This ground breaking book looks at the way in which the Committee of Regions (CoR) can influence EU policy making from below, despite its relatively weak position in the decision-making process. In essence, the authors argue that the CoR plays a significant role in the EU's political process, going well beyond its formally limited advisory function. By applying theoretical considerations about the expression of judgment and the formation of will in democratic systems, the authors develop a normative argument about why it is opportune that local and regional concerns be involved in shaping European Union decisions. Moreover, by looking at the institutional development of the Committee, and by analyzing its contribution in key policy areas, the book shows why the CoR is already a very important element of the multi-level democratic system of the European Union. Academics, researchers and students will benefit from the up-to-date analysis of the CoR. Functionaries in the EU institutions, European regions and localities, state bureaucracies and political party members will find the new insights provided in this book to be of interest.