In the framework of a study tour coordinated and organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung https://www.kas.de/home, Forum Vice President Felix Knuepling met a delegation from Mindanao in Berlin to discuss issues around German federalism and potential lessons for the Philippines. In January 2019, the region of Bangsamoro on the Philippines adopted the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), therein establishing the autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Ever since then, the Bangsamoro region is in the process of setting up a regional government. As the first official elections will take place in 2022, the regional authorities face a three year transition period in which governmental structures need to be established.
Specifically, the study program for the delegation from the Philippines aims at providing firsthand knowledge on the German federal system and the interactions of national and regional legislators with civil society. In his presentation, Mr Knuepling touched upon core topics such as the historical background of German federalism, the relevance of the Basic Law, the structure and importance of the Bundesrat, and the interaction and political dynamics between elected and civil society groups.
The study tour took place in Brussels and Berlin from 13th – 20th of October 2019. The delegation comprised representatives from the regional government of Bangsamoro as well as civil society actors. The Forum of Federations has recently completed programs in Philippines working directly with the government and civil society actor providing training and education to understand and articulate alternate governance options for the Philippines – multi-level governance and federal governance options that may provide solutions to the long and deep seeded conflict within Philippines.