Article

Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots

Soňa Čapková

in The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199562978
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199562978.003.0024

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots

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The Slovak Republic or Slovakia came into being after the dissolution of the Czechoslovak Federation which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Since gaining the status of an independent republic, Slovakia has adopted a parliamentary democracy system. And it has been regarded as one of the fastest reformers in the world, introducing ambitious reforms in all aspects of political and social strata. This article discusses the formation of Slovak subnational governments. In the 1990s, the decentralization of the Slovak government was introduced. This move of delegating public administration and of restoring autonomy in the local and municipal governments was faced with different dynamic changes. The principal aim of the public administration reform wherein the state power was distributed territorially and functionally between the state, the regional level, and the municipalities was spurred by the desire to establish an efficient and effective government close to the people. The decentralization of Slovakia provided local governments with additional flexibility in the policy processes. This flexibility proved to be instrumental in the facilitation of coordination with other policies, adaptation to local conditions, and participation in decision-making. Decentralization has allowed the local governments to improve quality of life for the citizens, influence changes in the law, improve the quality of government-provided goods and services, and enhance the representation of the interests of the people. In sum, subnational governments in the Slovakian context represented a substantial force in improving the quality of government in Slovakia.

Keywords: Slovak Republic; Slovakia; independent republic; parliamentary democracy; Slovak subnational governments; decentralization; public administration; municipal governments

Article.  8185 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Regional Political Studies ; Comparative Politics

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