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.
Governments at all levels are increasingly required to do more and better with less. They are searching for solutions to improve the quality of public services, the effectiveness of public investment and the fiscal sustainability of public finances. To meet these challenges, co-ordination arrangements between national, regional and local governments, as well as across jurisdictions, are needed, along with subnational capacity building. Countries are also seeking guidance in making decentralisation and territorial reforms happen. This series is part of a larger body of OECD work on regional development and provides international benchmarks based on statistics, analysis and good practices.