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Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Checks and Balances of Federalism: Hungary vs. the European Parliament

One of the benefits of federalism is the checks and balances between the two systems of government existing in a federal system—that of the states and that of the federal government. That is to say, federalism can be thought of as a governmental system that contains two systems of government—that of the states and that of the federation. Either of these systems can go too far, and the other system should have the wherewithal to pull the other back without compromising its viability. This is why the consolidation of power in one system (e.g., the U.S. Federal Government) compromises the viability of a federal system at least with respect to its checks and balances. One other point: the two systems in a federal system are on the same level; that is, one is not “above” the other. Hence, the supremacy clauses in the E.U. and U.S. refer only to competencies or domains assigned to the federal government.

The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.