Official title of the project

European Partnership with Municipalities Programme - PROGRES

Project information

Total budget of programme / project


Implementation period
2010. Jul - 2013. Jul
Expected results
  • Improvement in the performance and reform of public administration at all levels
  • Provision of assistance to further strengthen institutional building and an increase of absorption capacity of Serbian institutions
  • Tackling unemployment and support the job creation, while improving the competitiveness of the economy and labour productivity
  • Strengthening inter-municipal cooperation through the SCTM and other municipal associations and support municipal, inter-municipal and cross-border municipal projects and implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy at the local level
  • Fighting discrimination and promoting human and minority rights, assisting in creation of conditions for inter-ethnic tolerance and multicultural coexistence, growth and sustainable development of all communities, increasing general, society-wide culture of tolerance as a basis for coherent and meaningful inclusion policies
  • Supporting civil society in order to promote creation of a genuine dialogue and partnership with the Serbian authorities.

Direct beneficiaries of the PROGRES are the institutions (citizens, assemblies, executive councils and the municipal administrations) in 25 municipalities covered by the Programme. Other beneficiaries may include municipality-founded institutions and public utility companies (PUC), civil society organizations (CSO) and media on the territories of these municipalities. The ultimate beneficiaries are the residents of the PROGRES participating municipalities in the South and South West Serbia. Where Programme activities cover larger areas such as districts or regions, or national policy envis&


The PROGRES will work in cooperation with a number of partners whose areas of authority and competence are relevant to the Programme implementation and oversight. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The Ministries of Finance, Economy and Regional Development (MoERD), Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning (MoEMSP), Muman and Minority Rights and Public Administration, Local Self-Government, and National Investment Plan (NIP)
  • The Coordination Body for Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa
  • The National Agency for Spatial Planning
  • Serbian&

Summary of the project

PROGRES is a joint development Programme of the EU and the Governments of Switzerland and Serbia, working in 25 poorest municipalities in the South and South West of Serbia. The basic drivers of the PROGRES are: the need to reduce differences between the richer and poorer parts of Serbia, and the need to enable local institutions to better use current and future investment funds from a range of sources. PROGRES is conceived as an area based project, with an aim to strengthen local governance. This will be done by addressing: performance of the local authorities and management of public resources; participation of organised civil society groups and individual citizens in public sector decision making; partnerships between local authorities, civil society, and private sector units. By focussing on four components: (1) good governance, which is a cross-cutting theme underpinning all components, (2) municipal management and development planning, (3) social, economic and environment infrastructure, as well as on (4) public awareness and branding of areas, the Programme will, in a holistic manner, endeavour to accelerate growth and improve the overall living conditions in the focussed areas.

Programme/Project objectives

The Programme’s goal is to contribute to enhanced stability and socio-economic development in Serbia’s poorest and most conflict-potential regions: the South and South West Serbia. The PROGRES purpose is to enhance governance, municipal and inter-municipal management capacity and social, economic and physical infrastructure in a holistic, area-focused fashion.

Specific objectives

The following are the most important PROGRES objectives:

  • Improve performance and reform of public administration at all levels and provide assistance to further strengthen institutional building
  • Support job creation
  • Strengthen inter-municipal cooperation
  • Fight discrimination and promote human and minority rights
  • Support civil society

PROGRES has eight expected results:

  1. Participatory, accountable and transparent governance, respecting human rights
  2. Municipal organizational effectiveness and efficiency improved and capacities to deliver services to citizens and business increased
  3. Capacities for planning municipal and regional sustainable development strengthened and relevant development documents created
  4. Projects and project documentation prepared for key economic, environmental and social projects
  5. Project financing facilitated through enabling contacts with ministries, donors and other projects
  6. Selected projects financed and implemented through the PROGRES
  7. Awareness of the need for, the logic of, and the effects of changes communicated to a broad public
  8. A plan to develop the areas’ images and self-images as unique areas of Europe are established and implementation begun