Fiscal decentralization is often viewed as a niche issue that mostly concerns administrative and regional development policies. However, it has broader social and economic implications, which are often overlooked, especially in countries with a heavily centralized government structure such as Bulgaria.
If ever there was an example of an unregulated free market approach to the development of a new type of social relations in Bulgaria – it is the spread of the Internet in the country. Bulgaria currently has one of the most developed broadband infrastructures in the EU and frequently makes it in the top 10 of various global connectivity speed rankings.
Just a year after the topic of fiscal decentralization briefly entered the public debate in Bulgaria, the political volition for taking actual steps in this direction seems exhausted. The government stifles to a large extent the initiative of local authorities.
What if I told you that the poorest EU member state is a country in which economic populism is more often the rule of a thumb, rather than an exception? Would that surprise you, or would you think it is a fate just deserved by both the Bulgarian public and its government?
Back in 2012, Mario Draghi vowed to do “everything in his power” to save the euro. Four years later that promise seems fulfilled – both the recent moves by the ECB and the market reaction that followed suggest that we are reaching the limit of what monetary policy can achieve in the euro area.
2014 passed under the sign of decreasing unemployment and increasing employment in Bulgaria. Although a big part of the population still hasn’t felt the benefits of these favourable tendencies, they are not only present in the leading economic centres, but also in some of the smaller regions of the country.
The EU is no longer the abstraction it was in the beginning of the crisis. For many Europeans the crisis turned the Euro from a convenience into an issue, the Greek – from exotic and hospitable people into lazy parasites, and the English – from key allies into awkward partners.
The EP parliamentary elections in Bulgaria took place in the midst of what can only be called a crisis of public representation.
Deutsche Bank’s report outlines another important aspect of Europe’s reindustrialization. German companies that in 2012 maintained production capacity of their own abroad, continue at 82% of their production within the EU.
The lack of experience, skills and even professional contacts among young people, makes them understandably one of the more sensitive labor market groups.