Local partnerships operate in a vertical and horizontal matrix: at their best they are able to work across sectors and align regional, national and supranational policies to develop integrated approaches to tackling complex problems on the ground. However, many partnerships do not exploit the full range of opportunities open to them, failing to take advantage of the potential of each partner to influence local policy design and delivery, and attaching little value to multi-level collaboration.
The meeting focused on cross-sector and multi-level collaboration, supporting the exchange of experience and practice between partnerships and exploring ways to overcome common obstacles. The Forum meeting provided a unique occasion for such an exchange, providing opportunities for in-depth discussion within a series of interactive working sessions.
In order to deepen common understanding within the Forum and its members, the Forum Meeting aimed to build on the outcomes of the interactive workshops and to develop a “Vienna Action Statement on Partnerships”, adopted finally by the meeting’s participants.
The "Vienna Action Statement on Partnerships" aims to enhance governance by improving dialogue and co-operation between policy makers, and between policy makers and other stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels. It thereby seeks to improve the contribution that local partnerships can make to fostering economic development, social cohesion, environmental sustainability and quality of life.