The future of local self

January 27, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Sociology, Globalization
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The Future of Local Self-Government in Europe Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

“The local and regional dimension of European democracy was born out of the conviction that the excessive concentration of power in the national centers must be counterbalanced by stronger development of the power base at the grassroots, at local and regional level.”

(Keith Whitmore, 2011) Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Structure

 Importance of Local Self-Government in Europe  Different Local Government Cultures in Europe

 Trajectories of Reform  The Changing Role of Local Government  Challenges and Future Prospects

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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The Importance of Local Self-Government 91,200 municipalities 1,100 second-tier LG 50% of EU-total public employment

Ø 16% of EU-GDP 34% of EU-public spending

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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The Importance of Local Self-Government: More than service-delivery!  Participation: opportunity for people to be directly involved in democratic processes (grass roots democracy)  Trust: considerably higher in the local/regional authorities than in national governments (Eurobarometer)  Stability: local level in Europe important for stabilization/ acceptance of national/supra-national political systems  Counterbalance: to centralizing tendencies (EUintegration/globalization)  Reform-Frontrunners: most active level in some countries (reform pressure; seriously affected by crisis)  Proximity: Direct contact to the citizens/voters  But: is there a “one and best way” of LG in Europe? Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Different Local Government Cultures in Europe North Middle Europ. Group (e.g. Germany, Sweden)

Franco Group/ Napoleonic tradition (e.g. France, Italy, Spain)

Anglo Group (e.g. UK, Ireland)

Functionally strong municipalities

Functionally weak municipalities; strong territorial state

“Ultra vires”-principle; functionally strong municipalities

single purpose model of locally operating state offices

multi purpose model of local self-government

Partly separation (Sweden)/ partly integration (Germany) of state and local government tasks; weak (Sweden)/ medium (Germany) control from above

Integration of state and local government tasks = fused system; strong control from above

Separation of state and local government tasks = separational system/ dual polity; weak control from above

Politically strong, parliamentary/presidential

Politically strong; powerful mayors; cumul des mandats

Politically weak, no community identity/ leadership

multi purpose model of local self-government

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Different Local Government Cultures in Europe:

Territorial Variances

 North-European Type: Large-scale units; „big is beautiful“ (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, UK; some German States, e.g. NRW, Hesse)  South-European Type: Small-scale units; mainly Napoleonic State tradition (France, Italy, Portugal,

Spain, Greece; some German States, e.g. RhP, SH)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Different Local Government Cultures in Europe:

Traditions of Local Service Provision

Tradition of

Tradition of

Local Self-Production

Contracting Out

- Régie; municipal empires;

- Purchaser-Provider-Split;

Stadtwerke; municipalizzate

PPP, model of délégation,

- Germany (except social

concessions, local

services), Sweden,

governance

Italy, UK

-France (big private firms)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Trajectories of Reform: similar discourses; different paths Privatization Marketization (NPM)

Managerialism and Outputoriented Steering (NPM)

Decentralization/ Regionalization

Territorial Consolidation

Corporatization/ Formal Privatization

Agencification; Separation Politics Administration

Federalization/ Regionalization

Municipal Mergers/ Amalgamation (coercive vs. voluntary)

Asset Privatization/ New Shareholders

Performance Management, Benchmarking, Contract Management

Political/ Administrative Decentralization

Regional-Scale Counties/ County Mergers

Contracting Out/ Functional Privatization/ Délégation

Public Service Reforms/ Performance Related Pay; Flexible Employment Conditions

Administrative De-concentration

Inter-municipal / Regional Cooperation; Regional governance

Trajectories of Reform:

Decentralization/De-Concentration 





Political Decentralization: Transfer of state tasks including political decision-making competencies for the local council (France)  but: units too small Administrative Decentralization: Transfer of state tasks without political decision-making competencies for the local council (Germany)  but: decrease in local autonomy/reductions in voluntary tasks/privatizations De-Concentration: Creation of locally operating single purpose state agencies substituting local governments (England)  but: more state intervention

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Persisting Differences:

Proportion of Public Sector Employees by Level (2005) Municipal

State/Region

National

Special Sector

Germany

35%

France

30%

53%

Federal 12%

51%

Public Health System 19.0%

U.K.

56%

16.9%

National Health Service 26%

Sweden Italy

83% 13.6%

17% 3.8%

54.7%

Public Health System 20.3%

Spain

23.6%

49.9%

22.5%

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Trajectories of Reform: Territorial Consolidation North-European Reform Type

South-European Reform Type

“Up-Scaling”; Mergers Enforcement of mergers through binding legislation Subordination of municipality under parliamentary decision-making authority Objective: Performance improvements; efficiency, effectiveness, productivity UK, S, DK, German states (NRW, HE)

Small-scale municipal structures preserved; further fragmentation Principle of Voluntariness: Mergers only with consent of municipalities Inter-municipal formations as instead of mergers Massive local resistance to territorial reform F, I, many CEE countries; German states (RhP, SH)

Ø Inhabitants per municipality

Ø km²

% municipalities < 5,000 PT

% municipalities > 100,000 PT

Czech Rep.

