This introductory article contextually frames the contributions to the special issue gathering articles critically addressing the key questions and challenges that the European Union (EU) and national cultural policies are facing in the 21st century. Interdisciplinary contributions in this special issue point to the diverse understandings of culture, the complexity of the EU governance system, and the discrepancy and mismatch of the national and EU levels that regulate the field of culture. The authors detect the inconsistent development strategies on different policy levels, and point to the democratic deficits of the EU governance system and EU policies. Selected contributions address a further focal shift of EU culture policies toward an economistic orientation to culture, while others address the need for a more critical approach that moves beyond predominantly positivistic and normative approaches to cultural policy research in Europe.
Discussions regarding the functional design of second chambers in federal or quasifederal systems seem to focus mainly on legislative functions. Thus, extra- or nonlegislative functions related to the executive branch or the judiciary have been rather neglected in the literature. This paper will examine the extra-legislative functions of second chambers which include Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. By grouping the functions into different categories (relations with the Government, appointment functions and functions in the field of international affairs, powers in relation to the European Union and functions granted to maintain the legitimate constitutional order), their effectiveness in serving the purposes of bicameralism, and of regional representation, will be explored.
The case of Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2021 (NS2021), in which various rationales of cultural policy (local, national, supranational) thread a complex web of political interactions, brings interesting challenges to the theoretical landscape of cultural policy research. We start with the analysis of the Bidbook NS2021 as a cultural policy text, discussing its inconsistencies and ambiguities. Then we study the context and the policy process through participant observation and interviews with key authors. We find that the policy-making process is best explained as contingent - meaning that it is dependent on the historical discourses, demands of the specific policy genre, external requirements and internal pressures, and individual agencies and accidents. In the concluding section, we discuss theoretical and methodological implications that policy contingency poses to cultural policy studies.
The German Basic Law constitutes federalism as a unique political system which is characterised by intertwined decision-making of the Federation (Bund) and the component units (Länder). The executives of the two federal tiers and the Länder executives within the Bundesrat play a major role in making joint decisions. They are forced to make decisions in the ‘joint-decision mode’ (Politikverflechtung) which is detrimental to accountability. Reform efforts were made to unbundle competences and to reduce the number of bills which require the Bundesrat’s consent. Due to the dominance of the executives and the distribution of powers between the federal tiers (legislation is dominated by the Bund, execution is dominated by the Länder), German federalism is rightly called ‘executive federalism’. German federalism can even be regarded as an embodiment of that concept since it covers all possible aspects of ‘executive federalism’. The Bundesrat has an important share in that classification.
This article briefly explores the reasons why the Committee of the Regions (CoR) has only partially accomplished its representative function. It is divided into three parts. In the first part I argue that the ambiguous nature of the CoR is the consequence of the polysemous notion of ‘region’ in EU law (Palermo, 2005) and of the very heterogeneous approach to the ‘federal issue’ in Europe. In the second part of the article I look at the recent developments that have given the CoR new powers, for instance in light of Art. 263 TFEU in order to defend its own prerogatives and Art. 8 of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. This will be done by looking at a recent resolution of the CoR on a proposal made by the EU Commission to amend Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013. Finally, I deal with some proposals that have been advanced to strengthen the role of the CoR, and their feasibility.
This paper will address the impact of the European Union (EU) on cultural policy development in Malta. The attention paid by the EU to globalising matters through culture, particularly i) citizenship participation in relation to social integration, ii) economic revival through urban regeneration, and iii) cultural diplomacy with regard to internationalisation efforts, is acknowledged and assessed through a focus on recent Maltese cultural practice. Impact will be assessed in relation to a) policy as well as legislation, b) funding structures and incentives, and c) implementation measures through initiatives taken by Maltese public cultural institutions. Convergences and divergences in comparison with key EU strategic actions will be discussed, with reference made to major legislative documents, funding programmes, and cultural projects undertaken by Maltese authorities and other cultural stakeholders in response or in relation to European developments.
Network organizations in the arts have recently received substantial discussion in cultural policy research. Yet, very seldom have they been empirically modeled. We analyze development of Društvo Asociacija, the umbrella network of nongovernmental organizations and freelancers in culture and the arts in Slovenia between 2004–2017. Using mediation analysis, we observe two breakpoint periods in the development of the network and explore if they were the effects of internal, organizationally related factors or the mere response to external, macroeconomic changes. Our findings demonstrate the importance of internal decisions of the organization which have a self-standing, but not a mediating effect to the consequences of external factors like financial crises. This has an important consequence for European cultural policies as it shows to which extent network organizations in the arts should be supported directly and to which manner their condition is just a consequence of the changes in their external environment.
Legislative functions of federal second chambers are not a homogeneous set of powers, but require comparison and classification. First, the paper will examine the legislative functions of the second chambers of those European states that have a federal or quasifederal character (Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom). Second, the paper addresses the normative concept of the legislative functions of federal second chambers: what is the particularly federal rationale behind these legislative powers, and are there other constitutional rationales as well? Do some legislative functions serve purposes of federalism better than others and does a dichotomy between ‘weak-form’ and ‘strong-form’ veto powers apply in this context? This will also require some discussion on whether perfect or imperfect bicameralism and the requirements of internal decision-making play a role in this regard.
Contemporary U.S. federalism particularly since the late1960s has evolved over the course of pluralism alternating exercisable governmental powers between the federal and state governments. The complexity of the power relationship has been observed in a variety of policies during the past quarter-century as has the discussion of whether or not contemporary U.S. federalism has developed in a way that increase effective public policy performance. Focusing mainly on the period of the past 50 years of U.S. federalism history, this article suggests that federalism dynamics have not exercised either constant liberal or conservative influence on public policy performance. Instead, this article suggests that the clear functional responsibility between the federal government and state and local governments have characterized contemporary U.S. federalism-more federal responsibility for redistribution and more state and local responsibility for development, which in turn increased public policy performance. This feature has been quite substantial since 1970s. As a result, this article suggests that despite the increased complexity of the U.S. federal system, it has evolved in such an appropriate way that would increase the efficiency of federal system by dividing a clear intergovernmental responsibility on major policy platforms.
The aim of this contribution is to make some points on the distinction between ‘perfect’ (or equal) and ‘imperfect’ (or unequal) bicameralism and its relevance to contemporary discussions about second chambers and their constitutional position. The analysis starts with an assumption that this distinction is somehow under-theorised. The distinction between perfect and imperfect bicameralism, finally resulting in a clear prevalence of the latter, mainly focuses on two aspects: the exercise of legislative function and, in parliamentary regimes, the confidence vote. In spite of the unquestionable relevance of these two components to the activity of parliaments, these analyses are incomplete. The functions and competences of a given second chamber depend on the way it represents pluralism: the weight that each legal system attaches to the representative role of its own second chamber decisively shapes the perimeter of their functions. Important evidence for validating this claim comes from the procedures for passing constitutional amendments, in which second chambers, even in a number of ‘unequal’ bicameral systems, are put on equal footing with first chambers.