Intergovernmental Relations in times of Law Harmonisation

EVA MARIA BELSER

Intergovernmental Relations in times of Law Harmonisation

Les relations intergouvernementales à l’ère de l’harmonisation juridique

This presentation will look at intergovernmental relations between subnational units as they evolve under the pressure to harmonise and analyse their effects on constitutional power-sharing, democracy and the rule of law. It will first examine recent developments in intergovernmental relations in Switzerland during the last decades and focus on inter-cantonal treaty-making as a mechanism to achieve inter-cantonal law harmonisation. The fact that more than 400 bi- and multilateral treaties are currently in force and that inter-cantonal conferences play an increasingly important role in adapting and implementing these concordats has raised the question whether a new inter-cantonal level of government is in the making. In sum, it attempts to answer the question whether horizontal cooperation between subnational units merely mirrors global trends to more executive-based legislation or contributes to this trend.

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