The European Union created a Committee of the Regions to represent Regions of Europe as the layer of EU government administration directly below the nation-state level. The Committee has its headquarters in Brussels.
Reasons given for this include:
the historic and cultural claims for autonomy in many regions all over the EU
strengthening the political and economic situation in those regions
The term ‘region’ as used here includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are non-sovereign countries, referred to as separate countries, even though collectively they form the country known as the United Kingdom they are recognised as countries by the UK Government and are not referred to as regions.
Some nation states which have historically had a strong centralized administration have transferred political power to the regions. Examples of this include the devolution of power in the UK (the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998) and the current negotiations in France concerning increased autonomy for Corsica. Some other states have traditionally had strong regions, such as the Federal Republic of Germany or the autonomous communities of Spain; yet others have been structured on the basis of national and municipal government with little in between.