Sweden is increasing support for the civil sector and local governments in Serbia by more than 5.5 million euros

Sweden and Serbia have long-standing and strong cooperation in the areas of civil society development, local government and strengthening democracy. It is extremely important for Serbia to build its capacity to meet European Union standards on democracy, human rights, and local administration and to enable their implementation at the national level.

"Civil society has an important role to play in monitoring and promoting reform efforts. With additional funds, Sweden continues its multi-year cooperation with the Belgrade Open School (BOS), the Olof Palme Center (OPC) and the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) to support Serbian government reform efforts and promote democratization, transparency, and accountability, as well as EU integration.", said the Ambassador of Sweden in Serbia, H.E. Jan Lundin. He added that Sweden's continued assistance to civil society organizations amounts to about three million euros.

Recognizing the importance of local government development in Serbia, Sweden approved additional financial assistance for the development of local administration in Serbia, through the project implemented by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SKGO) "Support to local governments in Serbia on the path to EU accession". The total value of the additional contract is around 1.2 million euros.

Considering that public procurement has a significant share in the Serbian economy, it is very important to continuously improve not only the legislation, but also the system and ways in which public procurement procedures are conducted in order to ensure better competitiveness. That is why the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) signed an agreement with the National Association for Local Economic Development (NALED) on support in the implementation of the project "Efficient public procurement in the service of economic development" with a total budget of 1.36 million euros.

"The goal of the project is to promote democratic governance through support in establishing a transparent and responsible system of public procurement and supervision over them, improving public financial management and fostering growth environments led by the private sector", said the Head of the Development Cooperation Department at the Embassy of Sweden Ola Andersson. He added that special attention will be paid to the introduction of environmental criteria in public procurement procedures in order to develop capacities for the so-called “green procurement” that includes energy efficiency, as well as training of public procurement officers at the local level.

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