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In the Budapest Declaration of 25 February 2005 the Council of Europe's member states identified contemporary challenges facing local and regional governments in Europe and committed themselves to the implementation of a comprehensive and ambitious reform agenda. In the final declaration of the 15th session of the Conference of Ministers (Valencia Declaration) it was agreed that in preparation to the 16th session to be held in Utrecht (the Netherlands) on 16-17 November 2009 a formal review should be made of the implementation of the Agenda and plans should be prepared for future ways and means by which the Council of Europe could enhance local and regional democracy in the member states.

The Institute of Governance Studies at the School for Management & Governance of the University of Twente, in close cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Province of Overijssel, the Region of Twente and the City of Enschede will host the academic conference Innovation for Good Local and Regional Governance - A European Challenge.
The aim of the conference is to inspire academic interest in the major themes of the Budapest Agenda of the Council of Europe regarding Good Local and Regional Governance, and to provide a forum where leading academics and prominent practitioners involved in the innovation of local and regional governance can exchange their ideas and define the major trends and issues and their implications for the governance challenges facing subnational governments in the Council's member states. The conference wants to contribute to this important debate on the quality of local and regional governance in Europe. The results will provide inputs for the Utrecht Agenda to be concluded at the Ministerial Conference in Utrecht  (16-17 November 2009).

Prof. Dr. Bas Denters
Chairman of the Organising Committee