Territorial division

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

TERRITORIAL DIVISION – relatively permanent fragmentation of area of the state on the basis of the act in order to determine the local jurisdiction of state bodies and non-state organisational units that perform state functions by virtue of law. T.d. is an element of the state system, it is made by adopting an act or a law issued on the basis of the act and for its implementation. It is also called the administrative division of the country. In the process of historical development, three types of t.d. of the state have emerged: basic (fundamental), auxiliary and for special purposes. The basic territorial division is created due to the necessity to perform in the given area the state (public) tasks of significant importance from the point of view of the basic goals and principles of the functioning of the state. The basic t.d. is an element of the organisation (system) of local state bodies with general characteristics, equipped with authoritative (public and legal) competences, and local-government bodies. The three-tier basic t.d. of the state currently in force in Poland includes the levels: municipality, county, voivodship. It was introduced by the Act of 1998 (in force from 1st January 1999) – 16 voivodships and 308 counties (commonly called country counties) were created the, and additionally, 65 cities were given additional rights (→ cities with county rights, colloquially known as townships). As of the end of 2017, the basic t.d. includes: 2478 municipalities, 380 counties (314 country counties and 66 townships), 16 voivodships. An auxiliary territorial division is created for the performance of tasks belonging to local state bodies, in order to supplement the basic t.d., in some cases it is necessary due to the postulate of rationality and effectiveness of implementation of tasks. The legal basis for auxiliary t.d. are contained in the acts of various ranks, depending on the position of the body whose tasks or competences are exercised in such a division. If the auxiliary division is linked with a body operating in the territorial unit of the fundamental division, then the legal basis for such division is the law or act issued on its basis. A special territorial division is created for the needs of state bodies that do not belong to the general government administration (the system of general government administration bodies) or local government structures, it is performed on the basis of law, separate from the fundamental division and relatively permanent. Special divisions may also be used by non-governmental organisations and institutions that perform public-legal (state) tasks on a commission basis [ B. Marczewska ].

Literature: B. Dolnicki, Samorząd terytorialny [Local government], Warszawa 2012 ■ H. Izdebski, Samorząd terytorialny. Podstawy ustroju i działalności [Local government. The fundamentals of the system and activity], Warszawa 2014.