Back Driving change: Council of Europe delivers Policy Advice in support of fiscal decentralisation reform in Bulgaria

Driving change: Council of Europe delivers Policy Advice in support of fiscal decentralisation reform in Bulgaria

In support of the 2016-2025 Decentralisation strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance (CEGG) of the Council of Europe has provided Policy Advice on financial equalisation and measures to promote fiscal autonomy at the local level to the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) and the Ministry of Finance (MFIN).

Building on other project outputs, and following a citizen consultation, and bilateral meetings with officials from the MRDPW and the MFIN, the policy advice prepared by the CEGG examines the critical issues in local government finances and includes several policy proposals tailored to the needs of Bulgarian authorities based on good European practice.

The Policy Advice at a glance

The document was elaborated in line with the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ recommendations to member States on the principles of good democratic governance (CM/Rec(2023)5), on the financial resources of local and regional authorities (Rec (2005)1), on financial and budgetary management at local and regional levels (Rec(2004)1) and the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

After an evaluation of the critical issues in local governments finances, the document proposes two policy scenarios. The comprehensive approach discusses several specific proposals targeting the main issues of local government financing. From this longer list, a gradual approach is suggested where the most urgent proposals are prioritised to be introduced at the initial stage, followed by additional reforms in a step-by-step manner. The policy advice draws on good practice from other Council of Europe member States, offering a description of specific methods and country cases of relevance.

The Policy Advice document is one of the main outputs of the project ‘22BG07 – Developing fiscal decentralisation and improving local financial management in Bulgaria’, a joint project financed by the European Union through the Technical Support Instrument (DG Reform) and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance.

Sofia, Bulgaria 16 December 2023
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