding authority. 

Fiscal control – Extent to which regional government representatives co-determine the distribution of national tax revenues:

  • 0 = Neither the regional government nor their representatives in a national legislature are consulted over the distribution of national tax revenue. 
  • 1 = Regional governments or their representatives in a national legislature negotiate over the distribution of tax revenues, but do not have a veto. 
  • 2 = Regional governments or their representatives in a national legislature have a veto over the distribution of tax revenues. 

Borrowing control – Extent to which regional government co-determines subnational and national borrowing constraints:

  • 0 = Regional governments are not routinely consulted over borrowing constraints. 
  • 1 = Regional governments negotiate routinely over borrowing constraints but do not have a veto. 
  • 2 = Regional governments negotiate routinely over borrowing constrainst and have a veto.

Constitutional reform – Extent to which regional representatives co-determine constitutional change:

  • 0 = The central government or national electorate can unilaterally reform the constitution. 
  • 1 = A national legislature based on regional representation can propose or postpone constitutional reform, raise the decision hurdle in the other chamber, require a second vote in the other chamber, or require a popular referendum. 
  • 2 = Regional governments or their representatives in a national legislature can propose or postpone constitutional reform, raise the decision hurdle in the other chamber, require a second vote in the other chamber, or require a popular referendum. 
  • 3 = A legislature based on regional representation can veto constitutional change; or constitutional change requires a referendum based on the principle of equal representation. 
  • 4 = Regional governments or their representatives in a national legislature can veto constitutional change.

 

REGIONAL GOVERNMENT

Data source: Schakel, Arjan H. & Verdoes, Alexander. (forthcoming) Regional Electoral Democracy – Parliaments and Executives (RED-PARLEX) dataset.

 

# Appointment mode: head of executive – The mode in which the head of the executive of the regional government is selected:

  • Elected together with the other members of the executive at once by the regional assembly.
  • Directly elected by citizens.
  • Elected by the regional assembly.
  • Indirectly elected from and by the members of the executive.
  • Appointed by the central government.

# Appointment mode: other members of executive – The mode in which the other members of the executive of the regional government are selected:

  • Elected at once by regional assembly together with the head of the executive.
  • Consociationalism: The members of the executive are proportionally allocated and selected by all or most of the parties represented in the regional assembly based on their seat shares.
  • Elected by regional assembly.
  • Directly elected by citizens.
  • Appointed by head of executive with or without subject to approval of the assembly.

# Early dissolution of assembly – The possibility and mode in which a regional assembly can be dissvolved before the end of its term:

  • The regional assembly cannot be dissolved.
  • The regional assembly can dissolve itself.
  • The regional assembly can be dissolved by the regional executive.
  • The regional assembly can be dissolved by both the regional assembly and the regional executive.

# Early termination of executive –  The possibility and mode in which the executive can be terminated by the regional assembly before the end of its term:

  • The regional assembly has no possibility to revoke the executive.
  • The executive can be revoked with a simple majority.
  • The executive can be revoked with a special majority.
  • The executive can be revoked if an alternative government has the support of the majority of the regional assembly (constructive vote).

# Form of government – The basic form of the relationship between the regional government and regional executive,:

  • Parliamentary democracy:The executive is dependent on the support of the regional assembly both for its formation and its survival.
  • Presidential system: The executive is independent from the regional assembly for its formation and its survival.
  • Elected prime ministerial: The executive is not appointed by the regional assembly, but it is dependent on the regional assembly for its survival).
  • Assembly independent: The executive is appointed by the assembly, but it can survive without the support from the assembly.
  • Other: (to be specified shortly in updates of the ERDM).

# Monoism – Whether a member of the executive can also be a member of the regional assembly (monism) or not (dualism). 

 

# Seat share of largest, second largest, etc. government party – The seat share of parties in government relative to the total number of seats in a regional assembly.

