authority/powers of territorial self-government

  • Samorząd terytorialny jako filar demokratycznego państwa - refleksje o idei samorządności terytorialnej na tle tradycji samorządowych II Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej

    Author: Anna Chorążewska
    Institution: Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2917-3119
    Year of publication: 2021
    Source: Show
    Pages: 171-188
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppk.2021.04.08
    PDF: ppk/62/ppk6208.pdf

    Territorial self-government as a pillar of the democratic state – reflections on the idea of local self-government in the light of the self-governing traditions of the Second Republic of Poland

    Territorial self-government has been widely analyzed in Polish literature of the interwar period. At that time, its three theories were formulated: naturalistic, state and political. The first one contrasted the self-government with the state, stressing that municipality is historically older than the latter and, as a result, independent; it is the state that derives its powers from the municipality, and not conversely. The second theory advanced a thesis that state power is exercised by state authorities, including through local communities with a separate legal status. Self-governance was thus to be expressed in the idea of decentralizing public authority. Although it identified self-government with state administration, the third theory demanded that self-governmental powers be exercised by independent officials, regarding their independence as a guarantee of effective exercise of the powers attributed to self-government. Investigations made at that time into the essence, nature, and form of self-government remained valid until the present day, determining democratic values as the basis for territorial self-government’s status in the current Constitution of Poland.

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