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Unformatted text preview: rentiation is needed to attain a somewhat uniform service delivery or will foster national integration or disintegration
at the same time. Again, education and primary schools can serve as an illustration. Subsidiarity and asymmetry are
certainly needed and useful if the objective is to preserve or promote cantonal historical and cultural diversity: Geneva
and Zürich have neither the same approach nor the same tradition in teaching History, which in turn differs in a bilingual
Canton like Valais or Fribourg. There is no objective necessity for uniformity. But the Cantons have to harmonise and
partly succeeded in harmonising their public school programs because of the increasing mobility (private and
professional) of parents between the Cantons. This has been achieved and is operative through intercantonal
agreement ("concordat intercantonal" ). 8
9 WALSH 1993, p. 32-35 summarises the normative arguments.
The largest part of 1 803 millions SFr. (1 138 millions = 63 %) goes to the two Federal Polytechnics in Zurich and Lausanne and research Institutes.
500 millions SFr (27 %) served for granting the Universities; and 323 millions SFr (18 %) for the Swiss National Fund of Research. 69 Commission on Fiscal Imbalance Yet, for example, the Cantons were unable to agree on the beginning of the school year (Spring or Autumn) to the point
that it had to be fixed in the federal Constitution (article 62 in the 1999 Constitution) after a popular vote in September 22
1985 with the double majority of the voters and the Cantons. Nowadays, teaching a second national language is at the
crux of a difficult dispute. While a majority of the Cantons (and all the French speaking Cantons or with a French
speaking majority) advocates learning in first priority the second national language (German for the French speaking,
and inversely) for reason of national cohesion, the Canton of Zürich decided in 2000 that, in public schools, the place of
English will be as important as French as a second language for reason of economic realism and globalisation. This has
been criticised by many Cantons, included German-speaking ones, qualifying the decision an arrogant, disruptive and
anti-confederal move. A federal parliamentary proposal is now in the way to oblige all the Cantons to consider the other
national language as the first priority. If it succeeds, this will be another step towards creeping legal centralisation. 3.3.3. Centralisation Table 2 gives the relative shares of each level of government in total public expenditures for the period 1970 to 1998.
These figures give over the first period almost stable proportions of the division of the public sector between the three
layers. In the 1970-80, the proportions were 32 per cent for federal expenditures, 39 per cent for the Cantons and 29 per
cent for the communes. In 1998, these percentages were respectively 33, 40 and 27, which represents a slight increase
of the federal and cantonal shares to the detriment of the communes.
Although statistical data show that the relative shares of each tiers have not much changed over the p...
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