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Managing complexity

Recerca | 14/07/2009

Infrastructures in the Swiss federal system

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Switzerland is a country with one of the most developed federal systems of Europe. The government of the Swiss Confederation and the 26 cantons which make it up have to manage the vertical division of powers. The problems have been detected and are being satisfactorily solved.

Who has the powers to build roads and railways in a federal system and who finances them? The government, the cantons or the town councils? Switzerland is always given as a model of developed federalism, but is it really an efficient system? For many years, the decision-making power concerning mobility infrastructures has been subject to a complicated system of agreement and financing, which although working reasonably well was not fully satisfactory.

As Tristan Chevroulet explains to us, a new federal model is just now being set into motion which clearly defines the powers of each level, in which the ownership of the infrastructure marks who makes decisions on it and who pays for it, without forgetting the agreement between administrations and the general mobility guidelines. It appears to be working. Meanwhile, Switzerland is backing the maximum efficiency of its infrastructures before building new ones. Its landscape has too high a value.

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