Pressien, Werner (1996) Föderalistische Strukturverschiebungen Zur stillen Aufwertung der Länder im Kontext des österreichischen EU-Beitritts. The federalist structure shifts to silent appreciation of the countries in the context of Austria's EU accession. IHS Political Science Series 28, February 1996. [Working Paper]
This article examines the shifts and changes in the structure of Austrian federalism in the context of joining the European Union. In a first section the paper deals with the notion and recurrent patterns of federalism. The following part presents an overview of the legal and substantive aspects of the Austrian federal state. The main argument in this respect is that the essence of Austrian federalism lies primarily in its informal inter-federal conferences (Länderkonferenzen). The third chapter deals with the mechanism which was created to secure the participation of the “Bundesländer” at the federal level in matters of European integration. In this respect the “Länderbeteiligungsverfahren” is analysed as a completely new property of the Austrian federal system, which in a way is a bypass to the second chamber of the Austrian parliament, the “Bundesrat”. In its final chapter the article sets up three criteria - a legal, a structural, and a conflict criterion - to evaluate the extent of changes of the Austrian federal state system in the context of European integration and tests three models of potential future developments in Austrian federalism.
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