On the 2nd and 3rd of this month, the European CSPF was proud to hold its third meeting virtually in Vienna. We are faced with the ongoing consequences of Covid19 quarantines having impacted regional and local governments unevenly, as highlighted by the Committee of Regions' Barometer 2021, which was presented to the group on the morning of the first day, setting us off.
The conversation ranged from the decline of local government investment in recent years and how best to secure revenue, drawing on presentations of innovative practices from Barcelona and Bourdeaux, to how best to balance financial needs with their Sustainable Development Goals, in which context we were lucky to count on the input of the city of Mannheim.
The overriding importance of innovation was highlighted by the city of Vienna's experience with its own Innovation Lab. Innovation, however, also involves how CFOs work and what tools they have access to, as highlighted by Amsterdam and the City of London. These tools must include effective visualization and communication, highlighting what works, what doesn't, and mobilizing support.
Major takeaways included the need to combine local with global understandings, especially as concerns SDGs, such that not all elements of Agenda 2030 can be competently addressed by local governments, who must prioritize appropriately. Efficient financial management must be combined with spending resources where they are likeliest to yield real effects. This might also contribute to producing a European city-adapted version of the UN SDG wheel and providing a strong case to defend city autonomy over local revenue as conducive to delivering clear results.
The sincerest thanks to our members who have agreed to a new roadmap presented and discussed for 2022-2023.