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Overcoming Fragmentation in Territorial Governance – The Case of Volos

Greece is an outlier in the EU with respect to the allocation of power and resources among the three levels of administration (central, regional, local) and has a long way to go in order to meet the ‘place-based’ approach in policies that is promoted by the EC and implemented by most countries.

Furthermore, Greece is a country of many imbalances. Until very recently, it had a very unbalanced economic performance; the system of urban places is totally dominated by the Athens metropolitan area, and about 75% of the budget of the Public Investment Program, which includes Structural Funds and domestic funds for development policies, is run by the Central Administration, the Ministries and their Organizations.

In this national setting the particular Case Study tries to examine the effects of the local authority reform called “Kallikratis” (introduced in 2011) on the distributional and procedural justice in the Municipality of Volos. In other words, the analysis focuses on whether the reform has been designed and implemented in a way that empowers the local level and make locally based or place-based policies more fair and efficient.

The reform has expanded significantly the limits and the jurisdiction of the new Municipality of Volos (that now includes 9 former smaller municipalities and communities) and the research question is whether this has helped the city to deal better with the challenges it faces (i.e. unemployment, industrial decline and decaying infrastructure) and provide better services to its citizen, without excluding former smaller municipalities from participation in the decision making process.

For more information on this Case Study, please contact: Lefteris Topaloglou, Ageliki Anagnostou, or Victor Cupcea from the University of Thessaly:, &

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