Decentralization and Sub-Municipal Government in South-Eastern European Countries

Prof. Mirko Klarić

Sub-municipal units are usually created for managing of tasks important for daily life of citizens in local community. Generally, these tasks usually have direct influence on ordinary life of citizens in local community. In some of local government systems many of this tasks are in jurisdiction of local self-government units, without or with very weak sub-municipal government. In opposite situation, sub-municipal government can have very strong role in managing of local public tasks and initiatives. They also have democratic character, because they have directly contact with citizens in local community, and they can to communicate their policies and activities with all target groups. Also, they are usually directly elected from the citizens on the election, and citizens have directly insight on activity of sub-municipal units, because this activity is closely connected with daily life of citizens in community. Local self-government is established as an institutional answer to create balance to the central government, and sub-municipal government is established as a part of decentralization process, to improve decentralization processes in local-self-government units. The main question is how sub-municipal government can improve decentralization processes in local government units and impact on the democratization of local community. True this paper it would be analyzed sub-municipal government as a organizational form of local governance with comparative perspective, and elements which generally formed sub-municipal government as a tools for delivery of local public services and managing of local initiatives which are important for the local community. These two roles are crucial for understanding of dynamic in sub-municipal government. Special focus would be held on sub-municipal government in South-Eastern European countries, which they have a common history and institutional framework, with the main question: how can sub-municipal government contribute to strengthening of decentralization and democratic processes in the local community directly and, indirectly in whole society. Self-government systems which are highly decentralized usually have developed sub-municipal government. On the other side, in centralized countries sub-municipal government usually has reduced role which is connected with managing of public tasks connected with local community needs. The main question is how sub-municipal government can improve decentralization, and how those efforts at the end of the day contribute to better development of whole society.