Baltic Sea, Danube and macro-regional strategies: a model for transnational cooperation in the EU?
The flexible and task-specific approach that the EU macro-regional strategies, recently launched, for the Baltic Sea Region (2009) and the Danube Region (2010) may explain the enthusiasm they have drawn. However, although macro-regional strategies are pregnant with potential, it does not mean that this is a suitable instrument for all parts of Europe?
Transnational cooperation has emerged to address the ‘in-between issues’ that neither national and regional perspectives nor EU-wide perspectives gave sufficient attention. However, INTERREG programmes have been frequently criticised for creating additional administrative boundaries.
It is often argued that the strengths of the EU macro-regional strategies are the high-level of political commitment and the wide involvement of EU and national institutions in their development and implementation. Complex governance arrangements, however, present considerable challenges, as does the limited involvement of sub-national and non-EU actors.