 

 

REGIONAL INVOLVEMENT IN EU AFFAIRS

# CoR representatives: number – The total number of the region's representatives in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). Note that only CoR members, not alternates, are taken into account for this variable.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# CoR representatives: number – The total number of the region's representatives in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). Note that only CoR members, not alternates, are taken into account for this variable.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# CoR representatives: institutional background – The institutional origin of the region's representatives in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), distinguishing between regions with CoR members from regional/subregional executive bodies only, legislative bodies only, or both legislative and executive bodies.
On the regional level, CoR members can be directly elected members of regional parliaments, councils or assemblies (legislative) or of regional governments or administrative authorities (executive). On a local level, CoR members can be directly elected members of local/community parliaments, councils or assemblies (legislative), or part of local governments or administrative authorities (executive). Note that only CoR members, not alternates, are taken into account for this variable:

  • Executive only.
  • Legislative only.
  • Both executive and legislative bodies.

Data Source: Regioparl 2022

CoR representatives: territorial origin – This variable indicates the territorial origin of the region's representatives in the European Committee of Regions (CoR) – distinguishing between regions with CoR members from regional institutions only, sub-regional institutions only, or both regional and sub-regional institutions. Note that only CoR members, not alternates, are taken into account for this variable:

  • Regional only.
  • Sub-regional only.
  • Both regional and sub-regional institutions.

Data Source: Regioparl 2022

 

# Domestic EU Policy Shaping Index (DEUPS) – The total score of the Domestic EU Policy Shaping Index (DEUPS). On a scale of 0-8, the index indicates the degree to which regional political institutions can influence the process of EU legislation and its implementation in the respective member state and region. Developed by Michaël Tatham (2011), the index is made up of eight sub-indicators which each focus on a different formalised mechanism of regional involvement in EU policy shaping.
Data Source: Domestic EU Policy Shaping Index (DEUPS) 2022

# DEUPS: (Pre-)legislative phase – The degree to which regional political institutions can influence EU policy shaping of during the (pre-)legislative phase of the EU policy-making process. The score consists in the sum of five subindicators, indicating whether and how regions can formally participate in national EU policy shaping processes, be it by (1) requiring national executive actors to be consulted, informed or involved, or by (2) the right to issue (non-) binding regional positions on EU affairs. On the other hand, sub-indicators asses the extent of regions participation rights in (3) EU Council of ministers meetings or (4) EU working groups, or if (5) regional staff in their Brussels representation enjoy diplomatic accreditation.

Participation right – The extent to which regions have the right to participate in domestic EU-policy shaping. Regions have participation rights if there exist formal rules in their national legal and/or political system – in the form of "soft law" agreements/arrangements or legal regulations – that require the respective national executive actors to inform, consult, and/or involve the regional government on (certain) proceedings of the domestic EU policy-shaping process. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No special mechanism in place.
  • 0.5 = Guaranteed through soft law.
  • 1 = Constitutionally/legally guaranteed.

Position in EU affairs – Indicates whether European regions are in a position to issue a political position on EU affairs in the context of domestic EU policy shaping. This applies if the national polity provides for a legally binding or merely non-binding institutional/political mechanism that allows the respective regional government to assert its EU policy position, opinion, or concern with regard to the (national) member state's position in Council proceedings. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No institutional/political mechanism in place.
  • 0.5 = Guaranteed through legally non-binding (interinstitutional) memoranda of understanding or guidelines.
  • 1 = Guranteed through legally binding rules.

Participation in Council of ministers meetings – Indicates whether European regions have right to participate in EU Council meetings. This applies if article 16(2) TEU (ex. article 203 EC) is translated into the national legal system in a way that allows ministers of regional governments to represent the member state in the Council, including the right to speak, to commit the member state and to cast a vote on behalf of the member state. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = Not possible.
  • 0.5 = Possible without voting.
  • 1 = Not possible.

