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The Emergence of Regional Policy in Bulgaria: regional problems, EU influences and domestic constraints

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  • Vassilis Monastiriotis

Abstract

In most of the European transition economies regional policy is a relatively new phenomenon, given the absence of a coherent framework for such policy during the Communist era. In Southeast Europe in particular, regional policy was slow to develop also in the transition period. This was in many respects due to the relative hysteresis of the transition process in the region but also to other particularities related to the ethnic conflicts and a generally slower European association process. Regional policy in Bulgaria has for all analytical purposes been notably absent in the 1990s and only started shaping up mainly as a response to EU pressures and requirements. This was despite the significant problems of disparity and backwardness faced by many regional and local economies of the country – and the trend of widening inequality associated with the processes of transition and fast economic growth. Nevertheless (or, as a consequence), the emerging regional policy framework in Bulgaria reflects strongly the EU influence and shows little sensitivity to, and appreciation of, the main regional and spatial problems that policy in the country should be addressing. This paper addresses the structure and effectiveness of the emerging regional policy in Bulgaria by evaluating the nature of regional disparities in the country, examining the development of regional policy, and discussing the role played by the EU (through its accession conditionality, its own regional policy and its pre-accession aid) for these developments. This analysis provides useful conclusions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of Bulgaria’s regional policy and helps highlight the main challenges for the future design of regional policy in the country, in its new phase of development as a full EU member.

Suggested Citation

  • Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2008. "The Emergence of Regional Policy in Bulgaria: regional problems, EU influences and domestic constraints," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 15, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:15
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimas, Christos, 2010. "Privatization in the name of ‘Europe’: analyzing the telecoms privatization in Greece from a ‘discursive institutionalist’ perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31089, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Theodore Pelagidis, 2010. "The Greek Paradox of Falling Competitiveness and Weak Institutions in a High GDP Growth Rate Context (1995-2008)," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 38, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    3. Eugenia Markova, 2010. "Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: lessons from Bulgaria," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 35, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    4. Pagoulatos, George & Zahariadis, Nikolaos, 2011. "Politics, labor, regulation, and performance: lessons from the privatization of OTE," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33827, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Christos Lyrintzis, 2011. "Greek Politics in the Era of Economic Crisis: Reassessing Causes and Effects," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 45, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    6. Spyros Kosmidis, 2013. "Government Constraints and Economic Voting in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 70, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    7. Nicholas Apergis, 2011. "Characteristics of inflation in Greece: Mean Spillover Effects among CPI Components," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 43, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    8. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Jacob A. Jordaan, 2011. "Regional Distribution and Spatial Impact of FDI in Greece: evidence from firm-level data," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 44, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    9. George Pagoulatos & Nikolaos Zahariadis, 2011. "Politics, Labor, Regulation, and Performance: lessons from the privatization of OTE," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 46, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    10. Voskeritsian, Horen & Kornelakis, Andreas, 2011. "Institutional change in Greek industrial relations in an era of fiscal crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 41758, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Lyrintzis, Christos, 2011. "Greek politics in the era of economic crisis: reassessing causes and effects," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33826, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Kosmidis, Spyros, 2013. "Government constraints and economic voting in Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 50259, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Vassilis Monastiriotis & George Petrakos, 2009. "Local Sustainable Development and Spatial Cohesion in the Post-transition Balkans: in search of a developmental model," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 29, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    14. Christos Dimas, 2010. "Privatization in the Name of ‘Europe’: analyzing the telecoms privatization in Greece from a ‘discursive institutionalist’ perspective," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 41, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    15. Stelios Karagiannis & Yannis Panagopoulos & Prodromos Vlamis, 2010. "Symmetric or Asymmetric Interest Rate Adjustments? Evidence from Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 39, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    16. George Kazamias, 2010. "From Pragmatism to Idealism to Failure: Britain in the Cyprus crisis of 1974," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 42, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

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    Keywords

    Regional disparities and policy; Bulgaria; Transition; EU accession.;

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