EU Challenges to Domestic Politics

A Regional Nationalist Response

Riot Police assault on the Opera House
EU Challenges to Domestic Politics : A Regional Nationalist Response - Carolyn Marie Dudek


The following examines the extent to which European Union (EU) institutions and policies have affected resource distribution between center and periphery within Member States. As resource distribution changes, so does the politicization of regional nationalist parties. The way that nationalist parties include the EU in their party program, however, is dependent upon the perceived type of influence the EU has upon their region and the political goals of the party itself. Two Mediterranean regions in Spain, Galicia and Catalonia, as well as one non-Mediterranean region, Scotland, are examined to see empirically how the EU affects political territorial dynamics. The following discussion suggests the need to examine EU policies which later become political inputs within Member States. Moreover, the discussion indicates that it may be fruitful to utilize old models of the nation-state to understand how domestic politics have been transformed through European integration.


In 1996 ten thousand irate Gallego farmers protested the Galician regional government in reaction to European Union (EU) milk quota policy. In response, the Galician national party, the Bloque Nacionalista Galega (BNG), vocalized its opposition to these European imposed policies. On the other hand, the Scottish National Party's (SNP) member of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond, proposes the vision of Scotland as a "modern state independent in the European Union."2 Jordi Pujol, the leader of the Catalan nationalist party, Convergencia i Uni6 (CiU), became one of the founding fathers of the Committee of the Regions and also entered Catalonia into a much-talked-about cross-national regional association, the Four Motors.3

In the past few decades we have witnessed two seemingly opposing movements throughout Europe: 1) deeper and wider European integration and 2) a re-emergence of regional nationalist sentiment along with the devolution of policy responsibility to sub-national levels (e.g. Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Great Britain). In what way, if any, has European integration shaped the political dynamics within regions, among regions, and between: regions and their corresponding national governments? Has the EU influenced the politicization of regional nationalist political parties? More specifically, how has the EU, as an additional institution and source of economic and political resources, affected the political strategies of regional nationalist parties?

More traditional writings regarding territorial politics were conceived within the context of the nation-state where its boundaries were strictly defined. The focus of such studies attempted to explain the creation of the nation-state as based upon the distribution of resources between central and periphery territories. Center-periphery theory attempted to explain the relationship within and between territories within the same state. In particular, such theory was used to explain why there are variations in territorial power structures. Center-periphery theory provided a useful tool for examining sub-national developments and the possible roots of regional nationalism.

With greater European integration, however, it seems that a new dynamic has been added to the resource exchange between center and periphery which affects the politics within regions and the politicization of regional identities. No longer can we examine European countries as closed systems. Furthermore, EU integration has made member state borders much more permeable as EU policies directly affect domestic politics. Thus, the EU has introduced a new component within domestic politics and has possibly altered the distribution of resources within member states.

In the context of the EU, one of the most commonly applied models to understand the relation between regional, national, and supranational governance is the multi-level governance model. The model suggests that "authority and policymaking influence are shared across multiple levels of government-sub­national, national, and supranational."4 National sovereignty has thus been eroded due to the actions of EU institutions and the collective nature of bargaining at the EU level. The multi-level governance model is built upon functionalist assumptions, focusing predominantly on processes and bargaining among these interconnected arenas. Such assumptions, however, tend to exclude politics itself as well as the relationships among formal institutions and between institutions and citizens. Hooghe and Marks5 assert that one of the repercussions of multi-level governance is that "states have lost control over individuals in their respective territories" and that as a result "state sovereignty has become an object of popular contention - the outcome of which is uncertain."6

Theodore Lowi7 implicitly suggests another way to address how the interaction of various levels of governments have affected accountability and democratic quality of polities in Europe. He states that "policies determine politics."8 This assertion suggests that we need to abandon the strictly process­ oriented approach to political phenomena and to examine political outcomes that later become political inputs. One of the central duties of government is coercion, and one form of coercion is policymaking and implementation.9 Policy making at the EU level is a way for the supranational government to control and regulate various policy sectors. As the EU increases its policymaking role, new interests are emerging within countries in response to EU policies. According to Lowi,10 we can better understand political patterns if we understand the policies motivating them. Thus, rather than focusing on bargaining and processes among levels of government, which the multi-level governance model emphasizes, it may be more advantageous to study how EU policies and institutions affect territorial politics.

