Decentralisation and local development in the Western Balkans: convergences and divergences among different contexts

The report is the second of a series realised within the SeeNet Programme by a research network coordinated by CeSPI (Italy) and composed of seven research organisations from South East Europe, including InTER who does the research on decentralisation and governance in Vojvodina. More about the SeeNet Programme is available at the website:

This report is focussed on decentralisation. This issue is particularly relevant in Western Balkan countries, not only for the general links recognized by the international community between decentralisation and democratization, but also for the accession perspectives that imply on one side the sharing of the same principles (as expressed in the European Charter for Local Self Governments), and on the other the adoption of a “European model” with regards to local and regional management of European Regional Development Funds.
The analysis has been conducted with a multi-level perspective, taking into consideration the following levels: local, other eventual sub-national, national, European, and other international levels. It also adopts a multi-stakeholder perspective. Among the key local development stakeholders analysed are: i) representatives from local institutions; ii) representatives from the central government; iii) public administration, public and public controlled local bodies; iv) actors of territorial/decentralized and international cooperation; v) civil society; vi) education, culture and research bodies; vii) economic actors; viii) trade unions; and ix) the media.
This general introduction includes four sections: the first is dedicated to the “state of the art” in the European Union’s support towards decentralisation in the Countries included in the research activity; the second is focussed on the role of local and regional authorities in the framework of IPA cross border cooperation activities and the Ionian-Adriatic macroregional perspectives, analysed as ways to enhance decentralisation process; the third summarizes the main findings that emerge from the case studies; finally the report includes some general conclusions. The territorial case studies follow a common structure: i) Decentralisation: the legal/institutional and political framework; ii) Powers and resources of local self-government units; iii) Multilevel dynamics; iii) Conclusions.

SeeNet Programme (2011): Decentralisation and local development in Western Balkans: convergences and divergences among different contexts. Second research report.



Publication Year


Email by: Dragisa Mijacic, InTER (
Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on September 22, 2011
Modified on September 22, 2011