Last updated: 11 Mar 2022
How is Europe's complex of local and regional governments evolving? How have the responsibilities of municipalities, counties and regions changed in recent years, marked by environmental and health crises? What examples of successful territorial reforms can inspire others? To answer these questions, the CEMR has published a new digital report entitled, ‘Territorial Governance, Powers and Reforms in Europe’, or TERRI Report for short.

This TERRI Report highlights territorial reforms and decentralisation trends over the past decade in 40 countries. It also analyses the changing nature of relationships between central and subnational governments.

In light of the pandemic, this edition zooms in on local health responsibilities in different countries and evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on local health systems. TERRI visualises trends with numerous charts. In just a few clicks, you have access to individual country profiles, an interactive map and recommendations to policymakers for undertaking successful territorial reforms. There is also a unique tool for side-by-side comparisons of different countries’ systems of local government.

The TERRI Report is based on research by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), gathering data from its member associations on the state of local and regional governments across Europe.

While the situation in different European nations is necessarily diverse, the TERRI Report has identified several common trends.

Europe today is made up of 114,534 towns and cities, 1058 provinces and counties, and 353 regions. There have been reforms reducing the number of municipalities or regions in several countries. These typically aimed to consolidate the territories concerned into larger entities. Portugal, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and Turkey for example, all saw drastic reductions in the number of municipalities, while Norway and France considerably reduced the number of regions.

As regards healthcare, associations play a key role through activities such as sharing expert information and best practices amongst their members and in negotiating healthcare roles and budgets with national governments.

In many countries there has been a decentralisation of healthcare responsibilities. This typically takes the form of increased healthcare responsibilities for subnational governments and/or more healthcare coordination between levels of government.

These are just a few of the changes that are affecting local life in our municipalities and regions. To find out more, explore the TERRI Report at: