European Union: Decentralization and Local Governance in South Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus

18 de noviembre de 2013

A problem that almost all south-east European countries face after the fall of communism is the passage from a highly centralized and bureaucratic government to a decentralized one. This is accompanied with many issues and challenges.

A good example and starting point is the experience of EU countries, where even there the issues of local self-government are still being handled and new approaches are being evaluated. In the following pages you will have the opportunity to read the questions that sometimes are answered in some context but not in some other contexts. The experience of EU countries is with different tier management of governance. There are different countries that have solved differently the management of local government. Eleven countries have the two tier system six countries have the three tier system and some others have either two or three depending on the place. Still even thought there might be lots of challenges and difficulties, there are lots of opportunities also and the experience has shownthat decentralization is much better than centralization in various aspects, but the most important one the one of subsidiary principle. This principle is not to be seen only as taking of responsibilities by the local government for political or authority reasons, but also as an approach of the local government towards citizens. In this way the citizens will support the decentralization process, by seeing tangible results.

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