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Federalism in Switzerland – Presentation

CONSTRUCTING TOMORROW’S FEDERALISMSaskatchewan Institute of Public PolicyUniversity of Regina and Forum of FederationsFederalism in Switzerland Kurt NuspligerChancellor of State, Berne, SwitzerlandProfessor of Constitutional LawUniversity of Berne 1.Introduction2.Federalism, democracy and power-sharing3.Self rule and shared rule4.Reform of the federal system5.A new challenge: federalism and globalization6.ConclusionFederalism in Switzerland95 % live in multicultural states40 % live in federal statesFederalism = possible solution to conflict in multicultural societies 1. IntroductionFederalism: a structure, a process and a political cultureThe national legitimacy of Switzerland is based on the legitimacy of municipal and cantonal democracies2. Federalism, Democracy and Power-sharingDemocracyReferendaPopular votes on parliamentary decisionsconstitutional amendments (Swiss people and the cantonslegislation (Swiss people)The popular initiativeSignaturesof 100 000 citizens requiredInvolving all political groupings in the exercise of powerProtecting minoritiesPower-sharingArt. 3 CantonsThe cantons are sovereign insofar as their sovereignty is not limited by the Federal Constitution; they shall exercise all rights which are not transferred to the Confederation.Self rule3. Self rule and shared ruleArt. 45 Participation in Federal Decision Making1In the cases foreseen by the Federal Constitution, the cantons shall participate in the decision-making process on the federal level, in particular in federal legislation.2The Confederation shall inform the cantons timely and fully of its plans; it shall consult them if their interests are affected.Shared ruleThe Senate46 delegates elected by the people of the cantons. Two seats per full canton, one seat per half canton.The House of Representatives200 representatives elected by the people according to the system of proportional representation.The Federal Government7 members, each indivdually elected by the Parliament.The Conference of the Cantonal GovernmentsPromoting the co-operation among the cantons influencing the political decisions on the federal level.Reform of Financial Equalization and Task Allocation between the Confederation and the cantons (RET).4. Reform of the federal systemReallocating the responsibilities of the Confederation and the cantons.Improving cooperation and financial restructuring between the Confederation and the cantons.Encouraging intercantonal cooperation.Key featuresInternational legislation with direct effect (EU)IMF, WTOMNEsNGOs 5. Federalism and Globalization150 years of Swiss federalismMultilevel legitimacyNew challenge EUSwitzerland between innovation and stagnation6. Conclusion