Participation right in working groups – Indicates whether European regions have the right to be part of the member state's delegation to the European Union and to participate in Commission and Council working groups. This applies if there exist formal rules in their national legal and/or political system – in the form of "soft law" agreements/arrangements or legal regulations – that enable the region to nominate a representative or an expert for Commission and Council working groups. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = no special mechanism in place
  • 0.5 = guaranteed through soft law
  • 1 = constitutionally/legally guaranteed

Diplomatic accreditation of regional Brussels staff – Indicates whether European regions Brussels representation staff benefits from diplomatic accreditation. This applies if they have the same rights as member state officials, i.e. access to their member-state briefing papers, COREPER, Council meetings and working groups as well as privileged access to the Commission. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No accreditation.
  • 0.5 = Partial accreditation.
  • 1 = Full accreditation.

# DEUPS: Post-legislative phase – The degree to which regional political institutions can influence EU policy shaping of during the (pre-)legislative phase of the EU policy-making process. It consists of the sum of three subindicators indicating (1) the formal rights to challenge EU decisions, (2) the degree of involvement in domestic implementation of EU regulations, and (3) if regions face financial consequences for non-compliance with EU obligations.

Request appeal to ECJ – Indicates, whether European regions have the right of an ECJ appeal request. This applies if there exist formal rules in their national legal and/or political system that require the member state to challenge the legality of an EU community act or decision as outlined in article 263 TFEU (ex. article 230 EC) on the request of a region. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No special mechanism in place
  • 0.5 = Non-binding request only
  • 1 = Binding on member state in some instances

Participation in domestic policy implementation – Indicates whether European regions are involved in the domestic implementation of EU legislation – in the form of EU regulations, directives, and decisions. This applies if the respective region must be incorporated into the national process of transposition and/or if the respective region has the right to transpose EU legislation that falls within its competences into regional laws/measures. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No institutional/political mechanism in place
  • 1 = Institutional/political mechanism in place

Financial penalties for non-compliance – Indicates whether European regions are obliged to pay financial penalties for non-compliance with EU obligations. This applies if there exist formal rules in their national legal and/or political system stipulating that the regional level has to bear the costs deriving from cases of region's non-compliance with EU obligations. Accordingly, regions were assigned the following scores:

  • 0 = No special mechanism in place.
  • 1 = Special mechanism in place.

 

# EU affairs minister – Existence of an EU affairs minister/permanent secretary within the regional executive. We define this as a member of the regional executive who is responsable for EU politics, meaning that the respective member performs at least one of the following duties: defining the region's position on EU legislation, representing the region at the European level vis-à-vis the European institutions, participating in the coordination as well as domestic implementation of EU policies and/or participating in Commission and Council working group meetings.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EU affairs committee – The existence of an EU affairs committee in the regional assembly. We define this as a permanent comittee responsible for EU politics, meaning that the respective committee performs at least one of the following duties: proposing opinions on EU legislation to the plenary of the regional assembly, coordinating individual member's legislative initiatives on EU legislation and/or representing the regional assembly at the European level vis-à-vis the European institutions.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: Formal participation right – Indicates whether the regional parliament has the formal right to participate in the EU's Early Warning System (EWS) on subsidiarity control. This right is only eligible for parliaments with legislative competences. The EWS is a procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty to enable national parliaments to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts and possibly object to the draft on this ground. During this process, national parliaments may consult regional parliaments. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: Opinions issued (most recent year) – Indicates the number of opinions issued by the regional parliament on draft EU legislative acts as part of the EU's Early Warning System (EWS) on subsidiary control in the most recent available year. An opinion issued is counted every time the regional parliament releases an official document stating its assessment of whether or not a draft EU legislative act complies with the principle of subsidiarity based on the anticipated impact of such legislation in the region. Both positive and negative opinions are counted. The EWS is a procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty to enable national parliaments to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts and possibly object to the draft on this ground. During this process, national parliaments may consult regional parliaments. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: Opinions issued (since 2010) – Indicates the total number of opinions issued by the regional parliament on draft EU legislative acts as part of the EU's Early Warning System (EWS) on subsidiary control since 2010. An opinion issued is counted every time the regional parliament releases an official document stating its assessment of whether or not a draft EU legislative act complies with the principle of subsidiarity based on the anticipated impact of such legislation in the region. Both positive and negative opinions are counted. The EWS is a procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty to enable national parliaments to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts and possibly object to the draft on this ground. During this process, national parliaments may consult regional parliaments. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: REGPEX membership – This variable indicates whether the region participates in the REGPEX community. REGPEX is a cooperative of regional parliaments and governments to provide a source of information and exchange on the EU's legislative procedures and the regions' abilities to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: subsidiary complaints (most recent year) – Indicates the number of negative opinions (subsidiary complaints) issued by the regional parliament on draft EU legislative acts as part of the EU's Early Warning System (EWS) on subsidiary control in the most recent available year. An opinion issued is counted every time the regional parliament releases an official document stating its assessment of whether or not a draft EU legislation complies with the principle of subsidiarity based on the anticipated impact of such legislation in the region. Only negative opinions are counted, i.e. complaints about a perceived violation of the subsidiarity principle by a draft EU legislation. The EWS is a procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty to enable national parliaments to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts and possibly object to the draft on this ground. During this process, national parliaments may consult regional parliaments. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

