The organization of local government differs between the countries of the European Union, and may involve one, two or three levels of local authority. A characteristic feature is the process of merger of districts and the development of cooperation between districts. There is an increase in the competences and powers assigned to authorities at regional level. The economic position of the local government sector within the system of public finances in EU countries is growing in significance. More than 25% of public revenue in the whole of the EU is made up of local government revenue, and almost 25% of public expenditure is local government sector expenditure. These amounts are equivalent to around 12% of GDP.