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commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

133 134 according to these authors the principle of

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Unformatted text preview: subsidies to or from other jurisdictions. This analysis is embodied in the concept of subsidiarity (pp. 133-134). According to these authors, the principle of decentralization or subsidiarity is a fundamental principle in the allocation of fields of jurisdiction among a country’s orders of government. In the case of Switzerland, Bernard Daflon goes so far as to say that the principle has doubtless been more scrupulously observed than elsewhere and that, as a result, “the power to decide and finance the provision of public services has remained largely (and jealously) in decentralised hands, in the cantons or in the communes” (p. 63). Sonja Wälti confirms this: As for the division of jurisdictions, the Swiss federal Constitution stipulates a strict concept of subsidiarity, i.e. unless the Constitution attributes a jurisdiction explicitly to the Confederation, it is within the competence of the cantons (p. 104). [OUR TRANSLATION] Paul Bernd Spahn points out that: the concept of subsidiarity – cherished in the Maastricht-Treaty as protecting the sovereignty of nation states and lower tiers of government against supranational interference – has become an attractive guiding principle for reorganizing the relationship between the German federation and its states (p. 182). Under the subsidiarity principle, centralized delivery of services is desirable only when it is more efficient. In a federal context, there necessarily exists a tension between efficiency criteria that favour a degree of centralization in some fields and the principles of separation, autonomy and participation, principles that are key to the operation of a federation. In this regard, there is no ready-made solution. However, as Bernard Dafflon points out, one principle remains: the federal government may not impose its concept of “efficiency” on the other order of government. Thus, the principles of federalism prevail in a federation, not the subsidiarity principle. These efficiency criteria that may be raised are, according to the authors, the presence of significant economies of scale and the existence of substantial externalities.10 According to these criteria, it is efficient to assign exclusive jurisdiction regarding national defence to the federal order, for instance. While Bernard Dafflon suggests that centralized delivery may enable better coordination of policies given the presence of externalities, he also recognizes that cooperation among governments of federated entities provides an efficient instrument in such cases. Paul Bernd Spahn also mentions that and cites the case of the conferences of ministers of the Länder in Germany, which act in a coordinated way to adopt common principles in various matters. Bernard Dafflon describes the extent, in Switzerland, of so-called “horizontal” cooperation among the cantons. There are many cooperative mechanisms going to the extent of horizontal transfers through which the cantons reciprocally compensate each other for benefits generated by the publ...
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