Key messages

  • No mandatory emission target obligation for local governments in any country.
  • The local energy and climate policies are legally driven by Energy Act and/or Energy Efficiency Act.
  • Public hearing is occasionally responded through umbrella organisations though informal approach is dominant in national legislative process.


In CEESEU-DIGIT, where are 6 pilot regions, analyses of national regulatory framework was done. The respondents were local experts. It was identified that there are no emission target obligation for local governments in any country within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Self-defined pledges originate from Covenant of Mayors or other best policy practices. Energy management was required by local government level in Latvia and Slovenia. In Poland and Czech energy and climate plans are required for regional level.

Partners mentioned 24 laws/regulations regarding energy or climate that has influence on local government level processed or completed in their states. 15 of them were rated with high importance an impact for local government by scoring in evaluation 8 points out of 10 possible in these two categories. Only for six of them local government engagement was rated as at least average (3 out of 5). Most common laws/regulations were Energy Law/Energy Efficiency Act/law (Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Latvia). Coverage was from local government act (Poland) and municipal buildings energy efficiency and renewable integration regulations to electricity/heat market acts and renewable energy market regulations. Also, strategies/plans like NECP, long-term building strategy, low carbon development strategy and national urban policy were mentioned.

In questionnaire it was also asked about current mechanomes to react to policy development and how often they are used by local governments. As result reacting to laws/regulations is quite common through umbrella organizations using formal and informal channels. Local governments do not react often or does not have such option (in 3 countries) to individually react to laws/regulations (except Slovenia). Informal approach is more common but used occasionally (if there is very important law or if there is events etc where it is possible).

It was also identified that low activity is bit more local governments side problem compared problems with existing mechanisms. Evaluation was that if there would be better mechanisms local governments would not participate lot more. This is also shown by the identified barriers as in 1..5 point highest barrier for municipalities is staff shortage – there is not just enough people or municipalities do not have resources to hire more specialists to deal with the topic. In all regions except Lativa and Slovenia (score for both was 4), staff shortage barrier was rated with highest score (5). The second biggest barrier was energy know-how in municipalities with average score of 4,1. Third barrier was legal know-how with score 3,6. Complexity and Bureaucracy was rated average (3).

CEESEU-DIGIT is right time and right place and will support local governments to rise knowledge. Helping governments with staff problems does not have easy solution, but project is trying to help them to find additional resources by supporting preparing applications for projects and grants that may mitigate the problem. Project will also help to make the voice of municipalities heard in the country that hopefully also helps to mitigate the staff problem in near future.