Confederation

A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign states, united for purposes of common action often in relation to other states.[1] Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issues, such as defense, foreign relations, internal trade or currency, with the general government being required to provide support for all its members. Confederalism represents a main form of inter-governmentalism, this being defined as any form of interaction between states which takes place on the basis of sovereign independence or government.

The nature of the relationship among the member states constituting a confederation varies considerably. Likewise, the relationship between the member states and the general government, and the distribution of powers among them is highly variable. Some looser confederations are similar to international organisations. Other confederations with stricter rules may resemble federal systems.

Since the member states of a confederation retain their sovereignty, they have an implicit right of secession. Political philosopher Emmerich Vattel observed: ‘Several sovereign and independent states may unite themselves together by a perpetual confederacy without each in particular ceasing to be a perfect state. … The deliberations in common will offer no violence to the sovereignty of each member’.[2]

Under a confederal arrangement, in contrast with a federal one, the central authority is relatively weak.[3] Decisions made by the general government in a unicameral legislature, a council of the member states, require subsequent implementation by the member states to take effect. They are therefore not laws acting directly upon the individual, but instead have more the character of inter-state agreements.[4] Also, decision-making in the general government usually proceeds by consensus (unanimity) and not by majority, which makes for a slow and inefficient government. These problematic features, limiting the effectiveness of the union, mean that political pressure tends to build over time for the transition to a federal system of government, as happened in the American, Swiss, German and European cases of regional integration.

Examples

Belgium

Many scholars have claimed that the Kingdom of Belgium, a country with a complicated federal structure, has adopted some characteristics of a confederation under the pressure of separatist movements, especially in Flanders. For example, C. E. Lagasse declared that Belgium was "near the political system of a Confederation" regarding the constitutional reform agreements between Belgian Regions (federated states with well-defined geographical borders: Flanders, Wallonia and Greater Brussels) and between Communities (statelike authorities based on the mother tongue, not geography),[5] while the director of the Centre de recherche et d'information socio-politiques (CRISP) Vincent de Coorebyter[6] called Belgium "undoubtedly a federation...[with] some aspects of a confederation" in Le Soir.[7] Also in Le Soir, Professor Michel Quévit of the Catholic University of Leuven wrote that the "Belgian political system is already in dynamics of a Confederation".[8][9]

Nevertheless, the Belgian regions (and linguistic communities) lack the necessary autonomy to leave the Belgian state. As such, federal aspects still dominate. Also, for fiscal policy and public finances, the federal state dominates the other levels of government.

The increasingly confederal aspects of the Belgian Federal State appear to be a political reflection of the profound cultural, sociological and economic differences between Flemings (Belgians who speak Dutch or Dutch dialects) and Walloons (Belgians who speak French or French dialects).[10] As an example, in the last several decades, over 95% of Belgians have voted for political parties that represent voters from only one community, the separatist N-VA being the party with the biggest voter support among the Flemish population. Parties that strongly advocate Belgian unity and appeal to voters of both communities play usually only a marginal role in nationwide general elections.

This makes Belgium fundamentally different from federal countries like Switzerland, Canada, Germany and Australia. In those countries, national parties regularly receive over 90% of voter support. The only geographical areas comparable with Belgium within Europe are Catalonia, the Basque Country (both part of Spain), Northern Ireland and Scotland (both part of the United Kingdom) and parts of Italy, where a massive voter turnout for regional (and often separatist) political parties has become the rule in the last decades, while nationwide parties advocating national unity draw around half, or sometimes less, of the votes.

Canada

In Canada, the word confederation has an additional, unrelated meaning.[11] "Confederation" refers to the process of (or the event of) establishing or joining the Canadian federal state.[11]

In modern terminology, Canada is a federation and not a confederation.[12] However, to contemporaries of the Constitution Act, 1867, confederation did not have the same connotation of a weakly centralized federation.[13] Canadian Confederation generally refers to the Constitution Act, 1867 which formed the Dominion of Canada from three of the colonies of British North America, and to the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories. Therefore, on 1 July 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of the British Empire with a federal structure under the leadership of Sir John A. Macdonald. The provinces involved were the Province of Canada (comprising Canada West, now Ontario, formerly Upper Canada; and Canada East now Quebec, formerly Lower Canada), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Later participants were Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Saskatchewan (the latter two created as provinces from the Northwest Territories in 1905), and finally Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) in 1949. Canada is an unusually decentralized federal state and not a confederate association of sovereign states[14] (the usual meaning of confederation in modern terms). A Canadian law, the Clarity Act, and a court ruling, Reference Re Secession of Quebec, set forth the conditions for negotiations to allow Canadian provinces (though not territories) to leave the Canadian federal state; however, as this would require a constitutional amendment, there is no current "constitutional" method for withdrawal.

