Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia

Jezici

European Integration

The process of accession to the European Union (EU) involves accepting the rights and obligations the EU is based on, as well as its institutional framework and legal system (acquis), and the establishment, maintenance and improvement of political, legal and economic relations between the country interested in membership and EU member states.

Accession negotiations represent a key phase on the European path of the candidate state. Accession negotiations involve the gradual adaptation and harmonization of the national legal system with the EU acquis, divided into 35 chapters for accession purposes. Negotiations on behalf of the Republic of Serbia are being run by the Government, having established the relevant structure and defined the required procedures for running the accession negotiations.

The Republic of Serbia holds the status of a candidate country for accession to the European Union. The accession negotiations have started in 2014, with 18 chapters opened by the end of 2019, two of them temporarily closed. The greatest challenges in the negotiation process to date are related to the dynamics of reform in the field of rule of law and normalization of relations with Kosovo*. Chapters regarding topics of social inclusion and poverty reduction (Accession negotiations with the EU) in the Annual European Commission reports are mainly being assessed as moderately ready. The Unit is actively working on establishing a regulatory framework and developing human, institutional and administrative capacities with the aim of improving the status of vulnerable groups.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit:

  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is taking part in the work of six negotiation groups, namely for chapter 11 – agriculture and rural development, 18 – statistics, 19 – social policy and employment, 22 – regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, 23 – judiciary and fundamental rights, and 26 – education and culture;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit are taking part in the drafting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public policy documents of the Republic of Serbia relevant for the EU accession process (drafting and reporting for ESRP/ERP, drafting the Action Plan for Chapter 19, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is contributing to the identification of guidelines when defining development assistance needs (participation in IPA programming, participation in the work of the Sectoral Working Group for Human Resource Development and Social Development, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit contributes to the development of a dialogue between civil society and public institutionson relevant topics regarding EU integration process.Also, Unit contributes to creation of a network of contacts with stakeholders in EU institutions and member statesin order to exchange good practices and improve cooperation in the process of accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: EU integration.

Documents and Publications:

Contact person: Aleksandar Bogdanović, aleksandar.bogdanovic@gov.rs

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Local Development

Improving Gender Equality

Status of Women in the Republic of Serbia

According to data from the population census from 2011, women represent 51.3% of the total population of the Republic of Serbia. Various surveys, however, show that women in the Republic of Serbia are in a more unfavorable position compared to men in nearly all walks of social life.

The Gender Equality Index for the Republic of Serbia indicates that gender inequality is present to a certain extent in all areas covered by the Index: power, knowledge, labour, money, time and health.

Regarding participation in decision making posts in the political sphere, the share of women in the Government of the Republic of Serbia is at 23.8%, while 37.2% of the deputies in the National Assembly are women, partly the consequence of the introduction of legal quotas regarding the representation of women in legislative bodies. At the local level, data from 2018 indicates that 32.7% members of local assemblies are female, the presidents of municipal/city assemblies are women in 14.4% of cases, and mayors/presidents of municipalities only in 7.9% of cases. Equal representation of women in decision making positions does not necessarily mean equal participation of women in decision making, but it is a precondition.

Employment and dignified work represent important factors for achieving gender equality and reducing poverty. The employment rate of women in 2016 was 38.1%, while for men it was 52.8%. Women were paid 8.7% less in 2014 than men.

Data in the domain of knowledge indicates that among women in higher education there is a greater share of those in social sciences and humanities than men, linked to the unfavorable status of women in the domain of labour. Namely, a slight increase in women’s employment was noted during 2014-2016, but they are still being concentrated in the sectors of education, healthcare and social services, marked by lower incomes.

Furthermore, women engage far more than men in activities in the field of care economy, and thus have less time for activities related to personal development and welfare. Namely, 67.9% of women and only 11.5% of men cook and/or do household chores every day. Furthermore, 41.2% of women older than 18 take daily care of the elderly, children and family members with disabilities, while only 29.5% of men do so.

Status of the LGBTI Community in the Republic of Serbia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex persons (LGBTI) have a very unfavorable status in the Republic of Serbia. There are frequent acts of spreading and promoting hatred and intolerance towards LGBTI persons in public spaces, along with various forms of violence.

As indicated by the findings of various surveys, the greatest distancing occurs precisely towards members of the LGBTI population – 27% of respondents do not wish to have members of the LGBTI population as work colleagues, 34% do not wish to be friends with them, 47% do not want LGBTI persons as teachers for their children, while 63% of respondents were against themselves or their children being married to an LGBTI person.

