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federalism government political system topThe principle of self-government is inextricably linked to the principle of federalism. In the modern sense, federalism is a form of state structure, which provides for the existence of two levels of government – regional and national. At the same time, the regional, as well as the national, have real autonomy, political and economic, which is extremely important. And what is very important is that these two levels of government are not subordinate to each other. They enter into a relationship of agreement with each other, not hierarchical subordination.

The essence of true federalism is, above all, a culture of compromise between the central government and the regions, between large and small nations, and between the various subjects of the federation. Federalism promotes a common civic identity, but a common civic identity also links the geopolitical space of the federal state. Today, half of the globe lives under federalist governments. The demand for federalist constitutions is not surprising since federalism is an instrument for resolving one of the most urgent problems of the modern world: it enables rather effective management of sprawling and enlarging territories. And this trend is the result of rapid technological changes.

Example of Federalism

The Kingdom of Belgium is a constitutional monarchy comprising three communities, three regions, and four linguistic zones. Belgium was formed as a unitary state, but it became a unique multilevel federation at the end of the 20th century through successive constitutional reforms. The regions are responsible for managing the economy, including foreign trade and the imposition of local taxes and fees, territorial development, the environment, road construction, etc. There are now voices in prosperous Flanders calling for a move toward a confederal structure of the country in which only foreign policy and defense issues would remain the center’s responsibility.

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