Socio-economic analysis of the regions in the republic of Bulgaria

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Socio-economic analysis of the regions in the republic of Bulgaria

Contract: № РД-02-37-76/30.07.2018 г.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

Contracting period: 30/07/2018 – 30/07/2021

The main goal of the project is to be elaborated a detailed socio-economic and demographic analysis for the needs of the regional development operational programme and other programmes funded by the ESIFs, the National Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the regional development plans of the NUTS 2 regions, the National Spatial Development Concept and the regional spatial development schemes of NUTS 2 regions for the period after 2020’. The main goal thus formulated is to improve integration between sectoral policies to the benefit of regional development and economic growth and to link them to the national space. The socio-economic analysis of the regions sets the foundations for sectoral analyses in relation to the general parameters of development, but does not aim to and cannot replace them.

An important part of the contract is the consultation process throughout the work on the assignment, which includes active communication with stakeholders, conducting two seminars in the first year of the contract, presenting the results to the Interdepartmental Coordination Group, the Regional Development Councils and the Regional Policy Council under the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works.

The territorial scope of the analysis covers the entire country and all administrative-territorial and statistical units. The input data are collected and processed from the level of the municipalities to the level of the statistical regions in the EU applying the bottom-up approach, but the main conclusions and inferences follow the logic of the policies that are formed with the highest level with the active participation of the stakeholders at lower levels. The development of the municipalities, districts, regions and the country were compared with similar regions in the EU. Only the settlements with specific features and functions that play an important role in the implementation of regional and spatial development policies, economic, social and territorial cohesion were analysed.

The time period covered by the socio-economic analysis includes the previous programming period 2007-2013 and the period from 2014 to 2018 and depends on the available information on certain indicators. The analysis of the entire territory of the country will identify the changes in the overall economic, social, demographic, infrastructure development and environmental condition during the period from 2014 to 2020. The document submitted and the entire database will be updated twice, respectively in 2020 and 2021, to fully monitor the progress and impact of the achieved objectives of European and national policies and programmes.

The thematic scope of the socio-economic analysis cover the following main areas: economic development (small and medium-sized enterprises, foreign direct investment, R&D); tourism (tourism resources and infrastructure, specialisation); social development (demography, education, healthcare, social services, sport, employment and unemployment), labour market; culture and cultural heritage; transport infrastructure (road, railroad, air and waterway transport) and engineering infrastructure (energy systems and networks, water supply and sewerage, gas supply, telecommunications, waste management); housing sector (condition of the housing stock, specific features of the Bulgarian market); regional and urban development (territorial model, development axes and cores, agglomeration areas); environment (condition, NEN, climate change, environmental expenditure); governance and administrative capacity; and efficiency of projects and resources utilised under operational programmes co-financed by the European Funds and by other financial instruments.

The summarised conclusions in connection with the results from the study carried out outline the post-2020 development trends across all thematic areas related to the sectors that have the most pronounced impacts on the national space and help achieve sustainable and inclusive growth by integrating policies and investment priorities.

Years of realisation:
2018-2021 г.

In progress

Contracting authority: 
Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

Team leader:
Prof. Dr Vesselina Troeva

Prof. Dr Vesselina Troeva – Team leader, territorial dimensions of sectoral policies
Dr Petko Evrev, MA – Spatial and urban development, Summary
Dr Julia Spiridonova, Master in Economics – Regional disparities, Operational programmes
Dimiter Dimitrov, Master in economic geography – Demography, Social services, Labor market, Culture, Sport
Stoyko Doshekov, Master in Economics – Economic development, SME, R&D
Stoicho Motev, MA – Tourism, housing policy
Eng. Svetla Vassileva – Transport and technical infrastructure, Institutional and administrative capacity
Emil Nikitov, Master in Ecology – Environment, Waste management, Climate change
Plamen Tzenov, MA – Municipalities’ capacity
Milen Kolev, Master in Planning – Culture and Cultural heritage
Boyko Kermekchiev, Master in Planning – Urban Development, GIS analyses
Maria Novakova, Master in mathematics – Management of information and data processing, Key indicators, GIS data processing, analyses and presentation
Tina Popova, Master in Hydro engineering – Project coordinator, Water supply and Sewerage infrastructure
Detelina Apostolova, MA – Data processing
Jozef Nasser, Master in Planning – Data processing, EU documents analysis
Tanya Jeliazkova, Master in Planning – project assistant
Boyan Georgiev – Project assistant