European Union

Due to its unique nature, and the political sensitivities surrounding it, there is no common or legal classification for the European Union (EU). However, it does bear some resemblance to both a confederation[15] (or a "new" type of confederation) and a federation.[16] The EU operates common economic policies with hundreds of common laws, which enable a single economic market, open internal borders, a common currency among most member-states and allow for numerous other areas where powers have been transferred and directly applicable laws are made. However, unlike a federation, the EU does not have exclusive powers over foreign affairs, defence and taxation. Furthermore, laws sometimes must be transposed into national law by national parliaments; decisions by member states are taken by special majorities with blocking minorities accounted for; and treaty amendment requires ratification by every member state before it can come into force.

However, academic observers more usually discuss the EU in the terms of it being a federation.[17][18] As international law professor Joseph H. H. Weiler (of the Hague Academy and New York University) wrote, "Europe has charted its own brand of constitutional federalism".[19] Jean-Michel Josselin and Alain Marciano see the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City as being a primary force behind building a federal legal order in the Union[20] with Josselin stating that a "complete shift from a confederation to a federation would have required to straight-forwardly replace the principality of the member states vis-à-vis the Union by that of the European citizens. As a consequence, both confederate and federate features coexist in the judicial landscape".[21] Rutgers political science professor R. Daniel Kelemen observed: "Those uncomfortable using the 'F' word in the EU context should feel free to refer to it as a quasi-federal or federal-like system. Nevertheless, the EU has the necessary attributes of a federal system. It is striking that while many scholars of the EU continue to resist analyzing it as a federation, most contemporary students of federalism view the EU as a federal system".[22] Thomas Risse and Tanja A. Börzel claim that the "EU only lacks two significant features of a federation. First, the Member States remain the 'masters' of the treaties, i.e., they have the exclusive power to amend or change the constitutive treaties of the EU. Second, the EU lacks a real 'tax and spend' capacity, in other words, there is no fiscal federalism."[23]

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the chairman of the body of experts commissioned to elaborate a constitutional charter for the European Union, was confronted with strong opposition from the United Kingdom towards including the words 'federal' or 'federation' in the European Constitution, and hence replaced the word with either 'Community' or 'Union'.[24]

Indigenous confederations in North America

In the context of the history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, a confederacy may refer to a semi-permanent political and military alliance consisting of multiple nations (or "tribes", "bands", or "villages") which maintained their separate leadership. One of the most well-known is the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois), but there were many others during different eras and locations across North America; these include the Wabanaki Confederacy, Western Confederacy, Powhatan, Seven Nations of Canada, Pontiac's Confederacy, Illinois Confederation, Tecumseh's Confederacy, Great Sioux Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy, Iron Confederacy and Council of Three Fires.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, historically known as the Iroquois League or the League of Five—later, Six—Nations, is the country of Native Americans (in what is now the United States) and First Nations (in what is now Canada) that consists of six nations: the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, the Seneca and the Tuscarora. The Six Nations have a representative government known as the Grand Council which is the oldest governmental institution still maintaining its original form in North America.[25] Each clan from the five nations sends chiefs to act as representatives and make decisions for the whole confederation. The League has been operating since its foundation in 1142 CE despite limited international recognition today. In fact, Haudenosaunee issues passports for its citizens, though travellers often face problems crossing State borders.

Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro (2003–06) was a confederation that was formed by the two remaining republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia): Montenegro and neighboring Serbia were sole legal successors to FR Yugoslavia, which consequently ceased to exist. The country was reconstituted as a very loose political union called the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. It was established on 4 February 2003.

As a confederation, Serbia and Montenegro were united only in very few realms, such as defense, foreign affairs and a very weak common president of the confederation. The two constituent republics functioned separately throughout the period of its short existence, and continued to operate under separate economic policies, as well as using separate currencies (the euro was and still is the only legal tender in Montenegro, while the dinar was still the legal tender in Serbia). On 21 May 2006, the Montenegrin independence referendum was held. Final official results indicated on 31 May that 55.5% of voters voted in favor of independence. The state union effectively came to an end after Montenegro's formal declaration of independence on 3 June 2006, and Serbia's formal declaration of independence on 5 June.

Switzerland

Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation,[26][27][28] is an example of a modern country that traditionally refers to itself as a confederation. This is due to the fact that the official (and traditional) name of Switzerland in German (the majority language of the Swiss) is Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (literally "Swiss Comradeship by Oath"), an expression which was translated into the Latin Confoederatio Helvetica (Helvetic Confederation). It had been a confederacy since its inception in 1291 as the Old Swiss Confederacy, originally created as an alliance among the valley communities of the central Alps, and retains nowadays the name of Confederacy for reasons of historical tradition. The confederacy facilitated management of common interests (e.g. freedom from external domination, especially by the Austrian Habsburgs, development of republican institutions in a Europe composed of monarchies, free trade, etc.) and ensured peace between the different cultural entities in the central alpine area.

