Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia

Jezici

Rights to social protection

Social protection services

Every individual and family are entitled to different types of social services to improve or maintain their living standard, eliminate or mitigate the risk of disadvantaged life circumstances, as well as for creating opportunities for independent living in the society.

The right to receive various types of material support is designed to ensure the subsistence minimum and support social inclusion of recipients.

Social protection services are divided into the following groups:

1) evaluation and planning services – evaluation of the situation, needs, strengths and risks of beneficiaries and other important persons in their surroundings; assessment of guardians, foster and adoptive parents; development of an individual or family plan for delivering legal protection services and measures and other assessments and plans;

2) daycare community-based services – daycare; home care; drop-in centre and other services that support the stay of the beneficiaries in the family and its immediate vicinity;

3) services for independent living – assisted living; personal assistants; training for independent living and other types of support needed to promote the active participation of beneficiaries in society;

4) counselling, therapy, and social/educational services – intensive support services for families in a crisis; counselling and support for parents, foster parents and adoptive parents; support to families caring for a child or adult member of the family with disabilities; maintenance of family relationships and family reunification; counselling and support to victims of violence; family therapy; mediation; helplines; activation and other counselling and educational services and activities;

5) accommodation services – placement in a biological, foster, or other family for adults and the elderly; residential care; shelter or another type of placement.

How do I access social protection services?

Social protection services are available to every individual and family in need of social assistance and support and can be claimed by applying with the social work centre.

Social services can be delivered temporarily, occasionally, and continuously, in line with the needs and best interest of clients.

The procedure for claiming the right to use social support services provided at national, provincial and local government level (the territorial jurisdiction of the social welfare centre is determined based on the place of residence of the client) is administered by the social welfare centre, of its motion, or at the request of the client. Any natural or legal person may submit the initiative to start proceedings.

If the case manager, or the expert team of the social welfare centre – when so required by the Law and other regulations, assesses that the client needs a specific service, a referral is issued to the client by the centre for the use of the service provided by the state, autonomous province, or local government.

Special plans are made to ensure prompt, comprehensive, and uninterrupted customer service. The service plan is a written decision specifying the type of services to be provided to the client, the timeframe, and the participants. The initial plan is adopted within 15 days from the beginning of work with the client at the latest, and the long-term one within 60 days.

All participants are required to agree to the plan and sign it, and they get a copy of it. The centre issues a special referral for each service the client needs.

A special referral is issued by the centre for each service the client needs. It should state the name and surname of the client, the type of service, the institution providing the service, the cost and, if a person is participating in paying for the service, information about that person.

What is the procedure for appealing a decision rejecting an application for the use of services?

When a case manager, acting on behalf of the social welfare centre, assesses the service applied for is not needed, he/she will issue a decision rejecting the request.

The applicant may lodge an appeal against such a decision within 15 days, and the decision on the appeal will be made within 30 days.

For services paid for by the state, the appeal must be lodged with the Ministry of Labour, Social Policy, Veteran and Social Affairs. For services provided for by the Province of Vojvodina or by the state, if the social welfare centre is in Vojvodina, the appeal must be lodged with the Provincial Secretariat for Social Protection, and for services provided by the local government – to the city or municipal administration. The appeal lodged with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs should be addressed to the Sector for Family and Social Care as they are responsible for decisions on appeal related to social protection matters, unless the decision was issued by a social welfare centre in Vojvodina or the City of Belgrade. In that case, the appeal should be addressed to the Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality or the Belgrade City Administration, Secretariat for Social Protection, respectively.

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs – Department for Family and Social Care https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/srb-lat/struktura/sektori/sektor-za-brigu-o-porodici-i-socijalnu-zastitu

Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality https://bit.ly/3czRanx

Social Protection Secretariat http://www.beograd.rs/lat/gradska-vlast/1333503-sekretarijat-za-socijalnu-zastitu_3/

Material support

According to the Law on Social Protection, material support refers to the right to:

  1. Financial social assistance (FSA)
  2. One-off benefit
  3. Free meals and snacks for children
  4. Exemption from payment of public utility bills
  5. Free transportation

In addition to these rights, there are entitlements determined by local governments (baby package, one-off payment for the first-born child, one-off assistance to unemployed new mothers, packages for 1st grade students, free parking, the right to reimbursement of funeral costs, costs of in vitro fertilization and the right to emergency one-off financial assistance).

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/srb-lat

Provincial Government http://www.vojvodina.gov.rs/

Belgrade City Administration, Secretariat for Social Protection.

Law on Social Protection https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_socijalnoj_zastiti.html

What is financial social assistance and who can qualify?

Financial social assistance is a form of financial support granted to the most vulnerable individuals and families.

It is disbursed monthly to individuals and families whose income from work, property, and other sources total less than the financial social assistance amount envisaged by the Law on Social Protection.

An individual or family (family member) may qualify for financial social assistance provided they:

(1) do not own any other real estate, apart from the dwelling they live in, adequate to their needs, (a room per household member, and two rooms for recipients of the attendance allowance, or incremented attendance allowance) and not more than 0.5 hectares of land (for individuals who are unable to work and families in which all members are unable to work the ceiling is 1 hectare);

(2) did not sell or donate or waive an inheritance (house, apartment, field, plot of land), except in case of expiry of the period in which they could have secured a monthly income from the market value of such real estate, had they not sold, donated or waived it, equivalent to the amount of financial social assistance they would have been receiving;

(3) do not own movable assets that could be used or sold, without jeopardizing basic living needs, to provide for a livelihood equivalent to six times the monthly financial social assistance amount at the time of submission of the claim for financial social assistance;

(4) did not conclude a life-long support contract.

An able-bodied individual or member of the family may qualify for financial social assistance provided that:

(1) They are in education or in training for a job, or are registered as unemployed;

(2) Have not refused an offer of employment, or a temporary, occasional, or seasonal job, training, reskilling, upskilling or primary education;

(3) Their employment was not terminated by their will, consent, or fault, or due to disciplinary or criminal liability, unless one year has elapsed since they were terminated or they have become incapacitated for work after termination of employment;

(4) They are caregivers for a child with developmental disabilities and are unable to work.

If a family does not qualify for financial social assistance because its member does not meet these criteria, the entitlement to financial social assistance will be recognized only to the family member who is incapacitated for work.

Who is eligible for financial social assistance?

An individual, or a member of the family who is designated as the holder of the entitlement on behalf of the whole family, may submit a claim for financial social assistance on the required form which can be obtained at the social welfare centre.

The application must be supported by the following documents:

(1) an ID card is to be presented for inspection and a copy thereof for all members of the family who are of legal age;

(2) birth certificate for the minor members of the family (issued by the municipal civil registry);

(3) marriage certificate for the spouses (issued by the municipal civil registry);

(4) declaration of assets for all members of the family who are of a legal age, from the place of birth and place of residence (issued by the cadastre);

(5) certificate of the National Employment Service for the unemployed family members that they are duly registered, that they did not refuse to take part in reskilling, training and vocational education programmes, and that they are not recipients of cash benefits;

(6) certificate on personal income in the last three months prior to the filing of the claim for the employed and self-employed members of the family (issued by the employer, or the National Pension and Disability Insurance Fund for taxes and contributions payable by self-employed persons);

(7) for all members of the family who are of legal age — certificate issued by the Tax Administration branch from the place of birth and place of residence that they are not registered as taxpayers;

(8) if divorced, a copy of the court decision in the divorce case setting alimony; (the original document is obtained at the court of jurisdiction);

(9) in case of children born outside marriage, a copy of the court decision setting alimony, if any, or proof that action was filed with the court of jurisdiction for ascertaining the obligation to support children born to civil partners (the original document is obtained at the court of jurisdiction);

(10) if the applicant was terminated from employment, a copy of the decision on lay-off (issued by the employer);

(11) certificate that children are attending school on a full-time basis (issued by the educational institution – primary or secondary school, technical college, or university);

(12) certificate of the National Pension and Disability Insurance Fund (NPDIF) that no one in the family is a pension recipient, on any basis, and if a family member is a pension recipient — a certificate of the NPDIF on the amount of pension received in the 3 (three) months before the month in which the application is submitted;

(13) electricity bill.

The Social Welfare Centre retains the right to decide, in each specific case, whether it will require any additional documents.

What is a one-off benefit and who can qualify?

The Law on Social Protection envisages the provision of one-off cash and in-kind benefits as a form of support for people in social need.

The tasks related to the disbursement of financial assistance are entrusted to the Social Welfare Centre, while the delivery of in-kind assistance is entrusted to local government units (towns and municipalities).

Considering that the detailed regulation of the manner and procedure for obtaining this type of assistance the Law entrusts local government units, the scope and availability of one-off financial assistance differ from municipality to municipality. The one-off benefit is provided in the amount of money, provision of necessary items or in the form of financial compensation for voluntary employment of able-bodied individuals.

Affairs related to the disbursement of financial assistance are delegated to the social welfare centres, while the delivery of in-kind assistance is delegated to local government units (towns and municipalities).

Considering that the detailed regulation of the procedure for claiming this type of support is delegated to local governments under the Law on Local Government Units, the extent and availability of one-off financial assistance differ from one municipality to another. The one-off support is delivered either in cash, or in kind, or in the form of cash remuneration to individuals for work performed on a voluntary basis.

An individual or family may use this type of support several times in a calendar year, provided that the total amount of funds received on this account does not exceed twice the amount of the average net wage per employee paid in the considered town/municipality in the preceding month, except in the case of voluntary workfare.

The one-off benefit is designed to help individuals and families that have qualified for financial social assistance with their basic necessities by providing them with food provisions, toiletries and clothing. The quantities are proportionate to the number of household members, based on the decision of the Social Welfare Centre.

How do I qualify for a one-off benefit?

To qualify for a one-off benefit, you need to submit the following documents:

(1) an application for a one-off benefit (free form)

(2) a statement with two witnesses about the number of household members from the local office;

(3) a copy of ID card for all members of the household of a legal age;

(4) a certificate on school attendance for students and a copy of the birth certificate for preschool children (the original is issued by the municipality civil registry office);

(5) a court decision on divorce and custody of the child (the original document is issued by the court of jurisdiction);

(6) certificate from the National Employment Service for all members of the household who are unemployed;

(7) the last check for pensioners or certificate issued by the branch of the NPDIF that they are not pension beneficiaries, for persons with no income;

(8) certificate of employment in the previous three months for all recipients who are of a legal age; (issued by the employer)

(9) medical records for the infirm household members that are not older than three months (issued by the medical facility in which the recipient is being treated);

(10) income certificate issued by the tax administration for all household members of a legal age (except for the financial social assistance recipient, who are required to submit the decision proving that they are a recipient);

(11) certificate from the real estate cadastre on cadastral income.

