Bribed into Cooperation: Subsidised Inter-municipal Cooperation in Slovenia
Due to the extreme heterogeneity of municipal sizes resulting in a number of small municipalities that are struggling to meet regulatory demands and standards, Slovenia should be the poster child for inter-municipal cooperation. This, coupled with the absence of a second level of local government, should make for flourishing inter-municipal cooperation. This article demonstrates how sound arguments for the establishment of inter-municipal cooperation do not always achieve favourable results – as in a vibrant and productive web of inter-municipal dialogue and cooperation. It was only after significant governmental subsidies were implemented in Slovenia that the municipalities initiated a cooperation process; however, that process only extended to subsidised tasks. The results of the empirical analyses show that a bottom-up process might take too long a time, while a local government (legal) framework may inhibit cooperation due to the fear of losing authority over municipal tasks.
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