1,640

13

96

5

France

1,720

15

95

37

Hungary

3,170

29

91

9

Spain

5,430

62

85

58

Estonia

5,930

199

80

2

Germany

6,690

29

77

81

Italy

7,270

37

71

43

Greece

10,750

128

53

8

Finland

12,660

813

52

6

Poland

15,390

126

25

39

Bulgaria

29,090

420

11

11

Sweden

31,310

1,552

4

13

Denmark

55,480

440

3

6

Lithuania

56,570

1,088

2

5

139,480

562

Not relevant

68

5,410

47

82*

500

Country

UK EU27

The Changing Role of Local Government in Europe:

Trends towards Strengthening

 Functional dimension: de-centralization, transfer of state tasks = upgrading of LGs functional profile; more decisionmaking competencies of local councils (political de-centr.)  Political dimension: introduction of participatory elements, direct democracy, citizen involvement, consultations  Territorial dimension: up-scaling of LG-boundaries, territorial consolidation (amalgamation/cooperation), more viable LG-structures  Administrative dimension: citizen and costumer-oriented administrative structures/procedures; performance improvements, competition/benchmarking (NPM) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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The Changing Role of Local Government in Europe:

Trends towards Weakening

 Functional dimension: over-burdening of LGs/losses in autonomy due to excessive devolution of state tasks; hollowing out through (NPM/EU-triggered) privatization  Political dimension: strengthening of local executives (direct election) to the disfavour of the council; weakening of the council due to contracting-out/privatization  Territorial dimension: Growing institutional thickness through new “inter-municipal” levels, regional bodies, cooperation structures (e.g. France, Italy); transaction costs  Administrative dimension: negative effects of NPM (steering deficits; fragmentation; decreasing staff motivation; increasing state intervention, e.g. UK) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Challenges and Future Prospects:

Task Portfolio

 Challenges: • Increasing functional responsibilities; partly without equivalent (political) decision-making competencies (e.g. Germany) = “false de-centralization” • More tasks with supra-local impacts (environment, pollution control) • Increasingly interconnected tasks; cross-cutting policies

 Requirements for the future: • Emphasis on political decentralization – including the council (see Sweden, France) instead of only administrative decentr. (Germany) • Supra-local tasks cannot solely be discharged by local authorities (bad experiences in Germany)  not all tasks transferrable • Strengthening cross-policies-coordination in the territory  principle of “territoriality” (instead of only “functionality”) • Strengthening the territorial basis for viable LGs (consolidation) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Challenges and Future Prospects:

Local Finances/Resources

 Challenges: • Increased demands to cope with fiscal constraints (financial crisis  particularly South European LGs affected; Germany, too, debt brake) • More tasks, less resources (e.g. LG-staff cutbacks in Germany by 1/3 since 1990  decreasing quality of service delivery?)

 Requirements for the future: • Solid resource basis for local task fulfilment + noticeable fiscal autonomy as core requirement for viable local self-government • Critical review of re-centralization tendencies, e.g. UK: % of local taxes: 80  40  14 (Thatcher)  22 (Blair)  Coalition Gov.? • Learning from good practices, e.g. Sweden (70% local taxes); increased proportion also in France (60%)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Challenges and Future Prospects:

Democratic Participation/Political Accountability  Challenges: • Increasing disenchantment with politics/representative democracy (decreasing turnouts/party memberships) • Increasing demands of local electorate to be (directly) involved in decision-making processes (engagement in interest groups etc.) • Strengthened political accountability of the directly elected mayor (partly also recall possible)  too much mayoral powers? (France)

 Requirements for the future: • Finding instruments/procedures to continuously include various local interests into decision-making processes • Participation management in LG; avoid participation overkill (France) • Implementation of results; take participation results seriously in political decision-making processes (although not legally binding) • More direct democracy (local referenda etc.; exp. of Germany) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Challenges and Future Prospects:

Europeanization/EU-Policy-Making  Challenges: • Centralizing effects of EU-integration • LG involvement in EU-decision-making considered inadequate • EU-regulation as a burden for local policy implementation; bureaucratization; overburdening of the local level • EU-liberalization policies as a danger for traditionally protected local markets (e.g. German “Stadtwerke”)

 Requirements for the future: • Enhancing local EU-competencies (internal organization, staff qualification; EU-Lobbying; inter-local cross border cooperation etc.) • Further strengthening of local self-government as a fundamental basis of EU-integration and in EU-law (see Lisbon treaty) • Watching over the compliance with the subsidiarity principle in Europe to guarantee task fulfilment at the best suited level Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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“The Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government (…).” (Art- 3a sec. 2, Treaty of Lisbon 2009)

„The Union’s blindness regarding local selfgovernment has come to an end since the Lisbon-Treaty.“ (Articus; Chief Executive of the German Cities‘ Assoc.; 2009) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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Thank you for your attention!

Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

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