What is the appeal procedure in case of rejection of a claim for financial social assistance?

Social protection in Serbia is regulated by the Law on Social Protection. This Law mandates that financial social assistance will be granted to individuals and families whose income from work, property, and other sources totals less than the financial social assistance amount envisaged by the Law on Social Protection, in other words to persons who do not have adequate resources of their own to support themselves. Financial social assistance is the basic form of financial assistance to socially disadvantaged individuals and is disbursed monthly. The basic eligibility requirement is that the individual’s or family’s monthly income is less than the financial social assistance amount.

The claims for financial social assistance granted by the state are processed by the social welfare centres established for the area in which the applicant has permanent or temporary residence.

If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the social welfare centre (SWC) on her/his application for financial social assistance, she/he can lodge an appeal within 15 days from the date of receipt of the SWC’s decision.

The appeal should be submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs – Sector for Family and Social Care, charged with processing appeals in the second instance in social protection matters, unless the decision was made by the SWC from Vojvodina or Belgrade. In that case, the appeal should be filed with the Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality, or to the Belgrade City Administration’s Secretariat for Social Protection, respectively.

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs – Department for Family and Social Care https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sr/kontakt

Secretariat for Social Protection http://www.beograd.rs/lat/gradska-vlast/1333503-sekretarijat-za-socijalnu-zastitu_3/

Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality https://bit.ly/3czRanx

Education

Who is eligible for additional educational support?

The Law on Education System Foundations (RS Official Gazette No 88/2017, 27/2018 – as amended, 10/2019, 27/2018 – as amended, and 6/2020) prescribes that the right to additional educational support shall be made available to all children, students, and adults in Serbia’s education system who require such support due to social deprivation, disabilities, learning difficulties, or are at risk of early school leaving, or for other reasons. Educational establishments are required to provide support by removing physical and communication obstacles, by making accommodations to the teaching curricula and by developing, adopting, and implementing individual education plans (IEPs).

Additional support, according to the Rules on additional educational, healthcare, and social support, entails rights, services and resources designed to enable children, students and adults to overcome physical, communication and social obstacles in educational establishments and in their communities.

Different types of support are available in the education, healthcare, and social protection systems.

 

Additional support measures are:

(1) subsidies for children with disability to attend preschool,

(2) postponement of enrolment in first grade of primary school for a year, in exceptional cases and with an additional justification, when this is in the best interest of the child,

(3) development of an individual education plan (IEP2),

(4) referral of the child to a development group in the preschool institution, or to a special education school,

(5) hiring a special educational needs (SEN) preschool/schoolteacher, or outsourcing specialist non-teaching staff employed in special education schools to support schools in the mainstream education system,

(6) increment to child allowance.

 

Recommended support measures based on the Commission’s assessment:

(1) providing play, didactic and teaching materials in accessible formats and accessible languages including sign language,

(2) adapted textbooks,

(3) assistive technologies and/or other services of the assistive technology resource centre:

(4) trainings for preschool/schoolteachers and specialist non-teaching staff directly engaged in teaching and educational activities;

(5) trainings for parents or other legal representatives;

(6) adaptation of the environment to the needs of the child/student/adult;

(7) support of specialists for specific areas, tailored to the needs of the child/student/adult;

(8) prioritizing the implementation of specialist screenings or treatment;

(9) providing funds to finance costs of learning outside the classroom, field trips, cultural, sports, and other activities organized by the institution for children, students, and adults;

(10) free transportation of children/students or adults who cannot use public transportation, and, if necessary, for the person escorting them;

(11) free meals for children and students recipients of financial social assistance (FSA) in extended stay at the school where they study or other school in the local community.

 

Other support measures in the education, healthcare, and social welfare systems that the Commission informs the parents, or other legal representatives, and adult beneficiaries, referring them to the relevant institutions:

(1) providing support to children/students/adults whose primary language is not the language of instruction to overcome the language barrier,

(2) organizing educational support in case of longer absences from school;

(3) providing a personal attendant, i.e. assistant for the child/student, in accordance with the prescribed standards;

(4) exercising the right to an increment to the child allowance or attendance allowance;

(5) providing teaching aids;

(6) delivering psychosocial support to the family through therapy and social and educational and other community-based innovative services,

(7) other rights and services.

 

The assessment of the type of additional support is made by an intersectoral commission established in every town and municipality. The application for additional support can be made by the parent/guardian, or preschool/schoolteacher, doctor, or case manager in the social welfare centre.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development – Department for Human and Minority Rights http://www.mpn.gov.rs/o-ministarstvu/odsek-za-ljudska-i-manjinska-prava-u-obrazovanju/

Law on Education System Foundations https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_osnovama_sistema_obrazovanja_i_vaspitanja.html

Rulebook on Additional Educational, Healthcare and Social Support to Children, Students and Adults https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/pravilnik-dodatnoj-obrazovnoj-zdravstvenoj-socijalnoj-podrsci.html

National Report on Inclusive Education for the Period from 2015 to 2018 https://www.unicef.org/serbia/publikacije/nacionalni-izvestaj-o-inkluzivnom-obrazovanju

Additional Support for Children and Students – leaflet in Serbian and Romani http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Dodatna_podrska_detetu_i_uceniku_liflet_srpski_romski.pdf

How do I claim the right to tuition-free preschool for my child?

According to Article 50 of the Law on Preschool Education (RS Official Gazette 18/2010, 101/2017, 113/2017 – as amended, 95/2018 – as amended and 10/2019) the right to tuition-free preschool for a child can be claimed by the parent, guardian, or foster parent of:

– a child from a materially deprived family (a family receiving child allowance or financial social assistance);

– a child without parental care;

– a child with disability.

The exemption from the obligation to pay preschool tuition fees is regulated by the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children (RS Official Gazette 113/2017 and 50/2018). The terms and conditions for reimbursement of costs is determined by the relevant authority in the local government. In addition to this, reimbursement of preschool tuition costs can be claimed by single parents and by families with children for the third child and any subsequent child.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Law on Preschool Education https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-predskolskom-vaspitanju-i-obrazovanju.html

Law on Financial Support to families with children https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-predskolskom-vaspitanju-i-obrazovanju.html

What is an affirmative action and who is eligible?

Affirmative action in education in Serbia is a systemic type of support for vulnerable school and university students (Roma students and students with disabilities) and entails relaxed requirements for admission to secondary school and college. Affirmative action is designed to support the listed student population groups to achieve full equality in education by providing them with equal enrolment opportunities as their peers.

Programme of measures for admission to secondary school on more favourable conditions

The Law on Secondary Education (RS Official Gazette No 55/2013, 101/2017, 27/2018 – as amended and 6/2020) and the Rulebook on Admission of Students to Secondary School (RS Official Gazette No 38/17, 51/17, 81/17 ) envisage relaxed requirements for admission to secondary school of ethnic to achieve full equality in educational attainment of Roma students as well as adult learners who have completed primary education programmes for adults.

Admission of Roma students to secondary school on more favourable conditions for the achievement of full equality

In line with Article 75 of the Rulebook on the admission of students to secondary school, starting in seventh grade, the primary school is required to take steps to inform the parents or guardians of Roma students about the criteria and procedure for the admission of students to secondary school on more favourable conditions, according to the terms set out in this Rulebook. The task of informing parents or guardians is entrusted to the National Council for the Roma National Minority. The school is required to provide information and instructions for preparing the required documentation and support students in selecting a school in accordance with their affinities and capabilities. The application for admission is filed by the parent/guardian with the school, upon which the school compiles a list of students applying for admission under affirmative action and submits it to the ministry.

Students who have applied for admission under affirmative action take the final examination in accordance with the by-law regulating the final examination. The students’ score based on the grade point average in school and their performance at the final examination is increased by 30% of the total number of points they are missing to reach a 100 score. In the case of students living in families receiving financial social assistance, the score based on the grade point average in school and score at the final examination is increased by 35% of the total number of points missing to reach a 100 score. After the student has taken the final examination, the student’s parents or guardians submit a list of 20 preferred schools to the primary school their child has attended, so that the students will be allocated to the schools based on their choices and scores.

Admission of adults who completed primary education to secondary school on more favourable terms for the achievement of full equality

 

Pursuant to Article 82 of the Rulebook on the admission of students to secondary school (RS Official Gazette No 38/17 , 51/17 , 81/17 ) learners who completed primary education programmes for adults implemented according to the functional primary education for adults model (FPEA), are admitted to school under more favourable terms with a view to achieving full equality in educational attainment. In this case learner refers to a person under the age of 17 who completed primary education under the FPEA programme.

Starting with the third cycle of the primary education curriculum, primary schools take steps to inform parents and guardians of the learners about the criteria and procedure for admission to secondary school. The application for admission is submitted by the parent/guardian to the school.

The learner takes the final examination. The learner’s score based on their grade point average is increased by 30% of the number of points missing to reach a 100 score. For learners living in a family receiving financial social assistance, their score based on their grade point average in school and result at the final examination is increased by 35% of the total number of points they are missing to reach a 100 score.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development – Admission to secondary schools in the Republic of Serbia http://www.upis.mpn.gov.rs/Cir/Pocetna

National Council of the Roma National Minority https://romskinacionalnisavet.org.rs/

Law on Secondary Education https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_srednjem_obrazovanju_i_vaspitanju.html

Rulebook on the admission of students to secondary school http://www.mpn.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/%D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA-%D0%BE-%D1%83%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%83-%D1%83%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B0-%D1%83-%D1%81%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B4%D1%9A%D1%83-%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%83.pdf

Affirmative action programme for admission to college for first-year students

 

According to the Law on Higher Education, the Government determines the admission quota for first-year students in study courses funded from the state budget, for higher education institutions founded by the state, and upon obtaining the opinion of the higher education institutions concerned and the National Higher Education Council, at the latest one month before publishing the competition inviting applications. The Government determines an additional number of students who will be granted state scholarships under the affirmative action programme, in accordance with the operating license.

