Comparative overview of Local Powers in the European Union

The European Confederation of Local Intermediate Authorities has conducted a comparative overview of Local Powers in the European Union.

This overview was realized starting from the current context in which, under the pretext of recent effects of the economic and social crisis, several European countries took the decision to undermine the role and responsibilities of local authorities at county level, thus inevitably leading to the weakening, to a certain extent, the local democracy.

A series of territorial administrative reforms took place in Europe, threatening the existence of this level of governance and ignoring at least three essential elements characterizing it, namely: a) their legitimacy,  as a result of a democratic process; b) their role of guarantor of subsidiarity and multilevel governance principles; c) their proximity to citizens, while having, at the same time, the necessary authority and powers for the launching and implementation of strategies designed just to fight against the results of the economic and social crisis.

The pretext under which these reforms are taking place is the rethinking of public spending and reallocation of local finances, although no specialized study conducted recently demonstrates, with plausible arguments, the real benefits of these decisions for the local communities concerned.

CEPLI considers that this document might be a useful tool for local elected officials, both in terms of monitoring the territorial reforms at European level and developing international institutional relations between local authorities.

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Comparative overview of Local Powers in the European Union - EN (.pdf file - 921.89 KB)Tableau comparatif des pouvoirs locaux dans l’Union Européenne - FR (.pdf file - 966.72 KB)