Think European, Act Local – Empowering the Voices of Local Governance within EU Policy-Making

Research Paper by Matteo Brizzi



This paper sheds light on how a greater involvement of local and regional councillors within EU policy-making could empower European democracy

This paper aims to understand whether an empowered engagement of local and regional representatives in EU affairs would have a positive effect on European democracy.

The first step is the adoption of the multilevel governance approach (MLG) to analyze the process of European integration. MLG, based on the interdependence of (European) governments at different territorial levels, provides proper attention to the involvement of local governors within European policymaking. Afterwards, three European programs are selected as examples of fostered dialogue between the local and the European decision-makers.

Building Europe with Local Councillors, the Young Elected Politician Programme, and BridgEU analyzed through qualitative interviews to 5 key informants, attempting to understand the main goals, features as well as to find possible improvements.

The result of such analysis will indeed take the shape of 10 policy recommendations and institutional reforms aimed to better involve local leaders within EU policymaking and, ultimately, to strengthen European democracy.


About the author

Matteo Brizzi is Vicepresident of Young Democrats for Europe, city councillor of Massa e Cozzile (Italy) and founder of Young European Society. He holds a cum laude bachelor degree in Development economics and International cooperation at the University of Florence, a cum laude magister degree in International affairs at the Alma Mater University of Bologna and an Advanced Master in European Integration at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His political mission is to bring "Europe at home", getting the EU – with its opportunities, policies and funds – closer to cities and youth.

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