Affirmative action programme for admission of Roma students to college

 

Candidates who wish to enrol in first year of basic and integrated academic studies in higher education institutions founded by the Republic of Serbia under the affirmative action programme for the admission of Roma students to college, are required to submit the following documents to the higher education institution, along with the application and required application supporting documents:

– a written statement that they are a member of the Roma national minority;

– a recommendation by the National Council of the Roma National Minority.

To qualify for admission to a higher education institution under the affirmative action programme for the admission of a quota of Roma students approved by decision of the Government, candidates must pass the admission exam. After passing the admission exam/test for the assessment of aptitudes and abilities, the candidates are ranked according to a special ranking list, and admitted according to the ranking order until the quota approved by the Government for this affirmative measure is filled. The remaining candidates from this list are then ranked with the candidates competing for regular state-funded placement.

Affirmative action programme for admission of persons with disabilities to the first year of university study programmes

 

The following candidates are eligible to enrol in the first year of basic and integrated studies under affirmative action programmes at higher education institutions founded by the Republic of Serbia:

– users of wheelchairs or persons with physical disabilities,

– with partial or total loss of vision (blind or partially sighted),

– with partial or total loss of hearing (deaf or hard of hearing),

– with learning difficulties (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia),

– with speech disorders,

– with chronic diseases (haemophilia, epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, malignant

diseases),

– with psychological or mental disorders.

When submitting their application and supporting documents for admission to studies at a higher education institution, the candidates are also required to submit one of the following documents:

– certificate issued by the relevant authority attesting to the physical disability,

– decision approving the disbursement of the attendance allowance,

– opinion of the Interdepartmental Commission,

– recommendation of the university centre for students with disabilities/association of students with disabilities.

Candidates who did not undergo an assessment of physical disability and are not recipients of the attendance allowance are required to submit their medical documentation to the Association of Students with Disabilities and the latter will provide their reference to the faculty concerned.

The medical documentation must be issued by the competent medical institution and should not be older than six months. The medical report should provide sufficient information on how the disability/condition impacts the learning outcomes and daily functioning of the candidate.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

National Higher Education Council http://nsvo.gov.rs/

National Council of the Roma National Minority of the Republic of Serbia https://romskinacionalnisavet.org.rs/

Association of Students with Disabilities https://ush.rs/

Law on Higher Education https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_visokom_obrazovanju.html

Who is eligible for secondary education and university loans and scholarships?

The Law on Secondary and Higher Education and the Rulebook on student loans and scholarships to attend secondary or higher education regulate the eligibility criteria for student loans and scholarships as a measure supporting regular school attendance and inclusive education. Students may apply for loans and scholarships through a competitive procedure administered by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. The Commission for Secondary School and University Student Loans and Scholarships determines the final ranking list, which is published on the website of the Ministry or the website of the authorized bank.

Student scholarships for secondary education

Pursuant to the Law on Secondary School and University Student Standards and the Rulebook on Secondary School and University Student Scholarships, every academic year, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development holds scholarship competitions for secondary school students.

These competitions are open to applications from students at secondary schools founded by the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province or local government who are enrolling for the first time in a certain grade in the current school year, whose tuition fees are funded from the state budget, who have Serbian citizenship, excellent grades and conduct, and whose parent or guardian is domiciled in Serbia. To be eligible, students enrolling in first grade of secondary school must also have an excellent grade point average (from 4.50 to 5) from 5th to 8th grade of primary school, while students enrolling in 2nd to 4th grade of secondary school must have an excellent grade point average (from 4.50 to 5) throughout secondary school.

Students from vulnerable social groups (students without parental care, from single-parent families, members of the Roma national minority, students with disabilities, students with chronic diseases, students whose parents disappeared or were kidnapped in Kosovo and Metohija or in the former SFRY, refugees and internally displaced students, returnees under the readmission agreement and deported students) are all eligible to apply under the special ranking system within the designated quota which entails less restrictive criteria (the performance criteria are not applied).

Student loans for secondary education

According to the regulations, student loans are available to students at secondary schools founded by the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province or local government enrolling for the first time in a certain grade in the current school year, whose tuition fees are funded from the state budget, who have Serbian citizenship, who are attending vocational education for occupations that are in short supply (these are determined by the Ministry), who never repeated a grade and whose parent or guardian is domiciled in Serbia.

Students are ranked according to the total number of points scored based on their grade point average in 8th grade of primary school, or previous grade of secondary school completed, or based on a contract of future employment in occupations that are in short supply.

Student scholarships for university

According to the regulations, student scholarships are available to students studying at universities founded by the Republic of Serbia or autonomous province, enrolled for the first time in the current year at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level, whose tuition fees are funded from the state budget, who have Serbian citizenship, and who never lost a year of studies, who passed all exams from the previous years of study according to the higher education study course curriculum with a grade point average of minimum 9.00 and are domiciled in Serbia.

Student loans for university

Student loans are available to students studying at universities founded by the Republic of Serbia or autonomous province, enrolled for the first time in the current year at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level, whose tuition fees are funded from the state budget, who have Serbian citizenship, who enrolled for the first time in the winter semester of studies and are domiciled in Serbia.

Students who have applied for student loans are ranked based on:

1) their performance in previous years of schooling, specifically:

– grade point average in the final year of secondary school – for 1st year students, or grade point average in previous academic years – for students in subsequent years of study;

– study effectiveness;

2) socioeconomic status of the family.

The socioeconomic status (SES) of the student’s family is determined based on the average total net monthly income per member of family, in the period from January to June of the current year.

Scholarships for Roma secondary school and university students disbursed from EU and international organization funds

Scholarships for Roma full-time students attending three-year and four-year secondary schools in 2019/20 are granted under the European support for Roma students to continue secondary education funded from the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA 2014) direct grant, implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

Scholarship competitions are open to students who are Serbian citizens, members of the Roma national minority, not receiving scholarships or loans from other institutions/establishments, full-time secondary school students (classic, vocational, arts or mixed) enrolled for the first time in a certain grade in the school year 2019/20, in three-year or four-year study programmes, who have completed the previous grade with a grade point average of minimum 2.00 to 5.00, and with minimum grade 3 (good) in conduct and maximum 30 unexcused absences from school.

To encourage Roma students to participate in education, the Roma Education Fund from Budapest designed a scholarship programme that aims to enable Roma youths to attain higher education, skills, and competencies. Scholarships are granted for one academic year, but students can reapply every year. The eligibility criteria require prospective applicants to be enrolled in one of the state universities and be members of the Roma national minority.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Rulebook on secondary school and university student loans and scholarships http://www.pravno-informacioni-sistem.rs/SlGlasnikPortal/eli/rep/sgrs/ministarstva/pravilnik/2019/36/2/reg

Law on secondary school and university student standards https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_ucenickom_i_studentskom_standardu.html

Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development – Secondary school and university loans and scholarships (competitions) http://www.mpn.gov.rs/stipendije-mpntr

Roma Education Fund https://www.romaeducationfund.org/fond-za-obrazovanje-roma/

What kind of assistant jobs are available in the education system?

According to the Law on Education System Foundations (RS Official Gazette 88/17, 27/18 – as amended and 10/19) and the Rulebook on SEN teaching assistants and teaching assistants in adult learning (RS Official Gazette 87 of 12 December 2019) there are three types of assistants providing learning support to children, sudents and adult learners in the education system to ensure their regular attendance and participation in education.

Special education needs (SEN) teaching assistants

The work of special education needs (SEN) teaching assistants is defined in the Rulebook on SEN teaching assistants and teaching assistants in adult learning which prescribes detailed conditions for the job, including degree, type of education, and training programmes. A SEN teaching assistant aids and supports children/students in preschool, primary and secondary school who need additional learning support, in accordance with their needs, and supports school staff improve their ability to work with these children/students.

A SEN teaching assistant for Roma children and students assists and provides additional support to children, teachers, and non-teaching specialist staff in preschool/primary or secondary school, with the implementation of curricular and extracurricular activities, and actively engages with parents of the children/students.

A SEN teaching assistant for children and students with disabilities assists and provides additional educational support to groups of children/students in the educational establishment, in accordance with their developmental, educational and social needs; supports teachers, preschool teachers, and specialist non-teaching staff in the implementation of curricular and extracurricular activities with a view to improving their ability to work with children and students in need of additional educational support; and engages with parents.

 

Where can I find additional information about trainings for SEN teaching assistants?

An aspiring SEN teaching or learning support assistant for Roma children and students who require additional support in education must have at least a four-year secondary education degree, know the Romani language and have attended the training programme prescribed by the Rulebook on SEN teaching assistants and teaching assistants in adult learning.

The training programme is free and is provided from the List of Programmes in the Public Interest approved by the Minister of Education, and can be realized by: the Institute for the Improvement of Education, Institute for Education Quality Evaluation, Pedagogical Institute of Vojvodina, higher education institutions working with children/students with disabilities, scientific institutes or other university scientific research institutions that engage in scientific research and teaching activities in the field of adult education. The training providers are required to issue a certificate of completion of the training programme.

The training programme for teaching or learning support assistants for Roma children and students in need of additional support in education is implemented through four modules: Module 1. Job description and coordination of activities for teaching assistants; Module 2. Supporting child development; Module 3. Supporting the family and cooperation with the local community; Module 4. Training programme for teaching assistants in preschool institutions working with Roma children who need additional educational support.

An aspiring SEN teaching assistant for children and students with disabilities must have acquired an appropriate postgraduate degree (Master’s academic studies, Master’s vocational studies, specialist academic studies) or a basic academic degree lasting at least four years, according to the regulations governing higher education before 10 September 2005 (Master’s in special education, Bachelor in special education, psychologist, schoolteacher, adult educator or speech therapist).

 

Teaching assistants in adult education

A teaching assistant in adult education supports the inclusion of adults in the education system and assists employees with the implementation of the curriculum.

Where can I find more information about trainings for teaching assistants in adult education?

 

An aspiring teaching assistant in adult education must have acquired a secondary education degree and attended the training programme “Integral training program for the implementation of primary adult education according to the model of functional primary education for adults”. This type of training is provided by the Institute for the Improvement of Education (IIE), scientific institutes or other scientific research institutions within universities engaging in scientific research and teaching activities in the field of andragogy.

