Since 60 - 80 per cent of the EU acquis are implemented directly at the level of local government, it is clear that the EU approximation process will have implications on the local level in Serbia that should not be underestimated. This process calls for adequate preparations by the SCTM and its members i.e. cities and municipalities: on the road to full membership of Serbia in the European Union. SCTM and its members need to position themselves strategically, both in domestic and international/EUnegotiations, to strengthen their capacities for adequate participation in the EU integration process and to make EU affairs more visible to the citizens.

We expect to achieve the following results:

  • Strengthened involvement of local government and SCTM in the EU integration process.

According to the experience of the countries that entered the European Union, it is of the utmost importance for the local governments and their associations to be timely included in the EU integration process. This will not only contribute to the legitimacy of the state of Serbia in the negotiation process, but also provide a higher level of interest of citizenship related to decision on joining the EU.

  • Enhanced capacity of SCTM to assist members regarding issues related to EU integration.

Enhancing capacities of SCTM employees related to EU affairs will provide better advisory support to the members, more prompt response to the everyday requests of local government and more understanding of the sector policies and EU regulations related to the field of work of employees (for example, environmental, communal services, financing, public procurement, etc).

  • Enhanced capacity of local government to address requirements and benefits in relation to Serbia’s approximation to EU.

This is probably the most important and most challenging Program sub-component which will be implemented in several dimensions through:

- strengthening knowledge of the relevant SCTM bodies on EU affairs in order to timely prepare them for possible participation in the screening and negotiation process;

- developing a network of municipal legal experts will enhance the position of the local governments in the process of potential screening of local regulations, help municipalities in transposition of the EU standards at local level and easier monitoring of the process of harmonization;

- developing a network of local administration staff in charge of EU affairs, etc.

  • Raised awareness related to EU integration of Serbia at local level.

Raising the level of knowledge and understanding of EU-related issues at local level through information and communication is essential for securing the general support for the measures local officials will be expected to undertake in the course of the EU integration of Serbia. Moreover, it should be clearly communicated that many of the activitiesthat make positive changes in local communities, are actually the result of the adoption of EU standards, especially in terms of good governance, transparency, higher levels of environmental protections, better services to citizens etc.

Contact person: Ivan Božović, component coordinator,

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