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10 Regional Governance Arrangements Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská and Veronika Chobotová Recent decades have witnessed in many parts of the world a shift of authority away from states up to regional levels. Where regions have become stronger, regional governance has often transformed the coordination of social relations, including informal and formal institutions, the role of different actors, and the nature of decision-making processes (Rosenau 1992, 1997; Rhodes 1996; Stoker 1998; Hooghe and Marks 2003; Bache and Flinders 2004; Jordan 2008). This process is particularly relevant in European regional integration, which is thus the focus of this chapter. In particular, we study the influence of regional governance arrangements on the new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe. These countries had been characterized, before they joined the Union, by hierarchical modes of governance and the absence of strong markets, along with the exclusion of business community and civic actors from policy making (Kluvánková-Oravská et al. 2009). Our primary concern is how interactions between national and EU institutions result in convergence or divergence of environmental policies in the new Central and Eastern European member states. Massive institutional changes in these countries since the late 1980s reflect a political, economic, and social transformation from socialist political and economic institutions to democratic and market-oriented institutions. Yet the ability of the new democratic governments to develop appropriate institutions for multilevel governance has been affected by institutional rebuilding, particularly the interaction of new, mainly European Union, and postsocialist institutions. The dispersion of competencies from the European Union to national and subnational levels as well as respective bottom-up processes back to the regional level was also transposed into the environmental directives on the governance of natural resources (Bache and Flinders 2004). The 220 Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská and Veronika Chobotová involvement of nonstate actors in EU governance aims at a deliberative approach to implementation rather than a linear model of dispersing action from the supranational to lower levels and an intention to support bottom-up decision making (Baker 2006). The conditions for multiactor collaboration and network approaches to public policy making have been enhanced by the adoption of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters from 1998, along with a number of EU directives. Civil society actors are also considered an important source of information and novel ideas (Kluvánková-Oravská et al. 2009). Yet the Aarhus Convention grants participatory rights primarily for representative participation at the local level, and it is thus subject to limitations (Baker 2006). In this chapter, we analyze factors that may explain the convergence or divergence between EU policies and domestic biodiversity policies in three Central and Eastern European countries: Poland, the Czech Republic , and Slovakia. We are interested especially in the links and interactions between domestic institutions and EU environmental policies and institutions . In particular, we analyze the role of informal institutions, such as institutional maturity, leadership, or organizational culture. The analysis covers the period from 1990 to 2009. We discuss first the theoretical concept of institutional change, particularly institutional coevolution in Central and Eastern Europe. We then give examples of interactions between the European Union and domestic policies in Central and Eastern Europe.We finally explain the convergence or divergence between the biodiversity policies in Central and Eastern Europe and the EU standards , and then conclude our analysis. Conceptualization Our theoretical notion of institutional change draws on research on Central and Eastern Europe in the broader context of multilevel regional environmental governance (Bromley 2000; Gatzweiler and Hagedorn 2002; Kornai, Matyas, and Roland 2008; Roland 2008). The evolution of governance in Central and Eastern Europe is characterized by institutional change, notably from state-led, command-andcontrol systems to democratic governance and market economy. In socialism, the property rights to means of production were predominantly held by state agencies. To facilitate top-down control, many internal institutions of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe were Regional Governance Arrangements 221 replaced with externally designed, predominantly prescriptive institutions , and central planning substituted for the spontaneous coordination of markets (Kasper and Streit 1998). Yet because Central and Eastern European countries were politically and economically diverse (e.g., with regard to the level of industrialization and centralization, the existence of small-scale market operations, socialist control, and ideological isolation ), these countries started the transformation from very different points of development (Kluvánková-Oravská et al. 2009). This has largely determined the capacity of individual...


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