The aim of this training programme is to train school teams in primary schools and teachers at secondary vocational schools for teaching adult primary school students. The training programme is based on interactive methods and is implemented through the following modules: Module 1. Basic adult education skills and building a school team designed for principals, specialist non-teaching staff, teaching staff and teaching assistants in functional primary education for adults (FPEA); Module 2. Training of teaching assistants for the implementation of FPEA; Module 3. Training of teaching staff for the implementation of FPEA in penitentiaries and correctional facilities.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Institute for the Improvement of Education (IIE) – List of Programmes in the Public Interest approved by decision of the minister https://zuov.gov.rs/lista-programa-od-javnog-interesa-koje-resenjem-odobrava-ministar/

Law on Education System Foundations https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_osnovama_sistema_obrazovanja_i_vaspitanja.html

Rulebook on special education and adult education teacher assistants http://www.pravno-informacioni sistem.rs/SlGlasnikPortal/eli/rep/sgrs/ministarstva/pravilnik/2019/87/14/reg

Labour, employment, and entrepreneurship

What are the employer’s obligations with respect to the quota of persons with disabilities employed?

The employment of persons with disabilities in Serbia is regulated, among other, by the Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities. This Law requires every employer with 20 or more employees to employ a specified number of persons with disabilities. Employers with 20 to 49 employees are required to employ one person with disabilities. Employers with 50 or more employees are required to employ at least two persons with disabilities, and an additional one for every subsequent 50 employees. The mandatory quota of persons with disabilities employed (where employers have more than 50 employees) can be established by dividing the total number of employees with 50 and then increasing the sum by 1.

A newly founded employer is not required to employ persons with disabilities in the first 24 months from the date of establishment.

An employer who fails to comply with the statutory provisions on the quota of persons with disabilities employed will be required to pay the equivalent of 50% of the average salary per employee in Serbia, according to the latest published data of the national statistical office, for each person with disabilities the employer did not employ.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_profesionalnoj_rehabilitaciji_i_zaposljavanju_osoba_sa_invaliditetom.html

National Employment Service – Programmes designed to boost the employment of persons with disabilities http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/nudite-posao/podrska-poslodavcima/programi/podr_ka_u_zapo_ljavanju_osoba_sa_invaliditetom.cid225

What course of action can I take in case of disability discrimination during a job interview?

The employment of persons with disabilities is regulated by several laws that prescribe, among other, the basic guiding principles of the employment of persons with disabilities, as well as all possible infringements of the principle of equality, i.e. forms of discrimination that can arise.

When a person with disability experiences discrimination during a job interview because of their disability, pursuant to the Law on the Prevention of Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities, this is considered a violation of fundamental human rights and equality principles. Should such a situation arise, the omission in the recruitment process should be pointed out to the employer.

Additionally, persons with disabilities who have experienced discriminatory treatment in employment may file a complaint with the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, if they wish to do so.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs – Department for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/srb-lat/struktura/sektori/sektor-za-zastitu-osoba-sa-invaliditetom

Commissioner for the Protection of Equality – Complaint of discrimination http://ravnopravnost.gov.rs/diskriminacija/prituzba-zbog-diskriminacije/

Ombudsman – Rights of persons and elderly with disabilities https://www.ombudsman.rs/index.php/prava-osoba-sa-invaliditetom

 

Law on the Prevention of Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_sprecavanju_diskriminacije_osoba_sa_invaliditetom.html

Where can a person with disabilities seek information about trainings for the development of professional skills and knowledge?

Every employer is responsible for managing human resources in the company and developing a professional development plan for every employee, regardless of whether the employee is a person with disabilities or not. An employed person with disabilities should first check available opportunities for professional development with the employer and enquire about the process and procedures regulating this issue.

 

Unemployed people with disabilities can contact the National Employment Service (NES) as the institution responsible for employment affairs and, in an individual interview with the employment counsellor, they can determine what kind of support they need to find a suitable job as soon as possible. Basic information on NES services can be obtained at

http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/trazite-posao/dok-trazite-posao.

 

As regards vocational training and education, unemployed persons with disabilities may contact the National Employment Service (NES) as the public provider of employment services, and join various programs, such as the professional practice programme, internship programmes for youth with higher education, apprenticeship programmes for the unemployed with secondary education, programme for the acquisition of practical knowledge for unskilled, redundant and long-term unemployed persons, labour market-driven trainings and on-demand trainings requested by employers. In an individual interview with his/her employment counsellor, each person registering as unemployed with the NES agrees on the type of support needed and which programme they will join to increase their chances of finding a suitable job as soon as possible.

 

Basic information on NES services can be obtained at

http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/trazite-posao/dok-trazite-posao, while the list of labour market-driven trainings for persons with disabilities implemented by the NES in 2020 is available at

http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/digitalAssets/14/14158_katalog_obuka_za_tr__i__te_rada_za_osobe_sa_invalidtetom_za_2020._god.pdf

 

If you need more information about the kind of trainings and reskilling programmes offered by the civil sector, you may take a look at the website of the Forum of Youth with Disabilities: http://fmi.rs

How can a person with disabilities initiate the procedure for improving workplace accessibility?

In accordance with the Law on Vocational Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, a person with disabilities has the right to have their status and working capacity assessed. The assessment of working capacity and opportunities for employment or retention of employment envisages medical, social and other criteria for establishing the capacities and abilities of persons with disabilities for their integration in the labour market and for performing specific tasks in full autonomy or with assistance, for the use of assistive technology, and employment opportunities under general or special conditions. The request for the assessment of working capacities is submitted to the National Employment Service (NES) and, in turn, the NES adopts a Decision on the Assessment of Working Capacity.

 

Persons assessed as having a disability of the “1st degree” according to this decision, can be employed under general conditions, whereas persons assessed as having a disability of the “2nd degree” can be employed under special conditions. In the first case, there is no requirement for accommodations of the workplace, but the guidelines for accommodations of the work process must be observed. In the case of employment of persons with disabilities under special conditions, the employer is required to make accommodations of the job and/or work environment. In this case, the employer may apply for funding with the National Employment Service for the implementation of the required accommodations.

 

Accommodations of the job entail modifications to work processes and tasks. Accommodations of the work environment entail technical or technological modifications to the workplace, means of work, space, and equipment – in accordance with the possibilities and needs of persons with disability. In cases where persons with disabilities are employed under special conditions, the employer can also arrange for a personal assistant at work, to support the employee with disabilities in the induction process or in the workplace, through counselling, training, assistance and support services in the workplace, supervision during work, development of personal methods of work and performance evaluation. Programmes offered by the National Employment Service allow for covering the costs of a personal assistant at work over a determined time period.

 

In case your employer did not provide for accessibility in the recruitment process, contact the human resources department in your company to start the procedure for improving accessibility.

 

Refusing to make technical modifications to the workplace to enable the efficient work of a person with disabilities – if the costs of such modifications are not borne by the employer or are not disproportionate relative to the gain that the employer stands to make by hiring a person with disabilities – is considered a violation of the provisions of the Law on the Prevention of Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

National Employment Service – subsidized employment of persons with disabilities http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/nudite-posao/podrska-poslodavcima/programi/podr_ka_u_zapo_ljavanju_osoba_sa_invaliditetom.cid225

National Employment Service – Assessment of the working capacity and opportunities for employment or retention of employment http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/trazite-posao/dok-trazite-posao/programi/procena_radne_sposobnosti_i_mogu_nosti_zaposlenja_ili_odr_anja_zaposlenja.cid68922

Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi_download/zakon_o_profesionalnoj_rehabilitaciji_i_zaposljavanju_osoba_sa_invaliditetom.pdf

Where can I find information about other measures designed to increase the employability of Roma?

 

The Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance and the National Employment Action Plan for 2020 define groups of hard-to-place persons to be prioritized for inclusion in active labour market policies, among which the Roma.

 

The following measures are implemented with the aim of increasing the employability and employment of Roma men and women: subsidies for employment of persons from the category of hard-to-employ persons, public works, professional practice programmes,  internship programmes, self-employment, functional primary education for adults and on-demand training at the request of the employer. In the first quarter of 2020, the National Employment Service announced active employment policy programmes specifically aimed at increasing the employability and employment of Roma: public call inviting employers to apply for subsidies for the employment of hard-to-employ persons in newly created jobs in 2020; public competition for the implementation of public works engaging unemployed persons in 2020; public call inviting unemployed Roma to apply for self-employment subsidies in 2020.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sr

Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_zaposljavanju_i_osiguranju_za_slucaj_nezaposlenosti.html

National Employment Action Plan for 2020 https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sr/dokumenti/predlozi-i-nacrti/sektor-za-rad-i-zaposljavanje/nacionalni-akcioni-planovi-zaposljavanja-0

National Employment Service – Competitions http://www.nsz.gov.rs/live/info/konkursi/konkurs-nsz

How does the cooperative movement work in Serbia, and what are the applicable regulations in this domain?

The cooperative movement has a long tradition in Serbia dating back to the mid-19th century. The third cooperative in the world was established in Serbia that was, at the time, a founder of the International Cooperative Federation. Today, the modern cooperative movement in Serbia numbers almost 1,700 registered cooperatives regulated under the Law on Cooperatives.

 

According to this Law, a minimum of five physical persons is required to establish a cooperative in Serbia. The minimum initial capital required is a mere RSD 20. The founding stakes may also differ in value. The founders of the cooperative form the general meeting, management board and supervisory board, while the operational activities of the cooperative are managed by the director (a cooperative must have at least one employee). Cooperatives are a relatively complex organizational form, considering they have a diverse structure of founders, with different founding stakes, they employ seasonal workers and collaborate with subcontractors. All formal, legal and functional matters related to cooperatives are clearly regulated under two key acts: agreement establishing the cooperative and cooperative’s rules (like a statute). The observation of the democratic principle of decision-making in cooperatives is audited by a special Cooperative Audit, regularly, (every two years), or extraordinarily, at the request of members of the cooperative. According to the Law on Cooperatives, Serbian citizens may form farming or agricultural cooperatives (which are divided into general and specialized cooperatives – for crop, fruit, vegetable production, wine-growing, honey farming and other), housing, consumer, artisan, workers’, student-youth, pupils, social, health, as well as other types of cooperatives for manufacture, trade, services and other activities in accordance with the law. Cooperatives mostly have their own professional associations – cooperative federations.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

History of cooperatives http://www.zssrbije.org/

Law on Cooperatives https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_zadrugama.html

What are social enterprises?

There are various definitions of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises. A widely accepted definition in Serbia is the definition of the European Commission: enterprises that focus on making a positive impact on the community (societal, social, and environmental) rather than maximizing profit. These are companies with an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to delivering goods and services for the market. They often employ society’s most vulnerable members (the socially marginalized). Thus, they contribute to social cohesion, employment, and the reduction of inequalities. (European Commission, 2017).

According to the definition of the European Commission (Social Business Initiative), social entrepreneurship is based on three basic postulates:

  • the entrepreneurial dimension – private companies engaging in a commercial activity in continuity, which distinguishes them from traditional non-profit organization that have a social purpose and are to some extent self-financed, but are not necessarily business entities;
  • social dimension – the companies have a primary and explicit social purpose, distinguishes them from corporations and for-profit companies;
  • management dimension – there is a democratic management mechanism to protect the inviolability of the social purpose of a social enterprise.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

EU Covenant  – How to establish a social enterprise in Serbia http://eukonvent.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/vodic-Drustveno-korisno-odrzivo-Kako-osnovati-socijalno-preduzece-u-Srbiji_web.pdf

SeConS Development Initiative Group – Social entrepreneurship, social economy https://www.secons.net/topics.php?t=43

How do you establish a social enterprise?

There are various types of social enterprises, some of which are listed herein, and the procedure for their establishment differs depending on the type:

  1. Civic associations and foundations
  2. Companies for the vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities
  3. Cooperatives
  4. Limited liability companies and joint stock companies

In the absence of a legal framework for social entrepreneurship, in Serbia it is mainly civil associations that engage in social entrepreneurship, but there are some social cooperatives as well.

Citizens’ associations avail themselves of the possibilities envisaged under Art. 37 of the Law on Associations (RS Official Gazette 51/2009, 99/2011 – as amended and 44/2018 – as amended) to register a small-scale commercial activity which must be compatible with the objectives outlined in the statute.

To register an additional commercial activity, the association must previously amend its Statute at the general meeting to include a separate article laying down the precise name of the commercial activity with the corresponding activity code. Social cooperatives are established pursuant to Art. 11 of the Law on Cooperatives that applies as of January 2016. In Art. 11 (paras. 9–12) Serbian citizens are provided with the opportunity to register social cooperatives. These cooperatives have the right and concurrently the obligation to reinvest 50% of their profit to fulfil the social purposes chosen by the members (the objectives are set out in detail in the Cooperative Rules). There are several social cooperatives in Serbia, and some of the most active ones are the First Agricultural Social Cooperative Kamenica, and the Youth Social Cooperative Toplička Mladost, Blace.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Law on Associations https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_udruzenjima.html

Law on Cooperatives https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_zadrugama.html

What kind of sources of additional funding are available for social enterprises?

Sources of funding for social enterprises may vary, but in Serbia they are mainly funded by various donors through international programmes and projects. The most active international donors funding social enterprises in Serbia are: the European Union, the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), USAID, ERSTE bank and foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the TRAG foundation, and others. When it comes to the forms of funding, we differentiate grants, loans, social bonds, social capital, crowdfunding and similar.

When it comes to funding programmes targeting social enterprises in Serbia that are not financed from foreign donations, the possibilities are limited because the development of financial instruments is just getting established. Erste Banka a.d. Novi Sad is very active in Serbia and has its own financial instruments for funding social enterprises through a programme called Step by Step.

SMART Kolektiv is a civil society organization that proactively engages in providing support, both financial and non-financial, for the establishment and development of social enterprises in Serbia.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Erste Banka a.d. – Step by Step Programme https://www.erstebank.rs/sr/korak-po-korak?gclid=CjwKCAjwh472BRAGEiwAvHVfGg85RodUnKF7nxMUS_Ev8a0QXLHTOonDKeJpq8g8oUq9xPHyGnS2NBoC9PcQAvD_BwE

SMART Kolektiv – Development of Social Innovations https://smartkolektiv.org/category/razvoj-socijalnih-inovacija/smart-akademija/

Are there examples of successful social enterprises?

There are different examples of successful social enterprises. Here we would like to highlight some of them: Radanska Ruža (producers of speciality foods such as ajvar, fruit preserves and jams and similar http://www.radanskaruza.rs), Lice Ulice (the first street magazine in Serbia that addresses social topics https://www.liceulice.org), Bagel Bejgl (catering and various types of bagels/pastries, http://www.bagel.rs), Hrono (production of seasonings and various flour mixes for bread making http://chrono.rs).

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Coalition for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship https:// solidarnaekonomija.rs/

SIPRU – Economic Impact of Social Enterprises in Serbia http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ekonomski_uticaj_socijalnih_preduzeca_u_srbiji_RZS.pdf

Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Treci_nacionalni_izvestaj_o_socijalnom_ukljucivanju_i_smanjenju_siromastva_2014%E2%80%932017.pdf

http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Treci_nacionalni_izvestaj_o_socijalnom_ukljucivanju_i_smanjenju_siromastva_2014%E2%80%932017.pdf

How do I start my own business?

To start your own business, you must first assess your aptitude for entrepreneurship, in other words, your readiness to take the risks that come with entrepreneurial ventures. If you find out through this process that entrepreneurship suits you better than other forms of employment, then you are on the right track.

 

After the aptitude assessment, you need to come up with a business idea. It can be a product or a service, or a combination of both, that you want to offer on the market, i.e. to your future customers. This is the most important step in which you need to define all business activities, and objectively assess your resources, risks, and assumptions on which you are basing your company. You also need to research your competition in the sector in which you want to undertake your business activity.

 

A good business idea is then turned into a business plan, which entails developing a detailed list of activities that you need to undertake in a specified period to achieve the set business goals. Your business plan must have at least two scenarios, a pessimistic one and an optimistic one. In this process, it is crucial that you objectively assess the assumptions and risks in the business plan and design activities to manage these risks in case they really arise. You also need to make a list of strengths and weaknesses of the business you wish to start as well as potential opportunities and external threats that could put your business at risk (so called SWOT analysis). A good business plan must envisage all production/service delivery elements, technical equipment, sales, marketing, human resources management and, naturally, the sustainability of your business idea.

 

An integral part of the process of developing a business plan is defining a business model that answers two key questions:

 

  • Can the chosen business model secure the sustainable growth of the client base?
  • Can your business model bring you more money from your customers than that of your competitors?

 

After developing a business plan, you need to register a business entity according to Serbian law with the Serbian Business Registers Agency (SBRA) so that you can legitimately take part in the economic life.

 

A crucial step in starting your own business is securing the financial resources. In Serbia there are different financial and non-financial support programmes for start-ups, for additional information please refer to the question on financial support for entrepreneurs.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Ministry of Economy – Public Call https://privreda.gov.rs/javni_pozivi/?lang=lat

Serbian Business Registers Agency – Incorporation of a business entity/company https://www.apr.gov.rs/registri/privredna-drustva/uputstva/osnivanje.2030.html

Which business model is the best for a beginner?

To properly answer this question, we need to first understand what business model means. While there are different definitions, the general opinion is that a business model refers to the way a company/individual generates profit. Additionally, it is important to understand that a business model is a dynamic thing, susceptible to changes, influenced by both the political and economic context, as well the situation in the sector in which you do business, market differentiation, client expectations, available capacities and resources and trends in the field in which you want to start your business and many other factors.

 

The following business models can be an option for a beginner:

  1. Direct sale of services or goods
  2. Franchise (applying an already developed business model)
  3. Marketing-based sale (sale through social networks and other channels)
  4. Startup (IT or some other sector)
  5. Disruptive innovations (innovations on the market that completely change customer habits and their attitudes toward services/goods used in the past, (for instance, the invention of the tablet in the IT industry made notebooks completely redundant).

In any case, before you start developing your business idea and model, you need to answer two key questions:

 

  • Can your business model secure the sustainable growth of the client base?
  • Can you generate more money from your customers based on your business model than your rivals?

 

Regardless of the business model you chose, you need to consider the following key factors:

 

  • Client profile (physical or legal entities, small, medium, large businesses and similar)
  • What kind of added value are you providing, and what kind of problem does your business solve for the customer, and are your competitors already providing that?
  • What kind of channels are you using to access your clients?
  • How do you maintain customer relations?
  • What are your sources of income?
  • What are your key resources?
  • What are the key activities in the course of business?
  • Who are your key partners?
  • What is the cost structure?

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

The canvas method for evaluating a business model https://www.mojafirma.rs/baza-znanja/canvas-model-za-stratesko-sagledavanja-poslovanja-preduzeca/

Does the state provide tax relief for startups?

According to the Law on Personal Income Tax and the Law on Mandatory Social Insurance Contributions starting with the amendments adopted in December 2017, startups are exempted from the payment of payroll taxes and mandatory social insurance contributions for a period of one year. This applies to all startups registered until 31 December 2020.

 

All startups that fulfil one of the following criteria are eligible for tax exemption:

  • that they graduated (from secondary school, technical college, or higher education) in the 12-month period prior to the incorporation/registration of their startup;
  • that they have been on the unemployment register of the National Employment Service at least six months.

Sole proprietors (including farmers who register their business with the Treasury Administration) must be registered as employees receiving salary. In that case, they are required to keep business accounts and hire an accountant.

Sole proprietors, and company founders can avail themselves of this type of tax exemption only once. Also, in case of business companies, the tax exemption applies to a maximum of nine founders, provided they all have an employment contract in the company.

The exemption from taxes and contributions is valid for a 12-month period, starting from the date of registration of the startup.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Government of Serbia – Publication on tax reliefs for startups and how to qualify for tax reliefs prepared with the support of NALED and GIZ https://preduzetnistvo.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Startuj-Legalno-Vodic-V-6.pdf

 

Government of Serbia – New hirings https://preduzetnistvo.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/OLAKSICE-ZA-zaposljavanje-novih-lica.pdf

Law on Personal Income Tax https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-porezu-na-dohodak-gradjana.html

Law on Contributions for Mandatory Social Insurance https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-doprinosima-za-obavezno-socijalno-osiguranje.html

What kind of support is available to sole proprietors in Serbia?

