Emerging Topics on Inter-municipal Cooperation in the Czech Republic: Policy Networking, Regionalization and Financial Indicators
Inter-municipal cooperation is not solely about the cooperation of two or more municipalities. Professional networking or another kind of membership or cooperation could be also positive incentives for strengthening municipal cooperation. Czech Republic belongs to countries where there is not only one national professional association of municipalities with regional structures and this could offer the questions about their influence on inter-municipal cooperation. In this paper we use data from a full sample of Czech municipalities to reveal the role of variables including professional networking activity, regional structures and financial conditions on the existence or development of municipal cooperation. The results of regression analyses provide indistinct explanations. Membership in one national association increases the probability that the municipality will begin or sustain membership in a voluntary association of municipalities (VAM), while membership in another association tends to decrease the probability for engagement in VAM. Since the distribution of municipalities in the territory is not uniform, and individual municipalities have different socio-demographic and territorial characters, we decided to explore the basic characteristics of the municipality such as non-financial and financial indicators. Further, for small municipalities, we were not able to verify the hypothesis that they would be more likely to cooperate due to lack of resources or more adverse financial conditions.
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