The Report has been prepared by the NALAS Fiscal Decentralization Task Force. It is the second edition of what NALAS expects to be an ongoing effort to provide national and local policy makers, researchers, and interested outside observers with reliable comparative data on municipal finances and intergovernmental fiscal relations in South-East Europe.
The first edition of the report was published in March 2011 and covered the years 2006-2010. This edition extends the period under review through 2011, and deepens certain aspects of the analysis. In particular, more analysis has been done on local government spending and on the effects of the global recession –now complicated by uncertainty about European Union’s future—on the region.
The report provides a reliable snap shot of the structure, functions, and financing of local governments in South-East Europe today, as well as an overview of how intergovernmental financial relations have evolved over the economically turbulent period 2006-2011. It is our expectation that the report will be useful to NALAS’ member associations, as well as to the more general policy community by providing all concerned with reliable data on the role of municipal governments in region, as well in comparison with their counterparts in the EU.
The report is divided into four sections. It begins with a brief discussion of the data and some of the methodological issues surrounding its use and interpretation. It then presents basic information about the size and structure of municipal governments in South-East Europe, as well a few key macro-economic indicators. The report continues by examining the composition of local government revenues and expenditures and concludes with a few observations about trends over the last six years.