The Government of Serbia has various financial and non-financial measures and programmes available to support entrepreneurs depending on what stage of business you are in (startup or sole proprietor looking to expand business). The financial assistance programme for sole proprietors includes various forms of support, such as grants, cheap loans with a grace period, or self-employment subsidies for the registered unemployed aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

Non-financial assistance to entrepreneurs can take various forms, such as training, business advice, mentoring when registering and starting a business, and similar.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Ministry of Economy – Entrepreneurship Portal https://preduzetnistvo.gov.rs/

How do I incorporate a company according to applicable regulations in Serbia?

The incorporation procedure depends on the type of company you wish to have. While the Serbian law recognizes different types of companies, most people in Serbia who want to start a business opt either for a sole proprietorship or for a limited liability company (d.o.o). The difference between these two types of businesses is in liability. The owner of a limited liability company is legally responsible for its debts only to the extent of the amount of capital of the company At the same tim, as a sole proprietor you are personally responsible for your debts to the extent of your entire personal property.

 

To register a sole proprietorship you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Unique registration application (JRPPS)
  • Copy of ID card
  • Copy of payment slip
  • Incorporation tax, amounting to RSD 1,500.

 

To register a limited liability company you will need to submit the following documents:

 

  • Unique registration application (JRPPS)
  • OP form
  • Copy of ID card
  • Copy of payment slip
  • Certified deed of incorporation
  • Receipt of payment of capital contribution (minimum RSD 100)
  • The costs of company incorporation amount to approximately RSD 10,000 with administrative and notarization fees.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Serbian Business Registers Agency – Registration of a sole proprietorship https://www.apr.gov.rs/registri/preduzetnici/uputstva/osnivanje.2058.html

Serbian Business Registers Agency – Registration of a limited liability company https://www.apr.gov.rs/usluge/eusluge/eregistracija-osnivanja-jednoclanog-i-viseclanog-doo.2405.html

What are social innovations and where can I find more information on this topic?

There are different definitions of social innovation. The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit has adopted the following definition: Social innovation can take the form of a practice, process, product, service, business model, new organizational form, instrument and methodology, or a combination of all of the above. The purpose of social innovations is to provide a better response to an unmet need or social problem. According to the Young Foundation, social innovations are new ideas that work in practice, new solutions that work. Social innovations are not the same as social welfare innovations because the latter exclusively refer to innovations in the field of social welfare. Social innovations can happen in other domains as well, besides social welfare, such as employment, education, healthcare, etc.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

SIPRU: Education to Employment (E2E) – Social innovations http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/sipru_e2e_drustvene_inovacije.pdf

Young Foundation https://youngfoundation.org/

SI-DRIVE Policy Declaration: Social Innovation on the Rise – Challenges for a Future Innovation Policy http://www.si-drive.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SI-DRIVE-Policy-declaration-2017-final.pdf

What is the green economy and where can I find more information on this topic?

The green economy refers to the concept of economic growth of a society that implies either the complete elimination or drastic reduction of the negative environmental impact caused by economic activities, the efficient use of available resources and social inclusion. The concept of sustainable development should not be confused with the green economy because the latter, in addition to emphasizing increased efficiency in the use of limited resources, also emphasizes smart investments, employment and skills.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links

 

Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) – Inclusive green economy https://www.un-page.org/

UN – Green economy https://www.unenvironment.org/regions/asia-and-pacific/regional-initiatives/supporting-resource-efficiency/green-economy

PAGE – Definition of green economy https://unitar.org/sites/default/files/uploads/egp/Section1/PDFs/1.3%20Definitions%20for%20Green%20Economy.pdf

World Resources Institute https://www.wri.org/blog/2011/04/qa-what-green-economy

The Rights of Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

What are the rights of refugees in Serbia and how can they claim these rights?

According to the Law on Refugees, the people that came to Serbia from the former Yugoslav republics escaping war and persecution, as a consequence of the events that occurred from 1991 to 1998, are considered as refugees.

According to the law, refugees are entitled to health and social care, employment, and education, and are subject to workfare under the same conditions as Serbian nationals.

The Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations (KIRS) is charged with affairs related to the placement, return and integration of refugees. The KIRS adopts decisions on recognition (and withdrawal) of refugee status, based on which the Ministry of Interior issues a refugee ID. The refugee ID is an official document of identity that allows refugees to exercise their statutory rights.

For additional information please refer to the following links:

National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons for the period from 2015 to 2020 http://www.pravno-informacioni-sistem.rs/SlGlasnikPortal/eli/rep/sgrs/vlada/strategija/2015/62/1/reg

Law on Refugees https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-izbeglicama-republika-srbija.html

Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations http://www.kirs.gov.rs/

Ministry of Interior http://www.mup.gov.rs

Protection of Asylum Seekers

The status, rights and obligations of asylum seekers and persons who were granted asylum and temporary protection are regulated by the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection. Asylum is the right to shelter, i.e. residence and safety, granted by the state to a foreign national (a person who is not a Serbian national).

A refugee is any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, sex, language, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is residing outside his/her country of origin and unable and is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or a stateless person residing outside the country of habitual residence who is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it.

Although there is no formal legal definition of an international migrant, according to the United Nations most experts agree that an international migrant is someone who changes their country of residence, regardless of the reason for migration or legal status. There is a difference between short-term or temporary migration, which entails a change of country of residence lasting three to 12 months, and long-term or permanent migration, which refers to a change of country of residence lasting one year or more.

No-one should be expelled or returned to a country where their life or freedom would be in danger because of their race, sex, language, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion (unless there is reasonable cause to believe that they may pose a threat to national security).

All decisions in procedures related to granting and withdrawal of the right to asylum are taken by the Office for Asylum, which is and organizational unit of the Ministry of Interior, while the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations provides the material conditions for the admission of asylum seekers.

An asylum seeker has the right to reside in and move freely within the country; to material support (accommodation, food, clothing, and allowance); social and healthcare services; primary and secondary education; information and legal aid; freedom of religion; and access to the labour market.

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Interior http://www.mup.gov.rs

Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations of the Republic of Serbia http://www.kirs.gov.rs

Asylum Protection Centre – information leaflets for asylum seekers https://www.apc-cza.org/sr-YU/info-lifleti-za-trazioce-azila.html

Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-azilu-i-privremenoj-zastiti.html

Family

How to report domestic violence?

Domestic violence is defined and prohibited by the provisions of the Family Law, Criminal Code, and Law on Public Law and Order. Matters related to family care, support to families and guardianship are within the purview of the Social Welfare Centre (SWC). Domestic abuse can be reported either by the victim or another person who knows or suspects that someone they know is experiencing domestic violence. The persons reporting the violence can opt to disclose their identity or remain anonymous.

The procedure for reporting domestic violence is initiated by a lawsuit, which can be filed by the family member who is the victim of violence, her/his legal representative, the public prosecutor, or the guardianship authority.

A report of domestic or intimate partner violence can be submitted to the SWC in person, at the SWC premises, by phone, in writing, by mail, as well as by e-mail. In each of these cases, the SWC is obliged to submit the report to the police station without delay, after which the competent police officer assesses the risk, collects other information and decides whether to impose emergency measures to protect the victim. At the same time, in response to the submitted report the SWC also takes measures within its purview, which primarily entail support to the victim of violence and members of her family.

Every report of domestic violence filed with the police or any other institution will be forwarded to the SWC on the same day and the latter is required to act on it. Regardless of whether a person is reporting the violence for the first time, or has done so several times, the SWC is required to act on each report.

To report domestic violence dial one of the following numbers:

  • Reporting domestic violence 0800-100-600
  • Women’s Centre helpline against violence against women and children, workdays (10–20h) 2645-328
  • Helpline for women and children victims of violence (14–18h) 3626-006
  • Helpline for children “Broj za problem tvoj”, the calls are free and confidential (0–24h) 0800-123456
  • Marriage and family counselling 2650-258 / Palilula (8-15:30h) 2752-224 and Zemun (8-15 h) 2695-416
  • Youth Centre helpline (18-22h) 3192-782
  • Autonomous Women’s Centre – helpline for women victims of violence – 0800 100 007(from 10h to 20h on workdays)

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Interior http://www.mup.gov.rs

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs – Department for Family and Social Care https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sr/struktura/sektori/sektor-za-brigu-o-porodici-i-socijalnu-zastitu

List of safe houses/shelters https://www.zeneprotivnasilja.net/usluge-u-zajednici/srbija/sigurne-kuce

Autonomous Women’s Centre – List of useful addresses and phones https://www.womenngo.org.rs/konsultacije-za-zene/vazni-telefoni

Family Law https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/porodicni_zakon.html

Criminal Code https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/krivicni-zakonik-2019.html

Law on Public Order https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_javnom_redu_i_miru.html

How to claim financial support for families with children?

The Law on Financial Support to Families with Children regulates financial support disbursed to families for the purpose of:

1) improving the conditions for meeting the basic needs of children;

2) balancing work and parenting;

3) granting incentives and support to allow parents to have as many children as they want;

4) improving the material status of families with children, families with developmental disorders and disabilities and families with children without parental care.

 

The Rulebook on detailed conditions and procedure for claiming financial support for families with children regulates in detail the eligibility requirements for exercising rights of public interest established by the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children.

 

Families are entitled to the following types of financial support:

 

  • paid maternity leave, leave from work for childcare and special childcare;
  • other benefits for childbirth, childcare and special childcare;
  • birth, i.e. maternity grant;
  • child allowance;
  • reimbursement of preschool costs for children without parental care;
  • reimbursement of preschool costs for children with disabilities;
  • reimbursement of preschool costs for children from families receiving financial social assistance.

 

To qualify for paid maternity leave, i.e. salary/wage compensation, the calculation of the salary or wage compensation during maternity leave, leave for childcare and special childcare, the application must be supported by the required evidence which the authorities processing the application are required to obtain, by virtue of their office, as prescribed by the law.

The evidence is retrieved automatically from available online official records/databases of other public agencies, provided their systems are interconnected.

The amount of monthly salary/wage compensation and reimbursement of preschool or residential care costs for children with developmental disorders and disabilities is set by the competent local government body, and the compensation of costs is regulated by decision of the local government unit.

Matters related to disbursement of financial support for families are entrusted to the local government body that has territorial jurisdiction in the place of residence of the applicant.

