43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
The paper deals with existing regional development discrepancies in Croatia and discusses possibilities of initiating dormant development potentials and closing development gaps. Bottom up policy approach is analysed in view of Croatian specific regional features that call for careful design of a specific bottom up - top down policy. Such a policy requires efficient communication between national and local government levels, coordinated design of regional and structural measures, capacity building of local self-government structures and thorough development programming. Qualitative development factors like institutions, political environment and social capital are attached a particular importance. Almost totally neglected today these factors deserve a special attention in future Croatian development policy formation. Monitoring and evaluation of policy measures appear equally neglected and deserve a special attention as well. At the end, a pro-active regional policy is scoped and particular measures and projects proposed.