Multi-level governance

Unlike other approaches that try to compare the EU to other entities or pre-existing models (federalism for example), multi-level governance (MLG) assumes that the EU is sui generis (unique).

Theorists who advance MLG present a multi-layered view of the EU.

For them, EU member states are an important, perhaps the most important, part of the European polity, but they are not the only influential actors. Others, including supranational organisations and sub-national actors, also play a significant role operating at different ‘levels’, all impacting on EU developments.


However, MLG has been criticised for its lack of explanatory ability. It has been claimed that, while a useful tool of analysis that captures the complexity of the EU, MLG lacks theoretical focus and offers little in the way of explanatory power.

What do you think?

Read about multi-level governance here.