The payments are made by the line ministry for social affairs to the account of the recipient, from funds allocated from the state budget.

Matters related to the eligibility for recovering the costs of preschool for children with developmental disorders or disabilities are entrusted to the relevant local government body, and regulated by the Rulebook on the terms and conditions for qualifying for recovery of costs for children attending local government preschool institutions. Pursuant to the Law on Planned Support, the Government adopted a Regulation on nominal amounts and methodology for the adjustment of the income eligibility threshold for child allowance and on the child allowance amount and methodology for the adjustment thereof and the Decision on nominal amounts of the birth grant, the one-off benefit for the procurement of baby equipment and on child allowance as well as the income eligibility threshold for child allowance of 1 January 2019.

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Department for Family and Social Care https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/srb-lat/struktura/sektori/sektor-za-brigu-o-porodici-i-socijalnu-zastitu

Law on Financial Support to Families with Children https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-finansijskoj-podrsci-porodici-sa-decom.html

Rulebook on detailed conditions and procedure for claiming financial support for families with children https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/pravilnik-o-blizim-uslovima-i-nacinu-ostvarivanja-prava-na-finansijsku-podrsku-porodici-sa-decom.html

Regulation on nominal amounts and methodology for the adjustment of the eligibility threshold for child allowance and on the child allowance amount and methodology for the adjustment thereof https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sites/default/files/2019-03/%D0%B3.Uredba-cenzusi-i-znosi-dd-54-18.pdf

Decision on nominal amounts of the birth grant, the one-off benefit for the procurement of baby equipment and on child allowance as well as the income eligibility threshold for child allowance of 1 January 2019 https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sites/default/files/2019-03/%D0%B4.resenje%20uskladjeni%20iznosi%20rd%20i%20dd%20i%20cenzusi%20dd%20-%20januar%202019.PDF

Documents

How do I register a birth with the civil register?

The Law on Civil Registers regulates the registration of civil records (events of births, marriages, and deaths). Civil records are kept by a registrar, for the registration districts designated by decision of the city/municipality assembly, which may include one or more populated locales.

The Register of Births contains entries of records on births, parents of the child, maternity/paternity, nationality, sex change (by a decision of the relevant authority issued based on the required certificate of the respective medical institution).

Notice of the birth of a child is given to the competent Registrar within 15 days of the date of birth of a child, for registration in Register of Births. Where a child is born in a medical facility, the medical facility is required to submit a notice of birth on the required form, both online and by mail. Where a child is not born in a medical facility, a notice of birth is to be given by the father of the child, other household member, mother, the midwife or doctor present at childbirth, or any person who finds out about the birth.

Records of events of birth are reported to the Registrar in the registration district where the child was born.For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government http://mduls.gov.rs/

Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government – Department for Civil Records and Registers http://mduls.gov.rs/kontakti/?script=lat

Law on Civil Records https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_maticnim_knjigama.html

How can I claim my rights if I have no documents?

Regulations governing the right to health and social care, and the right to work and education require persons without documents to declare their place of residence.

According to the Law on Permanent and Temporary Residence of Citizens, a place of residence can be registered based on a tenancy agreement or other legal grounds. If a citizen cannot register their place of residence based on these grounds, the designated authority will issue an official document establishing their residence at their permanent residence address, the residence address of their spouse, partner, or parents, the residential care institution in which they are permanently placed or at the social welfare centre of territorial jurisdiction.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Interior http://www.mup.gov.rs/wps/portal/sr/

Ministry of Interior – Residence http://www.mup.gov.rs/wps/portal/sr/gradjani/dokumenta/Prebivaliste

 

Law on Permanent and Temporary Residence of Citizens https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon_o_prebivalistu_i_boravistu_gradjana.html

How do I claim my right to healthcare services if I do not have a health card?

According to the Rulebook on modalities and procedures for exercising rights arising from mandatory social insurance, the condition for accessing healthcare services is a valid health card or validated certificate on the use of healthcare services. In some cases, particularly vulnerable individuals can access healthcare services even without a valid health card. For instance, new and expectant mothers and children are entitled to healthcare services even when they do not have a valid health card. People with no health card or place of residence are only entitled to emergency medical assistance.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

National Health Insurance Fund https://www.rfzo.rs/index.php/nadleznosti

Links to websites of medical facilities https://www.rfzo.rs/index.php/linkovi/zdravstvene-ustanove

Rulebook on modalities and procedures for claiming rights arising from mandatory social insurance https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/pravilnik_o_nacinu_i_postupku_ostvarivanja_prava_iz_obaveznog_zdravstvenog_osiguranja.html

How do you enrol in school without the required documents?

According to the Law on the Education System Foundations, children from vulnerable social groups may enrol in school without having to submit declaration of the parents’ place of residence or the required documents, provided evidence is submitted of the child’s health examination.

For detailed information, please refer to the following links:

Law on Education System Foundations https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi_download/zakon_o_osnovama_sistema_obrazovanja_i_vaspitanja.pdf

Housing

Programmes supporting the construction of homes for the Roma population and other vulnerable population groups

The following projects are currently being implemented with a view to improving housing conditions of Roma in Serbia:

IPA 2013 Project – Technical assistance for the improvement of living and housing conditions of the Roma population in informal settlements in the Republic of Serbia, funded by the European Union and co-financed by Serbia. The Project is implemented by the KPMG d.o.o. Beograd consortium, in cooperation with the Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure and the Human and Minority Rights Office of the Government of Serbia.

IPA 2014 Project – Technical Improvement of socioeconomic position and living conditions of Roma communities, funded by the European Union, with co-funding from the Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure. This project aims to improve living conditions in substandard Roma settlements by assisting local governments to prepare technical and planning documents and creating the conditions for providing permanent housing and communal infrastructure solutions.

IPA 2016 Project – EU support to Roma inclusion: Empowering local communities for Roma inclusion, funded by the European Union, implemented by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities. The programme aims to advance and empower local communities for Roma inclusion. Among other, the project will assist local governments in the spatial regulation of informal settlements and improvement of the living conditions of the Roma community (development of urban plans and technical project documentation).

The Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations is implementing programmes for the improvement of living conditions of internally displaced persons, including Roma who account for 30% of the total number of beneficiaries in terms of housing needs met.

For detailed information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure https://mgsi.gov.rs/

Human and Minority Rights Office https://ljudskaprava.gov.rs/sh/node/22132

Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities http://www.skgo.org/projekti/detaljno/50/podrska-eu-inkluziji-roma-osnazivanje-lokalnih-zajednica-za-inkluziju-roma

EU support to improvement of living conditions of Roma http://roma-housing.euzatebe.rs/rs/o-nama

Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations http://www.kirs.gov.rs/wb-page.php?kat_id=8

How do you secure a sanitized drinking water supply?

Proper sanitation of drinking water supplied to the population or used in the production of foods intended for sale is regulated by the Rulebook on safe drinking water (FRY Gazette 42/98 and 44/99 and RS Official Gazette 28/2019). The safety of drinking water is determined through tests, which include microbiological, biological, physical, physiochemical and chemical indicators, which are an integral part of the Rulebook. The number of tests depends on the number of inhabitants, i.e. water consumers, as well as on the type of water facilities. All required analysis performed for the purpose of assessing the safety of water can be performed in the laboratories of the city public health institutes.

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Health https://www.zdravlje.gov.rs

Rulebook on safe drinking water supply https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/pravilnik-higijenskoj-ispravnosti-vode-pice.html

How do I qualify for debt relief, write-off of interest, repayment of debt in instalments and reactivation of power supply?

Pursuant to the Law on Energy (RS Official Gazette 57/11, 80/11-corrigendum and 93/11) and the Regulation on the terms and conditions for the supply of electricity (RS Official Gazette 63/13), a consumer can be disconnected in case of failure to pay their electricity bills within the statutory term. Before disconnecting the consumer, the energy supplier is required to send a written notice. If the buyer believes that they were unlawfully disconnected from the electricity supply, they may file a complaint: directly to the electricity supplier, Public Enterprise Elektroprivreda Srbije, Belgrade, Balkanska 13, as well as to the Market Inspection Department, Belgrade, Nemanjina 22-26.

All matters related to the suspension of electricity supply, i.e. disconnection of the buyer’s dwelling from the grid owing to a debt and the reactivation of the power supply and debt relief, interest write-off, and repayment of the debt in instalments are within the purview of the energy supplier, i.e. the company responsible for the distribution of electricity.

For detailed information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of Mining and Energy https://www.mre.gov.rs/faq-elektroenergetika.php

EPS (public utility power company) in your town http://www.eps.rs/cir/Pages/EPS-u-vasem-gradu.aspx

Power supply http://www.epsdistribucija.rs/index.php/kontakti

Planning policy documents and local government units

Planning documents

The Law on the Planning System as the general legal instrument in the planning system has introduced the “planning policy document“ that entails the following types of (planning) documents:

  • Development plan documents;
  • Public policy documents (strategies, programmes, policy concepts and action plans)
  • Other planning policy documents (including medium-term plans and financial plans).

 

A planning policy document is an instrument used by planning system stakeholders to set public policy goals and priorities, and plan measures and activities for the achievement of these, in the frame of their respective mandates and in connection with their functioning.

 

The Law on the Planning System prescribes that, in the process of developing and adopting planning policy documents, their alignment with the Constitution, confirmed international treaties, the law and commitments undertaken in the EU integration process must be taken into account. Serbia’s development and spatial plans must be mutually compatible, while in the development of all other planning documents due care must be taken to ensure that they are properly aligned with the national development plan, spatial plan, investment plan and other planning policy documents of higher or equal importance.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Law on the Planning System https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-planskom-sistemu-republike-srbije.html

What regulations should be consulted to develop high quality strategies at the local government level?

The development of strategic documents at both national and local level is defined by the provisions of the Law on Planning System adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2018. The Law on the Planning System of the Republic of Serbia governs the management of the public policy system and medium-term planning, the type and content of public policy documents proposed, adopted and implemented by all stakeholders in the planning system, in line with their respective mandates, including local government units.

Another key document is the Regulation on the public policy management methodology, the public policy and regulatory impact analysis and the content of the individual public policy documents that regulates in detail the implementation of the Law on the Planning System.

