Federalism with Cooperation

09/07/2010

Elisa Chuliá: “Any serious consideration about significant institutional reforms has to be based on a detailed knowledge of other references and models. Germany has had 60 years to learn which Spain hasn’t had”

“We oscillate between a reformist paralysis and a hasty impulse to reform with a superficial analysis”

“There’s a strong coordination and cooperation inertia between federated States (länder) and the State. Länder want autonomy in education but they coordinate themselves so that no great differences arise between them”

Roland Sturm: “There’s very strong cooperation inertia between the central State and federated States”

“The reform of 2009 has a very important aim, cutting public expenditure, and that demands new formulae of territorial coordination”

“In Germany there’s a culture where länder cooperate between them, and not doing so is an exception, though it may seem a paradox in the logic of federalism”

“If we look at the German Constitution, federalism occupies a place of priority as it enjoys a perpetuity guarantee. It cannot be derogated either by the Parliament or any other institutions, not even by a majority of two thirds or by Parliament proposal”

“Germany’s structure is that of a federal State, where politicians have their own different administrative levels. However, in practice, citizens don’t support federalism. For that reason we can talk about federalism as an elite’s project, but not as a platform to conciliate different interests”

“Federated States have been deprived of the incentive which always made them demand resources to the federal State”

“The first tension between federalism and social State is the existence of a clause in the fundamental law which defines the federal State as a social State forced to guarantee the same living standard and social benefits across the whole territory”

“The central State cannot approve a law which entails a financial burden for the länder, it can only pass laws whose consequences will be economically assumed by the central State itself”

“From 2020, länder won’t be allowed to assume new debts. The German State has an exception of 0.35% of GDP, and 3% in justified cases. Länder have basically no autonomy in the fiscal sphere, they’ve been asked to save and they’ve not been given freedom to spend”