7 new local self-governments will improve their cooperation with civil society organizations within the ReLOaD2

August 3, 2021

Belgrade, 3 August 2021 – Babusnica, Krusevac, Novi Sad, Subotica, Topola, Vladicin Han i Vrnjacka Banja are selected to participate in the second phase of the Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD2) within the Public Call to local governments. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the UNDP.

The selected municipalities and cities, with the financial and professional advisory support of the project team, will strengthen the partnership between the local government (LG) and civil society to the benefit of the citizens and local communities. The project supports the introduction and broad implementation of transparent mechanisms for financing civil society organizations (CSOs) from local governments’ budgets, which will ensure more civic participation in decision-making processes and provision of public services.  

The selected partner LGs will have an opportunity to utilize grants in the total amount of one million and 50 thousand US dollars for the purpose of financing CSO projects of public interest that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Serbia adopted adequate legislation that prescribes transparent funding of civil society organizations from the government budget, but there are certain weaknesses in its application – from incomplete bylaws in cities and municipalities, to ambiguities in evaluation of project applications, membership in evaluation commissions and lack of clear guidelines for monitoring of project implementation.

The project team will work with selected LGs in order to solve these issues and ensure full transparency in future funding of civil society from local budgets. The project will also promote youth engagement and support the implementation of youth initiatives to improve their economic perspectives on the territories of partner local governments.

For more information about the ReLOaD2, click here