The Council of European Municipalities was founded in Geneva in 1951 by a group of European mayors; later, it opened its ranks to the regions and became the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe in French). Today, it is the largest organisation of local and regional government in Europe; its members are national associations of towns, municipalities and regions from over 35 countries. Together these associations represent some 100,000 local and regional authorities.
The Covenant of Mayors is a grouping of local and regional authorities that have come together with the aim of meeting and exceeding the EU's target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020.
EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Founded in 1986, the network brings together the local governments of more than 120 large cities in over 30 European countries. EUROCITIES provides a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and ideas, to exchange experiences, to analyse common problems and develop innovative solutions, through a wide range of Forums, Working Groups, Projects, activities and events. The network is active across a wide range of policy areas including: economic development and cohesion policy, provision of public services, environment, transport and mobility, employment and social affairs, culture, education, information and knowledge society, governance and international cooperation.
EMTA aims to promote good practice in public transport by bringing together the authorities responsible for public transport in the main European cities. Its members include Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Vienna.
ICLEI is a democratic local government association governed by its members. The ICLEI Council, made up of all members, convenes every three years to discuss and decide upon the Strategic Plan, on which the annual work programmes are based. The Council also elects the Executive Committee comprised of 21 individuals representing all regions of the world. In Europe, ICLEI counts more than 180 local authorities and municipal associations as its members. ICLEI runs EcoMobility a global campaign on sustainable urban transport called EcoMobility.
Each CIFAL Associated Centre (CIFAL stands for Centre International de Formation des Autorités Locales) is a hub for capacity building and knowledge sharing between local authorities, national governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society. The main objective of the training activities conducted in the CIFAL centres is to achieve sustainable urbanisation in the context of increasing responsibilities of local authorities. One of the priorities is to encourage South-South, East/East cooperation between local authorities in order to improve access to basic services. An agreement with UN-HABITAT, on behalf of UN Agencies, and with the new World Organisation of Local Governments, on behalf of all associations of local authorities, recognises the CIFAL network as the world training arm targeting and working with local authorities. There is one centre in the CEI-region, in Plock in Poland.
Polis is a network of European cities and regions working together to deploy innovative technologies and policies for a more sustainable mobility. It has around 60 members, based mainly in Western Europe, although it has members in Hungary and the Czech Republic.