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|Title: ||Regional Policy: Actors, Institutions and Policy Making Structures in Bulgaria in Relation to EU Membership|
|Authors: ||Ganev, Georgy|
|Issue Date: ||Apr-2007|
|Abstract: ||The paper provides an analytical narrative of Bulgaria’s changes in regional policy-making structures in relation to the country’s joining the EU. The country has undergone several important stages in its regional policy framework and structure since the beginning of its transition to market democracy. First, local self-government is exercised only at the municipal level, with the mezzo-level always representing a de-concentration of central government powers. Second, the mezzo-level of government has been reformed twice, going from 28 districts to 9 regions, and then to 28 districts under 6 planning regions, with the planning regions also undergoing a major revision once so far.
This dynamic indicates a regional policy-making structure which is in a state of flux. Over the last decade the single major shaper of these changes has been EU candidacy and membership, mainly through the requirements for NUTS2 regions in relation to cohesion policies. The goal of the paper on Bulgaria is to describe analytically, from the point of view of regional policy analysis, this state of flux and to outline the potential direction the inevitable further changes in the country’s regional policymaking structures and performance may take.|
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