Local government in the Republic of Cyprus has experienced historical continuities that create burdens, limiting its ability to function well. Although the accession of Cyprus to the EU has provided local actors with access to a new political sphere, their overall condition has remained restrictive. This work uses EU’s regional policy as a case study to assess European integration’s impact on Cypriot local government during 2000-2012. The effects of European integration and the responses of local government to its challenges are analyzed via specific indicators, e.g. administrative structures, financial and human resources and the local politicians’ profile. This work offers a theoretically and empirically informed analysis based on specific analytical frameworks (Europeanization and historical institutionalism) and empirical data derived from structured questionnaires and semistructured interviews. It suggests that the burdens of the past acted as decelerating factors, limiting the effects of Europeanization and local governments’ responses to it.
Republic of Cyprus, local government, Europeanization, historical institutionalism, path dependence
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