Neo-functionalist theories suggested that further European integration would affect interests and identities in a way that would cause a shift in allegiance to the European polity.11 Marcussen, et al., however, demonstrate that this has not been the case with some national identities.12 On the other hand, intergovernmentalists asserted that, since the nation-state controls the process of integration, so too will the nation-state steer "interest formation and aggregation to take place at the national level."13 Thus, European integration would have no affect on national (or perhaps regional) identities. In an integrated Europe, however, we have witnessed a change in territorial polities as well as the cultural and political dynamics associated with territory.14

Europeanization, seen as both a process and an effect, is an ongoing and ever-changing phenomenon.15 Green Cowles, et. al. define Europeanization in part as "an evolution of new layers of politics that interact with older ones". One of the interesting changes in the European polity that has occurred is the· growing gap between where policies are made and the politics of those policies. Specifically, of concern is how EU policies directly impact domestic politics and evoke domestic reaction, yet the policies themselves are created elsewhere. Many EU policies, such as regional development policy and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), provide direct aid to regions within member states and sometimes bypass the central government. Regional governments have even become active in the European political arena either through lobbying efforts or via the Committee of the Regions.

It appears that the EU has transformed territorially oriented political, economic, and social boundaries. Removal of tariffs, the free movements of goods, labor and capital, and regulation and deregulation at the European level have presented challenges to the traditional construction and configuration of nation­states. As borders are broken down, the center or national government plays a lesser role protecting its territory from external political, economic, and cultural shocks.16 European integration does not necessarily mean a disintegration of the center but rather that the role of national governments as the dominant source of resources and protection from external influences is significantly changed. As the role of the center changes, likewise, the relationship between center and periphery changes accordingly.

Europe can provide "new spaces to political competition."17 The importance of Europe within domestic politics has caused political parties to incorporate EU issues into their own political agendas and to adapt to the pressures and benefits of the EU. Moreover, regional governments have established direct interaction within the political arena in Brussels and have sought relations with cross-border regional associations. One of the more profound and noticeable changes among regional governments, due mostly to European integration, is that they are no longer purely domestic actors. As the EU transforms the role of national and regional actors, how does this in turn affect traditional center-periphery relations?

Many scholars and regional political actors refer to Brussels as an additional political arena whereby these actors can bypass their central governments.18 Bypassing the central government can have two possible effects. First of all, it can alleviate added pressures upon national governments, thus acting as a stabilizing force. Secondly, it may alter the relations among territories within a member state and perhaps challenge the dominance oft he central government. Another issue that may alter politics within regions and among regjons oft he same state is the extent to which the drama of EU policies is played out within member states. As alluded to earlier, the reactions toward EU policies often occur within the domestic arena. For instance, citizen protest against EU policies takes place mostly at the national or regional levels.19 As the politics of EU policies take place on home soil, how does this affect the internal political relations among territories? In what way does this influence center-periphery relations? 

Democracy in Europe--the "Gap"

Within an integrated Europe, we find a physical "gap" between where EU policies are made and where representation concerning those policies takes place. Several scholars suggest that the response to EU policies does not necessarily entail political mobilization in Brussels. 20 In essence, citizen representation concerning EU policies often takes place at various levels of government within member states. For example, Dieter Rucht21 points out that "EU politics, institutions and policies that become - relative to national ones - increasingly an addressee and/ or target of political and social groups, regardless of whether this action is carried out by sub-national, national or transnational actors."

Individuals or groups hold more proximate governments accountable for policies formulated in far-off Brussels. This is of particular concern to local and regional governments since they do not have decision-making competencies at the European level. In addition, these pressures can become problematic since they can potentially jeopardize the legitimacy of lower levels of governments. The question of who should be held accountable becomes difficult as perceptions and convenient domestic mobilization structures dictate the system.

If we examine EU policies, it becomes evident that a democratic deficit and lack of system-building capacity arise from the disjuncture between where policies are made and who is held responsible. The gap between where policy is made and where the politics of those policies takes place is problematic. As a result, citizens seek a way to cope with the effects of the EU and their discontent with their national government. In this way, a new political space has been created that allows parties that are either regional or ideologically unique from national level parties to gain more support. EU policies and the subsequent reaction to those policies possibly have created a political opportunity for less traditional parties to gain voter support and public attention.

