SKGO Exchange 4

About EU Exchange 4 programme

Local governments play an important role in the European integration process, both in terms of the application of standards and values ​​enshrined in the acquis of the European Union, and in the preparation and implementation of EU-funded projects, as well as in informing citizens about what they can expect in the integration process and after accession to the European Union.

 

EU Exchange 4 Programme is an inseparable part of the ongoing process in which the European Union is making efforts to improve the management of local self-government units in the Republic of Serbia, and to improve the level of services in the towns and municipalities in order to promote local development. Since 2004 there were three phases of the Exchange programme, and two of them (Exchange 1 and 3) included the grant scheme intended for towns and municipalities in Serbia.

 

Although in previous phases the Exchange programme provided a valuable contribution to the efforts of the central government by supporting strategic change at the local level, the next phase should go a step further. In this sense, the EU Exchange 4 programme should serve as a platform for further harmonization and alignment of priorities of national and local governments.

 

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the process of policy changes at the local level through the improvement of administrative capacity and efficiency of service delivery in local self-government units in Serbia, in accordance with the principles of public administration, specific national sector policies and practices of the European Union. The program is aimed at strengthening local self-government units in the field of municipal planning, finance and services through three components:

 

Component 1: Municipal planning and SLAP support - Municipal planning and SLAP support - Developing municipal plans aligned with national priorities and establishing a coherent mechanism for harmonization of local, regional and national strategies and policies, supported by SLAP IS as a quality project pipeline. Expected results:

  • Enhanced action and sectoral strategic planning,
  • Improving mechanisms for coordination of municipal strategic documents with regional and national strategies and policies,
  • Institutionalization of the SLAP database of infrastructure projects.

 

Component 2: Municipal finance support - Municipal finance support - Provide for efficient and coordinated implementation of new financial regulations at local level and use of alternative sources of funding by LSGs, improving their financial autonomy and providing for an efficient mechanism of intergovernmental dialogue related to public finance. Expected results:

  • Program budgeting, capital budgeting, as well as alternative sources of finance capital investment introduced, and
  • Supported activities of the local tax administrations (LTA), the institutionalization of dialogue between central and local levels - support for the Intergovernmental Finance Commission

 

Component 3: Exchange 4 grant scheme support - Providing grant support to municipal projects focused to the three sector areas of environment, local economic development and social policy, in line with national priorities in these areas, building on the capacities created through the previous grant phases and with the strong accent on information and experience exchange, both horizontal and vertical.

The contribution of the projects supported in achieving objectives is reflected in the coverage of the following priorities:

 

  • Priority 1 - Environment: Improving solid waste management at the local level
  • Priority 2 - Local Economic Development: Improving the competitiveness of the national economy by improving asset management and facilitating business cooperation through support to agricultural cooperatives
  • Priority 3 - Social Welfare: Introduction and / or the improvement of social services for the elderly at the local level.

 

Expected results:

  • Implemented quality municipal projects in the area of environment, social policy and local economic development,
  • Achieved effects of enhanced cooperation between the state and local administration and promotion of inter-municipal cooperation, and
  • Dissemination of innovation, knowledge and best practices through the implementation of the grant scheme.

 

PROGRAM BUDGET

The total budget of the program is 5.8 million euros, of which 4.5 million is fund for the town/municipal projects, and 1.3 million euros are intended for the implementation of the three components that the program includes.

 

PROGRAM DURATION

The program will last two years, from May 2013 to May 2015.

 

PROGRAM BENEFICIARIES

The direct beneficiary of the EU Exchange 4 Programme is the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities - Association of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

The final beneficiaries are the towns and municipalities in Serbia and their citizens, who will benefit from improved planning processes, financial management, and services provided by local self-governments.

 

The program is funded by the European Union, managed by the EU Delegation to Serbia, and implemented by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities - Association of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

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