Official title of the project

Debating Serbia’s European future: the voice of civil society in decision making

Project information

Cities
Serbia
Total budget of programme / project

137542

Implementation period
2010. Jun - 2011. Jun
Expected results

The main results of the project are:

  • Raised awareness of the Serbian civil society on the benefits and challenges to EU membership, the European institutions and policies in general, as well as regionalization in the light of discussing specific topics like the internal market, agriculture and rural development, harmonization of the national legislation with the European one, the fight against corruption and organized crime, etc.

  • Established mechanisms of dialogue between the civil society and public authorities, institutions and organisations, and also mechanisms of involvement of the civil society in local decision making

  • Enhanced motivation of the society at large to participate in public life and decision making affecting the life of local communities, and also strengthened capacity of civil society organisations in policy formulation, analysis, monitoring and advocating for particular causes
  • Established contacts and partnership
Beneficiary

European Institute (EI), Sofia, Bulgaria

Partners

Institute of International Politics and Economics (IIPE) Институт за међународну политику и привреду), Belgrade, Serbia

Summary of the project

The project started with local research into topics related to Serbia’s integration and accession to the EU, which were perceived to be of greatest relevance to the local civil society sector and community in six regions of the country. It was carried out by the project partner, IIPE, using questionnaires, interviews and other networking tools. The findings of the research were discussed at a working meeting held in Sofia in October 2010 with 12 representatives of the project partner and other Serbian civil society organisations, and specific topics were identified for follow-on public debates. The key project events – public debates preceded by half-day info sessions – were on the topics of legislative harmonization with the acquis (Novi Sad), fight against corruption and organized crime in the context of EU integration (Vranje), agricultural policies and quotas for the EU (Zrenjanin). The upcoming debates, which will be held in Novi Pazar, Čačak and Belgrade in April 2011, will address the benefits and challenges of EU integration, and the accession negotiation process and its implications for Serbia. The purpose of the info sessions is to improve the knowledge of the society at large about key EU issues while the debates aim at facilitating the dialogue between the informed civil society and local/national policy makers, and search for common solutions to problems of national reforms. The results of the public debates will be summarized in a final publication, which will also include analysis of the project e-tools: online forums on the topics and blog on Serbia’s EU i

Programme/Project objectives

The main goal of the project is to involve the civil society organisations in six regions of Serbia into public debate over the EU integration process in the country and provoke their reflections and search for solutions to common problems in the pre-accession period. The project also aims at improving their capacity to influence the formulation of public policy and decision making at local and national level, which deal with EU integration issues, through meaningful dialogue and advocacy.

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  • Improve the awareness and knowledge of the Serbian civil society and the general public on top EU integration related issues such as regionalization, legislative harmonization and the accession negotiation process, in the light of resolving concrete problems that are specific to the six different regions;
  • Support the civil society in mastering mechanisms for participation in the formulation of public policy and policy analysis at local/national level based on the solidarity in solving particular community issues;
  • Stimulate voicing of problems, views and civil society organisations’ own decisions; develop their communication and advocacy skills to win public support for particular causes;
  • Build up sustainable contacts among civil society organisations within the target regions at debates for common solution of problems and joint implementation of various initiatives.