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Subnational multilevel constitutionalism

The embedment of states in a multilevel government environment created by rule-based international organizations, also impacts upon the position of subnational entities in federal and quasi-federal states. In this multilevel government environment, subnational constitutionalism is not merely defined by the power of subnational authorities to adopt their own constitution, but also by the power to define their position in relation to other layers of authority. This is in particular true for EU member states, considering the intensity of the European integration process. The European, national and subnational systems are thus intertwined. (Quasi-)federal constitutional systems adopt different strategies, ranging from a centralist to a dualist approach. A comparative analysis, using indicators for measuring these approaches, provides us with prototypes for a centralist approach (the UK), a gate-keeper approach (Germany) and a dualist approach (Belgium). At the same time, these indicators can be used to refine the model for the positioning of legal systems on a gliding scale from unitary to con-federal states.

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