The state of regionalism in Great Britain
For about three decades, Britain has launched itself on the path of devolution whose objective was originally to grant a fair amount of autonomy to Scotland and Wales. The problem of enabling England to benefit from devolution too is a case in point.
[...] Actually, in France in the sixties the necessity of decentralization was born with the idea of more independence and power for the local authorities with the decentralization, the State creates local authorities which have the legal personality and which are autonomous. The State controls the legality of the decisions and entrusts to them some activities. But the local authorities face financial difficulties because the growth of the number of their competences doesn't go with the increase of their financial means. [...]
[...] On December power was devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and its Executive Committee, the latter consisting of a First Minister and Deputy Minister and ten other Ministers. These were appointed on a proportional basis, giving three posts each to the Ulster Unionist Party and Social Democratic and Labour Party and two posts each to the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein. The Assembly was suspended from midnight on 14 October 2002 and was dissolved on 28 April 2003. The next elections took place on 26 November 2003. [...]
[...] The Scots and the Welsh declared themselves in favour of the bill. So, the Scottish Parliament, which has 129 members, will run on a four- year fixed term. It is able to make laws on a wide range of matters and to raise or lower the rate of income tax. Scotland continues to elect Members of Parliament who sit in the House of Commons in London. The Scots have a government led by a Chief Minister. The Welsh Assembly has 60 members, directly elected every four years. [...]
[...] In London, the British Government has established a Greater London Authority. The first elections were held on May The Greater London Authority consists of a directly elected Mayor who is able now to influence policy on transportation, economic development, strategic planning, the environment and a separately elected London Assembly of 25 members with powers to question the mayor on his activities and to investigate issues on behalf of Londoners. England remains the sole part of Britain governed totally by Westminster. [...]
[...] The problem of enabling England to benefit from devolution too is a case in point. The reasons accounting for such a policy have to be found in the special nature of the relationships which have united England to Scotland and Wales and to the need felt by these two parts of the United Kingdom to be given a higher proportion of self-Government. For the government, devolution aims to grant a higher autonomy to the nations composing the Kingdom, not to prepare their independence. [...]
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