After the Sonderbund War of 1847, when some of the Catholic cantons of Switzerland tried to set up a separate union (Sonderbund in German) against the Protestant majority, the resulting political system established by the victorious Protestant cantons acquired all the characteristics of a federation.[29]

Historical confederations

Frankfurter Fürstentag 1863 Abschlußphoto
The monarchs of the member states of the German Confederation meet in Frankfurt in 1863.

Historical confederations (especially those predating the 20th century) may not fit the current definition of a confederation, may be proclaimed as a federation but be confederal (or the reverse), and may not show any qualities that 21st-century political scientists might classify as those of a confederation.

List

Some have more the characteristics of a personal union, but appear here because of their self-styling as a "confederation":

Name Period Notes
Three Crowned Kings 1050 BCE–second century BCE As described in the Hathigumpha inscription, On the 11th year, Kharavela broke up a confederacy of Tamil kingdoms, which was becoming a threat to Kalinga Kharavela
Toltec Empire 496–1122 Existed as a confederation between the Toltecs and the Chichimeca, simultaneously as an empire exerting control over places like Cholula.
League of Mayapan 987–1461
Crown of Aragon 1137–1716
Hanseatic League 13th–17th centuries
Old Swiss Confederacy 1291–1848 Officially, the "Swiss Confederation".
Kara Koyunlu 1375–1468 A tribal confederation
Aq Qoyunlu 1379–1501 A tribal confederation
Kalmar Uniona 1397–1523 Denmark, Sweden, Norway.
Aztec Empire 1428–1521 Consisted of the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan.
Livonian Confederation 1435–1561
Pre-Commonwealth Poland and Lithuaniaa 1447–1492
1501–1569
Shared a monarch (Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland), parliament (Sejm) and currency.
Denmark–Norwaya 1536–1814
Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands 1581–1795
Wampanoag Confederacy
Powhatan Confederacy
Illinois Confederation
Confederate Ireland 1641–1649
New England Confederation 1643–1684
Aro Confederacy 1690–1902 Parts of present-day Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Maratha Empire
The U.S. under
the Articles of Confederation
1781–1789
Western Confederacy 1785–1795
Confederation of the Rhine 1806–1813 Had no head of state nor government.
German Confederation 1815–1866
United Provinces of New Granada 1810–1816 Now part of present-day Colombia.
Sweden–Norwaya 1814–1905
Confederation of the Equator 1824 Located in northeast Brazil.
Argentine Confederation 1832–1860
Peru–Bolivian Confederation 1836–1839
Confederation of Central America 1842–1844 Present-day El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Granadine Confederation 1858–1863
Confederate States of America 1861–1865 Southern US secessionist states during the American Civil War.
Carlist States 1872–1876 Spanish states.
USSRb 1922–1991 Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic
Arab Federationb 1958 Iraq and Jordan.
United Arab Republicb
and the United Arab Statesb
1958–1961 Egypt and Syria,
joined by North Yemen.
Union of African States 1961–1963 Mali, Ghana and Guinea.
Federation of Arab Republicsb 1972 Egypt, Syria and Libya.
Arab Islamic Republicb 1974 Libya and Tunisia.
Senegambia 1982–1989 Senegal and Gambia.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 2003–2006

  • a Confederated personal union.
  • b De facto confederation.

