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Public Discussion on Final Draft of Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP) Completed

The Government of the Republic of Serbia, as invited by the European Commission, prepared the Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP). The Ministry for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Issues and the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit called on all interested organizations to submit comments to the final draft programme by 04/09/2015.

The European Union Enlargement Strategy 2013-2014 initiated a new instrument whereby for countries in the process of EU accession priorities will be determined and monitored in the fields of employment and social policy – the Employment and Social Policy Reform Programme (ESRP).

ESRP is envisioned as a strategic process, to monitor the process of European integration as the main mechanism for a dialog on priorities in the fields of social policy and employment and structured according to the Europe 2020 strategy model, already applied by member states. ESRP is focused on a limited number of key priorities in the field of employment and social policy.

The entire drafting process is open, and partners were consulted multiple times and invited to take active part in drafting this document by way of various consultation mechanisms.

Click here to download the Draft Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP).





Data on Poverty Statistics on Website of Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit Updated

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit prepared updated its data on poverty statistics, accessible at the following link:

In addition to latest data on absolute and relative poverty in the Republic of Serbia, this section of the website also provides data on the extent of inequality and material deprivation in Serbia, the required definitions, as well as a number of useful links.

We would like to call attention to databases on income and expenses in Serbia and the EU, relevant publications and methodological materials required to fully understand the issue.

These Unit webpages will provide the answer to the following questions: Which are the most vulnerable categories of the population in Serbia? What exactly do the terms poverty, deprivation, inequality, etc. mean? How many people in Serbia are poor and what concepts do we use when talking about poverty? What is the degree of inequality in our country? How many people are under material deprivation, and how many under risk of poverty or social exclusion? What is the general economic and social context of the country?

Aiming to make this data accessible to a wider range of users, English language pages are currently under development.

Summary of Study “Effectiveness of Systemic Mechanisms for Preventing Violence against Women and Family Violence”

The Summary of the study “Effectiveness of Systemic Mechanisms for Preventing Violence against Women and Family Violence” was published by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Autonomous Women’s Centre from Belgrade.

The publication on the effectiveness of systemic mechanisms for preventing violence against women consists of three sections: the first presents an overview of existing strategic and legal solutions and their application, as well as key findings of relevant research in this area during the last ten years; the second presents research findings on the effectiveness and harmonization of system mechanisms for preventing violence against women, viewed from the perspective of professionals from all competent protection services, and the third, based on all the collected data and a consultative process with representatives of state bodies, draws conclusion and recommendations.

Click here to download the summary of the study “Effectiveness of Systemic Mechanisms for Preventing Violence against Women and Family Violence”.

Evaluation of the National Strategy for Improving the Position of Women and Promoting Gender Equality (2009-2015) and its National Action Plan

UN WOMEN in collaboration with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of Serbia and Republic Secretariat for Public Policies initiated the process of Evaluation of the National Strategy for Improving the Position of Women and Promoting Gender Equality (2009-2015) and the National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Improving and Promoting Gender Equality 2010-2015.

The objective of the evaluation is to carry out an assessment of the progress made under the National Strategy for Improving the Position of Women and promoting Gender Equality, through the indicator based assessment and participatory evaluation that will include key stakeholders, including civil society organizations and to outline key priorities for the new policy cycle. Having in mind that the New Strategy will be drafted during autumn, the findings from the Evaluation will be available in Mid-September and will contribute to the final drafting of the new Strategy for Gender Equality. The final Evaluation Report is expected in Mid-October.

Publication “Stimulus in Agriculture and Rural Development in 2015” Published

The publication “Stimulus in Agriculture and Rural Development in 2015” was published as part of the “RuralNet” project implemented under the auspices of the programme “Local Initiatives to Increase Social Inclusion and Reduce Poverty” coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

These materials show the key measures of support implemented by the Republic of Serbia, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, to improve agricultural production and rural development in 2015, and the overview encompasses general stimulus, stimulus in cattle farming, stimulus for land, stimulus in plant production, stimulus for the procurement of machinery and equipment and construction of facilities, stimulus for non-agricultural activities, stimulus for processing products, as well as mistakes in applications for stimulus.

The publication “Stimulus in Agriculture and Rural Development in 2015” can be downloaded here, and more information on the “RuralNet” project can be found at



Programme-based Budget – Guidelines for Drafting and Relevant Models
Public discussion on Strategy for Creating Stimulating Environment for Civil Society Development
Contracts Signed – Visible Progress in Achieving Right to Official Use of National Minority Language and Script
Over One Million Euro from Brussels for Youth Projects from Serbia
Serbia 8th in World Regarding Population Decrease
US State Department Report on Human Trafficking for 2015
CSO Questionnaire – Open Government Partnership
Guide for Interreg-IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Romania-Serbia 2014-2020
Interreg IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Serbia for 2014-2020 Adopted
Call for proposals EAC/S08/2015 – EU Network of Creative Hubs and Co-working Spaces
Public Call for Civil Society to Submit Applications to Monitor and Analyze Legislative Initiatives (Deadline: 14/9/2015)
Implementation of the Creative Europe Culture Sub-programme scheme: ‘Support for European cooperation projects’
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VIDAN DANKOVIĆ: Activist Dictionary - PEOPLE

The room is filled with a special kind of energy when Peđa says “People”. It gives you the chills. Could it be than in the few of us he sees a thousand, and ten thousand, and a million?

