Better Public Services and Quality of Life with EU Support

Supported 7 cities and municipalities in Serbia

November 1, 2023

Representatives of civil society organizations and officials

UNDP Serbia

Belgrade, November 1, 2023 - Representatives of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) awarded grants today in the total amount of 525,000 US dollars to representatives of 29 civil society organisations (CSOs) for the purpose of implementing initiatives in 7 towns and municipalities across Serbia. Most of the financial support—80 percent—was provided by the EU, and the remaining funds came from local self-governments’ budgets.

Head of Cooperation in the Delegation of European Union, Nicola Bertolini said that an incentive environment for the improvement in the relationship between representatives of authorities and civil society is important for democracy and Serbian citizens, adding: “The European Union will continue to support dialogue and cooperation between authorities and civil society at national as well as at local level.”

The awarded initiatives will contribute to improving health and social care services, especially for vulnerable population groups, by incentivizing youth activism, environmental protection, preserving cultural and historical heritage, and promoting tourism and sustainable agriculture. These will be implemented in Babušnica, Vladičin Han, Vrnjačka Banja, Kruševac, Topola, Novi Sad, and Subotica.

"The support for local self-governments to recognise, understand, and implement transparent procedures for allocating budget funds to civil society organisations is of outstanding importance in achieving the goals set in national strategy papers such as the Strategy for Creating an Enabling Environment for the Development of Civil Society,” Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, emphasised.

Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Serbia; Fabrizio Andreuzzi, UNDP Serbia Resident Representative a.i.; Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue

UNDP Serbia

"All the awarded civil society initiatives were selected through public calls issued by local self-governments with our support. We supported partner municipalities and towns in organising open dialogue rounds with CSOs and interested citizens before announcing the calls to collectively determine priorities for additional funding in each of these 7 local communities. We also provided training on project development, as well as on the transparent and participatory preparation and publication of public calls for officials collaborating with civil society," stated Fabrizio Andreuzzi, the UNDP Serbia Resident Representative a.i.

Click HERE for more details on each of the 29 awarded civil society initiatives.

Grants for the implementation of civil society initiatives were allocated within the "Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2)” project funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.