26.03.2017

Completion of the Project “The Impact of Fiscal Decentralisation on Local Economic Development in Serbia and Montenegro”


The research project The Impact of Fiscal Decentralisationon Local Economic Development in Serbia and Montenegro analysed and evaluated financial flows between central and local governments, and assessed the impact of the existing fiscal decentralisation model on the local economic development in both countries.

During the course of this two-year project, EURAK has produced a number of important scientific outputs and earned international recognition. This achievement was facilitated through EURAK’s partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which provided mentoring support to EURAK’s researchers within the RRPP. The significance of this mentorship has been twofold. Firstly, it has guaranteed academic rigour and excellence of our research. Secondly, it helped us increase our visibility by approaching international scholars and scientific networks.

EURAK’s project outputs included a book Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Government Financing in Serbia and Montenegro, published by the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade (in Serbian) and by Lex Localis Press of the Institute for Local Self-Government of the University of Maribor (in English). EURAK has also published an article on fiscal decentralisation in Montenegro in the highly ranked SSCI-listed Journal of Local Self-Government – Lex Localis. In addition, a comparative paper on the fiscal decentralisation processes in Serbia and Montenegro is currently in the process of being published with Springer. The second year studies on the impact of fiscal decentralisation on local economic development in Serbia and in Montenegro have been submitted to the LSEE Working Papers on Decentralisation and Regional Policy.

Materials were presented at several international scientific conferences (organised by universities in London, Nice & Moscow, Porto & Maribor, Graz and Vienna). Furthermore, EURAK has organised two conferences – in Belgrade and Podgorica, where we disseminated our project results and recommendations to policy- and decision-makers from the ministries in charge of finance, economy and local government and other relevant government institutions, representatives of local governments and local government associations, as well as to relevant representatives of international organisations and scientific community.

Decision-makers in both countries agreed that the decentralisation process and local government financing issues should be among the top policy priorities of the governments. They acknowledged the importance of having scientific input from the researchers, as a pathway to evidence-based policy-making. They recognised that the existing policy-making process in general is not informed and that it lacks expert dialogue and diversity of arguments in the process of decentralisation.

Four policy papers – two per country/project year, summarizing the major findings, conclusions and recommendations of our research studies, were produced during the course of the project. These papers have served to inform policy-makers at central and local government level in Serbia and Montenegro on how to improve current and future intergovernmental fiscal and regulatory reforms and local government financing.

The authors find that the arguments in favour of centralisation mostly stem from the fear of loss of macroeconomic or financial control, unwillingness to regulate the system properly and from the lack of commitment to investing in the capacities of local government authorities. When fiscal decentralisation is based on predictable, stable and strict rules on local taxation and spending, the use of transfers (grants) and bail­out rules, local government borrowing and hard budget constraints, the problems of macroeconomic and financial instability can be avoided or alleviated.

The arguments in favour of fiscal decentralisation seem much more convincing and should thus be internalised by political and governing elites in both countries. However, our study shows that neither Montenegro nor Serbia can now benefit from fiscal decentralisation because of the current low­quality fiscal policy and legal framework. If these two countries want to reap the benefits of fiscal decentralisation, their central governments have to be strategically and practically committed to a stable, predictable and transparent system of local government financing.

Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Government Financing in Serbia and Montenegro

Fiskalna decentralizacija i finansiranje lokalne samouprave u Srbiji i Crnoj Gori

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RRPP Joint Volume

The RRPP is proud to present the volume Diversity of Migration in South-East Europe.
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New RRPP Flyer 2014

Please click here to download the current RRPP flyer.

26.03.2017

Centre of Excellence on Policymaking Systems in the Western Balkans (CEPS WeB) has been created. The mission of the CEPS WeB is to promote the use of research as the basis for policy- and decision-making in the Western Balkans by providing evidence-based and high-quality contributions to advance the existing policy processes.
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26.03.2017

The project The Impact of the Socio-Economic Structure of Rural Population on the Success of Rural Development Policy provides evidence-based understanding of the farmers’ behaviour and their interpersonal relation with other farmers. The research results show that there is a lack of skills and knowledge that needs to be addressed by training and a lessons learned campaign.
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26.03.2017

The research project The Impact of Fiscal Decentralisationon Local Economic Development in Serbia and Montenegro analysed and evaluated financial flows between central and local governments, and assessed the impact of the existing fiscal decentralisation model on the local economic development in both countries. The results are available online.
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25.03.2017

Research results of the project Care for the Carers: Policy Analysis of Informal Care Provision in Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been published recently. The objective of the project was to analyse the informal long-term care system focusing on informal carers, as well as policy advocacy efforts in Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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25.03.2017

