The article presents changes in the territorial structure, especially in the local governments, that have taken place in selected countries of European Union in the last 20 years. Changes on the local level and adjustments on the regional level as experienced by unitary states (Scandinavian and Baltic states), federal states (Belgium), states with regional autonomy (Spain) and states that underwent devolution (United Kingdom) are presented. The territorial organization of European Union member states reflects differences in governing and managing structures adjusted to the characteristics of each state. The undertaken reforms relate on the one hand to political, economic and civilizational conditions, and on the other hand to brand new approach to fulfillment of the tasks of public administration (both governmental and self governmental) that would be the most effective, efficient and satisfying the needs of citizens. In many countries, particularly Scandinavian, reforms have been implemented aiming at decreasing of the number of communes.