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PublicationMunicipal Mergers and Associations: International Experience and Reform Options for Croatia(Washington, DC, 2022-05) World BankCroatia’s high degree of municipal fragmentation has been consistently recognized as a weakness and one of the main problems of its intergovernmental fiscal system. The report argues that the problem of fragmentation is in essence a problem of capacity. The objective of this report is to review international experiences and lessons in the promotion of local government mergers and municipal associations to inform efforts to advance institutional reform in Croatia and address the problem of low local government capacity. The report is organized into six sections. The first section is introduction, the second section reviews the fragmented territorial administrative structure in Croatia, and the third is devoted to unpacking the concept of local government units (LGU) capacity. The fourth section focuses on relevant international experience related to municipal fragmentation and capacity deficiencies, and the fifth examines incentive measures for Intermunicipal Cooperation (IMC) and the creation of associations or commonwealths. The sixth section lays out policy options and recommendations for Croatia, prioritized along a sequence for implementation.