Priority Axis 4: Local development and co-operation


This priority is designed to contribute to local and inter-regional development. Its primary feature is to establish and support investment initiatives with typical  local ownership, being formulated at local level by local actors and developed in a flexible manner to provide solutions for specific local problems.

Apart from the central government, municipalities are the main actors of the regional and local development in Bulgaria.

178 out of 264 Bulgarian municipalities are small and threatened by permanent peripheral status. At the same time, as elsewhere, part of these municipalities can be described as disadvantaged in terms of location, development level or structure of local economy. Peripheral,  mountain, rural, industrially declining, etc. municipalities fall into this category and require a higher intensity of support to development. In most cases, small size is combined with or results from unfavourable development characteristics.

The OPRD aims to address integrated regional development and territorial cohesion throughout  the whole territory of Bulgaria. Even though regional development largely passes through urban development in Bulgaria, and connectivity to urban possibilities, there remain certain cases where non-agglomeration and generally smaller municipalities could be able to justify small-scale investments vital to their competitiveness and sustainability.

Therefore this priority axis addresses specifically and exclusively to those municipalities, outside the urban agglomeration areas, which sharply need investments in order to enhance their own development.

The specific assistance includes the following:

  • Supporting local centers which have the capacity to act as a significant economic centers and thus contribute to economic and social activity in the surrounding areas.
  • Exploitation of opportunities offered by investments in infrastructure.
  • Enhancement of opportunities for educational and health care services for the local communities by means of improving the related infrastructure.
  • Improvement of quality of environment and risk prevention.

 The priority also makes use of exchange and learning between regional and local authorities and their partners in other member states of the EU (operation 4.2). That means directing, channelling and transferring knowledge, know-how and best practices towards Bulgarian regions and beneficiaries, while working on a shared network platform.

The priority will be implemented by means of projects involving the local communities and enabling them to develop institutional and informal forms of cooperation and dialogue concerning the problems of development.

However, in smaller municipalities there is limited institutional, development, technical and financial capacity (human resources, knowledge, experience and know-how) to participate on the development and investment work. This issue will be properly addressed under Priority axis 5.

Specific objective

To enable smaller municipalities to participate in the development processes of the country and to stimulate regional and local innovation through inter-regional exchange.

Operations to be supported

The following kinds of operations will be supported under this priority axis:

 Operation 4.1: Small-scale Local Investments

Operation 4.2: Inter-regional Cooperation

Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:10 PM

Priority Axis 4: Local development and co-operation