By Torre, A., 2017


Do territorial reforms have a meaning, an economic and spatial rationale or are they the result of a legislative whim ? In
this comment on the articles by Frère and Védrine, and Antunez et al., we will go back over the slow process of France’s
territorial organisation and the attempts at simplification introduced by the recent reforms, as well as the issues they raise,
in particular in terms of transfer of powers between local authorities and disparities in the new organisation of the regions
in mainland France. We emphasise that the territorial layer-cake was shaped patiently over the centuries, to the point of
becoming very heavy indeed, and that the NOTRe and MAPTAM laws, enacted to modify the institutional architecture of
the French territories by giving priority to large structures, raise questions regarding the transfer of powers and resources,
as well as on spatial inequalities, yet without providing definitive solutions toward the aim of administrative simplification.

By Thoenig, J.C., 2006


Relating territorial administration and political authority is a fundamental problem for public institutions and polities. The distribution of governmental authority by area and by function had already puzzled the founding fathers of political theory and public administration (Fesler 1949). The question still remains open today: is it possible to define an acceptable level and size of territory for administering policies? Territories are also specific action and order arenas. Struggles between social movements and political parties, trade-offs between social demands and functional issues, are classic ways to explain political outcomes. Comparatively, the geographic dimensions of conflict and power have been and remain less analyzed by social sciences. Territorial politics as a knowledge domain covers the way groupings are constituted as political and social entities at various spatial levels. Reflecting a federalist or pluralist perspective, the object of territorial politics is often called intergovernmental relationships. In centralized nation states influenced by Roman law, it is rather defined as the study of center-local relationships.

By Iammarino, S., Rodríguez-Pose, A. and Storper, M., 2017


Regional economic divergence has become a threat to economic progress, social cohesion and political stability in Europe. Market processes and policies that are supposed to spread prosperity and opportunity are no longer sufficiently effective. The evidence points to the existence of several different economic clubs of regions in Europe, each with different development challenges and opportunities. Both mainstream and heterodox theories have gaps in their ability to explain the existence of these different clubs and the weakness of the convergence processes among them. Therefore, a different approach is required, one that would strengthen Europe’s strongest regions but would develop new approaches to the weaker clubs. There is ample new theory and evidence to support such an approach, which we have labelled “place-sensitive distributed development policy” (PSDDP).

By Osoian, I. et al., 2010


In the recent 50 years, most of the European countries reduced the number of local public administrations by amalgamating the local settlements in larger municipal units. The main purpose of these amalgamations was to increase cost-efficiency in provision of the public services. At the same time, the administrative units at the upper tiers of the local public administration (regions) grew in dimensions in many countries, with the purpose of generating bigger economies of scale and also to become more competitive nationally and internationally.

Most of the European countries having similar size and population as Moldova adopted one-tier systems of local public administration (Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Slovenia, but also Bulgaria and Finland), with Belgium being a notable exception. However, the two-tier system is numerically predominant in the EU-27, including some small countries that have adopted this model: Czech Rep., Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovakia. For the bigger countries the three tiers model (either federal or regional) is common: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom. We have studied deeper five countries (not only from EU) with some experience in implementing administrativeterritorial reforms in the recent 20 years.