Municipal Development in South and South West Serbia - European PROGRES


The European Partnership with Municipalities Program funded by Switzerland, the EU and Serbia supports 34 underdeveloped municipalities in South and South West Serbia. The Program addresses municipal capacities to plan for development, attract investments and improves service delivery for 1 million citizens and the private sector in line with good governance pnnciples. It also contributes to enhanced multi-ethnic dialogue and improved cooperation between central and local governments.

 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Labor market development
01.05.2014 - 31.03.2018
CHF 6'400'000
Background

Serbia and the EU opened accession negotiations in 2014. On its European path Serbia will have to address rising regional disparities among the highest in Europe. Most of Serbia's underdeveloped municipalities (78%) are located in South and South West of the country where unemployment reaches almost 45%. Apart from a very difficult economic situation, the two regions suffer from a weak inter-ethnic dialogue. Local development is impeded by low capacity of local governments to plan for, attract and implement capital investments. Municipal administrations are slow to respond to the needs of citizens and private sector due to cumbersome procedures, and good governance has to be strengthened.

 

Objectives

To contribute to a sustainable development of South East and South West Serbia through improved coordination between nation and local authorities, more favorable environment for employability, business and infrastructure growth, and enhanced good governance and social inclusion.

 

 

 

Target groups

34 (out of 145) municipalities with one million Citizens in South East, South West and South Serbia (where almosi 80% of Serbia's underdeveloped municipalities are located) including différent departments in municipal administrations, local assemblies and mayor's cabinets. Line ministries and government bodies responsible for coordination between central and local governments and development investments.

 

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1 - Strengthened local governance, planning and management capacities through introduction of new, or improvement/ elimination of existing procedures and processes in line with the pnnciples of good governance;

Outcome 2 - Increased competitiveness of local economy through improved business environment;

Outcome 3 - Improved access to employment, offenng equal opportunities to both men and women, and social inclusion of most vulnerable and marginalized groups through development and implementation of local policies resulting in reduced migration from South, South East and South West Serbia;

Outcome 4 - Effects of Serbia's European accession communicated to général public.

 

Results

Expected results:  

a) Local regulations elaborated in a participatory manner, approved by Councils, implemented and monitored, clearly indicating who invests, owns, décides upon, maintains and benefits from the new infrastructure; b) local gender equality mechanisms established with defined action plans, gender budgeting in place, and local women councilors advocate for gender issues; c) municipal competitiveness improves; d) priority inter-municipal and municipal projects developed and implemented with clear responsibilities in the contract management, monitoring and évaluation; e) impediments to local development addressed by the relevant ministries and institutions; f) municipal competencies improve: property tax collection; program budgeting; capital investment and project pipeline planning; integrated provision of social services and outsourcing capacity.

 


Results from previous phases:  

PROGRES helped reducing differences between richer and poorer parts of Serbia, and enabled local institutions in the Program area to better use current and future investment funds from various sources. Key results: 1) municipal decision-taking on development investments became more transparent while 2) at least 6O'OOO Citizens directly experienced better governance through infrastructure projects implemented in their municipalities (green markets, kindergartens, water management etc.) that materialized through improved service delivery, social inclusion, employment, environmental protection and urban planning; 3) efficiency of service provision to the Citizens and private sector rose in at least seven municipalities; 4) eleven municipalities widened the tax payers base and enhanced tax collection; 5) an increase of women parliamentarians in local assemblies to 29% (2012 elections) was attributed to gender promotion facilitated by PROGRES. Swiss back stoppers successfully introduced new local governance concepts and shaped them for Serbian municipalities, thus providing sustainability for PROGRES investments.

 


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Other UN Organisation
  • Swiss Private Sector

Implementing partner
Sub-national State Authority

Other partners

EU Delegation in Serbia; Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities; Ministry of Finance - Central Finance and Contracting Unit; Ministry of Regional Development and Local Self Government and others.

 

Coordination with other projects and actors

European PROGRES will coordinate with SECO funded business enabling environment project and upcoming subnational public finance management project. PROGRES is building synergies with other SDC regional initiatives working in employability and economic development. The Program is closely working with SDC-GIZ Municipal Economic Development in Eastern Serbia, EU funded Exchange V and Project Préparation Facility 5, and USAID's Sustainable Local Development Project, etc.

 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   6'400'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   5'690'172
Project phases Phase 2 01.05.2014 - 31.03.2018   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.05.2010 - 31.03.2014   (Completed)