By European Parliamentary Research Service, 2018


This is the second edition of a Briefing designed to provide an overview of the Future of Europe debate in a number of key policy areas. While the first edition covered the first six speakers, the present one focuses on the most recent four. It also contains insights on climate change and international trade, in addition to the areas of economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF), covered in the first edition.

Download this file (EPRS_BRI(2018)628288_EN.pdf)Future of Europe debates II[ ]

By Swianiewicz, P., Gendźwiłł, A. and Zardi, A., 2017


Territorial reforms have become a major feature of public administration reform in recent decades in Europe. Following a wave of changes affecting mostly Western European countries in the 1970s, further changes were initiated in Central and Eastern Europe at the turn of that same century following the demise of undemocratic regimes. In the early years of the twenty-first century, in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis that has shaken primarily but not exclusively Western European States, another wave of restructuring has been set in motion. This document is only concerned with reform of the first tier of government, namely municipal/communal level, whatever the name of this tier in the member States concerned (‘local government unit’ is also widely used in some parts of Europe).

By Xhafa, S. and Yzeiri, E., 2015


One of the most important current developments in Albania, is the project on the reform of the new administrative division of territory. Until now planning policies and territorial development are oriented on administrative division legislated in 1992. Until 2000 were made some partial changes, which are not associated with structural changes or decentralized effects. Actually, there are 12 counties, 309 communes and 65 municipalities. This organization relies on fragmented administrative division inherited from the communist regime. Under these conditions, the need for a reform on territorial division, has become one of the strongest challenges of policymaking, towards its realization based on Albanian legal framework and international best practices. Current studies in this field are conducted by national and international organizations: Study of Fiscal Decentralization (USAID, 2012); The Report of Territorial Reform in Albania, (Association of Municipalities of Albania); as well as some partial reports by the OSCE, UNDP, etc. In this study, intended the diagnosis of all conditions and factors that inhibit: rational use of the territory; natural resources management; control of demographic processes, management of residential informality, the quality of public services, functional development of land, sustainable development in general, and reinforce the need for a new administrative division reform. In this study will be used: •spatial and territorial analysis based on the criteria that will be used for the new administrative division (demographic criteria, economic functions, cultural typology of territory etc. • interpretative analysis of approximation of this reform with the provisions of European Charter of Local Self-Government. This issue has public and community importance, given that this reform will pave the way for sustainable development in general, and creation of unified economic systems, which will promote cooperation initiatives with other regions of the Western Balkans, and beyond.

By Klimovský, D., Swianiewicz, P., Copus, C. and Wollmann, H., 2010


Local territorial organization at the lowest level of towns, municipalities, and villages has changed in many countries in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe since 1990. Territorial fragmentation has been a recent trend in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, and several other countries. This was often a reaction to earlier territorial consolidations introduced by the communist government in an undemocratic manner, without any public consultation (like in the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary). After 1990, decentralization and a paradigm of local autonomy were often understood in a way that gave the right to become a separate local government to almost each settlement unit, even if that unit was a tiny village. Attempts to create or maintain larger territorial jurisdictions were seen as a violation of local autonomy. As a result, in several countries, there was a significant proportion of very small authorities, many of which had much less than 1,000 residents. Extreme examples of villages like Bidovce in the Czech Republic or Prikry in Slovakia, had fewer than 10 citizens. Conversely, there were examples of territorially consolidated countries (such as Yugoslavia/Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Poland) where the median size of the local government unit was much larger, though none of them had less than 1,000 residents. But the phenomenon of territorial fragmentation at the lowest tier has been widespread.