Challenges of S3 implementation in SEE: the relevance of governance
08 Oct 2019
S3 Platform & OtherLagging regions
The goal of the session is to identify main bottlenecks and opportunities for the governance process of smart specialisation in selected Southern Eastern European Countries (SEE) in regard to the principles of S3 good governance. The setting for R&I ecosystems to work and S3 related policies to be effective rely on strong linkages on the territory. SEE often show complex and non-flexible institutional infrastructures that prevent these conditions from taking place. For this reason, countries need to employ different approaches in order to reach and maintain quality governance for the process efficiency. S3 implies different models of implementation according to the regional or national context. Governance is a crucial variable for effective and efficient S3 policies, it encompasses both vertical and horizontal structures and related linkages, institutional and non-institutional development players. It is important that all these layers intersect within a common framework of tasks and activities and support the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) that lead the way to identify local priorities and strategies for development and growth.
Many SEE show a strong centralized management of all development policies and often S3 is mostly national with a regional NUTS2 perspective. Therefore, it is possible that although a formal government structure in charge of S3 has been established and it is centrally controlled, the networking is largely uneven, and formal and informal development players are still belonging to different power dimensions hardly communicating.
Furthermore, R&I ecosystem establishment and S3 related policies have to deal with some systemic distortions deriving from the transition (from a centralized planning to a market economy) period where institutional building reforms undertaken by countries substantively influenced the current economic development governance. The aim of the session is to delve deeper into the main challenges of S3 governance in SEE, with reference mainly to Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia that are respectively at different steps of their S3 implementation process.