At first, the question “Who are our people?” made me cramp up, because I knew that after answering the question I have to go out and talk to all those people and explain to them why I think the proposed action is good for everyone. /discussion – invest time, energy, open up, tell your story/; /action – (1. actio fr. eng. action) action, activity, acting, effect/.

And it’s hard. The time for such talks with people is never right. Not taught to be explicit during conversations, returning from meetings I used to imagine conspiratorial whispering across rooftops, convincing, manipulation. /explicit (lat. explicitus) said out loud, open; ant. implicit/.

At first, so it was. Sotto voce I begin my tale. I am ashamed, my voice trembles, while my head is ringing with the questions “Who am I?”, detecting the question hovering in the eyes of the person across from me “Who are you?” “What do you want from me?” and attempts to respond by gaze alone…

And then, I start to understand. “My name is Vidan, I am volunteering so that things in Serbia become better, and I want you to join me.” /Volunteering (voluntarism) non-profit and unpaid activity whereby individuals, alone or within a group or organization, contribute to the welfare of their community or all of society / /join – invest time and energy to achieve common goals /

I raise awareness. When I talk to people, the number one thousand becomes faces and names. It also gains three thousand doubts and questions, but one force. The force that can turn into power. The cramps are gone. Is it possible that something had to teach me to talk? To openly tell you what I’m planning to do and ask you if you want to join me?

The room is filled with a special kind of energy when Peđa says “People”. It gives you the chills.
An organizer is a leader who does not lead, but gets behind the people and pushes.” – Fred Ross


The text in its entirety can be found on the Social Inclusion Blog.

Other texts by our bloggers can be found at:


Grants to Ensure Bread in the House

There is no official, precise statistics in Serbia on the number of single parents and their children. Assessments are that there are around 80,000 people caring for their descendants alone, with a considerably higher percentage of them - mothers. What does get registered is a trend of an increasing number of divorces. One in three marriages in Belgrade and one in five at the state level end in divorce, thus we can expect the number of single parents to increase. Not only divorce, but also death of the spouse, non-founding of a marital community prior to the birth of a child, later illness or disability are some of the reasons why men cease to be part of the family unit in greater numbers, and children remain alone with their mothers.

Something that no methodology can measure are situations these women find themselves in in everyday challenges. Serving all of the child’s needs: from preparing meals, helping with school obligations, education, maintaining the household, providing funds for living… Most often they face poverty, because a large percentage of single mothers is unemployed. Even more alarming is that some among them get fired from their jobs once the employers learn that they were left alone with children. One of the questions they need to respond to during job interviews is whether they have children. If the answer is affirmative, it becomes an obstacle to being employed.

The “Ana i Vlade Divac” Foundation, in association with the “Jelek” association gathering single parents and with the financial assistance of the EIDHR EU programme, secured grants amounting to 1,000 euros each for 10 single mothers, to find work.

- In daily contact with vulnerable segments of the population, refugees and displaced persons, we noted there are many mothers who are alone, unemployed, discriminated on multiple counts. We are contacted daily by mothers with jobs, but also salaries under the minimum values, says Ivona Gvozdenović, project coordinator.

Marina Ćuk (40) escaped from Kosovo and Metohija. She lost her parents early, and a year and a half ago she lost her husband, who died after a sudden illness. With two daughters – the younger was four years old at the time, the older ten – she was, as she says, desperate.In those difficult times, her friend told her of the “Divac” Foundation call. – I sent an application early last summer and I did not, to be honest, expect anything. In October they called me and told me my business idea of opening a health food shop was on the shortlist, says this gentle, bright-eyes woman, small in stature, but brimming with energy.

Intending to become employed and thus provide existence for her daughters, she borrowed money from friends, and using the Foundation grant she bought part of the stock, shelves, and an advertising panel for the “Kadifica” shop in Zemun.

- I started work in November, and this shop is my sure ticket for bread in the house. At one point, I was desperate. Either sit at home and cry and continue sinking, or fight. I chose the second option, she admits, and ads that the Foundation standing by her was a great stimulus.

The other nine moms receiving grants used them to procure equipment for opening workshops for decorations, preparing cakes and cookies, a cosmetics salon, a bookkeeping agency… The project envisages consulting services, but also psychological support.

Learning from the good examples, the Foundation continues to help single parents. Through individual donors they have provided funds, and are currently running a competition for four single parents from the south of Serbia who will be able to become self-employed in this way.

More success stories can be found at
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Government of the Republic of Serbia
Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit
Vlajkovićeva 10,11070 Beograd, Srbija

Phone +381 11 311 4605, +381 11 311 4798, +381 11 213 7915