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Local Government in Poland and Hungary: from post-communist reform towards EU accession

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Part of the Urban Research International book series (URI, volume 2)

Abstract

Local government has been a central item on the reform agendas of the two trailblazers of democracy in post-socialist Central Eastern Europe — Poland and Hungary (Cielecka and Gibson 1995; Coulson, 1995: 24); (Davey 1995: 57).2 Hungary is known to have gone the furthest in both ideas and practice in this respect — a fact made possible due to a strong political consensus on the matter. It has been described as “a pioneer in local government reform among transition economies” (Kopányi et al. 1999: 1), and its reforms — as “the best prepared”, “the most comprehensive”, and “the most liberal” in post-Communist Eastern Europe (Illner 1997: 31). Poland’s reforms, until recently, in contrast, have been haphazard and inconsistent, and changed according to the constellations of the political forces of the fractured party system at the center and the localities. Scholars used such words as “dysfunctional” and “illogical” to describe the products of the early efforts at reform (Ciechocinska 1994). In the late 1990s, when Hungary had already completed its second cycle of reforms at all levels Poland was still being criticized for its “high degree of centralization” (Kotka 1997: 155). Even recently, it has been described no more no less as an example of state “unitarism” (Matsuzato 2001: 191).

Keywords

European Union Communist Regime Constitutional Court Local Government Level State Grant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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