European Commission grants Serbia first tranche of €30.5 million for public administration reform

At the fourth meeting of the Policy Dialogue Platform on public administration reform, the progress achieved in this area was commended and it was noted that greater attention and efforts should be focused on building administrative capacities of government. It was also noted that the European Commission had approved the disbursement of the first financial request for implementation of the obligations under the Sector Reform Contract of 30.5 million euros. The European Commission granted Serbia the first tranche of 30.5 million euros for public administration reform. Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ružić said this good news was the result of the great efforts made by the whole Government of Serbia in recent years to stabilise public finance, reform public administration and fulfil the obligations in the European integration process. He pointed out the legislative framework had been improved in the past year and a half, in particular in terms of managing human resources, improving the quality of services provided to citizens and ensuring greater transparency of work and inclusion of the public in policy-making. Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović said the Government of Serbia has grappled with the financial crisis in recent years and, even if results have been achieved across a number of areas, the administration still lacks capacities to be able to focus specifically on European integration and withdrawal of available EU funds. Minister of Finance Siniša Mali pointed out that the most significant progress in the implementation of the Public Finance Management Reform Programme had been achieved with regard to increasing the credibility of macroeconomic forecasts, continued application of multiannual programme budgeting across all levels of government, improvement of the strategic and legislative framework for financial control in the public sector and improvement of the regulations and procedures governing public procurement. Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, H.E. Sem Fabrizi, reiterated that public administration reform was paramount for Serbia’s EU accession and underscored it was necessary to focus future activities on reforming the civil service towards one based on transparency, professionalism and merit, as well as on better policy planning and macroeconomic stability.