European City Economic and Financial Governance

Since 2014, one major initiative by EIPA for local governments is the European City Economic and Financial Governance (CEFG) Group (www.cefg.eu). It was founded by EIPA’s centre in Barcelona, and the City Council of Barcelona. Currently, it brings together the CEOs, CFOs and Directors of Finance in the field of economic and financial governance of the eight major European cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Dublin, Hamburg, the City of London, Milan and Vilnius. Together these cities are home to 30 million people. They are committed to high-quality management, sustainable public finances, social policies and, ultimately, the wellbeing of citizens.

This high-level partnership is recognised and accompanied by the European Commission – Eurostat, as it coincides with their efforts to formulate European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) and to implement them across the EU. The group is managed by EIPA’s Centre in Barcelona.

The uniqueness of this network lies in the fact that it is the first time that fiscal and financial management issues are discussed from a cross-border perspective at a city level. This group is considered an ideal way to showcase strong local European experiences and to bring city financial and economic realities to the attention at European level in matters that are usually only debated at national level.

A key achievement is the joint production and now annual update of the standardised financial reports and financial health key performance indicators for city governments in Europe for the eight group members. This provides a set of agreed financial indicators, based on accrual accounting, and combines items such as the statement of operating performance, capital operations, financial flow, cash statements and debt as well as data on 10 financial health KPIs. Other cities are able to use these reports as a template to produce financial balance sheets so they can harmonise accounting practices and reliably compare financial information.

The CEFG Group is increasingly recognised as a European reference group in sound financial management thanks to its tangible results and problem-solving approach. Bringing local financial and economic realities and concerns to the attention of the European Commission is not only essential for efficient European policymaking and knowledge transfer, but also helps foster sound policy implementation in the public sector.

To learn more about the CEFG Group and current topics discussed, visit www.cefg.eu.

CEFG logo EIPA
Group photo CEFG