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10) Fiscal federalism and territorial entities: analyses of recent problems and future perspectives

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4a/2018: Fiscal federalism and territorial entities: analyses of recent problems and future perspectives
Detailed Description

The allocation of financial and fiscal powers and intergovernmental financial relations are central elements of the political systems of federal and regional states. Furthermore, the constitutional foundations of financial relations are from time to time under revision, in order to adapt them to frequent challenges that result from continuous reforms and political dynamics at the supranational and national spheres of economic governance.

As such, fiscal federalism is a highly relevant political but also scientific topic, not only with regard to Italy where the revision process has been going on for over 15 years. In addition, financial issues play a pivotal role in featuring the intergovernmental systems as a whole. Consequently, questions related to the assignment of financial responsibilities, as well as the balancing of autonomy and solidarity have to be comprehensively addressed, in order to fully understand the functioning of compound systems.

Hence "Fiscal Federalism" is subject of an intense and worldwide discussion. Despite of its strategic relevance in the political debate, there is overall inadequate knowledge about the term and this could lead to overemphasize the political considerations instead of include the socio-economic consequences in the debate. This risk affects both the central institutions and the subnational levels (regions and local entities).

The project understands the term in a broad sense, as it describes the distribution of powers and the intergovernmental relations in fiscal and financial matters with reference to federal or quasi-federal orders as well as hybrids in general.

The projects contribution to the current debate in the field is twofold. First, it examines European and non-European states, with federal or strong decentralized structures, from a comparative and legal perspective, in order to determine the main characteristics, to select best practices and to identify legal solutions to common problems. Second, the project investigates the financial regime of the autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, with the aim to detect the impact of the state reform on fiscal federalism as well as of the EU legislation and the EU economic governance on the degree of financial autonomy. In addition, in 2018 the Institute plans to be engaged in the field of local finance combining a study of the case Trentino-South Tyrol with a wider comparative analysis.

Among the most relevant publications:

A. Valdesalici, F. Palermo (eds.), Comparing Fiscal Federalism, Brill Publishing House, Leiden/Boston, 2017 (forthcoming);

A. Valdesalici, Features and trajectories of fiscal federalism in Italy, in: S. A. Lütgenau (ed.), Fiscal Federalism and Fiscal Decentralization in Europe. Comparative Case Studies on Spain, Austria, the United Kingdom and Italy, Foster Europe International Studies Series, vol. 2, Studienverlag, Innsbruck, 2014, 73-101;

Federalismo fiscale e autonomie territoriali: lo stato dell’arte nell’Euregio Tirolo - Alto Adige/Südtirol – Trentino (Cedam, 2013).

Several contributions in: "Le Istituzioni del Federalismo”, n. 1, 2012 (“Regioni a statuto speciale e federalismo fiscale”)

A new era of federalism. L'Europe en Formation. Revue d'études sur la construction européenne et le fédéralisme, n. 1, 2012

S. Parolari, A. Valdesalici, La riforma dell’ordinamento finanziario in Italia tra autonomia e solidarietà, in REAF- Revista d'Estudis Autonòmics i Federals (peer reviewed journal), IEA - Institut d' Estudis Autonòmics, n. 14, 2011, 67-113

Federalismo fiscale: una sfida comparata (Cedam, 2011)

A. Valdesalici, Federalismo fiscale e autonomie speciali: il nuovo assetto finanziario del Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, in Federalismi.it, n. 10, 2010


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