Domestically oriented citizen reaction to EU policies is of concern because it potentially place extra pressures on regional and national governments. As EU policies provide stimulus for citizen protest and demands, these policies can also affect state legitimacy and emphasize the importance of territoriality in politics. As EU policies affect specific territories in different ways, so too does this differentially affect the resources of peripheries and subsequently the conditions of center-periphery relations. EU policies can also create new political possibilities for territorially-oriented political parties.

As alluded to earlier, new political opportunities for regional nationalist parties have emerged due to the EU's affect upon legitimacy. The idea of legitimacy and what creates legitimacy has changed over time and has perhaps changed in the face of European integration and the reallocation of policy competencies to the supra-national level. On what is legitimacy based? We can categorize legitimacy in two ways: procedural legitimacy and performance legitimacy.22 Procedural legitimacy refers to the process of implementing and creating policies; whereas, performance legitimacy refers to citizen acceptance and expectations of the goods a government provides.

When the nation-state expanded its policy domain into welfare programs, the state's legitimacy became increasingly more dependent on what services it provided. Therefore, the state's legitimacy became more dependent on performance than on procedure. With European integration, increasingly more areas of policy­making, which were once the responsibilities of the state, are being allocated to the European level. Thus, the state needs to turn to other ways of maintaining legitimacy since it is no longer responsible for all the government goods provided.

In addition, state performance legitimacy is further affected in the contest of territorial politics. Within a global economy the ability of states to manage their own territories is becoming increasingly more difficult. Theories of global economics suggest that territory and especially regions are an important element to facilitate adaptation to a global economy.23 EU policies, however, can constrain the policy-making capacity of regions, thereby decreasing the policy options available to bring about regional economic development. Thus, the EU can act not only as a resource for peripheries, but also as a constraint. Such constraints, however, can act as a political resource for regional nationalist parties as they strategize to create a political space among national level parties that overall support the EU.

Due to the changes associated with the global economy and European integration, minority nationalist parties take on a new significance "since they are able to give meaning to place and re-constitute social and political relations within places."24 As mentioned earlier, European integration and its subsequent policies have created a political opportunity structure for regional nationalist parties. All political parties have found it necessary to include EU issues within their own political platform. Regional nationalist parties have been able to incorporate EU policies into their agenda in a way that distinguishes themselves from national parties or to open the possibility for more regional autonomy within an integrated Europe. In actuality, it even has become strategically necessary for regional nationalist parties to position themselves in relation to European policies to push forward their nationalist agenda in the interest of their region either in relation to the central government or in relation to Europe or to both.

It seems that the way regional nationalist parties actually incorporate EU issues into their political agendas, however, depends upon: 1) the type of parties they are (e.g. conservative, modernizing, technocratic, cultural, separatist; 2) what their political goals are (e.g., electoral ambition at the national or regional level, separatism, maintaining their position as the regional governing party, or pursuing greater electoral support as an opposition party); and 3) how the EU has affected their regional conditions.

To understand better the specific experience of different regional nationalist parties let us examine the main nationalist parties within Catalonia, Galicia, and Scotland. These three regions are useful to examine since their regional nationalism is based on specific territories and a unique regional culture. In addition, these cases present interesting examples of how regional nationalist parties incorporate EU issues into their political agenda in relation to how the EU and its policies are perceived. For example, the mainstream! Catalan nationalist party, the CiU, has a pro-European position, the Gallego nationalist party, the BNG, has an anti-European position, and the Scottish national party, the SNP, once had an anti-European position which has been modified to be quite positive with respect to the EU. Why have these parties chosen a particular stance in relation to Europe, and what has the incorporation of EU issues into their political agendas done to their electoral success?

Catalonia and the Convergència i Unió

The CiU was the governing regional nationalist party in Catalonia from 1980 until 2003. Catalonia is an economically strong region in Spain and has prospered from its industries and its export-oriented trade. Throughout history, Catalonia, and particularly its capital, Barcelona, has been another "center" within Spain and has often competed with Madrid for predominance in Spain. The region's strong business class became a driving force within the nationalist movement, and Catalan became the language of the business class. Thus, the nationalist political party was formed around a political platform to protect the Catalan business elite and is a center-right movement.

The CiU, a moderate nationalist party, was able to dominate Catalonia from the first AC elections in 1980 until 2003. Not only has the CiU sought power at the AC level but also at the national level. Under the final years of Felipe Gonzalez's government, through the first term of Jose Maria Aznar's government (till March 2000), the cm maintained a strong role in national politics as a key member of an informal coalition government.

