Can (Re)Centralization Be a Modern Governance in Rural Areas?



Concentration and recentralization can be described as a European trend in the fi eld of local governance, especially in the fi eld of the administration of rural areas. An important tool of the concentration of the local administration is the intercommunal cooperation. The Hungarian rural areas have fragmented spatial structures. Because of the fragmentation and the small number of the voluntary associations these types of local cooperation were signifi cantly supported by the central budget in the 1990s and 2000s. The economic crisis resulted in a strong concentration trend in Hungary, as well. The new Hungarian Municipal Code introduced a Janus-faced model. The administration of the rural areas was strongly concentrated by the establishment of the mandatory common municipal offi ces of the small villages (under 2000 inhabitants) while the forms of the intercommunal associations were simplifi ed. This reform reduced the number of local offi ces signifi cantly. This type of intercommunal cooperation became the main form of the j oined public service management as well, because the former signifi cant state aid of the voluntary associations has been reduced.


Hungary, local government, municipal reform, intercommunal cooperation, rural administration, public services, centralization, European comparison of municipal systems.

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