History of Regional Policy Development in European Union

European Union comprises the economic and political association between twenty-seven states (at present) with most members in Europe continent. The population totals over 450 million with a contributory income of thirty percent of the world economy. Through initiation and implementation of various policies, member states are guided to safeguard the freedom of movement of people, goods and capital among them. European integration originated at its first instance in 1951 from the six pioneered members through the formation of European Coal and Steel Community alongside the 1957 “Treaty of Rome”.

The integration enlarges with new members’ influx and regional policy implementation that serves as catalyst to other states. The Community formation was in response to gather or integrate European continent as this is the first in the institution of Federation of Europe following the World War II. Two other integrating communities were created in 1957 for reinforcement in the area of nuclear power generation and defense. Later in the year 1993, the commissioning of European Union took effect following Maastricht Treaty assumption of full existence.

Its goal was to form a unified establishment of countries with alliance in economic and political activities to embrace a single community and enforce cooperation among members. Assessing the Development of Regional Policy The primary mechanism for the development of regions in early European Union was the institution of European Union Regional policy. The regional policy is implemented by the set up commission who worked based on outcome of opinion intermingling between autonomous assessment and member state’s influence on policy drafting.

The policy aims among other things at improving the economic well-being from region to region. The pace and the regional coverage are directed by prioritized political consciousness and relevancy to the overall growth in the emerging globalized world. About a third of the European Union collective annual budget is earmarked towards the implementation or carrying out of this regional policy. Central to the commission’s duty is to erase any existing disparity in wealth across the European regions.

Furthermore, it is aimed at restructuring the architectural derailment of industries and assists the rural agricultural economy at such a way to encourage diversity of produce. In the historical lane, the scholars classified the model applied in the study of regional policy development strategy into two. These include the intergovernmental and supranational institutionalism. Interplay between the two also exists. Intergovernmental institutionalism empowers state as the sole actor who determines the tempo and direction of policy integration.

This institution is in turn, influenced by the active participation of the region involved in the political wave. As such, the strength of a region is an indication of priority of attention in implementing regional policy for development. The competitive requests of a state for advancement poise the government to enter supportive international agreement in order to press home their demand and boost the existing political support. This is done some times at the expense of other recessive region in an unnoticeable way.

In a state whose thirst for international politics coincides with the government interest to increase value for money, the regional political reform is thus accelerated. Intergovernmental approach in the early years of inception focuses on the primary interest of Germany, Britain and UK, which happens to be the most powerful states’ members of the union. Their interests include expansion of “pork barrel” on the international political scene. Thus, this informs the regional policy of the European Commission in the management of instituted European Regional Development Fund.

Intergovernmental approach also preaches that integration is the result of intellectual submission and voting processes from the upper arm of the government superior to the body; the Council of Ministers or the European Councils. It submits that the product of observable integration is as a result of members bargaining in terms of extent and permissible encroachment of borders. In the past, this form of policy allowed the prevailing decision of members with the most powerful bargaining tools owing to their economic input capabilities in the union. Less powerful states are shielded out with threat of expulsive policy.

In a way, this is so unhealthy for global development. It leads to demoralization of developing state members who are only struggling to have a say. For example, France, United Kingdom and Germany are the major players in 1988 and 1993 policy reforms (Pollack, 1995; Jennifer R. 2006) at the expense of others. To further buttress this fact, the developmental policy that instituted European Regional Development Fund (a component of Structural Fund) would have reached a dead end but for the intervention of Ireland and Italy who supported one of the major players.

In return, the Economic and Monetary Union assisted the poorer states in lifting the face of their budget from shortage of fund to implement the so called “pet project” among the members’ state. According to Moravcsik (1998; Jennifer R. 2006), intergovernmental model of policy reform is perceived as being vulnerable to periodic change since it is constantly subjected to bargain among member states.