Decentralization and regional development
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia will continue developing all regions in this country. The balanced regional development should contribute to creating equal opportunities for the Macedonian regions, so that they can achieve economic integration thus improving their infrastructure. During the following period of four years the main strategic objectives and priorities of the Government are:
- Competitive planning regions – dynamic and sustainable in their development following the standard of the European regions/municipalities;
- Demographic, economic, social and spatial adjustment between and within the framework of the statistical regions.
- Balanced economic growth among the regions, which will be realized with the help of an appropriate fiscal system and investments in the infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc.
The role of the Council for Balanced Regional Development will be strengthened in order to establish a balanced regional development. Within the framework of the Council, the use of means from all sector programs intended for the regions/municipalities will be coordinated.
In the period between 2011 and 2015, in order to establish a balanced regional development, the following projects will be realized:
- Project “Business Incubators” – with which within the framework of the centers for regional development, the development and work of business–incubators will be stimulated (2013);
- Project: “Local Regulatory Guillotine”. This project will simplify the administrative procedures of the municipalities for the services that are within their jurisdiction (2012);
- Project: “Database” which will include: all the planning documents for a development adopted at a national and regional level, all the persons in charge of planning the development in the institutions at a national and regional level (2012–2015);
- Project: “Ask the Competent Authorities” which envisages broadcasting of debate contact programs about matters regarding the local government (2012);
- Project: “Geographic Information System (GIS)”, so that all the data regarding the spatial and urban planning can be acquired in a digital form (2011–2015);
- Project: “Cleaning the Electrical and Electronic Waste” (2013);
- Project: “Replacement of Mercury with Energetic Efficient Light Bulbs in Street Lights” for replacement of the light bulbs in the networks of public lightning with new ones, which are far more economical (2014);
- Project: “Job Fairs”, with which in the planning regions, twice a year in cooperation with the Agency for Employment, we will unite the interest of the employers and the persons looking for jobs (2013).
In the period between 2011 and 2015, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia will try to wrap up the process of decentralization by:
- improvement of the conditions in social protection, local economic development, culture, healthcare, sport and housing;
- transferring the competences to the local government in the domain of social housing and building and maintenance of social apartment blocks.
In the following period, with phase–by–phase planning, the transfer from central to local level of the remaining institutions of local significance will be carried out. The forms through which the municipalities will be allowed to use for economic purposes the non–building land, which is under woods and grazing fields, will be determined. Also, legal opportunities will be created for the foundation of municipal health care facilities for the rural areas for which the access to the services from the primary health protection is complicated.
In the period between 2011 and 2015, in order to enable decentralization of the government, the following projects will be realized:
- Project: “The Municipalities will Manage the Non Built Public Land” – after the fulfillment of certain conditions, in order to support the local economic development, the non built public land will be given to the municipalities (2011);
- Project: “Favorable Loans to the Municipalities” which will enable attractive and favorable loans for the municipalities through the realization of the Second Municipal Services Improvement Project (2014);
- Project: “Municipal Bonds”, through which the municipalities will provide financial means for capital projects (2011–continuously);
The fiscal decentralization is a principle which derives from the Ohrid Framework Agreement and will continue in the following four years. In order to support the balanced regional development, we will stimulate a system for financing the local government which will enable a budgetary autonomy of the local government units in compliance with their competences, it will enable transfer to the local government units of a part of the centrally collected taxes which correspond with the functions of the local government units and it will motivate responsibility in collecting tax revenues on their territory, in compliance with their legal competences. The increase in the capacity and efficiency of the local authorities will be supported through:
- Continued strengthening of the revenue capacities of the municipalities, through more efficient collection of the tax revenues, as well as with introduction of new revenue instruments;
- Implementation of the Methodology for Determining the Market value of the Real estate, adopted in March 2011 by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, which will result in improved collection of the property taxes;
- Support of the last 6 municipalities for raising the administrative and fiscal capacity and access to the block–subventions, which are not in the second phase of the process of fiscal decentralization;
- Project: “The Social Services in Support of the Social Development and Cohesion”, which will support preparation of more models for allocation of the subvention from VAT with a higher degree of equalization;
- Project: “Support of the Process of Fiscal Decentralization through Strengthening the Capacities for Stable Financial Management and Internal Financial Control at a Local and Central Level” in which 40 municipalities are included.
Change of the allocation of the compensation charged on issued concessions for using the water resources for production of electric energy in proportion 50 % for the central budget – 50 % for the local governments.