chapter  14
14 Pages

The Euro-region and the C-6 Network: The New Politics of Sub-national Co-operation in the West Mediterranean Area

This chapter aims to shed light on the processes of co-operation among three regions - Catalonia, Languedoc-Roussillon and MidiPyrenees - and six cities - Barcelona, Montpellier, Palma de Mallorca, Toulouse, Valencia and Zaragoza - known respectively as the West Mediterranean Euro-region and the C-6 network. Despite the fact that the two groups are led by the Catalan government and the city of Barcelona respectively and seek to reach similar objectives by using complementary - or at least non contradictory - strategies, they are not only unco-ordinated but even competitive. This is not surprising, given the political and personal rivalries between the two main political institutions in Catalonia and their respective leaders. Nevertheless, both experiments are based not on partisan considerations, but on political pluralism. This is especially true in the case of C-6. It is interesting to note that, besides the increasing European orientation of Catalonia, Barcelona's international activism to a large extent results, paradoxically, from the abolition of its metropolitan government by the regional government in 1988.