The CiU and its dynamic leader from 1974 until 2003, Jordi Pujol i Soley (who is also a former president of Catalonia), placed the cm well within the context of an integrated Europe, as a Spanish party and as a member of the EU. The cm has a strong outward-looking platform that sees the identity of the Catalans as European. Pujol strongly emphasized European and international spheres, thus "reviving the Catalan tradition of playing in multiple political arenas."25 The cm has promoted dynamic relations not only within the institutional framework of the EU, but also with other strong European regions. Since 1989, the Catalans have been members of the trans-Pyrrenean Euro-region composed of Catalonia, Languedoc-Roussillon, and the Midi-Pyrenees. More importantly, the Catalans are members of an association called the Four Motors, composed of Catalonia, Lombardy, Rhone-Alps, and Baden-Wiirttemberg. It is important to understand that this association is comprised of regions that have relatively strong regional autonomy. Since these regions have competencies, their institutional experience promotes the creation of an organization seeking to obtain regional aspirations.

From the point of view of the CiU and generally for the region of Catalonia, Spain's membership in the EU has been beneficial to the region's economy. The opening of economic borders and the removal of barriers to trade have proven to be a very positive aspect of the EU for the industries of Catalonia. In particular, Catalonia since the late 1960's (during the apertura) has had strong industries and an export-oriented economy that makes membership in the EU with its open European market beneficial.

Catalonia is a very unique region of Spain since it is quite modernized, and its capital, Barcelona, has oriented itself toward a very modem European image. For example, the 1992 Olympic Games gave Barcelona an opportunity to demonstrate a Catalan/European contemporary image. Barcelona has become a very cosmopolitan European center of high fashion, multi-national corporations, and banking. Thus, the image of Europe and the image that the cm wants to project are synonymous. In addition, the European institutional arena and European policies have been favorable for Catalonia since they promote their export-oriented economy. Moreover, Pujol was a well-known figure in Brussels; therefore, the Catalan government, guided under the direction of the cm, learned to utilize the European arena to its benefit.

Thus, if we think of how European institutions and their subsequent policies have affected the political agenda of the cm and the resources available to the region, it is clear that what is good for Europe is synonymous with what is good for Catalonia. Europe, generally conceived, does not threaten the Catalan identity. Just the opposite, Europe enhances and forms, in part, the notion of Catalonia. In addition, since European policies are generally favorable for the Catalans, there is little citizen pressure on the regional government to rectify negative European policies. Therefore, the Cm's niche within the political arena is based on its ability to successfully work with Europe, which for the voting population is favorable. It is essential not to understate the CiU's importance both within the Catalan electorate and as an alternative option from the Castillian national parties. The domestic conditions within Spain and Catalonia have certainly given the CiU a favorable position to win elections; however, it seems that European issues and how the CiU has dealt with them certainly re-enforced the CiU's popularity.

In this way, European integration has provided new resources for Catalonia and the CiU. EU policies regarding economic concerns such as trade have been very beneficial for Catalonia, and it appears that they have allowed Catalonia to become less dependent on the resources of the central government. Regarding cultural resources, Europe has provided an additional outlet to promote the Catalan identity and to further distinguish it in a positive way from Castille.

Bloque Nacionalista Galega

Galicia has had a very different experience within an integrated Europe. Galicia is an underdeveloped region, which falls within the Objective One26 category of European structural funds. Geographic conditions of Galicia, such as its mountains and peripheral location within Spain, have contributed to Galicia's disadvantaged economic position. Within an integrated Europe, Galicia's peripheral position is even further reinforced. Not only is Galicia geographically within the periphery of Europe, but it has also been placed in an even more precarious position due to the enforcement of EU agricultural and fishing policies.

Galicia is predominantly an agricultural region whose important sectors are fishing and dairy production. As part of Spain's accession, both milk and fishing quotas were implemented. These EU quotas have adversely affected the economy of Galicia. 27 Although Galicia is a recipient of regional development funds, which have been used to improve infrastructure and to improve the standard of living of agricultural workers, this funding has not changed the economic standing of Galicia. 28 Thus, the effect of EU policies upon Galicia has had a mixed effect, but is mostly negative.

