This is the eighth edition of the Report which is an ongoing effort of NALAS’ Fiscal Decentralisation Task Force to provide policymakers and analysts with reliable comparative data on municipal finances and up to date information on intergovernmental fiscal relations in South–East Europe.

This edition focuses in particular on the regulation, management and financing of decentralized social sector services in South-East Europe. The report provides a comparative overview and then a detailed analysis of the local government responsibilities in education, social care and protection and public health in South-East Europe, how they are regulated, managed and financed for all South-East European economies.

As the world continues to face the aftermath of COVID-19 and local governments lead recovery efforts, a special chapter is dedicated the municipal response to COVID-19 in the social sector in South-East Europe. This chapter shows what South-East European local governments have been doing to weather the crisis impact in education, social protection and care and public health.

The report introduces the NALAS Decentralisation Observatory – the data and information hub on local government issues in South-East Europe ( The Observatory facilitates the access to and utilisation of timely, accurate, reliable and comparable data and information on local government finance in South-East Europe (SEE). The Observatory is developed by NALAS, in partnership with KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research and with the support of the BACID Program.

Ultimately, the report includes also its traditional analysis on Fiscal Decentralisation providing an overview of fiscal decentralization tendencies in South-East Europe and then specific chapters with fiscal decentralisation indicators for the individual economies.

The report is structured in five key chapters:

  • Comparative overview of local social sector responsibilities in South-East Europe
  • Municipal response to COVID-19 in the social sector in South-East Europe
  • Review of decentralised social sector responsibilities in South-East Europe
  • Overview of fiscal decentralisation in South-East Europe
  • Key fiscal decentralisation indicators in South-East Europe

We are profoundly grateful to the NALAS Fiscal Decentralisation Task Force (FDTF) members for their invaluable support and for the efforts they made to both gather very specific data and synthesise the complicated roles their local governments play in managing and financing social sector services in South-East Europe. We are equally grateful for the extra effort they made to add to the report short sections on the impact of, and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by local governments in the social sector.

We hope this report will be helpful to NALAS member Local Government Associations and policymakers, experts and practitioners in SEE, in informing and supporting their advocacy efforts for improved policies, services and financing of local governments social sector responsibilities and beyond.

Download the full Report:

8th NALAS Fiscal Decentralisation Indicators Report