Disregard of Local Governments in the Regional Economic Area (REA) of the Western Balkans
New study reveals a general lack of local government interests and local economic development in the planning of the REA.
Thomas Prorok, deputy managing director of the KDZ-Centre for Public Administration Research, presented in Tirana at the NALAS board meeting the study „Potential Contributions of South East European Local Governments to the Regional Economic Area“. The findings are crucial for local economic development in the Western Balkans: Local Governments are fully neglected in the planning of the REA. 47 gaps have been identified, where municipalities should play a role and be included in the development of the REA to foster local economic development. Decentralisation as one precondition or the establishment of regional development agencies are two examples out of a set of recommendations to strengthen local economic development and thus to better implement the MAP REA. The study will be forward to the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Berlin Process.