30th Sep 2023

European super-region plan touted

Proposals are being put forward for the creation of a European super-region which could radically reshape the face of the Union.

In what is being billed as a reworking of the Austro-Hungarian empire, regions spanning four countries - Austria, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia - want to create a region of closer integration.

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According to the Guardian, unlike existing cross-border regional agreements this would cover more than one policy area. Most existing regional agreements cover only one or two policy areas.

If it were to go ahead, the plan would pose significant problems for those countries in Europe who have traditionally sought to limit the powers of the regions, such as France and the UK.

It may also serve as a catalyst for further integration projects.

According to Riccardo Illy, who represents the Italian region involved in the proposal, there is already a great deal of synergy between the regions: "They are used to economic and cultural exchanges, and close social relations", he told La Stampa.

The plan would also go some way to solving ongoing territorial disputes between Slovenia and Croatia. The two countries have recently clashed over sea boundaries, and the EU has refused to mediate.

Jörg Haider, a far-right regional politician in Austria, is said to have agreed to the plan in principle, as have some Croatian authorities, while it is said to be under discussion by the Slovenian government.


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