NALED is a unique driver of reforms not only in Serbia, but in Southeast Europe. Since the Regional Network for Improving the Business Environment in Southeast Europe was established, in 2012, NALED serves as the regional secretariat of the Network that brings together more than 20 institutions and organizations from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia, and Croatia, including line ministries, chambers of commerce, associations of cities, and municipalities, development agencies, civil society organizations, and academic institutions. This Network has encouraged important regional initiatives to harmonize investment policies, such as the faster and more transparent acquisition of construction permits (e-permits), registration of seasonal workers (suppression of the grey economy), and cadaster reform. The City and Municipalities Certification Program (BFC Program) is a leading initiative implemented by the Network.
NALED is working on establishing a regional Platform for Improving the Business Environment in the Western Balkans, which is being upgraded to the existing Regional Network for Improving the Business Environment in Southeast Europe. The platform will include western Balkan organizations seeking to create a favorable business environment in their economies and regions as a whole and will support goals of a common regional market and EU enlargement program.
The platform is designed as an effective mechanism for regional cooperation and exchange of knowledge and experience in implementing reform processes at both the national and local level, while nourishing public-private dialogue and partnership. The focus has been on local economic development, based on green, socially responsible, and modern digital solutions. Activities for the establishment of a regional Platform are financially supported by the EBRD and GIZ ORF.
NALED is a member of the Western Balkan Territorial Governance Network, which focuses on improving research on territorial governance in western Balkan countries and territorial governance and strengthen partnerships between the Western Balkans and the EU, for the academia and civil society.
COOPERATION THROUGH REGIONAL PROJECTS
NALED is an initiative and implementation partner on regional projects supported by the develoPPP.de program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ). These projects are based on establishing development partnerships with the private sector (DPP) to more efficiently provide services and promote private sector investments as a driving force of the development process in partner countries in the Western Balkans region, in cooperation with GIZ ORF and private companies from Serbia and the region (SAGA, TeleGroup, Sekopak, Ekopak, Pakomak).
NALED participates in several regional DPP projects, such as:
2. Cross-border cooperation projects
NALED cooperates with regional partners and through cross-border cooperation projects co-financed by EU funds.
Within the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Serbia-Northern Macedonia, NALED in partnership with the Women's Association "Ruža" from Lebane, the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research "MIR" in Skopje, and the Association for Activism, Education, Culture and Arts civil center from Kumanovo, is implementing the project "Better Opportunities according to the measure of underdeveloped areas" to economically empower the population from rural areas of the five municipalities of Jablanica and Pčinj district in Serbia (Lebane, Vlasotince, Surdulica), and the Northeastern region in Northern Macedonia (Kumanovo, Staro Nagoričane).
NALED participated in the process of establishing cross-border clusters in Serbia and Croatia in the agriculture and paper and machine industry sectors in 2019-2021. The project was implemented in cooperation with partners from both countries (the City of Sombor, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Knowledge Osijek, Entrepreneurial Incubator BIOS, Local Development Agency of the City of Belišća) within the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Croatia-Serbia. Clusters were established in the towns of Sombor (Serbia) and Belish (Croatia) to improve cooperation and trade flows in the two countries' border areas. Web tools for mapping renewable sources in agriculture have also been developed as part of the project.
The European Commission (DG REGIO) has launched a study on progress in the regional policies of candidate countries and potential EU candidates - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. The study is conducted by NALED, and the focus of the research has been placed on existing institutional capacities for EU Cohesion Policy, relevant strategic framework and regional development policies, territorial organization, the inclusion of key stakeholders in planning, implementation, and monitoring of EU policies and financial support through the IPA Pre-Accession Assistance Instrument, etc.