The Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform is the Council of Europe operational arm in the field of multi-level governance, supporting central, regional and local authorities to improve their institutions, regulations, capacity and action. The Centre is recognised for the quality and modernity of its programmes, which are effective and quality impact-oriented and draw on the very best of European experience in order to develop effective and democratic governance.
Through legal assistance programmes, it has supported numerous central and eastern European countries in their efforts to decentralise. Through capacity-building programmes, it has reinforced the institutional capacity of their local authorities thus improved the quality of local and regional governance. It has also offered assistance to local authorities in several Western and Nordic countries. The European Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level, enouncing 12 European Principles of Good Democratic Governance, is another important initiative of the Centre.
The Centre has a pool of capacity-building experts and capacity-building tools and programmes which it introduces to member States at their request. It works closely with local ministries responsible for local government issues, national associations of local authorities, professional associations and training institutions. The Centre operates in connection with the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.