Regional Development Agencies within the Governance Structures for Regional Development in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia
Regional development agencies (RDAs) have been established in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, where the development of economically underdeveloped areas primarily targeted the federal republics and autonomous provinces. The role of RDAs has been underpinned by the EU due to significance of the cohesion policy for new EU member states (Slovenia and Croatia), the process of association and negotiations on regional policy and the coordination of structural instruments for candidate and potential candidate countries. The paper elaborates on whether and to what extent the RDAs are expected to enhance national administrative capacities for programming, coordination and implementation of financial assistance. On the basis of a normative analysis of policy documents, relevant legislation and desk-research of the core competences and activities of the RDAs, the paper aims to portray the institutional arrangements for regional development, in particular the role of RDAs in the promotion of productivity and growth. Although regional partnerships have emerged as new collaborative governance structures, the principle of partnership is not fully respected as a result of strong centralization, the multitude of actors with overlapping roles and the underdeveloped systemic communication with stakeholders.
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