Drawing on classical and emerging research perspectives, this comprehensive book provides an up-to-date review of local government in Europe.
Featuring an impressive range of contributors from both eastern and western Europe, the book addresses three main topics: territorial reforms, democratic empowerment of citizens and the role of local leadership, as well as new trends in local finances.
Acknowledging their inherent diversity, the book examines the ways that local governments have responded to shared challenges, such as climate change, increasing populism and democratic deficit in order to identify both the variety and communalities between the country-specific features. In doing so, it provides a rich picture of the latest trends in local government, as well as pointing the way for future developments.
Throughout the history of European integration, economic wealth has increased to the benefit of citizens in the European Union (EU). However, inequalities in well-being persist within and between Europe’s regions, undermining the legitimacy of the EU in the eyes of citizens. This book investigates how the EU can use its regional funding programmes in ways that increase citizen well-being.
The book shows that while EU social investments improve labour market performance in rich regions, they exacerbate income inequality in poor regions. Based on this insight, the book presents a theory on the conditions under which EU funding will enhance well-being. Crucially, it argues the case for enhancing the inclusivity of EU growth, which yields the promise of a more legitimate and stronger union.