Local Partnerships - Potential for Local Development in Serbia25. June 2012 - 10:27 — Dejan Georgievski
After the creation of the first local partnerships in Serbia – in Priboj, Užice, Leskovac and Babušnica earlier this month, the national conference “Strength in Partnership” was held last Wednesday, June 20, in Belgrade.
The conference presented the examples of the four municipalities in which, for the first time in Serbia, private, public and civil sectors became a part of a unified platform that allows them to work together for the benefit of their local communities.
“We used this project to launch the implementation of the EU’s model of local partnership, which is a truly pioneering venture for Serbia”, said Dubravka Velat, Executive director of Civic Initiatives (Građanske inicijative) association.
Goran Forbici, Director of Slovenian Centre for Research and Development of NGOs (CNVOS) noted the great potentials for development of local partnerships in Serbia, while Tina Divjak, also from CNVOS presented the advantages offered by the model of local partnerships.
“The advantage of this model is that it is oriented towards creation of connections between different sectors, each with its own knowledge, resources and approaches, which is why the model yields such good results in Slovenia and the rest of the European Union”, Divjak said.
Snežana Đorđević from the Faculty of Political Sciences presented the “Feasibility Study on Creation of Local Partnerships in Serbia” and emphasized that much work needs to be done to strengthen citizens’ participation in decision making processes in local self-government, but also so make the local self-governments less dependent on major urban centres.
Olivera Jović from the Association of Small and Medium Enterprise of Serbia, Slavko Lukić from the Regional Development Agency Zlatibor, Aleksandar Videnović from NGO “GEA” and Karolina Stamenković from Lužničke rukotvorine association (Lužnica Artisan Association) presented the newly created partnerships in Leskovac, Užice, Pirot and Babušnica, respectively.
Ninoslav Kekić, advisor at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development presented the concept of social entrepreneurship and introduced them to all aspects, types and characteristics of that concept.
Danijela Jović, USAID Representative, talked about the Project for Sustainable Local Development that funds the new partnerships and offers similar initiatives funding for their ideas.
Milina Ječmenica from the Centre for Agronomy in Priboj talked about the challenges faced during the creation of the local paprtnership in Priboj, adding that local administration, the NGOs and business community agreed that the local partnership offers excellent opportunities for development of etno-tourism and for economic growth of the whole region.
Selena Tasić from the Office for Cooperation with the Civil Society presented presented the details of the Europe for Citizens Programme.
All films, texts and experiences of the local partnership programme are available on the address lokalnapartnerstvasr.blog.com.
Public Participation through Local Partnerships project is supported under the Support to Civil Society Project, managed by the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia. The project is implemented by Civic Initiatives, CNVOS and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Serbia. (Source: Građanske inicijative)
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