commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

The work method applied during the negotiations was

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Unformatted text preview: ax competition because of its central geographic position and the limited size of its territory. Furthermore, consideration of Brussels’ specific nature in the reform is once again largely insufficient. It is not so much a question of the federal government’s financially assisting Brussels with respect to its role as a multiple capital but of finally recognizing its status as a City-State, as is 72 218 The Flemish region has already announced that it intends to adopt various measures in this regard, in particular the elimination of the radio-TV fee, a reduction in registration fees, estate taxes and duties on gifts, the tax on the opening of drinking establishments, and so on. Commission on Fiscal Imbalance 73 the case in other federal countries. Some observers have gone so far as to ask whether the application of a general 74 law system for Brussels is not purely and simply discriminatory. In the wake of voting on the Lambermont agreement, Belgian federalism is developing in the direction established by the reforms of 1980. The federal government is more decentralized at present and its fields of jurisdiction are diminishing for the benefit of the regions, not the communities. However, it appears that Belgium is heading for a more mature federalism, i.e. a federalism that is leaving more leeway for cooperation between federated entities, although one may regret that horizontal solidarity is declining and risks weakening this federal structure. There is hope with respect to the gains to be derived from a federal structure, above all if we give credence to the efforts announced in terms of the 75 management of taxation. The implementation of effective regional and community decision-making processes is one positive effect of tax competition, which compels the entities to be more efficient. As for the future, we know that this form of federalism is not permanent, because a federal structure is never stable, as witnessed by the permanent changes in federations as experienced as Switzerland, and because the Flemish community makes no secret of its desire for broader autonomy. All of the entities must be prepared for future progress. However, we must ensure that such progress is constructive and desired by all parties and do everything possible to avoid progress precipitated by the financial problems of one of the entities concerned, as has been the case this time.With regard to the form and organization of these negotiations, we wish to highlight the work method adopted and the concessions made in order to conclude the agreement. The work method applied during the negotiations was criticized on more than one occasion. Despite the avowed intention to achieve transparency and rigour, financing mechanisms continue to be extremely complicated, which leads to opacity in debate, directed by technicians instead of political representatives, an effect reinforced by the urgency of debate. A consequence of this urgency is that the effective implementation of the special act is not a...
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2013 for the course ECON 220 taught by Professor Paulo during the Spring '13 term at University of Liverpool.

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