See also

References

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ Vattel, Emmerich (1758) The Law of Nations, cited in Wood, Gordon (1969) The Creation of the American Republic 1776 - 1787, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, p.355.
  3. ^ McCormick, John (2002) Understanding the European Union: a Concise Introduction, Palgrave, Basingstoke, p. 6.
  4. ^ This was the key feature that distinguished the first American union, under the Articles of Confederation of 1781, from the second, under the US Constitution of 1789. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 15, called the absence of directly-effective law in the Articles a 'defect' and the ‘great and radical vice’ in the initial system. Madison, James, Hamilton, Alexander and Jay, John (1987) The Federalist Papers, Penguin, Harmondsworth, p. 147.
  5. ^ French Le confédéralisme n'est pas loin Charles-Etienne Lagasse, Les nouvelles institutions politiques de la Belgique et de l'Europe, Erasme, Namur 2003, p. 405 ISBN 2-87127-783-4
  6. ^ Belgian research center whose activities are devoted to the study of decision-making in Belgium and in Europe Archived 3 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ French: "La Belgique est (...) incontestablement, une fédération : il n’y a aucun doute (...) Cela étant, la fédération belge possède d’ores et déjà des traits confédéraux qui en font un pays atypique, et qui encouragent apparemment certains responsables à réfléchir à des accommodements supplémentaires dans un cadre qui resterait, vaille que vaille, national." Vincent de Coorebyter "La Belgique (con)fédérale" in Le Soir 24 June 2008
  8. ^ French: "Le système institutionnel belge est déjà inscrit dans une dynamique de type cs, Le Soir, 19 September 2008
  9. ^ Robert Deschamps, Michel Quévit, Robert Tollet, "Vers une réforme de type confédéral de l'État belge dans le cadre du maintien de l'union monétaire," in Wallonie 84, n°2, pp. 95-111
  10. ^ Le petit Larousse 2013 p1247
  11. ^ a b "How Canadian Govern Themselves, First Edition, 1980 by Eugene Forsey, Ch. on A Federal State p.1". .parl.gc.ca. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  12. ^ P.W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (5th ed. supplemented), para. 5.1(b).
  13. ^ Waite, Peter B. (1962). The Life and Times of Confederation, 1864–1867. University of Toronto Press. Pages 37–38, footnote 6.
  14. ^ How Canadians Govern Themselves, 7th ed
  15. ^ Kiljunen, Kimmo (2004). The European Constitution in the Making. Centre for European Policy Studies. pp. 21–26. ISBN 978-92-9079-493-6.
  16. ^ Burgess, Michael (2000). Federalism and European union: The building of Europe, 1950–2000. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 0-415-22647-3. "Our theoretical analysis suggests that the EC/EU is neither a federation nor a confederation in the classical sense. But it does claim that the European political and economic elites have shaped and moulded the EC/EU into a new form of international organization, namely, a species of "new" confederation."
  17. ^ Josselin, Jean Michel; Marciano, Alain (2006). "The Political Economy of European Federalism" (PDF). Series: Public Economics and Social Choice. Centre for Research in Economics and Management, University of Rennes 1, University of Caen: 12. WP 2006-07; UMR CNRS 6211. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2008. A complete shift from a confederation to a federation would have required to straightforwardly replace the principalship of the member states vis-à-vis the Union by that of the European citizens. As a consequence, both confederate and federate features coexist in the judicial landscape.
  18. ^ "How the Court Made a Federation of the EU" [referring to the European Court of Justice]. Josselin (U. de Rennes-1/CREM) and Marciano (U. de Reims CA/CNRS).
  19. ^ J.H.H. Weiler (2003). "Chapter 2, Federalism without Constitutionalism: Europe's Sonderweg". The federal vision: legitimacy and levels of governance in the United States and the European Union. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-924500-2. Europe has charted its own brand of constitutional federalism. It works. Why fix it?
  20. ^ How the [ECJ] court made a federation of the EU Josselin (U de Rennes-1/CREM) and Marciano (U de Reims CA/CNRS).
  21. ^ Josselin, Jean Michel; Marciano, Alain (2006). "The political economy of European federalism" (PDF). Series: Public Economics and Social Choice. Centre for Research in Economics and Management, University of Rennes 1, University of Caen: 12. WP 2006-07; UMR CNRS 6211. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2008.
  22. ^ Bednar, Jenna (2001). A Political Theory of Federalism. Cambridge University. pp. 223–270.
  23. ^ Thomas Risse and Tanja A. Börzel, Who is Afraid of a European Federation? How to Constitutionalise a Multi-Level Governance System, Section 4: The European Union as an Emerging Federal System, Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law
  24. ^ Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose (8 July 2003). "Giscard's 'federal' ruse to protect Blair". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  25. ^ Jennings, p.94
  26. ^ "Startseite". admin.ch. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  27. ^ "Federal Chancellery - The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide". Bk.admin.ch. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  28. ^ "The Swiss Confederation Institute". The Swiss Confederation Institute. Archived from the original on 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  29. ^ Chevallaz, Histoire générale de 1789 à nos jours, p132ff, Publ. Payot, Lausanne 1974

External links

AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were also scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007 when it was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years.

The Asian Cup has generally been dominated by a small number of top teams. Initially successful teams included South Korea (twice) and Iran (three times). Since 1984, Japan (four times) and Saudi Arabia (three times) have been the most successful teams, together winning 7 of the last 10 finals. The other teams which have achieved success are Qatar (2019 current champions), Australia (2015), Iraq (2007) and Kuwait (1980). Israel won in 1964 but were later expelled and have since joined UEFA.

Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015. The 2019 tournament had been expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The tournament will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Unlike other confederation tournaments, the Asian Cup has often been rescheduled to another time of year to better suit the climate of the host nation, for example in 2007 it was played in July but the following three tournaments were played in January.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate (between July 1776 and November 1777), by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, and sent to the states for ratification. The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states. The weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.The Articles formed a war-time confederation of states, with an extremely limited central government. While unratified, the document was used by the Congress to conduct business, direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with foreign nations, and deal with territorial issues and Native American relations. The adoption of the Articles made few perceptible changes in the federal government, because it did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing. That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same.As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so. As the government's weaknesses became apparent, especially after Shays' Rebellion, some prominent political thinkers in the fledgling US began asking for changes to the Articles. Their hope was to create a stronger national government. Initially, some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems. However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. This became the Constitutional Convention. It was quickly realized that changes would not work, and instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced. On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution. The new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive (the President), courts, and taxing powers.

Asian Football Confederation

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia and Australia. It has 47 member countries, mostly located on the Asian and Australian continent, but excludes the transcontinental countries with territory in both Europe and Asia – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey – which are instead members of UEFA. Three other states located geographically along the western fringe of Asia – Cyprus, Armenia and Israel – are also UEFA members. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006, and the Oceanian island of Guam, a territory of the United States, is also a member of AFC, in addition to Northern Mariana Islands, one of the Two Commonwealths of the United States. Hong Kong and Macau, although not independent countries (both are Special administrative regions of China), are also members of the AFC.

One of FIFA's six continental confederations, the AFC was formed officially on 8 May 1954 in Manila, Philippines, on the sidelines of the second Asian Games. The main headquarters is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The current president is Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

Brazilian Football Confederation

The Brazilian Football Confederation (Portuguese: Confederação Brasileira de Futebol; CBF) is the governing body of football in Brazil. Founded in 1914 as "Confederação Brasileira de Desportos" change name in 1979. During this period, was the governing body, or at least the international reference, also for other sport , like tennis (until the foundation of CBT in 1955) , athletics (until 1977 when was founded CBAt), Swimming, Waterpolo, Handball (until 1979).

The CBF has its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The confederation owns a training center, named Granja Comary, located in Teresópolis.It was announced on 29 September 2007 that the CBF would launch a women's league and cup competition in October 2007 following pressure from FIFA president Sepp Blatter during the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.

CAF Confederation Cup

The CAF Confederation Cup, officially named Total CAF Confederation Cup, is an annual club association football competition organised by the Confederation of African Football since 2004. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the second-tier competition of African club football, ranking below the CAF Champions League.

The winner of the tournament faces the winner of the CAF Champions League in the following season's CAF Super Cup.

CONCACAF

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF KON-kə-kaf; typeset for branding purposes since 2018 as Concacaf) is the continental governing body for association football in North America, which includes Central America and the Caribbean region. Three geographically South American entities — the independent nations of Guyana and Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana — are also members. CONCACAF's primary functions are to organize competitions for national teams and clubs, and to conduct World Cup and Women's World Cup qualifying tournaments.

CONCACAF was founded in its current form on 18 September 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico, with the merger of the NAFC and the CCCF, which made it one of the then five, now six continental confederations affiliated with FIFA. Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao), Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname and United States were founding members.CONCACAF is the third-most successful FIFA confederation. Mexico dominated CONCACAF men's competition early on and has since won the most Gold Cups since the beginning of the tournament in its current format. The Mexican national team is the only CONCACAF team to win an official FIFA tournament by winning the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. While the U.S. is the only country outside Europe and South America to receive a medal in the World Cup, finishing third in 1930, they also reached the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals and the 2009 Confederations Cup final. Between them, Mexico and the U.S. have won all but one of the editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In recent years Costa Rica and Panama have become powers in the region; in 2014, Costa Rica became the 4th CONCACAF country after the United States, Cuba, and Mexico to make the World Cup quarterfinals, while Panama became the eleventh country from the confederation to participate in the World Cup in 2018. The United States has been very successful in the women's game, being the only CONCACAF member to win all three major worldwide competitions in women's football — the World Cup (3), the Olympics (4), and the Algarve Cup (10). Canada is the only other member to win at least one of the major competitions, winning the Algarve Cup in 2016.

CONMEBOL

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL, ; Spanish: Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol; Portuguese: Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol or CSF) is the continental governing body of football in South America (apart from Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana) and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations. The oldest continental confederation in the world, its headquarters are located in Luque, Paraguay, near Asunción. CONMEBOL is responsible for the organization and governance of South American football's major international tournaments. With 10 member football associations, it has the fewest members of all the confederations in FIFA.

CONMEBOL national teams have won nine FIFA World Cups (Brazil five, Uruguay two and Argentina two), and CONMEBOL clubs have won 22 Intercontinental Cups and four FIFA Club World Cups. Argentina and Uruguay have won two Olympic gold medals each, Brazil has won one Olympic gold medal. It is considered one of the strongest confederations in the world.

