Good Governance – the responsible conduct of public affairs and management of public resources – is encapsulated in the Council of Europe 12 Principles of Good Governance.

The 12 Principles are enshrined in the Strategy on Innovation and Good Governance at local level, endorsed by a decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2008. They cover issues such as ethical conduct, rule of law, efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, sound financial management and accountability. 

The Centre of Expertise has developed toolkits to assist local authorities, and in some cases central authorities, in living up to these principles and thus delivering better services to citizens.

The European Label of Governance’ Excellence (ELoGE) is awarded to local authorities having achieved a high overall level of good governance measured against the relevant benchmark.

The 12 Principles and related tools

European Label of Governance Excellence

The European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE) is symbolised by a crystal dodecahedron engraved with the twelve European principles of good democratic governance, as enshrined in the European Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level.

The Label is awarded to local authorities having achieved a high overall level of governance, by a national or regional Stakeholders’ Platform. This platform needs to be accredited by the stakeholders’ platform of the Council of Europe.

Local authorities who wish to apply for the Label are evaluated according to the following tools: a matrix evaluating their action, a questionnaire addressed to citizens, a questionnaire addressed to local elected representatives.

The evaluation allows to local authorities to understand their strengths and their weaknesses when providing public services to the local community and exercising public authority. To improve the quality of local governance, local authorities can use the various tools developed by the Centre of expertise and take inspiration from their colleagues’ best practices.