The strategic framework in the Republic of Serbia is composed of numerous documents. There is a total of 88 national documents currently in force, out of which 15 documents include, to some extent, social inclusion. The strategic framework at the local level is particularly complex – in 2004, a total of 920 local strategies and plans were entered into the database of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, out of which around 100 are in force in 2019.
The social inclusion policies are defined by the wider concept of the Human Resources and Social Development sector,which includes several national strategies in the area of poverty reduction, social inclusion, social welfare, education, employment, health and social housing, as well as strategies aimed at improving the status of socially excluded groups, such as women, persons with disabilities, Roma men and women, migrants and others.
Serbia has produced two national documents which directly address the challenges of social inclusion and poverty reduction – the Economic Reform Programme (ERP) for the period 2017–2019 and the Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP).
The ERP is a highly important instrument in the European integration process because it defines measures for the restructuring of the Serbian economy, as well as a number of structural reforms, some of which contribute to the increase of social inclusion. The principle of the Social Impact Assessment is integrated into the ERP, which helps to determine the effects of structural reforms on the status and quality of life of socially excluded groups.
The ESRP is envisaged as a strategic process that will accompany the process of European integration as the key mechanism for dialogue on the priorities in the areas of social policy and employment, and it is modelled after the Europe 2020 strategy, already applied by the Member States. The ESRP is focused on a limited number of key priorities in the field of employment and social policy. Similarly to the EU employment guidelines, the ESRP offers solutions in three areas: labour market and employment policies, human capital and skills development policies, and social inclusion and social protection policies. In addition, the document includes horizontal aspects such as capacity building, governance and institutional reforms, as well as the use of EU funds for the implementation of the planned reforms.