With more than EUR 3 billion in non-refundable aid over the past 17 years, the European Union is by far the biggest donor of non-refundable assistance to Serbia. Also, Serbia is the largest recipient of EU donations in the Western Balkans and one of the largest in the world. As the country’s number one partner in supporting development and ongoing reforms, the EU implements its projects in close cooperation with Serbian authorities, businesses and civil society organisations (CSOs).
Civil society plays an important role in ensuring principles of human dignity, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities. Therefore, the EU Civil Society Facility (CSF) programme seeks to ensure greater benefit for civil society from legal and financial national frameworks and to improve dialogue with state institutions. The CFS supports CSOs’ networks to give citizens a voice and influence public sector reform processes through analysis, monitoring and advocacy.
In Serbia the EU intervention in the civil society sector focuses on number of areas, such as strengthening the rule of law, public administration reform, cultural diversity, support of CSOs that work with discriminated and vulnerable groups of citizens, enhancing cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo*, and others.
These initiatives help creating a greater focus on the needs of citizens in policy making. Also, the involvement of civil society in the pre-accession process helps deepening citizens’ understanding of the reforms a country needs to complete in order to qualify for the EU membership.
For more information on EU activities in Serbia click here.
Kosovo (*) – This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.