Reform of local self-government system

The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia guarantees citizens’ right to local self-government and guarantees local self-government the right to own property and sources of financing. Citizens, as titular of the right to local self-government, exercise this right directly and through their freely elected representatives.


The system of local self-government is one-sided, organized in 174 local self-government units and based on the monotype model of the municipality.


Legislation regulating the system of local self-government in Serbia is based on the European Charter on Local Self-Government, which confirms our path to empower democratic principles, above all, citizen participation in local self-government affairs.


The Strategy of Public Administration Reform in the Republic of Serbia, as one of the key reform goals, determined the need for further decentralization and decentralization, which would primarily result in the improvement of the system of local self-government and more efficient distribution of competences between certain levels of government.


The purpose of the decentralization and deconcentration process is not in the simple deification of the central authorities and the transfer of competences, but that these processes must be implemented in such way as to ensure the quality satisfaction of everyday needs of citizens, and those needs are best recognized by the authorities closest to the citizens. The aim is to measure, scope and dynamics of decentralization in the function of achieving a balanced economic development and a higher degree of democratization. For the scope of decentralization, according to the Strategy, it is necessary to determine the vision and strategy of institutional development of all levels of public management, as well as to identify the economic, legal, cultural, sociological and traditional bases of decentralization and specify its goals.


In the past period, in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and with the support of donors, the Ministry organized several analytical documents for better work on the design of the future decentralization strategy or program document for the reform of the system of local self-government.


In accordance with the new Action Plan of the Public Administration Strategy 2018-2020, the Ministry is working on activities related to the preparation, consultation and adoption of the strategic – programmatic framework for the reform of the system of local self-government and the improvement of the role of local self-government in the implementation of public affairs.


The first in a series of activities to be launched in early 2019 is the development of a Policy paper with a description of the situation / problem, available options (different models of decentralization) and recommendations for the option / measures to be adopted in the field of decentralization. This document will determine whether the Decentralization Strategy or program document for the reform of the local self-government system will be developed, which will be decided by the Public Administration Reform Council.

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