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PublicationSouth East Europe Municipal Finance Review : Local Government Finance in the Western Balkans(Washington, DC, 2013-09) World BankThis report addresses the limited access to local governments of data and knowledge of municipal finance issues in South East Europe (SEE). The objective of the analytical work under the SEE Municipal Finance Review (MFR) aims to (i) contribute to improved understanding of local government management and finance in the SEE Region; and (ii) contribute to improving the quality and consistency of key municipal finance data for improved evidence based policy making. The analysis presented in this report comprises the first attempt to review and analyze a regional set of disaggregated sub-national finance data in the SEE Region. Main findings of the MFR are presented in this report. Following an introductory chapter, chapter 2 provides an overview of the decentralization framework in the SEE Region, including on the administrative and political structure of sub-national governments, their population size and distribution, and the service functions assigned to local governments. Chapter 3 explains in more detail the local government finance framework. This includes an overview of the structure and composition of sub-national finances, in particular (i) revenue and expenditure assignments; (ii) transfers and intergovernmental fiscal relations; and (iii) the evolving framework and realities of sub-national borrowing and debt. Chapter 4 provides a summary of the key trends and findings from the cross-country, regional analysis, complemented by detailed analysis of the disaggregated datasets, where available. Finally, Chapter 5 summarizes conclusions and provides some recommendations for a possible way forward. In the medium to long term, access to municipal finance information would contribute to increasing transparency and accountability of local governments, improving revenue collection and expenditure performance, optimizing budget allocation procedures, and strengthen local authorities' role and position in intergovernmental fiscal considerations and negotiations in the SEE countries.