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).