URGENT DECENTRALIZATION PROBLEMS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AT A REGIONAL LEVEL: POLITICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND SOCIOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS

Yevheniy Haydanka

Abstract


This article proposes a comparative analysis of the modern Czech decentralization model and its institutional peculiarities. The author explores, in a comparative context, administrative-territorial features of local municipalities, consistent patterns of local budgeting, and the fragmentation of the political and party systems in the Czech Republic. The article provides expert findings with regard to contemporary problems with decentralization. On the basis of a wealth of empirical evidence (verified statistics and the findings of an expert sociological survey), the author draws conclusions on the efficiency of the contemporary Czech decentralization model. The article discusses the idea that, through the lens of political issues, numerous confrontations arise in Regional Assemblies between the two key-players (AN0-2011 and ČSSD). The author outlines the substantial dependence of local budgets on state subventions that comprise up to 35–43% of the total budget. The sociological survey conducted in May 2017 suggests that the majority of decentralization problems occur due to uneven economic growth in regions, as well as insufficient political influence upon decentralization processes, as the efficiency of the present decentralization model does not rise above 60%. The results of the study’s findings on the problems with and prospects of decentralization, as well as positive or negative experiences with decentralization in the Czech Republic, may be applicable for similar institutionalization problems in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Keywords


Czech decentralization model; political fragmentation of Regional Assemblies; local budgets allocation, administrative and political decentralization levels.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/VPA-20-19-2-08

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603