The World Cup qualifiers of CONMEBOL have been described as the "toughest qualifiers in the world", for their simple round-robin system, entry of some of the top national teams in the world, leveling of the weaker national teams, climate conditions, geographic conditions, strong home stands and passionate supporters. Currently, the Confederation is planning to create the first women's qualification to the FIFA Women's World Cup to replace the Copa América Femenina.

Juan Ángel Napout (Paraguay) was the president of CONMEBOL until 3 December 2015 when he was arrested in a raid in Switzerland as part of the U.S. Justice Department's bribery case involving FIFA. Wilmar Valdez (Uruguay) was interim president until 26 January 2016 when Alejandro Domínguez (Paraguay) was elected president. The Vice presidents are Ramón Jesurum (Colombia), Laureano González (Venezuela), and Arturo Salah (Chile).

Canadian Confederation

Canadian Confederation (French: Confédération canadienne) was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec; along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the new federation thus comprised four provinces. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories.

Chancellor of Germany

The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is currently used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), the head of government of Germany.

The term, dating from the Early Middle Ages, is derived from the Latin term cancellarius.

The modern office of chancellor evolved from the position created for Otto von Bismarck in the North German Confederation in 1867; this federal state evolved into a German nation-state with the 1871 Unification of Germany. The role of the chancellor has varied greatly throughout Germany's modern history. Today, the chancellor is the country's effective leader, although in formal protocol, the Bundespräsident and Bundestagspräsident are ranked higher.

In German politics, the chancellor is the equivalent of a prime minister in many other countries.

The chancellor is elected by the Bundestag.The current, official title in German is Bundeskanzler(in), which means "federal chancellor", and is sometimes shortened to Kanzler(in).

The 8th and current chancellor is Angela Merkel, who is serving her fourth term in office.

She is the first female chancellor.

Confederation of African Football

The Confederation of African Football or CAF (French: Confédération Africaine de Football) is the administrative and controlling body for African association football.

CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs continental, national, and club competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions.

CAF is the biggest of the six continental confederations of FIFA. Since the expansion of the number of teams at the World Cup finals to 32 in 1998, CAF has been allocated five places, though this was expanded to six for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, to include the hosts.

CAF was established on 8 February 1957 in Khartoum, Sudan, by Egyptian, Ethiopian, South African and Sudanese FAs, following former discussions between the Egyptian, Somali, South African and Sudanese FAs earlier on 7 June 1956 at the Avenida Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. Its first headquarters was situated in Khartoum for some months until a fire outbreak in the offices of the Sudanese Football Association when the organization moved near Cairo, Egypt. Youssef Mohamad was the first general secretary and Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem the president. Since 2002, the administrative center has been located in 6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt. CAF currently has 56 member associations: 55 are full members, including former associate Zanzibar (admitted in March 2017), while Réunion remains an associate member (see the CAF Members and Zones section below).

The current CAF President is Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar, who was elected on 16 March 2017. The 1st Vice-President is Amaju Melvin Pinnick from Nigeria, the 2nd Vice-President is called Constant Omari Selemani from RD Congo and the 3rd Vice-President is Fouzi Lekjaa from Morocco. Current CAF General Secretary is Egyptian Amr Fahmy since 16 November 2017.

Confederation of the Rhine

The Confederation of the Rhine (German: Rheinbund; French: officially États confédérés du Rhin ("Confederated States of the Rhine"), but in practice Confédération du Rhin) was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from 16 German states by Napoleon after he defeated Austria and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, which lasted from 1806 to 1813.The members of the confederation were German princes (Fürsten) formerly within the Holy Roman Empire. They were later joined by 19 others, altogether ruling a total of over 15 million subjects providing a significant strategic advantage to the French Empire on its eastern front by providing a separation between France and the two largest German states, Prussia and Austria, to the east, which were not members of the Confederation of the Rhine.

Napoleon sought to consolidate the modernizing achievements of the revolution, but he wanted the soldiers and supplies these subject states could provide for his wars. Napoleon required it to supply 63,000 troops to his army. The success of the Confederation depended on Napoleon's success in battle; it collapsed when he lost the Battle of Leipzig in 1813.

Continental Congress

The Continental Congress, also known as the Philadelphia Congress, was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies. It became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution.

The Congress met from 1774 to 1789 in three incarnations. The first call for a convention was made over issues of the blockade and the Intolerable Acts penalizing the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1774 Benjamin Franklin convinced the colonial delegates to the Congress to form a representative body. Much of what we know today comes from the yearly log books printed by the Continental Congress called Resolutions, Acts and Orders of Congress, which gives a day-to-day description of debates and issues.