Economic Research and Policy Institute Finance Think Skopje in cooperation with ACSER Albania and FREN Serbia used newly created Delphi questionnaire to forecast the size and effects of remittances and emigration in four regional countries. The results suggest that remittances in the projected five-year period will increase in Macedonia and Serbia, and drop in Albania and Kosovo.
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25.03.2017

Research results of the project Migration as Social Protection: Analysis of Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian Remittance-receiving Households are now available online. The research examines how remittances affect various facets of household vulnerability in Macedonia, Albania and Serbia, large recipients of such transfers.
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25.03.2017

Policy brief on the project The Dynamics of Women’s Inclusion in Socio-Economic Life – the Cases of Albania and Macedonia have been published recently. The results confirmed the negative impact of the economic crisis on women’s labour participation.
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25.03.2017

Research Network on Decentralisation and Subnational Governance in Southeast Europe established. The goal of the network is to bring together researchers on decentralisation from SEE for closer cooperation, as well as internal and external networking.
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24.03.2017

The conference on the Challenges of Social Science Research at Western Balkan Universities has ended. The goal of the conference was to examine the problems and identify potential solutions to bridge the obvious gap at universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of the region between the working conditions for researchers on the one hand, and the formal requirements for the conferment of academic titles on the other.
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24.03.2017

The project Engendering Forced Migration, Socio-Political Transition and Mental Health in BiH, Serbia, and Kosovo, has come to an end. The list of all outputs and resources prepared during the project is now available online.
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RRPP Local Coordination Unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized an event about The Future of Research Impact: New Technologies for Better Promotion and Cooperation. Professor Andy Miah presented a strategic approach to social media and other web-based tools in research promotion and development. Video from the event is now available online.
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20.03.2017

The RRPP-funded research project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies has recently come to an end. A complex research design intended to explore antecedents and consequences of social identity inclusiveness in a sample of young people from Serbia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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20.03.2017

RRPP Local Coordination Unit in Kosovo in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Kosovo (MEST) organised a training on Writing Competitive Proposals for EU funded Projects in Prishtina. The goal of the training was to enhance the participants’ skills and knowledge on how to design competitive projects within the scope of the EU calls.
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16.03.2017

On 16 February 2017 the Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) organised the closing conference Challenges and Opportunities for Scientific Research Funding in the Republic of Macedonia within the RRPP National Policy Dialogue. The aim of the conference was to promote the newly designed model for funding scientific research activity (SRA) in the Republic of Macedonia.
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22.02.2017

The Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP) Local Coordination Unit for Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the University of Banja Luka is organising a conference titled Challenges of Social Science Research at Western Balkan Universities. The conference will be held at the Rectorate of the University of Banja Luka, on 07 March 2017, starting from 09:00.
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09.02.2017

Within the RRPP National Policy Dialogue activities in Macedonia, the Foundation Open Society Macedonia will organise a closing conference titled Challenges and Opportunities for Scientific Research Funding in the Republic of Macedonia.The conference will be held at the Hotel Holiday Inn in Skopje, on 16 February 2017, starting from 12:00.
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01.02.2017

The results of the RRPP-funded research project Courts as Policy-Makers?: Examining the Role of Constitutional Courts as Agents of Change in the Western Balkans have recently been published. The project examines the contribution of constitutional courts to democratic transition in five successor states of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.
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26.01.2017

Local Coordination Unit of the RRPP for Bosnia and Herzegovina is organising a seminar/workshop followed by a discussion about The Future of Research Impact: New Technologies for Better Promotion and Cooperation. The event will be organised within the National Policy Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at hotel Bristol Sarajevo, on 09.02.2017.
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26.01.2016

Centre for Political Courage from Kosovo and Development Solutions Associates from Albania conducted a research titled Mapping Clientelism and its Causes: Rents, Rent-Seeking and Democracy in Kosovo and Albania (1997-2013). The research was funded by the RRPP, and the results, published in the form of policy briefs, are now available online.
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30.12.2016

The research brief Social Capital, Migration, Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance: a Multidisciplinary Evidence from South-East Europe has been published within the RRPP-funded project Social Capital and Migration – Evidence from a Post-conflict Environment. The research identifies common and specific determinants of social capital, as well as similarities and differences between periods of crisis and normality.
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30.12.2016

Between May and December 2016, a series of roundtables on Ethics in Research has been organised at public universities around Albania. The purpose of these events was to present the main findings and recommendations deriving from the analysis undertaken by young researchers, as well as to promote constructive debate among researchers and university management structures.
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