Since the first AC elections, the Partido Popular (PP)29 has dominated the politics of the region. Galicia, having its own language and culture, also has a regional nationalist party called the Bloque Nacionalista Galega (BNG). The BNG, although composed of a coalition stretching the gambit of the political spectrum, tends to be perceived as a left-leaning party. The platform of the BNG is based heavily on Galician cultural preservation and upon an anti-clientelism platform. In particular, the major rhetoric of the BNG concerns its disapproval of the PP's usage of clientelism to preserve its predominant position. The region of Galicia has a long tradition of clientelism, and the PP is not the only perpetrator of such political practice.30

The platform of the BNG not only includes anti-clientelism but also anti-EU sentiment. BNG members see the Spanish state as the major actor in the EU and they also perceive the Spanish state as unrepresentative of the specific interests of Galicia. EU-induced fishing and milk quotas along with EU restrictions on subsidies to boat construction are the major sources of the BNG's anti-EU fervor. According to the party program of the BNG, one of its goals is to have a renewed fishing fleet and to participate in the decisions of the EU regarding fishing policy. Both of these demands are unlikely since the Spanish government, thus far, has not included the Gallegos in EU negotiations regarding fishing policy. Furthermore, EU institutions do not have formal mechanisms for regions to participate directly in decision making. a1 In addition, EU restrictions on subsidies to boat construction have adversely affected the ship building industry, thus leaving it unable to refurbish the underdeveloped Gallego fishing fleet.

The BNG not only has a negative view of EU institutions and its policies, but it also sees problems with how the Xunta, and specifically the PP, have utilized the EU arena and EU moneys. For example, members of the BNG suggest that the Fundaci6n Galicia-Europa, Galicia's "mini-embassy" in Brussels, is merely a way for the PP and its leader, Manuel Fraga, to employ his clients.32 In addition, the BNG claims that EU structural funds are spent in a clientelistic manner and are thus inefficient and ineffective. It has been demonstrated that the Xunta, which is PP-controlled, has utilized questionable means of distributing funds.33

Thus, the BNG views EU structural policy as a means of reinforcing the PP's predominant position in the region by providing fuel for the PP's patronage networks. Moreover, the BNG does not see the EU as a way to circumvent the central government, but rather as a way to reinforce the central government's predominance. In particular, since the EU's decision-making structure is strongly premised upon the representation of national governments, it sees Madrid as the main actor within the European political arena. The BNG believes that the interests of Galicia are put aside within the Spanish EU agenda, which is similar to how the Spanish government is perceived to act domestically (i.e., not advocating Galician interests).

Both the PP and the Socialist party, the PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol) have very pro-European stances. Prior to the 1996 elections the PSOE was the main opposition party in Galicia. The 1996 AC elections, however, changed the PSOE's position and the BNG became the second largest party, and it has even been able to gain seats within the national parliament. It appears that the BNG's main election aspirations are at the AC level. The lack of success in the most recent 2001 elections, however, suggests that the BNG is still unable to compete with the PP's political entrenchment in the region. It seems, however, that irate farmers and fisherman have opted for the BNG's anti-European position, as demonstrated in the 1996 and 2001 elections. The BNG has perhaps been able to find a niche within the voting population since it is distinct from the other two main parties with respect to its policies regarding Europe.

The Scottish National Party

The SNP is one of the few regional nationalist parties with separatist aspirations. The SNP has a center-left political orientation that has led the mobilization of Scottish nationalism since the early 196o's. In the 196o's and 197o's, the SNP had a negative view of the European Community (EC). This hostility was related to the exclusion of a Scottish voice within the British negotiations for entrance into the EU. There was a feeling that the economic interests of Scotland would not be taken into consideration. Thus, the SNP viewed the EC as "centralist and elitist with little concern for democracy and participation."34

With these negative feelings, the SNP used a political strategy to piggy­back anti-European sentiment in Scotland with anti-British feelings. Peter Lynch points out that this provided some political opportunities for the party as the British government continued to waiver on the issue of joining Europe.35 However, the SNP began to realize that perhaps the EC could provide the economic and security aspects of government that would eventually lead to a larger political federation. Thus, the SNP pushed to have a Scottish Council created to defend Scottish economic interests within the negotiating process. However, the British opposed the idea of a Scottish Council.

In 1975, the British government held a referendum for membership in the EC. The SNP used this opportunity to increase its own supp01t by presenting the referendum as a choice between Scottish independence or "continued representation within European institutions as a province of Britain".36 In this way, the SNP could pull support away from the major parties and at the same time show a difference between Scottish opinion and the rest of Britain.

