On the occasion of awarding expert support packages to 30 local self-governments within the EU Exchange 6 Programme, a ceremony was held in Belgrade on 24 June 2022. EU Exchange 6 Program – Enhancing credibility of planning, programme-based budgeting and control in execution of public expenditures at local level in Serbia“. This program, funded by the European Union as a part of the national IPA 2019 Program, will be implemented in the period from September 2021 to September 2024. The EU donation amounts to 2 million euros.
Local self-governments selected based on a public call will receive professional support packages that include:
– Support packages for elaboration of LSG Development Plans (12 LSGs): Boljevac, Vrnjačka Banja, Krupanj, Kraljevo, Veliko Gradište, Požarevac, Kruševac, Smederevska Palanka, Šabac, Surdulica, Gadžin Han and Čačak.
– Support packages for elaboration of LSG Mid-term Plans (10 LSGs): Bela Palanka, Ražanj, Novi Pazar, Merošina, Niš, Raška, Sombor, Kanjiža, Bačka Topola and Aleksinac.
– Support packages for improving the capital projects’ planning and budgeting in LSGs (9 LSGs): Pirot, Vranje, Požarevac, Kragujevac, Petrovac na Mlavi, Sremska Mitrovica, Prijepolje, Leskovac and Aranđelovac.
Competent line institutions for the Programme at the national level are the Ministry of Finance and the Public Policy Secretariat, along with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and the Ministry of European Integration, while the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SKGO) has the role of implementing partner.
Jadranka Joksimović, Minister for European Integration, Bojana Tošić, Public Policy Secretariat Director, Saša Stevanović, State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Martin Klauke, Head of Sector II Operations at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and Nikola Tarbuk, Secretary General of the SCTM addressed the attendees at the ceremony.
Congratulating the local self-governments, Minister Joksimović noted that this was technical assistance for what she considered crucial for local self-governments in the coming years, bearing in mind large scale capital infrastructure projects to be implemented in Serbia, including planning, medium-term, programmatic planning, capital budgeting, increased transparency, financial control, of vital importance for preventing corruption, but above all for accountable spending.
Director of the Public Policy Secretariat, Bojana Tošić, said that strengthening the capacities of local self-governments was extremely important and that this Program should be used for this purpose as well.
She also thanked the EU for supporting the reform of the planning system in Serbia, and with regard to the current support packages through the EU Exchange 6 Program, she put special emphasis on development plans being the umbrella documents of development planning for each local self-government. Tošić also pointed to the fact that their preparation required the commitment of the participants in the process, as well as on average one year period, as provided for in the approved support packages for the 12 selected local self-governments.
The implementation of the EU Exchange 6 Program is directly related to the public administration reform at the local level and the application of regulations governing planning and budget system. Within the Program, various modalities of LSGs support are applied to topics of importance for the reform of public administration at the local level.