Trans* and intersex persons are in a particularly difficult situation in the Republic of Serbia, since they are exposed to stigmatization, lack of understanding and various forms of indirect and direct discrimination, while their status is insufficiently regulated by law.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit:

  • Representatives of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit are members of the Negotiation Group for Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (Chapter 23), wherein they are monitoring and reporting on the activities implemented in the field of improving the status of women, Roma and the LGBTI community in the Republic of Serbia;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is cooperating with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and initiating the use of tools utilized in the European Union, such as the Gender Equality Index;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is cooperating with the relevant institutions (Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Department for Anti-Discrimination Policy and Improvement of Gender Equality under the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality) and civil society organizations, to improve the status of women and the LGBTI community;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit take part in the work of working groups established for the implementation of laws and by-laws, and provide opinions on the draft versions of relevant laws regarding women and the LGBTI community;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit take part in the evaluation, drafting, monitoring and implementation of relevant strategic documents (Gender Equality Strategy, Strategy for the Prevention and Protection from Discrimination, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is drafting various publications (analyses, manuals, brochures) to highlight the importance of gender equality and the inclusion of the LGBTI community and strengthen community capacities for working on these topics;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is working on raising the capacities of civil servants, journalists and other social groups to be able to recognize gender inequality and social exclusion issues and provide their contribution to establishing a more equitable society;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit provides support for national and local institutions and civil society organizations to access funds with the aim of improving the status of women and the LGBTI community in Serbia.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: Vulnerable Groups and Human Rights.

Documents and Publications:

 

Improving The Status Of Persons With Disabilities

According to data from the population census from 2011, a total of 571,780 (8%) of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia may be considered to be persons with disabilities. Among the total number of persons with disabilities, 58.2% are women. Regarding impairments, the majority of persons with disabilities list impairments related to problems with walking and climbing up stairs (59.5%), followed by eyesight issues (41.9%) and hearing (25.3%), then memory and concentration issues (16.8%), independence (15.4%), and communication (10.2%).

Persons with disabilities are one of the most vulnerable population groups in all walks of social life. Many public facilities and areas in the Republic of Serbia remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities, access to information and communication is difficult for persons with sensory disabilities, and this group of citizens also faces considerable barriers in employment. The poor status of persons with intellectual and psychosocial impairments, exposed to the risk of deprivation of legal capacity, is particularly concerning.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit:

  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is cooperating with the relevant institutions (Department for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Office for Public Investment Management, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Ombudsman) and civil society institutions for improving the status of persons with disabilities;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit take part in the work of working groups established for the implementation of laws and by-laws and provide opinions on the draft versions of relevant laws regarding the improvement of the status of persons with disabilities;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit take part in the evaluation, drafting, monitoring and implementation of relevant strategic documents (Strategy for the Improvement of the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Strategy for the Prevention and Protection from Discrimination, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is drafting various publications (analyses, manuals, brochures) to highlight the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and strengthen community capacities for working on these topics;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is working on raising the capacities of civil servants, journalists and other social groups to be able to recognize socially excluded populations and best reach them;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit provides support for national and local institutions and civil society organizations to access funds with the aim of improving the status of persons with disabilities in Serbia.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: Vulnerable Groups and Human Rights.

Documents and Publications:

 

Improvement of the status of Roma

Status of Roma in the Republic of Serbia

According to data from the 2011 population census, there are 147,604 persons of Roma national affiliation living in the Republic of Serbia, comprising a 2.05% share of the total population. However, estimates by various organizations indicate that the number of Roma in Serbia is significantly higher than what official statistics are showing. Various surveys show that Roma in the Republic of Serbia are in a more unfavourable position compared to the majority population in nearly all walks of social life.

Data in the domain of education indicates that only 6% of children aged 3 to 4 from Roma settlements attend preparatory preschool programmes, 84% of children are being enrolled in primary school, and only 67% complete it, compared to 96% for the non-Roma population. The situation is even more unfavourable regarding secondary education, since only 22% of adolescents from Roma settlements attend secondary school (15% for girls). Only 17% of Roma complete secondary school, and only 1% have higher education.

The unemployment rate among Roma is extremely high at 36% (45% for Roma women), compared to 16% for the general population. As many as three out of four Roma have no work experience. In the total registered unemployment nearly 90% of Roma are without qualifications or with a low level of qualifications, corresponding to their predominant educational structure. Regarding the duration of unemployment, two thirds of unemployed members of the Roma community have the status of long-term unemployed persons, i.e. seeking work for more than 12 months.