Although the delegates in the early period were divided as to whether to break from Crown rule, the second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776, passed a resolution asserting independence, with no opposing vote recorded. The Declaration of Independence was issued two days later, declaring a new nation: the United States of America. It established a Continental Army, giving command to one of its members, George Washington of Virginia. It waged war with Great Britain, made a militia treaty with France, and funded the war effort with loans and paper money.

The third Continental Congress was the Congress of the Confederation, under the Articles of Confederation.

Federation

A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.

The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is considered to be federalist, or to be an example of federalism. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. France, for example, has been unitary for multiple centuries. Austria and its Bundesländer was a unitary state with administrative divisions that became federated through the implementation of the Austrian Constitution following the 1918 collapse of Austria-Hungary. Germany, with its 16 states, or Bundesländer, is an example of a federation. Federations are often multiethnic and cover a large area of territory (such as Russia, the United States, Canada, India, or Brazil), but neither is necessarily the case.

Several ancient chiefdoms and kingdoms, such as the 4th-century BCE League of Corinth, Noricum in Central Europe, and the Haudenosaunee Confederation in pre-Columbian North America, could be described as federations or confederations. The Old Swiss Confederacy was an early example of formal non-unitary statehood.

Several colonies and dominions in the New World consisted of autonomous provinces, transformed to federal states upon independence (see Spanish American wars of independence). The oldest continuous federation, and a role model for many subsequent federations, is the United States. Some of the New World federations failed; the Federal Republic of Central America broke up into independent states less than 20 years after its founding. Others, such as Argentina and Mexico, have shifted between federal, confederal, and unitary systems, before settling into federalism. Brazil became a federation only after the fall of the monarchy, and Venezuela became a federation after the Federal War. Australia and Canada are also federations.

Germany is another nation-state that has switched between confederal, federal and unitary rules, since the German Confederation was founded in 1815. The North German Confederation, the succeeding German Empire and the Weimar Republic were federations.

Founded in 1922, the Soviet Union was formally a federation of Soviet republics, autonomous republics and other federal subjects, though in practice highly centralized under the government of the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation has inherited a similar system.

Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Malaysia (then Federation of Malaya) became federations on or shortly before becoming independent from the British Empire.

In some recent cases, federations have been instituted as a measure to handle ethnic conflict within a state, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq since 2005.

With the United States Constitution having become effective on 4 March 1789, the United States is the oldest surviving federation. On the other end of the timeline is Nepal, which became the newest federation after its constitution went into effect on 20 September 2015.

German Confederation

The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was an association of 39 German-speaking states in Central Europe (adding the mainly non-German speaking Kingdom of Bohemia and Duchy of Carniola), created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries and to replace the former Holy Roman Empire, which had been dissolved in 1806. The German Confederation excluded German-speaking lands in the eastern portion of the Kingdom of Prussia (East Prussia, West Prussia and Posen), the German cantons of Switzerland, and Alsace within France which was majority German speaking.

The Confederation was weakened by rivalry between the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire, revolution, and the inability of the multiple members to compromise. In 1848, revolutions by liberals and nationalists attempted to establish a unified German state with a progressive liberal constitution under the Frankfurt Convention. The ruling body, the Confederate Diet, was dissolved on 12 July 1848, but was re-established in 1850 after failed efforts to replace it.The Confederation was finally dissolved after the Prussian victory in the Seven Weeks' War over Austria in 1866. The dispute over which had the inherent right to rule German lands ended in favour of Prussia, leading to the creation of the North German Confederation under Prussian leadership in 1867, to which the eastern portions of the Kingdom of Prussia were added. A number of South German states remained independent until they joined the North German Confederation, which was renamed and proclaimed as the "German Empire" in 1871 for the now unified Germany with the Prussian king as emperor (Kaiser) after the victory over French Emperor Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

Most historians have judged the Confederation to have been weak and ineffective, as well as an obstacle to the creation of a German nation-state. However, the Confederation was designed to be weak, as it served the interests of the European Great Powers, especially member states Austria and Prussia.

Kingdom of Prussia

The Kingdom of Prussia (German: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.

The kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a great power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, which became a military power under Frederick William, known as "The Great Elector". Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more commonly known as Frederick the Great, who was the third son of Frederick William I. Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War, holding his own against Austria, Russia, France and Sweden and establishing Prussia's role in the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a major power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles, and many wars. Because of its power, Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states (excluding the German cantons in Switzerland) under its rule, although whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain was an ongoing question.

