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Workshop 3

Local and regional finance, public service provision and financial management

  • Prof. dr. Nico Mol and drs. Johan de Kruijf
The workshop will address the challenges identified in the Budapest Agenda for delivering good local and regional governance with respect to local and regional finance, challenges with regard to quality and efficiency of local service delivery and challenges in providing sound financial management.
In accordance with the Budapest (2005) and subsequent Valencia (2007) Declaration of the European ministers responsible for local and regional government a number of issues related to these challenges can be recognized, which may be grouped in three general themes:
  1. The allocation of resources to local and regional authorities. This theme encompasses issues in fiscal decentralization, financial relationships between national/supranational and local/regional government, public provision of goods and services and decision making on user charges.
  2. Local and Regional Public Services. Here the Budapest Agenda has stated that the local and regional governments have to develop adequate leadership and organizational capacity to provide citizens with public services of the highest possible quality while respecting budgetary constraints. The Budapest Declaration has recommended that local and regional authorities share their best practices (regarding innovations in public service delivery) and explore the potentials and pitfalls of various forms of inter-municipal and public – private partnerships. Innovations in the production and provision of public services may contribute to either the responsiveness or the efficiency of sub-national governance.
  3. Financial and budgetary management at local and regional levels. This theme includes issues in financial and management accounting such as application of accrual accounting in government, adoption of IPSAS or other accounting standards, multi-annual forecasting/budgeting and risk assessment, as well as issues in public sector management control, e.g. performance management, benchmarking, internal decentralization and accountability and risk management. An important question is to what extent such forms of public management are actually implemented in local and regional governments in various countries across Europe and to what extent they contribute to the openness and transparency of local governance and the quality of financial management.
We welcome papers that address either one of these three issues. We are particularly interested in papers that:
  • Discuss future challenges and dilemmas in fiscal relations between public authorities and in financial and public service management in subnational government or develop thoughts about promising directions for innovations of local and regional governance.
  • Provide descriptions and evaluations of practices and innovations in Europe.
Comparative analyses, especially if they span a variety of European countries are particularly welcomed.

See also relevant COE Documents

See the papers (select papers ws3... for this workshop)