Good practices by country - Principle 2


< Co-ordinate across sub-national and national levels


The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is the main forum for developing and implementing inter-jurisdictional policy. It is composed of the Australian Prime Minister (chair), state premiers, territory chief ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association. Through COAG, the federal and sub-national governments have endorsed national guidelines on public-private partnerships (PPP), agreed to a national port strategy and concluded inter-governmental agreements on heavy vehicles, rail and maritime safety. The COAG also receives regular reports from Infrastructure Australia, a statutory federal body that supports nationwide infrastructure investment and advises governments and other investment stakeholders.



Integrated territorial strategies for public investment, with a deep understanding of the local environment, are key instruments to encourage cross-sectoral coordination and multi-year planning. Since 1971, the Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning (ÖROK) has served as a common platform of spatial planning co-ordination. It involves all federal ministries, the Länder, and the umbrella associations of municipalities and social partners and also manages EU Structural Funds programmes in Austria. Its executive body is chaired by the Federal Chancellor, and includes all federal ministers and state governors, the presidents of the Austrian Union of Towns and the Austrian Union of Communities and the presidents of the social and economic partners as advisors. Decisions are consensus based. Thematic committees and working groups, formed by senior officials of the territorial authorities and social and economic partners, were set up at the administrative level to achieve ÖROK’s tasks and projects.



As part of the new regional development planning system, growth agreements between state and major cities have been defined. They are concluded between the state and major cities and define key actions for long-standing development of city-regions were created. Thematic scope of these growth agreements lies on competitiveness and resilience.



In Canada, there are two main coordination instruments: one horizontal and the other vertical. The provinces meet amongst themselves to determine investment priorities, while federal arms of the government are represented in the provinces, via structures such as the regional federal councils or the regional development agencies. Their interests lie not only in representing the central government’s priorities in the provinces but also in conveying provincial preferences to the federal authorities. Tri-partite agreements are formal contractual arrangements among federal, provincial, and local authorities for implementing policies.



Use of contractual arrangements across levels of government: State-region planning contracts (Contrat de plan  État-région – CPER) have been in operation since 1982 and are important tools in regional development policy in terms of planning, governance and co-ordination. They are characterised by their broad thematic coverage and cross-sectoral nature, with a territorial approach being applied across diverse policy fields including investment, industrial, environmental, and rural issues. The co-decision and co-financing of interventions are seen as an important co-ordination mechanism. Since 2007, State-region planning contracts have the same timeframe as the EU operational programmes, are based on a joint territorial analysis, and have integrated systems for monitoring.


United Kingdom

Since late 2011, urban policy has been centred on a growing number of City Deals in England that are being implemented in waves. City Deals are agreements between government and a city that give the city control to: take charge and responsibility of decisions that affect their area, do what they think is best to help businesses grow, create economic growth and decide how public money should be spent. These deals allow a degree of “tailored” devolution of responsibility to English cities. City deals require better horizontal (across departments) and vertical (between the centre and the cities) co-ordination, and local capacity.





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