The focus of this chapter concerns subnational, regional and local interest representation at the European level, and in particular the perspectives of territorial public authorities. However, in practice distinctions between territorial public authorities and territorially based interests are difficult to make, because territorial public authorities work to attract, promote and protect key private interests within their domain. Indeed, the levels of complexity involved in territorial interest representation are perhaps greatest of all, because a territorial level can be a channel of influence for private interests, and a set of interests within itself, and because what constitutes a region means different things in different member states. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is both a decision-making structure for regions and a source of interest representation in its own right. Collective action issues applicable to other actors do not arise in the same way for territorial public authorities, because they are a distinct level of governance, sometimes intertwined with national interests, sometimes separate, and with a whole range of competencies and interests. Indeed, the territories of the regions comprise the entire EU itself, and there is competition between them in the internal market, and, to an extent, for regional funding initiatives.
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