There are 583 substandard Roma settlements registered in Serbia where a large number of Roma households have no access to electricity (32% of substandard Roma settlements are not connected to the electricity grid), potable water (residential facilities in 38% of substandard Roma settlements are not connected to the water supply grid) or sewage connections (in 74% of substandard Roma settlements residential facilities are not, or cannot be connected to the sewage network).

As for the health of the Roma population, women and children are in an extremely unfavourable position. Namely, only 12.7% of Roma children have received all recommended vaccines, compared to the 70.5% of non-Roma children in the country. The percentage of women aged 20 to 24 that have had at least one live birth before the age of 18 in Roma settlements is 38.3%, while at the level of Serbia it is 1.4%.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit:

  • Representatives of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit are members of the Negotiation Group for Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (Chapter 23), wherein they are monitoring and reporting on the activities implemented in the field of improving the status of women, Roma and the LGBTI community in the Republic of Serbia;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is cooperating with the relevant institutions (Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma 2016-2025, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Ministry of Health, Office for Human and Minority Rights) and civil society organizations for the improvement of the status of Roma;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit are taking part in the evaluation, drafting, monitoring and implementation of relevant strategic documents (Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma 2016-2025, Action plan for the implementation of the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma in the Republic of Serbia, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is drafting various publications (analyses, manuals, brochures) to note the importance of the social inclusion of Roma and strengthen community capacities for working on these topics;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is working on raising the capacities of civil servants, journalists and other social groups to be able to recognize social exclusion issues of the Roma community and provide their contribution to establishing a more equitable society;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit provides support for national and local institutions and civil society organizations to access funds with the aim of improving the status of Roma in Serbia.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: Vulnerable Groups and Human Rights.

Documents and Publications:

Contact person: Slavica Denić, slavica.denic@gov.rs

Inclusive Education

According to the latest 2011 population census of the Republic of Serbia, 2.68% of the population have no formal education, 11% have incomplete primary education, while among the total population nearly 21% have completed only primary school, 49% secondary, 5.65% post-secondary, and 10.59% have higher education.

Inclusive education is the capacity of the educational system and the obligation of the state to enable each child and student to learn and develop in accordance with their specific characteristics. Inclusive education adapted to the needs of the individual allows each individual to develop their potential, to be accepted and to be equal. Solutions stemming from adaptation to individual needs enable everyone to live independently, with dignity, and with a reduced need for healthcare and social services.

Education enables individuals to achieve a higher living standard, better health, a better job, better life satisfaction and higher degree of inclusion in society. Research shows that the social and economic status that a child grows up in has a decisive importance for its future. In families where the status is low, or the parents have lower levels of education, children have lower educational achievements, progress with more difficulty, and are thus at a higher risk of poverty, which in these types of families becomes “hereditary”.

In Serbia we still have students that drop out of regular primary education, and they are most frequently from marginalized groups. The percentage of children from Roma settlements that complete primary school is only 64%, significantly lower than the 93% of children from the general population. The percentage of attendance of secondary education is lower among children from vulnerable groups. Data indicates that among the poorest population secondary school is attended by only 74% of children (68.2% boys and 83.3% girls). Although the number of students enrolled in secondary schools based on affirmative action measures (measures for students from the Roma population or persons with disabilities for enrolment in secondary and higher schools under favourable conditions) has been significantly increased during the past period, the percentage of children from Roma settlements that attend secondary school remains low, at 21.6%, i.e. 14.9% for girls and 28% for boys.

The number of higher education students covered by affirmative measures through Government programmes during the 2017/2018 school year was 471, while the number of students covered by affirmative measures through other programmes during the 2017/208 school year was 526. Although increasing, this number of students from vulnerable groups remains very low compared to the general population.

