For many mature European industrial districts, the present decade has been one of trying (and often failing) to meet the difficult challenges posed by the rising tide of globalization. The future of these districts in the new global economy has become a key issue for regional and local development policy, and, in this respect, it has sparked a renewed interest in economic governance. Economic governance is important in that it underpins a region's long-term economic development path. This article is a contribution to the study of the economic governance of industrial districts and the related policy debate. The article does so by specifically exploring the economic governance issue by considering the experiences and challenges currently facing two mature European industrial districts in the global economy.