The Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform is the Council of
Europe operational arm in the field of multi-level governance,
supporting central, regional and local authorities to improve their
regulations, institutions, action and capacity. It was created at the
request of European governments to help local authorities throughout
Europe to improve their institutional capacity and performance in
delivering services and exercising public authority.
is widely recognised for the quality and modernity of its programmes,
for its impact orientation and for the success of its approach. It
pioneers an innovative business model for capacity-building in local
authorities, which incorporates highly effective and impact-oriented
programmes and draws on the very best of European experience in order to
develop effective democratic local government.
assistance programmes, it has supported all central and eastern European
countries in their efforts to decentralise and, through
capacity-building programmes, to reinforce the institutional capacity of
their local authorities thus improving the quality of local and regional
governance. It has also offered assistance to local authorities in
several Western and Nordic countries. Currently 32 full programmes are
being implemented across 20 countries.
European Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level
(the “Strategy”) is another important initiative of the Centre. It sets
out 12 European Principles of Good Democratic Governance offering
guidance to public authorities for a co-ordinated approach to improving
the quality of local governance. To date, several countries (Belgium,
Bulgaria, Netherlands, Norway, and Ukraine) have adopted the Strategy
and more (Bulgaria and Norway) have obtained accreditation for
delivering the European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE). More
recently, Austria applied for accreditation, the Veneto Region in Italy
is adapting the strategy to the regional context and the associations of
local authorities in Spain, Portugal, and Greece expressed their
interest in applying.The new capacity-building project in Malta includes
implementation of ELoGE from 2013.
The Centre has a pool of
capacity-building experts and capacity-building tools and programmes
which it introduces to member States at their request. It works closely
with local government ministries, national associations of local
authorities, professional associations and training institutions. It
also works with Council of Europe and other national and international
bodies, to make best use of their experience and expertise. For the
Council of Europe, these include the European Committee on Local and
Regional Democracy, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and
with national and international organisations in ways that make best use
of their experience and expertise.
 By European Ministers
responsible for Local and Regional Authorities, at their Conference in
Budapest, February 2005. This decision was subsequently adopted at the
Council of Europe's 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government in
Warsaw in May 2005.