The number of persons aged 25 to 64 participating in life-long learning programmes is extremely low compared to EU indicators, at 4.6% in 2017. The number of persons not in education, employment or training (NEET) remains high – 18% of persons aged 15 to 24 with primary education (ISCED 2) are not involved in education or training, or 22% of persons aged 15 to 29 years.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit:

  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit take part in the work of working groups established for the implementation of laws and by-laws and draft opinions on the drafts of relevant laws and by-laws regarding the improvement of the status of vulnerable groups in education;
  • Members of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit are taking part in the evaluation, drafting, monitoring and implementation of relevant planning and strategic documents (Education Development Strategy in Serbia until 2020, Action Plan for the implementation of the Education Development Strategy in Serbia until 2020, etc.);
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is working to raise the capacities of school staff to access various funds, to reach additional funds to equip schools and improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as to ensure the conditions for a more equitable education through the development of competences and support system under inclusive education.
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is developing programmes that support young researches starting their careers, and is working on improving cooperation between decision-makers and the scientific research community, and on improving the capacities of employees in the education system for collecting, analysing and interpreting data of relevance for the creation of educational policy, noting the importance of the inclusion of children and students with disabilities or developmental impairments into the educational system.
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit has its representative at the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, as the national coordinator for Serbia.
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is actively working on changing the role of special schools and joining various capacities in education to respond to the diverse needs of children, students, parents and teachers.
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit is monitoring, promoting and reporting on new technologies in education, assistive technologies, universal design and digital accessibility in education.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: Education.

Documents and Publications:

Contact person: Dragana Malidžan Vinkić, dragana.malidzan@gov.rs

Youth Employment

According to the Law on Youth, in the Republic of Serbia, young people, or youth, are defined as persons aged 15 to 30. The high age limit can be partly attributed to global social changes that have led to the phenomenon of the “extended youth”, which implies a longer process of education, a later entry into the labour market, as well as later marriage and parenthood. According to the 2011 Population Census, youth account for 18.4% of the total population of the Republic of Serbia (1,322,021 young people).

An increasing number of studies indicate that the number of young people in Serbia is decreasing, because of demographic ageing and emigration. Youth are a very heterogeneous group and, accordingly, the measures and services should be tailored to a specific youth subgroup, especially for unemployed youth, youth not in employment, education or training (NEET category), youth with no qualifications, young women, long-term unemployed youth, Roma, persons with disabilities, youth in rural areas etc.

Unemployment represents one of the key challenges for young people in Serbia. In 2017, the youth unemployment rate in Serbia was twice as high as the youth unemployment rate in the EU-28 (26.7% compared to 13.2% in EU-28); while the youth employment rate in Serbia was significantly lower than the youth employment rate in EU-28 (34.9% in Serbia and 49.2 in EU-28). Even though data for the period 2014–2017 show a 3% decrease in informal employment rate, they also show that one-fifth of young people in Serbia work in the informal economy without the basic legal protection provided by the employment contract. Read more about the status of young people in the labour market of the Republic of Serbia here: http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/about-us-2/youth-employment-initiative/status-of-youth-in-the-labour-market/

According to the Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction 2014–2017, the status of youth in the labour market has improved in certain respects (the youth activity rate has increased 1.8%, and the youth employment rate has increased 10.6%). However, all available resources need to be joined together to enable Serbian youth to attain an adequate position in society.

Activities of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit: 

  • Within the “Education to Employment” (E2E) programme, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit has developed innovative youth employment and employability enhancement models: support to youth entrepreneurship, employment of persons with disabilities, first work experience programmes, student internships, Skills Centre development;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit supports and actively participates in the preparation of the National Employment Action Plan, which includes the development of youth employment and employability enhancement measures;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit provides support to the line ministries to ensure evidence-based policymaking, policy impact assessment and timely reporting on the status of youth;
  • The Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia in late 2018, includes a series of recommendations for the improvement of the status of young people in the labour market;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit provides support to national and local institutions, as well as civil society organisations, in the use of the financial contributions of the European Union and other donors for enhancing the status of youth;
  • The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit contributes to raising awareness about the inclusive labour market for youth by promoting good practices in the field of youth employment.

The latest SIPRU news can be found in the section: Economic Development and Employment.

Documents and Publications:

Contact person: Aleksandar Rončević, a.roncevic@gov.rs

 

Social Inclusion Newsletter

Social Inclusion Newsletter Archive

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Documents > <

Income of the Poorest Deciles of Serbia’s Population, Focus on Agricultural Activities
July, 2020 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
E2E: Public Policy Testing – Innovative Approaches to Youth Employment
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [1 MB]
E2E: Public Policy Testing – Innovative Approaches to Youth Employment (leaflet)
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
Availability of Local Support Services and Measures for Roma Children
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [782 KB]
E2E: Ex-post Evaluation of the Open Call “Supporting Innovative Approaches to tackle Youth Employment and Employability” (2018–2019) – Summary
March, 2020 arrow right pdf [266 KB]