STATE OF THE CURRENT REGIONS FOR PLANING IN BULGARIA
The demographic crisis in Bulgaria in recent years has had a major impact on the development of the planning regions (NUTS). Based on statistics, in one of the regions the number of the population is below European requirements (min. 800 000 people). In another, the North Central Region, the population is now approaching the lower limit, and if downward trends continue, it will not meet European requirements. All this requires a new zoning, and it is natural to analyze the influence of all the factors that led to the need for change.
Our goal is to present the state of the planning regions at the moment. Let's pay attention to just one of the many criteria surrounding the zoning process. Number of population is the main criterion.
Reconciliation in our country has taken place in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union of 26 May 2003 establishing a common classification of territorial units for statistics. As is well known, the NUTS hierarchical classification is also necessary for socio-economic analysis of regions in EU Member States and for defining the framework for Cohesion Policy (Cohesion Policy) actions.
Areas that form NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 do not represent administrative and territorial units and are territorial in scope. Areas that form NUTS 3 are administrative and territorial units and cover the territory of individual areas.
According to European criteria, 800 000 people are the minimum to define a separate planning region. Over the last few years, the Northwest region does not meet this requirement, and North Central is at the limit of the required number, but by analyzing trends, it will not be long. It is precisely because of the lack of sustainability in terms of population numbers in the regions and its compliance with EU requirements and regulatory documents that makes it necessary to make changes to zoning. The division of areas is purely technical, but it depends on the access to EU cohesion policy funds.
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