The Constitutional Basis of Local Democracy

  • Franc Grad University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law, Poljanski nasip 2, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Igor Kaučič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law, Poljanski nasip 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: constitution, local government, municipal council, mayor, local elections, righ to vote, right to be elected, participation of citizens, town meeting, referendum, popular initiative

Abstract

The Constitution of Slovenia guarantees local government, nevertheless it does not regulate forms of local democracy. Thus, the legislation envisages numerous different ways of citizens' participation, both direct and indirect, in decision-making in local communities. Still the local elections remain the most important way of citizens’ influencing decision making in local communities. The right of the people living in local communities to vote local authorities and to be elected for local offices is certainly the core of modern understanding of local democracy. In Slovenia, both members of municipal council and mayor are directly elected. Right to vote and to be elected have also EU citizens while other foreigners have only right to vote. Among forms of direct participation, the most important ones are the town meeting, referendum, popular initiative and right to petition. They enable the citizens to participate in the processes of deliberation, proposing and formulating decisions, stating preliminary positions with regard to decisions to be made as well as decision-making itself or confirming the solutions adopted.

Author Biographies

Franc Grad, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law, Poljanski nasip 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Professor
Igor Kaučič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law, Poljanski nasip 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Professor

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Published
2015-07-31
Section
Conference Paper