The support of the Swiss Confederation to the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, primarily with regard to the implementation of the Programme for the Reform of the Local Self-Government System as well as for the implementation of various projects in cities and municipalities, is of great importance for their further development and strengthening of local capacities, which was the conclusion reached at the meeting between the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Aleksandar Martinović, PhD, and the Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to the Republic of Serbia, Urs Schmid.

Noting that the balanced and even development of cities and municipalities in Serbia is a priority of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the Government, Martinović has stated that, during this mandate, the Ministry will pay special attention to direct cooperation and providing assistance to local self-governments in areas which are of importance to them. The most important thing is to provide people with conditions for a dignified life, especially in smaller municipalities where there is a notable lack of investments, insufficient investments in infrastructure and a high level of unemployment, as explained by the minister.

He has added that the last Census of Population, Households and Dwellings of the Republic of Serbia had shown that the process of migration of citizens towards larger cities is progressing intensively, which is why continuous investments in smaller, underdeveloped municipalities is necessary so that people can stay in their communities. According to him, the establishment of one-stop shops in local self-governments is one of the ways in which MDULS is already aiding the improvement of their development and making life easier for the citizens, saving them time and money.

Speaking about the extraordinary progress that Serbia has made in the field of digitization, Martinović has pointed out that today we have a whole series of eServices available to citizens and businesses, and that more and more of them are using these modern tools for electronic communication with the administration. In this sense, the Ministry also recognizes the need for strengthening the administrative capacities and lifelong professional development of civil servants, in order to keep up with the modernization of the administration and adequately provide high-quality services to end users.

The interlocutors have also referred to the words of the Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, that the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia will be covered by broadband internet by the end of 2025 and that all citizens will be able to access it, which shall, among other things, contribute to the economic development of the country, but also to more efficient and transparent work of the administration. Martinović and Schmid have expressed their desire to continue with the successful cooperation in the future as well, especially in terms of promoting the further development of cities and municipalities.

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