Constitutional and legal principles of regionalization in European countries: structural and functional characteristics of the mechanism of public power
Keywords:regionalization, regionalism, decentralization
The article analyzes the basic principles of regionalization in European countries and highlights the key features of the mechanism of functioning of public authorities in the context of regionalization. The European experience convincingly shows that an effective decentralized system of territorial organization of public power and administration is an integral part of a modern democratic state governed by the rule of law. The institutional basis for such a system is effective local government and balanced regional development. Decentralization and regionalization are interconnected: regionalization cannot occur without decentralization. Regionalization is, in fact, decentralization, taking into account the regional characteristics of the state.
Based on the principle of division of powers, for each democratic state it is necessary to delineate the competence of public authorities. In turn, it is extremely important to determine the optimal level of concentration of power powers for each institutional link in the public power system - with the subsequent transfer of “excess” powers to the subjects as close as possible to the population, that is, their decentralization.
Regionalization means a way of defining and delimiting tasks and functions, in which most of them are transferred from the level of central bodies to a lower level and become their own tasks and powers of lower-level bodies, in particular, regions. Governance at the local level and in local affairs can be carried out in two ways: both by officials of the state apparatus appointed “from above”, functioning “on the ground” (officials of state authorities), and by local governments and other entities authorized by the state. It can also be noted that the share of administrative activities is assigned to regional bodies or other state-authorized entities. This decentralization of power in the state contributes to the development of democracy, because there is an expansion of the influence of territorial communities, social groups and the public on the implementation of public functions of government in order to optimally meet the diverse needs of the population.
Regionalization is associated with the process of redistribution of public power resources (including power) between different levels and centers of public power in two directions: from the state to its internal formation (autonomies, subjects of the federation), and also from the state to cross-border structures and international centers public authorities (trans-European regions, international organizations, transnational corporations). Regionalism should be understood as an interconnected political and economic system that ensures the special status of regional entities in the political system of the state, the participation of regions in the implementation of state power, European integration and international relations, their relative economic and fiscal independence in a unitary and/or federal state. Regionalism is also expressed in policies that stimulate the endowing the regions with a certain degree of political independence. Regionalism is associated with the desire and movement of regions towards freedom of self-government, preservation and respect of their traditional culture and peculiar institutions.
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