Immigration and Federalism in Europe - Federal, State and Local Regulatory Competencies in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and Switzerland
This study, authored by the Institut für Migrationsforschung und Interkulturelle Studien (IMIS) at the University of Osnabrück, provides detailed systematic information about federal, state, and local regulative responsibilities in the fields of immigration, recruitment, regulation of temporary and permanent residence, asylum, amnesties and regulations of illegal immigrants, naturalisation, integration and languageprogrammes, social housing for foreigners/immigrants, local voting rights, schooling, employment and unemployment benefits, and the acknowledgement of qualifications in the seven federal countries in Europe.
The study covers Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and Spain. The comparison demonstrates the tremendous varieties in the divisions of powers between the federations, the member states and local communities in the seven countries, and thus opens pathways for further comparative studies to be done. The extremely decentralised situation in Switzerland with its local referenda on naturalisation, Belgium’s dualisticsystem in Flanders and Wallonia, Germany’s ›unitarian federalism‹, Austria’s limited federalism, the emerging powers of the Comunidades Autónomas in Spain, Italy’s recent decentralisation experience and Russia’s ›vertical democracy‹ with its dominant central power are described in detail. The comparison shows diverging tendencies towards more centralisation or more decentralisation. Some countries enjoy stable regimes, some are happy with more and more regionalisation. Some have symmetrical and some others asymmetrical decentralisation regimes.