Federal Arrangements and Intergovernmental Relations – A panorama of the Americas

The Forum of Federations, the Under-Secretariat for Federative Affairs of the Brazilian Presidency and the Institute for Applied Economic Research recently co-organized a conference on intergovernmental co-operation in the Americas.

The purpose of the event, held on November 29 and 30, 2010 in Brasilia was to assess the mechanisms of intergovernmental co-operation in a number of federal and decentralized countries in the Americas and to draw out potential applications for Brazil.

Al levels of Brazil’s government participated, including representatives from:
• federal government agencies,
• the state governments of Minas Gerais, Pará and Santa Catarina,
• the Brazilian Association of Municipalities,
• the National Confederation of Municipalities,
• the National Front of Mayors,
• and the Suape/Pernambuco municipal consortium.

The varied experiences of Colombia and Venezuela were the highlight of the presentations. The government of Colombia, a non-federal (unitary) country, is decentralizing, while Venezuela, a federal country, moves towards a more centralized model.

Speakers at the event, which was moderated by Forum board member Vicente Trevas, included:
• Olavo Noleto, Deputy Head of Federative Affairs of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency
• Paula Ravanelli, Special Advisor to the Cabinet of Federative Affairs
• Paulo de Tarso and Jose Mauro, members of the Working Group on Federalism of the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA)
• Alberto Muller, a researcher from the Economic Science Area at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Colombia,
• Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Associate Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes, and Venezuela
• Carlos Enrique Quintana Mascarene, Coordinator of Ph.D Program in Development Studies at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

The Forum also facilitated the participation of André Juneau, the Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen’s University in Kingston.

View Mr. Juneau’s presentation (PDF)

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