# EWS: subsidiary complaints (since 2010) – Indicates the total number of negative opinions (subsidiary complaints) issued by the regional parliament on draft EU legislative acts as part of the EU's Early Warning System (EWS) on subsidiary control since 2010. An opinion issued is counted every time the regional parliament releases an official document stating its assessment of whether or not a draft EU legislation complies with the principle of subsidiarity based on the anticipated impact of such legislation in the region. Only negative opinions are counted, i.e. complaints about a perceived violation of the subsidiarity principle by a draft EU legislation. The EWS is a procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty to enable national parliaments to carry out subsidiarity checks on draft EU legislative acts and possibly object to the draft on this ground. During this process, national parliaments may consult regional parliaments. The principle of subsidiarity states that legislation remains with the EU member state if an intervention by the EU is not necessary.
Data Source: Regioparl 2022

 

 

BASIC DATA ON REGIONS

Dara source: Eurostat 2022

# National GDP – National Gross Domestic Product (as of 2019) of the EU member state in which the region is located.

# National population – The total population (as of 2019) of the EU member state in which the region is located.

# Region's GDP – The Gross Domestic Product of a region (as of 2019).

# Region's population – The total population of a region (as of 2019).

 



Data collection, sources

As of May 2022, most information on the ERDM is based on four data sets, all of which have been compiled by rigorous standards of empirical research. Descriptions of the data sets, including methodological considerations, code books, as well as academic references are provided below.

The ERDM is in its first release stage, with data for certain regions still missing. Pending updates will provide updates of recently held regional elections on regular basis, adding Central and Eastern Europe countries in particular. In the medium term, we seek to provide time-series data. 

  1. Regional Electoral Democracy (RED) datasets
  2. Regional Authority Index, 2018
  3. Regioparl data collection, 2022
  4. Domestic EU Policy Shaping Index (DEUPS), 2022

 

 

REGIONAL ELECTORAL DEMOCRACY (RED) DATASETS

The Regional Electoral Democracy (RED) datasets provide detail on the institutions of regional electoral systems, parliaments, and executives and on the divergence between regional election outcomes and government constellations for more than 6,400 parties, competing in close to 3,600 regional, national, and European elections held in 289 regions in 15 West-European countries from 1945 until 2020. RED is a collection of six separate datasets. RED-ES provides detail on the design and rules of the institutions employed in the region to conduct regional, national, and European elections and to translate the number of votes into a number of seats in an assembly or parliament. RED-PARLEX contains information on the design and rules of the institutions that govern the conduct of regional parliaments and regional executives. RED-ELEC covers the divergence in regional, national, and European election outcomes between regions. There are two sub-datasets, one dataset has the party as the unit of analysis (RED-ELEC-parties: country-region-election-party) and one dataset adopts the region as the unit of analysis (RED-ELEC-regions: country-region-election). RED-PARL and RED-EX includes detail on regional parliaments and regional executives and the incongruence between regional, national and European parliaments and governments. The forthcoming datasets, country profiles, and codebooks will be made available here.

