This chapter explores the dynamics of vertical power relations before and after the financial cri-sis of 2007, as perceived by city mayors across Europe. Against the thesis of a convergence of intergovernmental relations in the ‘North’ and ‘South’ of Europe, we show how countries from different state traditions have actually followed different paths of decentralization and centraliza-tion. Differences between North and South persist with regard to not only power relations, but also mayors’ rescaling strategies for enhancing their scope of action. Mayors in the North try to defend their role in the national political system, whereas mayors in the South and East rely heavily on attracting external resources. The investigation of variation within countries suggests that financially troubled cities in the South were more likely to experience a trend towards recen-tralization, whereas cities in economic hardship in Central Eastern Europe show signs of com-plementing their economic rescaling strategy with a political strategy for resisting centralization.