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Local finances in european cities
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Conférence et cycle

Local finances in european cities

Between the management of local well-being and multi-level priorities



In the lively discussions around multi-level governance, the attention is currently on the financial interactions between international and national levels with the local level often taken for granted. However, deep constitutional, legal, economic and political differences exist between local government across Europe and within countries themselves.

Asymmetries between wealth/needs and revenues/spendings trigger fundamental questions of social justice, socio-economic cohesion, solidarity, substantive and formal equality. This leads to our research questions :
Are there alternatives to centralisation to address local asymmetries ?
Are there ways to mitigate centralisation to the benefit of local autonomy ?
What is the role of non-institutional forms of solidarity to mediate the local/central interfaces ?

These online discussions explore these questions from both top down and bottom up, thanks to case studies and interdisciplinary discussions, looking both at the taxation and the spending side of the equation. The sessions will feature examples from all corners of Europe : North (Sweden, Finland), South (Italy, Spain), West (Belgium, France, Germany, the UK) and East (Romania).

Our guests will bring expertise from law, accounting and economy




28th October 2022 


14h00 : This first session sets the scene for discussing the taxation and spending aspects of local autonomy in the 2020s, at a time when public action is both being increasingly outsourced andrecentred on coercive functions. How do these transformations in administrative action align with taxation powers, how are the spending functions of local autonomy controlled ? What are the constitutional guarantees and limits available ?

Chair – Dr Dominic de Cogan, Cambridge

Professor Jean-Bernard Auby, Sciences Po Paris

Respondant : Danielle Lamarque, Revue Gestion et finances publiques

Professor Edoardo Traversa, UC Louvain

Respondant : Dr Ines Ciolli, Sapienza di Roma


Registration : click


16th December 2022 

Case study : competition and taxation challenges of ports in a global economy

14h00 : Ports are specific economic entities in need of dedicated investments to respond to changing needs of transportation. They are also economic drivers and fierce competitors. (How) can they balance conflicting needs of attracting goods and investing in infrastructures ?

Chair – Dr Marine Chouquet, Paris Cité 

Ports and Globalisation

Professor Nicolas Guillet, Le Havre
Respondant Professor Elvira Van Haezendonck, VUB 

Free ports

Dr Peter Holmes, Sussex, UKTRO
Mr Guillermo Labalastier, Sussex

Respondant : Dr Frank Stevens, Rotterdam


Registration : click


1st February 2023 

European funds at local level

9h30 : The debates on the rule of law in the EU have led to developing systems to monitor more closely the protection of the financial interests of the EU. Local governments fall within the scope of application of this new system. What does it mean for the EU, local government and the rule of law in Europe ?

Chair – Dr Nikos Vogiatzis, Essex

Conditionality Regulation and impact at local level
Professor Ulrich Stelkens, Speyer

The national governance of EU funds : A case study on Finland
Professor Emilia Korkea-Aho, Eastern Finland

Italian municipalities and European funds : programming, innovation and valorisation
Dr Marta Tomasi, Trento

Legal challenges of using European funds by Romanian municipalities
Dr Simona Gherghina, Bucharest


Registration : click


11th May 2023 

Local subventions and subventions for local needs – award and control

14h00 : Local government enjoy a large freedom to develop and support financially local initiatives to address local needs. How far does this creativity reach ? In practice ? In legal terms ?

Chair – Professor Theodore Konstadinides, Essex 

Local projects and needs – creativity and limits

The Swedish Sällbo project - a new type of collaborative housing
Dr Martina Axmin, Lund

Dr Koldo Casla, Essex

Localising Human Rights in Essex and the UK
Dr Koldo Casla, Essex

Evan Lagune, Aix Marseille 

Legal framing of local choices

The Dutch legal framework for local government subventions
Professor Jacobine van den Brinck, University of Amsterdam

Professor David De Roy, UC Louvain


Registration : click


22nd June 2023 

Influence of accounting on local management and autonomy

14h00 : Local government operate in a context of legal constraints and accounting norms. How do these norms affect their practice – positively and negatively ? (How far) can they be creative with these norms ?

Chair – Professor Steven Van Garsse, Hasselt

Accounting/economic perspectives
Jean-Pol Milot, formerly Conseil de normalisation des comptes publics

Professor Adam D Leaver, Sheffield

Accounting constraining and enabling roles in local governments Response from a legal perspective
Professor Ileana Steccolini, Essex

Professor Etienne Douat, Montpellier, Societé française de finances publiques


Registration : click



Contacts : Dr Jean-François Boudet (Paris Cité) : Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. - Professor Yseult Marique (Essex Law School, FöV Speyer, UC Louvain) : Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Organised for CMH, Paris-Cité ; UCLOuvain, University of ESSEX by Yseult Marique & Jean-François Boudet - with the support of European Committee of the Regions