Edited by Friederike Welter and David Smallbone
Chapter 3: Promoting Cross-border Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria: A Case for Policy Treatment?
Kiril Todorov, Kostadin Kolarov and David Smallbone INTRODUCTION This chapter is concerned with cross-border cooperation between enterprises in border regions in one of the EU’s new member states. Since these regions are peripheral to the core of national economic activity, with few assets for economic development, cooperation between enterprises across the border represents one of the ways of reducing locational disadvantages associated with peripherality. In this context, creating a policy environment to enable and facilitate productive forms of cross-border entrepreneurship may be viewed as a necessary part of the regional development strategies for these border regions. Whilst European Union (EU) membership offers access to funding to support such a strategy, a lack of regional policy, competing policy priorities and a weak institutional framework combine to make achieving this a challenging prospect. Bulgaria’s regions are very varied both geographically and historically. For the purposes of national regional development policy, six large regions are defined, namely South-Western, South-Central, SouthEastern, North-Western, North-Central and North-Eastern, which also represent statistical units at the NUTS II level. Recently the capital city, Sofia, has been separated as a statistical region due to its significant economic and urban development and the large disparity with the other regions. However, with the exception of Sofia, demographic and economic inter-regional disparities are relatively small compared with intra-regional disparities. A tenfold difference exists between the levels of net income at the municipal level and a clustering of municipalities with low economic development may be observed in all planning regions (Ministry of Regional...
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