Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 2023_1: Policy Mobilities in the Rural Baltic Sea Region

Dr. Clemens Lisdat, Prof. Dr. Christine Tamásy

Currently, research increasingly focuses on the spread of political initiatives in space and time. This is not a matter of copying an innovative polical initiative, but of transferring ideas that emerge in a specific regional context and are then transferred to another regional context with characteristic social and political conditions. However, most research on the spatial mobility of policy initiatives and ideas focuses on urban policies.

This policy brief is dedicated to the rural Baltic Sea region. It starts with a clarification of how rural areas in countries bordering the Baltic Sea are defined. Then, shared themes in rural policies are identified and analysed.

Policy Brief: Policy Mobilities in the Rural Baltic Sea Region (PDF) [de]

Policy Brief 2023_2: Fiscal Decentralization and Task Responsibilitites in the Baltic Sea Region

Dr. Frauke Richter-Wilde, Prof. Dr. Daniel Schiller

Countries surrounding the Baltic Sea are characterized by a comparatively high amount of rural areas (Eurostat 2023). The supply of public infrastructure and services of general interest depends on a critical mass of demand within a given region to ensure accessibility for the population. In ruralperipheral regions, demand is often insufficient because of low population density or long distances to agglomerations. Nevertheless, infrastructure and services for education, social and health care as well as recreational, sports and cultural entities need to be provided to a certain degree in all regions. It is already stated in the literature that the provision of services of general interest has a positive impact on local welfare (Li et al. 2022 & 2020). These services of general interest offered at the local level and the different models to finance them are at the core of our research. To examine the role of local governments in different countries of the Baltic Sea Region, we distinguish public finance systems and decisionmaking power by their degree of decentralization. More centralized states seem to be more efficient in supplying infrastructure and services in administrative terms. Nevertheless, decentralization may lead to a better supply of public goods in all kinds of regions because municipalities know their citizens' preferences best (fiscal federalism, Oates 1972 & 1999).

Policy Brief: Fiscal Decentralization and Task Responsibilitites in the Baltic Sea Region (PDF)