Worldwide processes of transnationalization are accompanied by new chal- lenges for the democracies of the Western world. On the one hand these proc- esses ask for more efficient and effective ways of policy-making. On the other hand the legitimacy of the political systems is also cha... llenged by growing dif- ficulties of bringing the citizens (back) to politics. This gets more and more difficult with the increasing transfer of formerly national political competen- cies to supra-national institutions. Thereby the political decision-making processes loose their transparency and the chances of the man in the street to understand and influence the political process decline. But not only in West- em Europe political systems have to enhance citizens' support by increasing their input-and output-legitimacy. This holds as well for the 'new' democra- cies in Central Europe, which had to rebuild their systems after the fall of communism in the beginning of the 1990s. Facing these problems of political legitimacy structural and procedural reforms are on the agenda in almost all European democracies. Local authorities are one of the main actors in this context of public sector reform. The different political and administrative reforms of local govern- ments during the last decades were implemented with regard to their positive consequences for at least one of the goals mentioned above.
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