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The Swiss reform of the allocation of tasks: the conventions-programs as a new partnership model for vertical cooperation?

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Mathys, Laetitia

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Abstract I examine how the reform of the allocation of tasks implemented in 2008 in Switzerland improves the relationships between the Confederation and the cantons (vertical cooperation). The aim of the reform was to revitalize federalism by clarifying the responsibilities of the Confederation and the cantons in the implementation of public policies: public tasks were divided between federal and cantonal levels. 7 tasks become exclusively federal and 11 are handled by cantons. However 21 tasks are carried out by both the Confederation and the cantons, creating a new model of partnership. Among these common tasks and for 3 other public programs, 18 are treated by public contracts concluded between the Confederation and each canton: the Conventions-Programs. These public law contracts, valid for periods of 4 years (2008-11, 2012-15 and 2016-19) seem to be used as a “blueprint” in the implementation of public policies. By including the participation of citizens, municipalities, private sector and associations, they create a new form of multi-governance. Even if this reform allows a better separation of competences and transparency in the implementation of public policies, there still are problems to be solved and roles to be clarified.
Keywords Switzerland; multi-level-governance; federalism; federation (national admin. level); canton; cooperation; public tasks; federal authority; authority of a German federal state; public administration
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 26-59
Journal Federal Governance, 12 (2015) 1
ISSN 1923-6158
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence