Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional government
UTRECHT 2009: Good local and regional governance in turbulent times: the challenge of change
The global financial crisis has given a severe jolt to the very foundations of the world's economy and economic governance. While signs of a recovery are emerging, it is clear that the after-effects of the recession will continue to be felt for a long time. Local and regional authorities which, in Europe, manage proportions of public expenditure ranging up to as high as 80% are in the forefront of efforts to find a way out of the crisis, through exceptional investment expenditure, spending in the social sphere or on vocational retraining, etc. Their ability to cope with these exceptional challenges, which will remain long after the recession has come to an end, were the focal point of the discussions among the European Ministers responsible for local and regional government when they met in Utrecht (Netherlands) on 16 and 17 November 2009.