After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of more closely unifying the many German states caused revolution throughout the German states, with each wanting their own constitution. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful member states, Prussia and Austria. The North German Confederation, which lasted from 1867 to 1871, created a closer union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent. The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were later used in the German Empire. The German Empire lasted from 1871 to 1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, and with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those who had been against unification. In 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power.Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the unified German Reich (1871–1945) and as such a direct ancestor of today's Federal Republic of Germany. The formal abolition of Prussia, carried out on 25 February 1947 by the fiat of the Allied Control Council referred to an alleged tradition of the kingdom as a bearer of militarism and reaction, and made way for the current setup of the German states. However, the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen), which followed the abolition of the Kingdom of Prussia in the aftermath of World War I, was a major democratic force in Weimar Germany until the nationalist coup of 1932 known as the Preußenschlag. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK)), which has become one of the largest cultural organisations in the world.

List of Prime Ministers of Canada

The Prime Minister of Canada is an official who serves as the primary minister of the Crown, chair of the Cabinet, and thus head of government of Canada. Officially, the prime minister is appointed by the Governor General of Canada, but by constitutional convention, the prime minister must have the confidence of the elected House of Commons. Normally, this is the leader of the party caucus with the greatest number of seats in the house. But, if that leader lacks the support of the majority, the governor general can appoint another leader who has that support or may dissolve parliament and call a new election. By constitutional convention, a prime minister holds a seat in parliament and, since the early 20th century, this has more specifically meant the House of Commons.The office is not outlined in any of the documents that constitute the written portion of the Constitution of Canada; executive authority is formally vested in the sovereign and exercised on his or her behalf by the governor general. The prime ministership is part of Canada's constitutional convention tradition. The office was modelled after that which existed in Britain at the time. Sir John A. Macdonald was commissioned by the Viscount Monck on 24 May 1867, to form the first government of the Canadian Confederation. On 1 July 1867, the first ministry assumed office.The date for which a prime minister begins his or her term has been determined by the date that he or she is sworn into his or her portfolio, as an oath of office as prime minister is not required. However, since 1957, the incoming prime minister has sworn an oath as prime minister. Before 1920, prime ministers' resignations were accepted immediately by the governor general and the last day of the ministries were the date he died or the date of resignation. Since 1920, the outgoing prime minister has only formally resigned when the new government is ready to be formed. The Interpretation Act of 1967 states that "where an appointment is made effective or terminates on a specified day, that appointment is considered to be effective or to terminate after the end of the previous day". Thus, although the outgoing prime minister formally resigns only hours before the incoming ministry swears their oaths, both during the day, the ministries are effectively changed at midnight the night before. Some sources, including the Parliament of Canada, apply this convention as far back as 1917. Two prime ministers have died in office: John A. Macdonald (1867–1873, 1878–1891), and John Thompson (1892–1894). All others have resigned, either after losing an election or upon retirement.

North German Confederation

The North German Confederation (German: Norddeutscher Bund) was the German federal state which existed from July 1867 to December 1870. Some historians also use the name for the alliance of 22 German states formed on 18 August 1866 (Augustbündnis). In 1870–1871, the south German states of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Württemberg and Bavaria joined the country. On 1 January 1871, the country adopted a new constitution, which was written under the title of a new "German Confederation" but already gave it the name "German Empire" in the preamble and article 11. As the state system largely remained the same in the German Empire, the North German Confederation continues as the German nation state which still exists.The federal constitution established a constitutional monarchy with the Prussian king as the bearer of the Bundespräsidium, or head of state. Laws could only be enabled with the consent of the Reichstag (a parliament based on universal male suffrage) and the Federal Council (a representation of the states). During the four years of the North German Confederation, a conservative-liberal cooperation undertook important steps to unify (Northern) Germany with regard to law and infrastructure. The political system (and the political parties) remained essentially the same in the years after 1870.

The North German Confederation had nearly 30 million inhabitants, of whom eighty percent lived in Prussia. Three quarters of the people of the 1871 Empire had already been "North German"'.

Oceania Football Confederation

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, and other Pacific Island countries. It promotes the game in Oceania and allows the member nations to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

OFC is predominantly made up of island nations where association football is not the most popular sport. Consequently, the OFC has little influence in the wider football world, either in terms of international competition or as a source of players for high-profile club competitions. In 2006, the OFC's largest and most successful nation, Australia, left to join the Asian Football Confederation, leaving New Zealand as the largest federation within the OFC.

David Chung has been the President of OFC until April 2018. Rajesh Patel is the Senior Vice President, Lee Harmon is the Vice-President while Tai Nicholas is the General Secretary.Oceania is the only confederation to have not had at least one international title (AFC has won the Women's World Cup, CAF has enjoyed Olympic success, and members of the CONCACAF have won the Confederations Cup as well as enjoyed successes in the Women's World Cup), the best result being Australia making the final of the 1997 Confederations Cup.

Switzerland

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (land area 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi)). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.

Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer.

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