 

Code book of the variables displayed on the ERDM: available soon

RED dataset of the variables displayed on the ERDM: available soon

References

Schakel, Arjan H. & Verdoes, Alexander. (forthcoming) Regional Electoral Democracy (RED) datasets.

 

 

REGIONAL AUTHORITY INDEX (RAI)

The Regional Authority Index (RAI) measures the authority in self rule and shared rule exercised by regional governments with 96 countries on an annual basis over the period 1950-2018. The dataset encompasses subnational government levels with an average population of 150,000 or more. Regional authority is measured along ten dimensions, five tap self-rule --institutional depth, policy scope, fiscal autonomy, borrowing autonomy, and representation-- and five capture shared rule --law making, executive control, fiscal control, borrowing control, and constitutional reform. The latest version includes metropolitan and indigenous regions alongside conventional regions. Datasets, country profiles, and codebooks can be downloaded here.

 

Code book of the variables displayed on the ERDMavailable soon

References

Hooghe, Liesbet, Marks, Gary, Schakel, Arjan H., Chapman-Osterkatz, Sandra, Niedzwiecki, Sara, and Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah (2016) Measuring regional authority. Volume I: A postfunctionalist theory of governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah, Schakel, Arjan H., Niedzwiecki, Sara, Marks, Gary, Hooghe, Liesbet, and Chapman-Osterkatz, Sandra (2021) 'Language difference and regional authority', Regional & Federal Studies 31 (1): 73-97.

 

 

REGIOPARL – 2022

In the wake of European integration, various decision-making and regulatory competences have been transferred to the European level. This affected not only the national level of government but also regional authorities. Given the diversity of regions in the EU, they reacted rather differently to the integration process and emergence of a multilevel political system in the EU. Most regions with some degree of autonomous political authority adopted to the growing importance of EU politics and policymaking as well as the increasing amount of coordination required for implementing EU policy or administering EU funds. REGIOPARL has collected data on a variety of important indicators that bear on the scope of regional involvement in EU affairs. They pertain to three categories: the 3) Early Warning System (EWS), the 2) Committee of the Regions (CoR), and 1) the regions’ introduction of a separate public institutions for EU affairs.

1) Most basically, the ERDM allows users to compare if regions introduced a separate ministerial position for EU affairs and EU politics respectively. The variable ‘EU affairs minister’ shows whether such  a separate minister exists in a regional government. The same issue pertains to the regional assemblies. Here, the ERDM shows if a regional assembly institutionalised a separate EU affairs committee that deals with the relevant topics.

Data collection for these variables was conducted for every region in all EU member states. Most of the information was retrieved via desk research, reviewing websites and online directories of regional governments and parliaments. Missing information was supplemented by email enquiries to relevant offices of the regional institutions respectively. In some countries (Sweden, Romania, Slovakia, Poland) information could not be retrieved in any of the ways outlined. We generalised from our findings in Sweden: a majority of regional governments confirmed to us not having EU affairs Committee in their Regional Assembly, nor a EU minister/secretary of state, we thus assumed this to be the case in every Swedish Region. In Romania, Slovakia and Poland, we could not gather sufficient evidence to justify this assumption; missing values remain.

2) The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a transnational assembly that represents Europe’s regions at EU level. It does not have decision-making competences but contributes with formal opinions and resolutions, as well as reports and public campaigns to the EU policymaking process. The CoR is composed of regional representatives from both executive as well as legislative institutions and of different institutional positions. REGIOPARL has composed a data set of CoR members that contributes four variables on the ERDM. We assembled data on CoR members for every EU region, e.g. regarding his/her institutional and territorial background in his/her region and European party group affiliation. For data collection, we relied on data provided by the CoR online. Information on some members had to be complemented by individual reviews of websites of the individuals or their affiliated organisations respectively.

