ince the beginning of the financial, economic, and social crisis of 2008, local and regional authorities have had to adapt to a new political and economic context. Numerous reforms have been made concerning the practices of these governments, as well as the functions of subnational authorities. These legislative and organisational modifications, often initiated by local governments, call into question the role of the local and regional level within the inner workings of states.

The purpose of this publication is to provide a picture as complete as possible of the reforms that have been put in place since the beginning of the crisis. Sixty years after the signing of the European Charter of Municipal Liberties in 1953, this study also aims to present an overview of the consequences of the crisis on local and regional autonomy in Europe. The budget restrictions currently in place, the tendencies by national governments to recentralise competences, as well as the ever increasing disengagement of states all weaken the freedom of local and regional authorities to act. It is therefore necessary to highlight the importance of local governments in the definition of a new political project in Europe.

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Decentralisation at a crossroads-Territorial reforms in Europe