- Citizens service
- City Municipality
In the premises of NALED in Belgrade, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the project partners and the heads of 10 local self-governments, selected through a public invitation. Palilula City Municipality Niš, Despotovac, Ivanjica, Kladovo, Loznica, Ljig, Smederevo, Subotica, Velika Plana and Zaječar, thanks to the support, will make long-term development plans. Bratislav Vučković, the President of the Municipality, signed the Memorandum on behalf of the Municipality of Palilula.
By April 2023, ten cities and Municipalities will develop modern, long-term development plans and highlight in one place the vision, goals and measures for faster economic progress and the creation of better conditions for the life and work of citizens and the economy in their communities. Along the way, he will have the professional mentoring help of NALED and the Balkan Center for Regulatory Reform, as well as the support of the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies, within the project financed by German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ. Strategic documents will be prepared during the implementation of the activity “Support for the improvement of capacities and the creation of local development plans”, and the start of the work was made official by the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the project partners and the heads of 10 local governments, selected through a public call – Despotovac, Palilula Niš, Ivanjica, Kladovo, Loznica, Ljig, Smederevo, Subotica, Velika Plana and Zaječar.
– I would like to congratulate all the municipalities and cities that are starting to prepare local development plans today with the support of the German Development Cooperation, GIZ and partners. In this way, local governments will improve strategic planning, but also make it more transparent and focused on the needs of their residents. This is especially important at the local level, where the public administration is in direct contact with citizens – pointed out the director of GIZ in Serbia, Daniela Funke. The local development plan is adopted for a period of at least seven years and its adoption is an obligation of cities and municipalities under the Law on the Planning System. Each plan must contain an overview of the current situation in various areas such as infrastructure, natural resources, health care, education, tourism, agriculture, etc. On the basis of these data, development opportunities, priority goals to be pursued and a description of measures that will be further developed in other public policy documents are created.
The process of adopting the plan should be transparent and include all interested parties, citizens’ associations and businessmen from local self-governments, which is the priority of this project as well as encouraging inter-municipal cooperation. During the project, 10 expert workshops will be organized for the preparation of plans and joint meetings during which municipalities will have the opportunity to exchange experiences and practices in this area.
– The Republic Secretariat for Public Policies is one of the most important actors in the process of raising capacity for planning and coordination of public policies at all levels, in accordance with the Law on the Planning System. A large part of cities and municipalities have so far fulfilled their obligations and adopted development plans, but we still have a significant number of those who have not done so and who need expert support. However, it should be emphasized that drawing up a development plan is much more than a legal obligation. I want to emphasize that a comprehensive planning document is the basis for local socio-economic development. It must be realistically based. Everyone will benefit from development plans: first of all, citizens, and then the entire economy, civic associations, as well as city and municipal administrations. The goal of the entire reform of the planning system is to improve the competitiveness of the economy and increase the standard of living both at the national and local levels – said Bojana Tošić, director of RSJP.
The executive director of NALED, Violeta Jovanović, emphasized that the existence of a local development plan is a prerequisite for local governments to create business conditions tailored to the economy.
– The adoption of a strategy and the formation of an economic council as a body within which the local self-government will communicate directly and regularly with the economy, jointly solve challenges and plan development measures are part of the criteria for successfully passing through the Certification program of municipalities with a favorable business environment in Southeast Europe. It is a stamp of quality that, as a local self-government, you have a modern administration that systematically and efficiently encourages the development of the existing economy, which is the largest employer in every municipality, and creates conditions for new investments that bring growth – said Jovanović.
“Support for the improvement of capacities and the creation of local development plans” is part of the activities of the German-Serbian development cooperation project “Support for public administration reforms in the process of accession to the European Union”, implemented by GIZ. The activity is carried out by NALED and the Balkan Center for Regulatory Reform, in cooperation with the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies. (Photos by Dragan Vidojković)