3) The Early Warning System (EWS) was introduced in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. It is an institutionalised, formal procedure to involve member state parliaments into subsidiarity monitoring of EU law-making (Abels 2015): national parliaments have ex ante scrutiny power to flag concerns over whether legislation, proposed by the European Commission, disproportionately infringes upon the principle of subsidiarity in the EU – which is codified in article 5 (3) of the Treaty. The Treaty further stipulated that ‘regional parliaments with legislative powers’ should be consulted by national parliaments in the process of subsidiarity monitoring (article 6). Such regional parliaments exist in seven EU member states and national parliaments have established different ways to involve them in the EWS. REGIOPARL collected data on the extent to which regional parliaments with legislative competences actually engage with the EWS, using the total number of opinions and complaints issued (since the establishment of the EWS in 2009) by the assemblies as proxies. The ERDM also includes a description of how regional participation in the EWS is institutionalised in the different member states respectively. In this regard, we considered six qualitative aspects of how parliaments engage in the EWS in our data collection:

  1. Is the regional parliament entitled to participate in the EWS?
  2. What is the legal basis of this participation right?
  3. Which parliamentarian actor conducts the subsidiarity assessments?
  4. Who do the regional parliaments address with their issued opinions respectively?
  5. Are issued opinions from the regional parliament legally binding for their national parliaments?
  6. Does the regional parliament participate in REGPEX subsidiarity monitoring?

We counted a parliamentary procedure to be an issued opinion if it explicitly stated to report on a subsidiarity control related to the EWS and conducted by the official actor in the regional parliament. Besides general information about the issued opinions collected, we coded an opinion as a subsidiarity complaint when reports explicitly mentioned a violation of the principle of subsidiarity. We did not account for complaints based on weaknesses in the legal formulation of the respective piece of EU legislation but included them into our database with a separate code.

Data collection was limited to regional parliaments with the right to participate in the EWS (Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Finnish Åland Islands, Portuguese Madeira and Azores). The collection process followed several steps. Firstly, we reviewed secondary literature on the institutional mechanisms that were established in EU member states following the introduction of the EWS in the Lisbon Treaty (in particular: Committee of the Regions 2013). In addition, we collected the relevant parliamentary documents on how the EWS procedure is regulated and handled in practice in every region applicable (e.g. constitutions, laws, rules of procedure, etc.) Secondly, parliamentary archives and documentation services (mostly online) were consulted, and relevant documents retrieved. In addition, the RegPex database on issued opinions in the EWS was used to compare and verify information from other sources (as not all parliaments participating in the EWS are members of REGPEX, we relied on a variety of relevant sources for data verification). Thirdly, a short questionnaire was sent out to all parliamentary documentation services of the relevant regional assemblies. Finally, selected staff at the regional parliaments was contacted with individual questions on specific pieces of missing information. Documentation and content analysis of the material was handled with MaxQDA.

 

Code book: Download

References

Abels, Gabriele (2015) 'Subnational parliaments as ‘latecomers’ in the EU multilevel-parliamentary system – Introduction', in: Gabriele Abels and Annegret Eppler (eds.) Subnational parliaments in the EU multilevel parliamentary system: Taking stock of the post-Lisbon era, pp.23-60. Innsbruck: Studien Verlag. 

Committee of the Regions (2013) The subsidiarity Early Warning System of the Lisbon Treaty – the role of regional parliaments with legislative powers and other subnational authorities. (Brussels: European Union).

