Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Bulgaria
Towards Balanced Regional Development
Bulgaria has made solid progress in its territorial governance and socio-economic
development. Yet, it has not been able to counteract large and increasing territorial
disparities. Doing so will require addressing remaining structural challenges that
may be limiting further transformation, government performance and regional resilience.
It will also depend on shifting from a centrally-designed approach to regional development
policy to one that incorporates subnational input and carefully considers regional
specificities. Such a shift, coupled with a revitalised multi-level governance model
to strengthen regional and municipal governance, could generate more balanced regional
development and inclusive growth in Bulgaria. This multi-level governance study considers
the avenues Bulgarian national and subnational authorities could take to ensure more
place-based regional development and governance. It emphasises a comprehensive, yet
incremental, approach to decentralisation and regionalisation reforms to generate
more effective and balanced regional development.