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Local Governance in the Crosshairs – LOCALGOV

Local Governance in the Crosshairs

Preserving and enhancing local democracies in Central and Eastern Europe

Introduction to the project

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, life in Central and Eastern European countries has been characterised by a series of cumulative crises. The “Local governance in the crosshairs” project tries to understand the effects this has had on local democracies. In order to analyse the quality of democracy and governance at the local level, we employed both a bottom-up and top-down perspective in the current project. 

The bottom-up approach deals with various channels of democratic interactions between citizens and local governments and is covered by the individual activities of project partners at the national level. The top-down approach considers the relation between the local and state level of administrations and decision-making in times of crisis and the results of the collaborative research are presented in a regional report

The participants of the project are four civil society organisations (CSOs) active in Czechia, Poland, Romania and Hungary respectively. All four organisations carry out activities related to transparency and anti-corruption as well as promote public participation in decision-making processes. We believe that self-governance at the local level is a cornerstone of democracy for it is the platform which is easiest for citizens to engage with. The project also builds on the results and experiences of our previous research project on cooperations between local level advocacy groups and local governments.

István Pósfai, Miklós M. Merényi (Hungary)

Contributions by:
Oživení (Czech Republic),
Sieć Obywatelska Watchdog Polska (Poland),
Funky Citizens (Romania).

K-Monitor Public Benefit Association
Bajza utca 23. Budapest 1062, Hungary

Local governments are well positioned to respond to crises and protect the vulnerable elements of society – so we should maintain and protect the structures, tools and ideas of “self-governance”. International donors should keep in mind the relevance of local governance to the overall democratic resilience of societies under populist, authoritarian regimes.

Reduced plurality in the local information space – the role of municipalities

The financial constraints of municipalities in historical and pandemic-related context

Opportunity or limitation? The impact of Covid-19 on the access to local decision-making

Business as usual in times of crisis? The limited transparency of emergency funding


18 civil society organisations from 10 countries sharing their experiences of interacting with local governments and operating in times of crisis.


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