Rethinking the fundamentals of regions and interregionalism: The European Union and Latin America through the lenses of regional regulatory governance (Reg-EULAC)
Global governance increasingly proceeds through the creation of transnational regulations. Yet, the role of regions and interregional relations in regulatory integration remains unclear. Whereas the transnational regulation literature has assessed the complex interactions between international regulations and domestic institutions, regionalism and interregionalism studies have more strongly focused on formal, state-led forms of regulatory cooperation. Reg-EULAC aims to deepen our understanding of the interregional dynamics between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LAC). Informed by the notion of regional regulatory governance in combination with insights from the networks literature, the project intends to make two contributions. First, it will explore how and to what extent interregionalism relies on different formal and informal, and soft and mixed regulations and rules across different policy areas. Second, it will identify and map the constellations and networks of state and non-state, public and private actors, the relations, and interconnections that interweave both regions, leading to emerging forms of (inter)regional regulatory regimes. In all, Reg-EULAC will empirically test the increasing preponderance of soft and mixed (public-private) norms and standards, and networked regulatory structures and processes at the interregional level. It thus intends to promote a more appropriate understanding of the political and social rationales and processes that underpin EU-LAC relations. The project’s results may thus be relevant for scholars and academics, but also for decision makers and various stakeholders in Europe and Latin America as they rethink the bi-regional relationship in a period of profound global uncertainty.