Local governments as subjects and objects of EU law: Legitimate limits?

Josephine van Zeben*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Local governments play important roles in the lives of European citizens by providing social services and acting as democratic focal points. These roles are increasingly shaped by European laws and policies, for example through the award of Regional Development Funds and the development of EU Urban Agenda. Member States consider the legal form and status of local governments to be part of their exclusive sphere of competence. This chapter investigates how local governments’ dependence on the Member States for their place in Europe jeopardizes the legitimation of governance in the EU by maintaining an artificial division between the national and EU’s spheres of influence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFraming the Subjects and Objects of Contemporary EU Law
EditorsSamo Bardutzky, Elaine Fahey
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781786435743
ISBN (Print)9781786435736
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Legitimacy
  • Local government
  • Participatory democracy
  • Subsidiarity


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