Following the referendum, the SNP began to take a rather different position. The change in attitude was strongly linked to European regional development policy. The SNP began to realize that they could obtain funds for their citizens and that there were other mechanisms within Brussels for economic advancements. In addition, the SNP gradually began to see Europe as an economic support system that could insulate Scotland from the disruptive effects of secession.

One of the major contentions of the SNP was the adverse affect of CAP. An important policy area for Scotland is fishing. Within the context of Europe, the British government has often allowed the Scottish Office representation in the Council of the EU regarding this specific sector. Although the Scottish Office, in the eyes of the SNP, is still British rule, it does suppose that eventually, with institutional learning within the Scottish parliament, the Scots could have direct representation in such matters as the German Lander have. In this way it could be seen as a precursor to direct Scottish participation in EU policy-making for sectors important to the region. Thus, the SNP's push for greater representation in the EU regarding certain sectors does distinguish them from other parties.


In the case of the CiU, it seems that European institutions and policies have improved the conditions of the major interests the party represents, including the industry and export sectors. Therefore, negative mobilization regarding EU policies has not been a problem and has not threatened the legitimacy of the Catalan government. In addition, EU policies have improved the general well being of the region of Catalonia. Thus, to be European continues to be part of Catalan identity.

In this way, the politicization of the Catalan identity via the CiU has remained pro-European and outward looking. The CiU has been able to present the EU as a way to improve its own region and to push forward its goal of more autonomy from Madrid.

On the other hand, the BNG has had a very different outlook toward the EU. European policies have had a negative impact upon the regional economy of Galicia, particularly in the milk and fishing sectors. In addition, EU regional development policy in the form of development funds has strengthened the position of the PP, which, in the eyes of the BNG, hurts the Galician nation. The BNG views the PP as a national party, which uses EU resources to reinforce their clientelistic networks, which does not ameliorate underdevelopment in the region. In addition, in response to EU policies there have been many mobilized interests, such as that of Galician farmers and fishers. Such protest has opened a political opportunity structure for the BNG, since both the PP and PSOE have a pro-European platform.

How has the mobilization of these interests in reaction to EU policies affected Gallego identity? In the past, Gallego identity has been based upon ideas of "historic debt," i.e., being the poor man of Spain and similar notions that portray Galicia as a victim of the Spanish state and its location. It seems that Europeanization has reinforced this identity. At the same time, it has provided a political opportunity for the BNG to gain greater voter support since, in the past, the party was perceived to be a threat to the agricultural sector due to its leftist image. Thus, the political identity as filtered through the BNG's political platform is an identity that is truly Gallego - outside of Europe, however, desiring to be inside of Europe - but the Spanish state prohibits this. Moreover, the BNG has utilized the negative effect of EU policies on Galicia to orient their anti-EU position in contrast to the PP or PSOE.

The SNP, in the beginning, followed a position similar to that of the Gallegos. They thought European integration would threaten the interests of Scotland. However, they differ from the BNG because they mainly perceived European integration as a threat to the aspiration of Scottish separatism. Since the goal of the SNP is specifically separatist, this added a different dimension to understanding their negative view of Europe. Later, the SNP found a new political space within the EU. The negative effects of EU policies such as CAP began to lessen, and the Scots became recipients of development funds, which allowed the SNP to strengthen its own position as it began to give benefits to its constituents. 

Thus, those interests that were initially hurt by European membership began to find their condition improving. The change in the Scottish constituencies' opinion of the EU thus allowed the notion of European integration to be acceptable within a Scottish identity. However, this differs from the Catalan identity, which is seen as both European and Catalan. It seems that the Scottish identity is not European, but Scots do not perceive the EU as a threat to their identity but instead as a possible opportunity structure to realizing a separate Scotland. Europeanization's effect upon the political identity of Scotland as it is vocalized by the SNP is the idea of a Scotland, unique in its own right, able to survive in its "pure form" within an integrated Europe.

Although the above is a rather cursory examination of specific cases, it does suggest that European integration has had varying degrees of success providing new political spaces for regional nationalist parties. The gap between where EU policies are formed and the politics of those policies has created opportunities for regional nationalist parties to set themselves apart from national parties or to reshape their own regional identities and political aspirations. As the democratic deficit of the EU persists and the EU continues to have varying positive and negative effects on the regions of Europe, regional nationalist parties gain new political opportunities.


Carolyn M. Dudek is an assistant professor at Hofstra University with a Ph.D.from the Universtity of Pittsburgh and a BA.from Canisius College.