Konstituciniai pagrindai regioninei savivaldai Lietuvoje ir kitose Vidurio ir Rytų Europos šalyse : ar apskričių (regionų) reforma determinuoja konstitucijos pataisų poreikį?
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Many countries have consolidated local governments into larger units since the 1970s. This is done in the name of efficiency and economy. Within the context of European integration, the appearance of new self-governing regions as political actors is characterized by both Western and Central and Eastern European countries. Also Lithuania implements the development of territorial governance. However, the European Union does not regulate the constitutional status of regions in its member states, as member states consider the form, role, and powers of their regions to be an integral part of their national sovereignty. The Reference Framework for Regional Democracy of the Council of Europe writes: “Regional authorities are territorial authorities between the central government and local authorities. Where regional authorities exist, the principle of regional self-government shall be recognized in domestic legislation and/or by the constitution, as appropriate.” The article examines whether the reform of regions determines the amendments of the constitution? What is the experience of the Central and Eastern European countries consolidating the regional self-government? The states, the constitution guarantee self-government to the lowest territorial administrative units; in order to strengthen the regional self-government must take the constitutional amendments, except those countries (for example Latvia), the constitution of which are res silētur (is on silence). If the state’s constitution has no rules of de-concentrated state governing, lawmakers have broad discretion in regulating state management with ordinary level legislation. Lithuanian local government as an independent constitutional institution, shall be organized by a separate law, which systematically and explicitly sets out the purpose and powers of the central state administration bodies (ministries, government agencies and institutions under the Ministry) and the territorial bodies of state administration (territorial units of the central executive authorities). In Lithuania, a two-stage (regional and municipal) local self-government is possible only after changing the constitution, i.e., the constitution strengthening of the territorial administrative units, to which grantees self-government, expressis verbis. Contrary to the ambition of the government to abolish the counties, if no higher administrative units will be established, in which under the Constitution the local governance must be implemented. Otherwise, the constitutional amendment is necessary, abolishing the imperative to organize the governance in the higher administrative units.
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