Europeanization and government formation in multi-level systems: Evidence from the Czech Republic
The development towards a 'Europe of the Regions' is accompanied by a complex system of cooperation and interdependence between the different levels of policy-making. In this article, we ask how European integration affects the party composition of regional governments. We argue that the European Union (EU) classification system of regions - the 'Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics' (NUTS) - establishes incentives to form similar coalition governments among regions that belong to the same NUTS area. We test our argument by analysing government formation in the Czech regions and thus in one EU member state whose regions benefit financially from EU structural policy. The results show that there is empirical evidence to support our main hypotheses: even when controlling for variables that reflect standard coalition theories and for patterns of party competition in the national sphere, we find that coalitions are more likely to form if the respective parties are also part of the government in the regions that belong to the same NUTS area.
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