EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Impact of Legislature and Citizens on the Budgeting Process in Switzerland: Lessons for Central and Eastern Europe

Krisztina Tóth ()
Additional contact information
Krisztina Tóth: Chaire de Finances Publiques, http://www.unifr.ch/finpub/

No 387, FSES Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland

Abstract: Scholars evaluating national and local budget procedures in Central and Eastern Europe generally advocate a greater role for legislative bodies and citizens. Mature federations and decentralised countries in Western Europe are often cited as prime examples of participatory budgeting which is supposed to lead to greater fiscal discipline, a better allocation of public resources and higher administrative efficiency. This paper investigates the strengths and weaknesses of legislative activism in Switzerland, with special regard to its ability to answer the double challenge resulting from a push for new expenditures and lower taxes, on one side, and an attempt to maintain deficit levels close to zero, on the other. While the strong consensus orientation, the careful regulation of revenue and expenditure assignment, as well as the systematic use of voters' right to direct participation are perceived as key to the success of the Swiss democracy, this study also highlights how these features can limit the effective influence of the parliament on budgeting and planning. Central and East European countries may learn several lessons from the Swiss case, all of which are rather thought to add an input to long-term reforms rather than provide immediate solutions. The analysis points out some serious limitations of the hierarchical budgeting model as well as the consequences of a haphazard and opaque expenditure and revenue assignment. It reminds, however, that the dynamic process of post-socialist transition requires governments and parliaments to preserve a great deal of flexibility in the budget procedure. At the same time, new methods of public management and a greater transparency of public budgets are examples of tools that may be introduced on the medium term without the risk of slowing down the transition process.

Keywords: parliament; legislative; budgetary procedure; direct democracy; intergovernmental fiscal relations; public administration; transition economies; Switzerland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H61 H62 H70 H83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2005-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-pbe, nep-reg and nep-tra
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations:

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.unifr.ch/finpub/assets/files/Recherches ... /WorkingPaper387.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fri:fribow:387

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in FSES Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland Bd de Pérolles 90, CH-1700 Fribourg. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mustapha Obbad ().

 
Page updated 2024-06-11
Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:387