UDiTE AND UNSCP successfully hosted a high level conference on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th April 2024 in the magnificent city of Siena in Italy. 

Siena is a beautiful historical city, that stands as an iconic symbol of Good Governance, with Ambrogio Lorenzetti's fresco - the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, painted around 1338 in Siena. Though unfortunately, the fresco was currently being restored the hosts were able to introduce our members to this beautiful city.

Our high level conference involved eminent academics, senior practitioners and input from policy makers. They were joined by European speakers Thomas Wobben, Director at the EU Committee of the Regions, Niall Sheerin from the Council of Europe and Dorothée Allain Dupré, head of unit from the regional development and multilevel governance directorate of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Before an international audience from various European countries and Italy in particular, around 150 participants heard interventions from various academics connected to the universities of Milan, Bologna, Siena and Maastricht. They stressed the changing role local chief executives play in the context of Good Governance.

Speakers set out the challenges, pointed to potential solutions and highlighted different approaches to good governance that are vital to local authority leadership at a time when we are confronted by such significant transitions - economic, environmental and social.

One of the key messages to emerge was the need to re double efforts to ensure interdependence and not just independence throughout all spheres of governance as the key to working together, identifying innovative and replicable solutions that can benefit our communities to address the challenges we face.

With many local authority chief executives assisting the logistics behind the June Elections for the European Parliament our European speakers reflected on the future shape of EU policy and its budgetary scope post 2027 that will be felt by many local authorities.

Overall, the UDiTE-UNSCP conference shone a spotlight on the current situation and provided members with a unique opportunity in Siena to exchange views and learn about how peers are managing the challenges of local authority leadership in their communities that they serve across Europe.  Worth remembering, that with the COVID-19 crisis in 2020-2021, the opportunity for international peer meetings fell away and a new way of working was introduced with the online meetings via platforms such as ZOOM and TEAMS. Virtual networking does though have its limitations and its was delightful to see members engaged in face-to-face contact discussing the issues of importance to them in our profession.

Our thanks go to UNSCP colleagues and in particular to Roberto Nobile, 2nd vice president of UDITE for all of his hard work that went in to make this such a successful event. 

Besides the academic programme, the beauty of the city of Siena with its many magnificent historical buildings could of course be enjoyed.

Local authority Chief Executives facing the challenge of Good Governance and change

Sala Italo Calvino, Palazzo Squarcialupi - Santa Maria della Scala - Piazza Duomo

FRIDAY 19th APRIL, 2024

13:00 - 14:00 Welcome and registration of participants (with small welcome buffet)
Start of proceedings: introduced and moderated by Roberto Nobile 
Joint Coordinator functional UNSCP “Secretaries in Europe” and  2nd Vice President of UDiTE. 



Institutional greetings:
  • Prof. Roberto Di Pietra, Rector of the University of Siena 
  • Prof. Nicoletta Fabio, Mayor of the Municipality of Siena
  • Matteo Biffoni, President of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) Tuscany, 
  • David Bussagli,President of the Province of Siena
  • Gianni Lorenzetti, President of UPI (Union of Italian Provinces) Tuscany




  • Stéphane Pintre - President of UDiTE
  • Amedeo Scarsella - UNSCP National Secretary
  • Luca Costantini -  UNSCP  Deputy National Secretary



Video message:

  • Niall Sheerin, Video message from the Council of Europe on the European Lobel of Good Governance



  • Prof. Giorgia Pavani, Professor of Comparative Public Law University of Bologna and comparative constitutional law and Eucities, holder of the Jean Monnet chair “The role of local authority officials against a backdrop of changing municipal law”
  • Dr. Daniele Crespi, Head of innnovative services, e-Governament and Regions for the Maggioli Group - “Present and future challenges for the Maggioli Group working in partnership with local
Discussion with conference participants

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break
16:15 – 18:15 Prof. Massimo Balducci, expert of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities - Council of Europe, former full professor at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht and at the National School of Administration in Rome:Comparative perspectives on the role of local authority chief executives from across Europe:  plotting a roadmap for the future ”
18:30 End of day 1 conference
20:00 Aperitif with music in the garden in front of the Salone degli Orti dei Tolomei
20:45 Gala dinner at the Salone degli Orti dei Tolomei



09:00 Welcome and registration of participants
09:30 Resumption of work: introduced and moderated by

Roberto Nobile – Joint Coordinator functional UNSCP “Secretaries in Europe” and  2nd Vice President of UDiTE. 




  • Giuseppe Giordano - Councillor for IT Services and Digital Development of the
    Municipality of Siena
  • Hélène Guillet - President of SNDGCT (Syndicat National des Directeurs
    Généraux des Collectivitès Territoriales)
  • Amedeo Scarsella - UNSCP National Secretary
  • Magda Stepanyan - President of SRLA (Strategic Risk Leadership Association)




  • Antonino Saja, former President of UDiTE and National Secretary of UNSCP and Director of SSPAL (Higher School of Local Public Administration):
    “Local authority chief executives across Europe: an analysis of common traits and perspectives”

  • Raffaella Saporito, Associate in Practice of Government, health and not for profit SDA Bocconi-School of Management Milan:
    “When bureaucracy meets politics: getting beyond the debate between the merit and spoils system”.

  • Simone Bastianoni, full professor of Environmental Chemistry and Cultural Heritage, University of Siena, professor of Sustainability, Cycle Analysis and Environmental Certification, Ecodynamics: “Sustainability: between dynamic approaches and concrete actions”.
11:15 -11.30  Coffee break
  • Gisella Alfiero – Area Manager Centro Nord, Dasein s.r.l. - Measuring transferable skills in public administration to boost recruitment and promote professional development.



Discussion with conference participants


Video messages:

  • Thomas Wobben - video messagge from the European Union Committee of the Regions



  • Dorothée Allain Dupré - video messagge from the Organosation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)


End of conference


Conference informal lunch - Sala della Contrada della Selva, Rhinoceros Society


Have a look at the UDiTE conference album




Updated: 23/02/24 - Simon Pascoe


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