 

 

DOMESTIC EU POLICY SHAPING INDEX (DEUPS) – 2022

The Domestic EU Policy Shaping Index (DEUPS) is a multidimensional measure of the institutionalisation of regional involvement in domestic processes of shaping EU policy – that is to say: their involvement in shaping EU policy in their European member state respectively. Based on eight subdimensions, the DEUPS presents a 0 to 10 score for every region that is part of an EU member state, where a high score denotes a strong level of institutionalised involvement and a 0 score denotes no institutionalised involvement at all. The DEUPS thus addresses the question: what is the extent of institutionalised opportunities for regions to shape EU policy domestically? The index and the concept of “regional involvement in the domestic EU policy-shaping process“ are based on the work of Michaël Tatham (2011). While „many determinants of such involvement are either difficult to measure or stochastic (personal relationships and chemistries, entrepreneurship, know-how, social and political capital, networking, etc.)“, the DEUPS nonetheless captures an important „baseline“ level of involvement by focussing on institutionalised dimensions (ibid.).

DEUPS (2022) reassesses this baseline measure and presents a comprehensive update of the scores across Europe. The original data collection was conducted by REGIOPARL from 2021-21; all DEUPS scores represent the level of institutionalised regional involvement as of April 2022. In cooperation with Michaël Tatham, REGIOPARL reassessed the operationalisation of every dimension of the original measure and devised a new code book, which can be downloaded below.

The data collection started with a review of empirical literature (Högenauer 2008; Tilindyte 2016; Schakel 2020; Schakel/Massetti 2020; Keating & Hooghe 2006; Noferini 2012; Tatham 2016; Aldecoa & Keating 1999; Moore 2005; Lutzenberger 2020) on regional involvement in EU policy shaping, considering its systematic relevance and data sources. Second, a short questionnaire inquiring about indicators 3, 4, and 5 was sent out to all regional offices in Brussels. Third, home pages and documentary services of European regions were analysed, extracting relevant documents on all 8 sub indicators (acts of autonomy, cooperation agreements, constitutions, law texts, court rulings, memoranda of understandings, rules of procedures). Finally, missing information was completed by consulting academic and regional experts or public servants from relevant institutions and organs.

Empirical observations were classified into the DEUPS coding scheme using MaxQDA software for content analysis and organisation. For some countries and sub-indicators, conclusive information was not available through any primary or secondary source (Croatian regions: sub indicator 6, 7, 8; Romanian regions: sub indicator 8). These cases were evaluated conservatively based on expert knowledge and previous findings, assigning the value 0 to the sub-indicators in respectively. This approach leaves the possibility that DEUPS might underestimate the degree of domestic involvement in EU policy shaping for these regions.

 

Code book: Download

References

Aldecoa, F. and Keating, M. (eds) (1999) Paradiplomacy in action: The foreign relations of subnational governments. London: Frank Cass.

Högenauer, A.-L. (2008) 'The impact of the Lisbon Reform Treaty on regional engagement in EU policy-making—Continuity or change?', European Journal of Law Reform, 10(4), 535– 555. 

Keating, M. and Hooghe, L. (2006) 'Bypassing the nation-state? Regions and the EU policy process', in J. Richardson (ed.) European Union: Power and policy-making (2nd edn). London: Routledge. 

Moore, C. (2005) Between diplomacy and interest representation: Regional offices in the EU. A German – British comparison. PhD Dissertation, University of Birmingham.

Noferini, A. (2012) 'The participation of subnational governments in the Council of the EU: Some evidence from Spain', Regional & Federal Studies, 22(4), 361–385.

Tatham, M. (2011) 'Devolution and EU policy-shaping: bridging the gap between multi-level governance and liberal intergovernmentalism', European Political Science Review, 3(1), 53-81.

Schakel, A. H. (2020) 'Multi-level governance in a "Europe with the regions"', The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 22(4), pp. 767–775.

Schakel/Massetti (2020) 'Regional Institutions and the European Union', Oxford Encyclopedia. 

Tilindyte, L. (2016) Regional participation in EU decision-making: Role in the legislature and subsidiarity monitoring. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service.