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AUTONOMY (Greek autonomía – self-government, right to self) – the right to independently decide about one’s own matters, about matters of a particular community (nation, institution, city, region, etc.), self-determination. It means the broadest self-governing rights (including one’s own legislation) of a given territory within the borders of a country. Autonomy is a right to independently settle the internal matters of a given community. Types of autonomy include: legal; law; political; regional; cultural; economic; autonomic region. Political autonomy is a recognition of the competences of a given community while excluding state jurisdiction in so far as the so-called reserved spheres, for example: cultural, economic, infrastructure, which are delegated to be resolved independently by the authorities of the community/region. According to Arend Lijphart’s concept, it is an important characteristic of complex societies that fits into the system of consensual democracy. In these systems some matters are decided exclusively by minority, by excluding the matters from the jurisdiction of the central authority (majority). Regional autonomy is a variety of political autonomy where the state accepts the independence in some spheres of the community living in a particular region; it occurs where favourable conditions present themselves: historic, language, ethnic, geographic, economic. Autonomic region is a unit of territorial organisation of a country that constitutes an area quite uniform economically, socially and culturally. Its separateness and independence is constitutionally guaranteed and its goal is to realize the content of the system by measures defined by public law, in the interest of its own territory. In order to achieve this goal, it receives the powers of law-making and administration, which are used exclusively [ M. Kaczorowska ].

Literature: W. Misiuda Rewera, Włochy. Republika autonomii [Italy. The republic of autonomy], Lublin 2005 ■ L. Paterson, The autonomy of modern Scotland, Edinburgh 1994 ■ T. Skrzypczak, „Państwo regionalne” – wybrane problemy autonomii terytorialnej we Włoszech i Hiszpanii ["Regional State" - selected problems of territorial autonomy in Italy and Spain], „Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Prace z Nauk Politycznych” 1984, issue 21.