Last updated: 26 Feb 2021
PRIMO EUROPE conducted a wide-ranging survey into the needs and risks of cities in times of crisis, such as COVID-19. From the survey, about ten topics emerged that were perceived as short-term risks. Topics that came to the fore were possible shortages in food supply and social aid, postponed maintenance of infrastructure, increased unemployment, worsening of the economic climate, and the need for food security.

UDITE decided to specifically ask the local chief executives for their personal thoughts on this shortlist. Responses to this questionnaire came from all the member associations: 139 in total.


UDITE COVID-19 survey of local authority chief executives in Europe from Simon Pascoe


It is important to emphasise that colleagues from different sizes of municipalities participated in the survey: 42% of the responses came from municipalities with a population of less than 5,000 inhabitants; 39 % from municipalities between 5,000 and 50,000 and 19 % from the larger municipalities above 50,000 inhabitants.


Although this cannot be considered a representative sample, the result does give a strong indication.

The top three can be determined as follows:

1.            Discontinuity of regular business processes (business continuity)

2.            Financial position of (central government and) local authority financing

3.            Significant delays with critical policy plans caused by slowing political processes.

To complete the top 5, the following follows:

4.            Rapidly increasing unemployment and dependency on food banks

5.            Reduced resilience to other calamities during the pandemic


With regard to the needs experienced by local chief executives, the following items are placed in the top three:

  • Proper communication and transparency protocols for employees and citizens

  • Knowledge and skills related tot effective crisis management amongst public sector leaders

  • Continuity of human resources management, psychological support of own employees

The Committee of the Regions and Council of European Municipalities and Regions are currently conducting a similar survey – read more


Category: Community Safety