3-4 July. Paris. France
The financial crisis has diminished the European financial sector's ability to channel funds towards long term investments undertaken by European local authorities. Since 2008, systemic crises have also led a movement towards territorial re-organisation and several efforts to increase the efficiency of local public services. In this respect, various strategies, some of them controversial, have been implemented to rationalise resources despite the exponential pressures that European local authorities face (migration challenges, urban renovation, increased inequalities, ageing populations, social and ecological transitions…). However, and notwithstanding a recent decrease, European local authorities are still responsible for over 65% of public investments in Europe. They are therefore one of the main driving forces of the European economy.
This situation represents an opportunity to rethink the European project on a political level, as well as on an economic and social level; the role played by local authorities in developing their territories and the way they cooperate between them; the dominant economic model and the current European consumption-centred lifestyle.