Regional disparities - a prerequisite for or problem in developing of regions?

Author: Petya Dimitrova (Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski")

Keywords: regional development, regional disparities, regional policy, region, imbalance

At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century under the influence of globalization, a number of regional factors began to exert an increasing influence on the socio- political and economic development of the individual countries. While most of the conceptions of globalization are associated with the creation of a comprehensive global system that "unifies" the world in a political, social and economic aspect, "in the face of its unsettling tendencies", the regionalization is becoming more and more developed (Stoyanov, 2001). The regionalization is characterized by both economic and general political integration. The regionalization's processes aim at strengthening individual spaces in economic and general political terms. In both processes, particular attention is paid to the national space, thereby weakening the sovereignty of the countries in economic and political terms. Along with these two global processes, there is a third process with local influence, namely a regional division at the national level. Each country divides its territory to distinct regions characterized by a particular principle. Thus one of the main problems each government faces is precisely the overcoming of economic and social imbalances across the whole country, in particular between regions. Defining of the problems that generated the differences in the different parts of the country and the search for a proper mechanism for raising the living standards of the population, both in the individual regions and in a country as a whole, requires a number of concrete measures. Leading policy in this area is the regional one, which aims to reduce disparities in the regions by creating a working mechanism to develop the leading edge of each region in order to achieve growth, development and welfare via improving the quality life and living of the population.

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