What the Basque Country tells us about using local governance to level up

Research output: Other contributionBlog Post


The Basque Country, an industrial region of northern Spain with a population of just over two million, is widely admired for having undergone a remarkable, industry-focused economic transformation since it was hit by the decline of heavy industry in the 1980s. It is now one of the leading regions in Europe not only in terms of GDP per capita, but also in having a low percentage of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion. What takeaways from the Basque experience might be relevant to levelling up in the UK and the devolution framework needed to facilitate it? Through my research on the Basque governance systems, I’ve discovered that some of the most valuable lessons relate to how multi-level governance works within the Basque region itself and how that contributes to economic and social transformation. Devolution does not stop with the powers devolved to regional governments or authorities; the relationship between different stakeholders and layers of governance within a region or locality is equally important.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputThe Aston Angle
PublisherAston University
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022


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