Cities as Partners in Governmental Processes
Author: Mgr. Vratislav Havlík, Ph.D.
The present European studies research is more focused on the procedural aspect of the EU foreign policy than it had been in the past. It is not merely about the general interpretation of events and searching for trends, but also about deeper understanding of the present in terms of the process. Putting emphasis on new not so much explored topics goes hand in hand with the developing research of European politics. To these topics belong also local policies related to European integration. Cities, as a currently discussed actor in European integration, began to fall within the interests of European studies more significantly only since the reform and development of the EU regional policy at the end of 1980s. This is mainly related to the then newly-established principle of partnership, which engaged the cities as well as the economic and social actors into the specific stages of the regional policy formation. Since that, a city has been perceived as a relevant actor; however, the spectrum of its power and possibilities in the EU policy formation still appears unclear and more or less unexplored. The publication thus tries to offer an overview of real possibilities of Czech and German cities within the framework of multi-level governance of EU regional policy using a comparative perspective, which would serve as a base for further study, either on the basis of examination of a sample of other countries or other common EU policies.