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The Principle of Separation of Powers in Crisis: Intergovernmental Relations in Comparative Perspective

Chapter

Abstract

Every decentralized state has got the problems about the relationships between the different institutional levels. One kind of relationships can be expressed by the Senate, but in some decentralized States the Second Chamber is no longer perceived as an effective mechanism of representation of the regional (or federated) entities.

Therefore, interstate federalism can be preferred to intrastate federalism, increasing the role of government branch as to legislative assemblies.

The co-operation among institutional levels gives birth to a tight network of relation between the different levels of government and is substantiated with a variety of involved actors and concrete procedures. To have a classification of these relations, the doctrine referred to institutional and functional cooperation. The first drove to the creation of some organs that gather both state bodies and regional and local ones. The “State–Regions” Conference is a significant example, together with the Conferencias sectoriales in Spain or the Joint committee in the U.K. Hereafter, our attention will move to the co-operation forms between government levels from which acts and procedures arise. Such acts and procedures are a result of the meeting between the different representatives of the administrations. This helps to speed up the administrative process and to improve, then, the public performance quality. For instance, we can cite the Austrian o¨ffentlich-rechtliche Vertra¨ge

In conclusion, I’d like to underline two points: One, there is an increase of intergovernmental relationships in the decentralized States. This trend can be explained with the reason to give the regional level a collective voice in the national policy process, especially, where no regional second chambers exist. The second point is: the institutions of intergovernmental relationships are clearly important for the development of coherent policy, but they can reduce the legislative role. The intergovernmental institutions operate in a space between the region and the Member state levels, and as the decisions reached are a compromise between executives, neither the member state parliament nor the regional legislature will be responsible for the decisions taken. Despite this, they may be obliged to follow these decisions.

Keywords

Judiciary power Legislative power Multilevel state 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenoaGenovaItaly

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