Ituna Center for Basque Economic Agreement and Fiscal Federalism Studies research project was founded in 2007 through the signature of a collaboration agreement between the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU). The Center is attached to the Department of Contemporary History of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Other departments of the UPV/EHU, including the Department of Public Law and Department of Didactics of the Social Sciences, also participate in the Center.
The main goal of the Ituna Center is to conduct research and promote scientific production related to the Basque Economic Agreement and the singular tax and financial system in the Basque Country in the context of the currents of international fiscal federalism. The Economic Agreement establishes an asymmetric model of tax and financial arrangements between the Spanish state and the Basque representative institutions, which have deep and extensive tax and financial self-government. Considered from the perspective of comparative Law, the Basque institutions are situated amongst the sub-state authorities with the greatest fiscal power in Europe. In order to achieve its goal, the Ituna Center develops three principal lines of activity:
1. To collect, rationalise, analyse and disseminate academic knowledge on the Economic Agreement and the Basque fiscal system, and more generally on systems of fiscal federalism or fiscal and financial decentralisation. Since its foundation in 2007, the documentation service of the Center has been accumulating and ordering every type of sources of information: press, scientific production and audio-visual resources. It has built up a database containing over 20,000 entries that is available on our website to researchers, institutions, professionals and the general public. This database provides an ideal platform for analysing “big data”, opening up a fertile field for conducting deeper research in already consolidated areas of study, and for exploring new lines of research.
2. The Ituna Center is a meeting point and a referent in the Basque and Spanish University System for researchers interested in working in any field related to the Ituna Center’s main lines of research: the Basque Economic Agreement; the Basque fiscal system and the Spanish system of autonomous funding; fiscal federalism and comparative taxation systems; public institutions and the study of political elites. The Center welcomes, encourages and provides resources for students who wish to carry out Final Projects for Masters Courses and Degree Courses, pre- and post-doctoral researchers, as well as every type of national or international researchers.
3. The Ituna Center stimulates, disseminates and promotes knowledge about the Economic Agreement, the Basque fiscal system and the systems of fiscal federalism or fiscal and financial decentralisation in general, situating the singular Basque case in the currents of international research on fiscal federalism. To this end, the Center has been publishing the Ituna Newsletter every fortnight since the year 2007. The purpose of the Ituna Newsletter is to act as a megaphone for disseminating knowledge and generating public opinion, especially around the Basque Economic Agreement and the Basque fiscal system in the context of international fiscal federalism. The Ituna Newsletter is produced by the Center and is accessible to all publics. It combines current news, scientific articles, diffusion articles, information on international taxation systems and information on novelties in the publishing world. In addition, the Center periodically organises scientific meetings and conferences for disseminating knowledge, it participates in and contributes to scientific publications and collaborates with other academic, public and private bodies and institutions.
The Ituna Center collaborates, among others, with the following partners:
- International Commission for the History of Representative & Parliamentary Institutions, ICHRPI.
- Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada.
- International Committee of Historical Sciences,
- The Association for the promotion and diffusion of the Basque Economic Agreement, Ad Concordiam.
- Eurobasque, Basque Council of European Movement.
- Mikel Erkoreka, researcher of the Ituna Center, is member of The International Political Science Association´s Research Committee on Comparative Federalism and Multilevel Governance.