Area 3 – Sub Areas

EU Guidelines assessment

Result 3.1. b. The Office for Cooperation with Civil Society (OCCS), as an institutional mechanism for supporting the development of dialogue between the Government of Serbia and CSOs, has been recognized within the state administration as an advisory body for the involvement of civil society organizations in the regulation process. An increasing number of government bodies have approached the Office for support in conducting consultative processes, public hearings and other forms of cooperation with CSOs, but this has not affected the quality of CSO involvement. Since 2016, the work of the Office is characterized primarily by support to other institutions in the performance of their regular jobs (forwarding information on public hearings, co-organization, etc.) and lack of results in substantially improving the environment for civil society development. The National Strategy for an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in the Republic of Serbia has not yet been adopted. The National Convention on the European Union is a specific body for dialogue, between representatives of government, political parties, CSOs, experts, the business community, trade unions and professional organizations on the nature of the EU accession process.

The SECO Mechanism (Sectorial Civil Society Organizations) was established to enhance the constructive dialogue between state authorities and civil society in the programming process and in order to increase the efficiency of use of development funds, especially EU funds. However, the new IPA support cycle (Multiannual planning document for international assistance 2019-2025) does not provide for direct support to the former sector civil society, media and culture.

EU Guidelines assessment

Result 3.1.a. Consolidated data on CSOs involved in consultations and public hearings during 2019 are not available. The number of laws / by-laws, strategies and public policy documents that are effectively consulted by CSOs is not available, since there is no consolidated data on the total number of adopted laws / by-laws, strategies and public policy documents both locally and nationally. However, it is noticeable that the competent bodies ignore the relevant comments and suggestions of the profession, professional and citizen associations, and formally organize meetings and collect written comments, thus making the whole mechanism of citizen participation in the regulation adoption meaningless. Also, although the policies and procedures for developing and coordinating public policies are formally established in practice, out of the total number of laws adopted by the Assembly, only 34.9% of them were fully complied with the procedure envisaged by the Law on the Planning System.

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