Serbia’s accession process to the EU has spurred a drive for reform in the country in recent years and led to a number of new laws that must be aligned with EU standards. The Serbian electoral system gives more weight to its large urban centres – sometimes to the detriment of local governments which lack the capacities to develop further. Rural depopulation in some areas has resulted in poverty for 65% of the population. In order to stop this negative trend, Serbia is aiming to develop the country's municipal governments to make local administrations more equitable and build public confidence in these institutions.
SwissPRO is active in 99 municipalities to the south of Belgrade. It aims to improve people’s living conditions, particularly for marginalised groups:
by improving local capacities and resource management;
by applying good governance practices and social inclusion measures.