In addition, the application of the Law on the Planning System of the Republic of Serbia is also supported by the Regulation on the methodology for the development of medium-term plans regulating in detail the development of strategic policy documents.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Law on the Planning System https://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakon-o-planskom-sistemu-republike-srbije.html

Regulation on the methodology for the management of public policies, the public policy and regulatory impact analysis and the content of individual public policy documents  http://www.pravno-informacioni-sistem.rs/SlGlasnikPortal/eli/rep/sgrs/vlada/uredba/2019/8/9/reg

Regulation on the methodology for the development of medium term plans https://rsjp.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/Уредба-о-методологији-за-израду-средњорочних-планова_-8_2019-71.pdf

Overview of all strategic documents of the Government of the Republic of Serbia https://rsjp.gov.rs/cir/sema-jp-mapa/

Local government units in the Republic of Serbia

 

The citizens of Serbia have the right to manage public affairs of immediate, common and general interest for the local population, either directly, or through their freely elected representatives in 174 local government units. The local government system is a one-tier system based on the unitary municipality model.

 

The territory and seat of the local government units is determined by the Law on Territorial Organizations of the Republic of Serbia laying down the criteria for the establishment of towns and municipalities. The establishment, abolishment and change of the territory of a local government unit is subject to a mandatory referendum.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

 

Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government http://mduls.gov.rs/

Law on the Territorial Organization of the Republic of Serbia http://mduls.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/zakon-o-teritorijalnoj-organizaciji-rs.pdf

Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities http://www.skgo.org/

The Local Government Local Analytical Service

 

The Local Government Analytical Service contains relevant data at the town and municipality level, by areas relevant for decision-making at this tier of government, for the period from 2011 to 2017. This service provides basic data on local government units (territory, population, demographic trends), financial indicators for towns and municipalities from their annual accounts (assets and liabilities and their structure, performance and indebtedness of LGUs) and social care indicators – social benefits and services funded from the state budget).

 

The Analytical Service aims to support the efficient planning of public policies by the local government, based on objective facts and findings.

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

About the Local Government Analytical Service http://mduls.gov.rs/registri/lokalne-samouprave-u-srbiji/?script=lat

Local Government Analytical Service https://rsjp.gov.rs/sr/analiticki-servis/

Mapping social care services within the mandate of local government and local government budget-based material support in the Republic of Serbia

 

Mapping Social Care Services within the Mandate of Local Government and local government budget-based material support in the Republic of Serbia was launched by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of Serbia in partnership with the National Social Protection Institute and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and implemented by the Centre for Social Policy (CSP).

 

This survey was implemented for the third time in 145 local government units (LGUs) in the Republic of Serbia in the segment related to services and for the first time in the segment related to material support provided from local budgets.

 

The survey of social protection services within the mandate of LGUs was implemented according to a similar methodology as in the previous cycles (2012 and 2015), with the aim to ensure comparability between data and indicators on the prevalence, availability, efficiency and quality of social care services within the mandate of LGUs. The new aspect of this survey was the assessment the impact of the earmarked transfer instrument relative to total spending for services, introduced in 2016 pursuant to the Law on Social Protection (2011) and the Regulation on earmarked social care transfers.

 

An innovation in the survey is the collection of data on material support at the local level, i.e. cash and in-kind benefits provided by local self-government units from their budgets in accordance with the Law on Social Protection. The research also includes data on population policy programmes and measures for which towns and municipalities allocate funds pursuant to the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children.

 

Data on social protection services within the mandate of local self-government units (LGUs) for 2018 were collected in the period from June to October 2019, in accordance with the Law on Social Protection and the Rulebook on Detailed conditions and standards for social care service providers. Data on cash and in-kind benefits were collected in the same period, with additional verification and final verification in the period from January to February 2020.

 

The mapping includes two types of benefits (cash and in-kind benefits), i.e. three groups of benefits: means-tested benefits for poor individuals and families, category-specific non-means-tested benefits, and birth-related benefits, i.e. work-parenthood reconciliation measures and other population/pro-birth policy measures.

 

The implementation of the mapping process was supported by the Swiss Confederation.

 

For additional information please refer the following links:

SIPRU – Mapping Social Care Services within the Mandate of Local Self-Governments in the Republic of Serbia implemented in the period from October 2017 to March 2018 http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Mapiranje_usluga_socijalne_zastite_i_materijalne_podrske_u_nadleznosti_JLS_u_RS.pdf

SIPRU – Mapping Social Care Services within the Mandate of Local Self-Governments in the Republic of Serbia implemented from October 2015 to March 2016 http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Mapiranje-usluga-socijalne-zastite.pdf

SIPRU – the publication Mapping Social Care Services within the Mandate of Local Government in the Republic of Serbia implemented from October 2012 to March 2013 http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mapiranje_usluga_socijalne_zastite_izvestaj.pdf

European Integration

What does Serbia’s EU accession process entail?

The process of joining the European Union (EU) involves acceptance of rights and obligations on which the EU is based, as well as its institutional frame and acquis. Accession negotiations entail the adaptation and alignment of the national legislation with the EU law (acquis). The pace, as well as possible interim arrangements, are negotiated to enable the alignment of the legislation before accession. The acquis and institutional framework are not subject to negotiations, and the future member state must accept them at the time of accession, hence, the negotiations are not about their content, but about the progress made toward aligning the national legislation with the acquis.

For the purposes of accession negotiations, the acquis is divided into 35 chapters. The European Commission leads the negotiations on behalf of the EU. The negotiations on behalf of Serbia are led by its Government, which has established the appropriate structure and defined required procedures for accession negotiations.

Under the Treaty of Lisbon of 2009, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Serbia (formerly the European Commission Delegation) was established to ensure the proper representation of the EU in Serbia, to promote and defend the values and interests of the EU and its Member States, and monitor and support Serbia’s accession, including through the effective implementation of EU assistance programmes.For additional information please refer to the following links:

Ministry of European Integration https://www.mei.gov.rs/

Serbia and the EU: Who is Who https://www.mei.gov.rs/srl/srbija-i-eu/ko-je-ko/

Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia http://europa.rs/

Which chapters of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations are relevant for social inclusion and poverty reduction?

The most important negotiation chapters for social inclusion and poverty reduction are Chapter 19 – Social policy and employment and Chapter 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights. The first one involves the alignment of national legislation with the EU acquis in the field labour, social dialogue, occupational safety and health, employment, social inclusion and social care. Chapter 23 involves the alignment of legislation on human and minority rights. This primarily relates to the prevention of all forms of discrimination, the protection of national minority rights, the improvement of the status of the Roma minority, LGBTI rights, freedom of the media, protection of children’s rights, women’s rights, etc.

Apart from these two chapters, another important chapter is Chapter 11 – Agriculture and rural development because of the whole normative band related to the development of rural areas. Also, Chapter 18 – Statistics, because of the alignment of the national with the European statistical research standards and methodologies. The preparation of the institutional framework and regulations for the planning and use of European structural and investment funds are the basis of Chapter 22 – Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments. Finally, Chapter 26 – Education and culture is important from the aspect of inclusive education.

Overview of the progress by chapters of relevance to social inclusion and poverty reduction:

Chapter > Status ˅ 11 18 19 22 23 26
Start of screening 18 March 2014 20 May 2014 10 February 2014 1 October 2014 25 September 2013 20 February 2014
End of screening 16 September 2014 26 November 2014 26 June 2014 29 January 2015 10 December 2013 4 April 2014
Screening Report 24 February 2015   18 January 2016 23 October 2015 15 May 2014 16 February 2015
Opening of chapter   10 December 2018     18 July 2016 27 February 2017
Provisional closure of chapter           27 February 2017

 

For additional information please refer to the following links:

Progress Report of the European Commission for Serbia for 2018

ttps://www.mei.gov.rs/upload/documents/eu_dokumenta/godisnji_izvestaji_ek_o_napretku/izvestaj_ek_o_srbiji(1).pdf

Progress Report of the European Commission for Serbia for 2019

https://www.mei.gov.rs/upload/documents/eu_dokumenta/godisnji_izvestaji_ek_o_napretku/20190529-serbia-report_SR_-_REVIDIRANO.pdf

 

Which European associations and networks are relevant for social inclusion and poverty reduction?

 

There are many organizations in the field of social inclusion and poverty reduction in Europe. More effective advocacy for the needs of vulnerable groups has led to the creation of networks and associations. Existing networks are not limited to EU Member States, but also accept members from other European countries. Among the many associations and networks, we would like to highlight the following:

  • The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) is a network of national networks whose main activities focus on combating poverty and social exclusion. Its membership base consists of 32 national networks of voluntary organizations and grassroots groups in the EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Serbia and North Macedonia and 13 European organizations in this field. The EAPN has consultative status with the Council of Euope.
  • SOLIDAR is a network of European network of civil society organizations working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide with over 60 member organizations based in 29 countries including Serbia.
  • Social platform is the largest network of civil society organizations in the European Union advocating for a social Europe. It is driven by a membership united in the fight for social justice, equality between all people, social inclusion, sustainability and democracy in the EU and beyond, in other parts of the world. The network includes 48 member organizations from the EU.
  • European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is an independent European organization that acts as a platform for collaboration for the ministries of education of the member states and include 31 countries. The Agency was established in 1996, under an agreement between the education ministries of the EU Member States, as a platform for cooperation in providing inclusive education. Its role is to help its members improve their inclusive policies and practices for the benefit of all learners.

How can I apply for EU and other donor funds?

The application for EU and other donor funds depends on several factors, primarily the legal status of the applicant, the thematic area of the competition, partner network, financial and administrative capacities and similar.

Before developing the project idea and filling the application form it is important that you collect as much as possible information about the donor and the projects supported by them, and then proceed to examine the specific requirements of the open competition carefully.

Competitions for funds are mainly intended for legal entities, i.e. civil society organizations, public institutions, scientific and research institutions, sole proprietors and other. It is important that you check whether the thematic area and objectives of the competitions are in accordance with the project idea. A developed partnership network, greater financial and human resources as well as the wealth of expertise in the implementation of activities will increase your chances that your funding application will be approved.

For additional information please refer to the following links:

EU Programmes for Serbia Ministry of European Integration, EU Delegation and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management – Agrarian Payments Administration  (IPARD II funds).

Programmes and contests of other donors Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit and the Civil Initiative Resource Centre.

 

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