To be able to make informed decisions, develop good public policies and public services and efficiently manage scarce resources, policymakers at all levels of government have to rely on high quality data and information. But, all around South-East Europe such data is either missing or is difficult to access.

To bridge this gap, NALAS Fiscal Decentralization Task Force and the KDZ Centre for Public Administration Research continue their joint efforts to provide the Local Government Associations, local and central government policymakers, practitioners and researchers with timely, accurate, relevant, reliable and comparable data on local government finance in South–East Europe (SEE).

The report is structured in three main sections. The first part provides an overview of the size and structure of local governments in SEE. The second part provides regional comparisons on the status and development of national and local government finance in SEE in 2021. The data are provided in different formats, allowing much more comparisons and further utilization by users. The third section shows the patters and evolution of national and local government revenues and expenditures for the period 2006-2021 in each of the SEE economies through selected indicators of macro–economic performance and fiscal decentralisation. The Brief, publishes for the first time data on local government finance for Austria allowing for additional regional comparisons.

Ultimately, the Brief provides an opportunity to better understand the COVID-19 implications on local government finance in South-East Europe. In the Western Balkans, the covid-19 crisis alone, has brought at least 500 million EUR losses for local government finances. The recent covid-19 crisis along with floods and earthquakes have further weakened local government finance in the region and it is critical to continue intergovernmental finance reforms in the Region to ensure that local governments receive the necessary means to fulfil their mandates.

The data of the Statistical Brief are published in downloadable format in the NALAS Decentralisation Observatory for 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 Brief is supported with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation within the Building Administrative Capacities of the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova – BACID III Project.  

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