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When is confederalism a path to more democracy?

Switzerland can be considered as a confederal state. The theory purists define it as a number of autonomous states that decide to create a lightweight union, delegating to the confederal level what they can't address adequately at the state level. If one includes states that are composed of states that were never fully autonomous but still operate with states within the state, the many more countries can be called a confederal state. Think about Germany, United Kingdom, Unites States of America and many more.

One could use another criterium. For example in the Basque country taxes are collected not in Madrid but in the Basque country itself, even it was never an independent or autonomous state. They typically retain 80% and discuss yearly with Madrid about how much they will pay for the federal services. In Belgium, even if it has several regions and even more parlements than it has regions, almost all the taxes are collected centrally and the regions receive about 20% from the federal budget.

They key question for Belgium is then, what are the preconditions for a transition towards a more confederal organisation so that the country also becomes more democratic? Should the regions further decentralise (as is e.g. the case in Switzerland)? The question is very real today as more than one region in Europe calls for more autonomy.

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