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Consultation, Consensus, Compromise – Switzerland’s Slow and Slightly Stubborn Style of Self-Governance

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Каним Ви на втората лекция от поредицата ‘Швейцарско-български конституционни дискурси“. Лекцията ще се състои на 24 ноември 2023 г. (петък) от 17 часа в Аулата на Ректората на СУ „Св. Климент Охридски“. Лектор ще бъде проф. Ева-Мария Белзер (директор на Института по федерализъм във Фрибург, Швейцария). Модератор е доц. д-р Мартин Белов (заместник-декан на ЮФ на СУ „Св. Климент Охридски“). Лекцията ще бъде на английски език. По-долу можете да видите кратко представяне на съдържанието на лекцията, както и на лектора.


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Consultation, Consensus, Compromise – Switzerland’s Slow and Slightly Stubborn Style of Self-Governance

When the cantons of Switzerland in 1848 came together to establish the Confederation celebrating its 175st anniversary this year a number of actors remained sceptical about the new federal authorities and only reluctantly delegated competences to the new centre. The principle of subsidiarity, only codified in 1999, had always been a core element of the Swiss power sharing arrangement: Diversity as a rule, unity only when required. The country owes its success to this positive approach to cantonal differences but also to its unique form of semi-democratic decision-making. The people can initiate constitutional changes and veto legislative acts at any time and are therefore broadly consulted before any decision is made. Governing in Switzerland is mostly about taking concerns seriously and making compromises. Such complex system of federal consideration and popular determination units the Swiss and makes their decision-making processes consensus-oriented. The country thus not easily adapts to new domestic challenges and international trials which do not always go well with the slow and slightly stubborn ways of the Swiss governance system. It is therefore likely that Switzerland's constitutional system will continue to evolve constantly, taking surprising changes along the way.


Short Bio

Eva Maria Belser holds a chair in constitutional and administrative law at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and an UNESCO chair in human rights and democracy. She is co-director of the Institute for Federalism and heads its international section. Her research interests relate to comparative constitutional law and constitution-making, federalism, decentralisation and globalisation, human and minority rights, democracy, and the rule of law. She regularly accepts mandates to serve as an expert in international cooperation projects and is involved in numerous consultancy activities. In 2019, she has been awarded the Federalism Prize. Currently, she is the president of the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS), a member of the Advisory Board of International IDEA, and the vice-dean of the Law Faculty.