Second Review Conference : CDLR/OSF/CEMR International Conference “Crisis and recovery: bringing solutions in partnership”

STRASBOURG (France), 20-21 June 2011

About the conference
From 20 to 21 June the Council of Europe, Open Society Foundations and CEMR will hold in Strasbourg the conference taking stock of the situation and showcasing innovative practices for tackling economic recovery in Europe’s municipalities and regions. It will provide an important occasion for reviewing the guidelines adopted in the Utrecht declaration and for proposing more developed guidelines to be considered for adoption at the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference in Kyiv in November 2011.

In 2009, European Ministers responsible for local and regional government, at the 16th session of the Council of Europe ministerial conference (Utrecht, Netherlands), addressed the impact of the financial/economic crisis on local government and adopted a statement and a number of policy guidelines in the final “Utrecht Declaration”.

They agreed that work on this topic should be continued, notably by monitoring the financial and economic developments for local and regional governments and policy responses adopted. A first review conference was held in Strasbourg in October 2010.

2010 Conference Publication:
The Impact of the Economic Downturn on Local Government in Europe: what is happening? What can be done?


Conference Objectives 

  Update information on the impact of the economic crisis on local government budgets.

  Compare responses to the crisis involving inter-governmental financial relations (e.g. changes in revenue and expenditure assignments, transfers, taxing/charging rights).

  Compare responses to the crisis by local government management improving accountability and efficiency and involving innovative methods of service provision (e.g. changes in staffing practices, increased transparency, inter-municipal cooperation).

  Compare the practice of individual local authorities as the hub of their communities in addressing the economic and social challenges they confront post-crisis. The central concern would be their ability to harness business interests, universities, civic society organisations etc in a strategic and mutually reinforcing effort to restore economic fortunes and care for the disadvantaged.

  Examine the impact of fiscal austerity on local public services and its consequences for social cohesion/human rights (drawing on public perception surveys as well as questionnaire responses); recommend priority for social expenditures targeted to the most vulnerable groups.

  Assess the overall impact of current developments on compliance with the Charter, ie. on the freedom of local governments to conduct local affairs and manage public services in conformity with the needs and preferences of local citizens.

  Identify innovations and experience which would make useful cases for description and presentation to the Ministerial Conference at Kyiv in November.


General information document
Case studies guidelines
Responses in inter-governmental relations
Working group A Moderator Sorin Ionita
Working group B Moderator Paul Bernd Spahn
Responses in local government management
Working group A Moderator Joe Allen
Working group B Moderator Jorgen Lotz
Avoiding impacts on social cohesion
Working group A Moderator Katalin Tausz
Presentation by Gallup International
 Local authorities’ role in economic recovery
Working group B Moderator Gabor Peteri
Case studies session:
Theme: local strategies for resilience and recovery












Other resources

  Council of Europe reports on local finance
  Council of Europe handbook, including Recommendations from the Committee of Ministers




More Information

Council of Europe EDQM building
20-21 June 2011
Directions for getting to EDQM
Questionnaire - Excel sheet
Country replies to the questionnaire
List of participants

Practical Information for participants