Government of the Republic of Serbia
Draft
OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
2012 - 2013
Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance
Component IV
2nd Draft
March 2011
Table of Contents
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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ABBREVIATIONS & GLOSSARY
INTRODUCTION & SUMMARY
1 CONTEXT, CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION ................................................................... 1
1.1 National policy and socio-economic context .................................................................................. 1
1.1.1 Demographics ..................................................................................................................... 1
1.1.2 Macro-economic context .................................................................................................... 2
1.1.3 Income levels and poverty .................................................................................................. 9
1.1.4 Employment and labour market....................................................................................... 18
1.1.5 Education and VET ............................................................................................................ 41
1.1.6 Social inclusion ................................................................................................................. 59
1.2 Community strategic framework .................................................................................................. 79
1.2.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 79
1.2.2 IPA regulations ................................................................................................................. 80
1.2.3 European Partnership ....................................................................................................... 81
1.2.4 Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG) for 2007-2013 ..................................................... 82
1.2.5 Europe 2020...................................................................................................................... 83
1.2.6 Coordination mechanisms ................................................................................................ 84
1.3 Partnership consultation ............................................................................................................... 86
1.4 Ex ante evaluation ......................................................................................................................... 88
2 ASSESSMENT OF MEDIUM TERM NEEDS, OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIC PRIORITIES ............... 90
2.1 Socio-economic analysis (including SWOT analysis) ..................................................................... 90
2.1.1 General ............................................................................................................................. 90
2.1.2 Employment & labour market .......................................................................................... 94
2.1.3 Education and VET .......................................................................................................... 103
2.1.4 Social inclusion ............................................................................................................... 112
2.2 Strategic priorities ...................................................................................................................... 119
3 PROGRAMME STRATEGY .................................................................................................. 124
3.1 Priority axes and measures ......................................................................................................... 124
3.1.1 Priority Axis 1 – Employment and Labour Market .......................................................... 124
3.1.2 Priority Axis 2 – Education and VET ................................................................................ 136
3.1.3 Priority Axis 3 – Social Inclusion ..................................................................................... 147
3.2 Technical assistance ................................................................................................................... 156
3.2.1 Priority axis 4 - Technical Assistance .............................................................................. 156
Measure 4.1 - Programme management, information and publicity ......................................... 159
Measure 4.2 - Preparation of studies, programmes and projects .............................................. 161
3.3 Horizontal issues......................................................................................................................... 163
3.3.1 Equal opportunities for men and women ....................................................................... 163
3.3.2 Environmental protection and sustainable development .............................................. 165
3.3.3 Participation of civil society ............................................................................................ 166
3.4 Complementarities and synergies with other forms of assistance .......................................... 166
3.4.1 Coherence with national programmes ........................................................................... 167
3.4.2 Coherence with other IPA Components .......................................................................... 168
3.4.3 Coherence with bilateral and IFI assistance ................................................................... 172
4 FINANCIAL TABLES ............................................................................................................ 174
5 IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS ........................................................................................ 177
5.1 Management and control structures .......................................................................................... 177
5.1.1 Bodies and authorities .................................................................................................... 177
5.1.2 Separation of functions .................................................................................................. 189
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5.2 Monitoring and evaluation.......................................................................................................... 190
5.2.1 Monitoring arrangements .............................................................................................. 190
5.2.2 Management Information System ................................................................................. 192
5.2.3 Monitoring system and indicators .................................................................................. 193
5.2.4 Selection of operations ................................................................................................... 193
5.2.5 Sectoral annual and final reports on implementation.................................................... 194
5.2.6 Evaluation arrangements ............................................................................................... 194
5.3 Information and publicity............................................................................................................ 195
5.3.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 195
5.3.2 Partnership and networking ........................................................................................... 196
5.3.3 Internet ........................................................................................................................... 196
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ABBREVIATIONS AND GLOSSARY
AA
ALMPs
BPMIS
CAO
CARDS
CBC
CC
CFCU
CM
COCOF
CSA
CSG
CSO
CSW
CVEAE
CVET
CVR
DEU
DFID
DIS
DILS
EBRD
EC
ERA
ESC
ETF
EU
EUROSTAT
FAO
FDI
FMIS
FREN
GDP
GVA
HBS
HOS
HRD
ICT
IDPs
IFI
ILO
IMF
IPA
IPARD
IR
ISDACON
ISCED
ISP
IT
LEC
LFS
i
Audit Authority
Active Labour Market Programmes
Budget Planning and Management Information System
Competent Accrediting Officer
Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation
IPA component II (Cross-Border Cooperation)
Community contribution
Central Finance and Contract Unit
Case Manager
Coordination Committee of the Funds
Cash Social Assistance (equivalent to ‘guaranteed minimum income’)
Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion
Civil society organisations
Centres for Social Work
Council for Vocational Education and Adult Education
Continuing Vocational Education and Training
Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities
Delegation of the European Union
Department for International Development
Decentralised Implementation System for EU Funds
Delivery of Improved Local Services
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
European Commission
End Recipient Agreement
Evaluation Sub-Committee
European Training Foundation
European Union
European Statistical Office
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
Foreign Direct Investment
Financial Management Information System
Foundation for the Advancement of Economics
Gross Domestic Product
Gross Value Added
Household Budget Survey
Head of Operating Structure
Human Resources Development
Information and Communication Technologies
Internally Displaced Persons
International Financial Institution
International Labour Office
International Monetary Fund
Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance
IPA component V (Rural Development)
Implementing Regulation
Inter Sectoral Development and Aid Coordination Network
International Standard Classification of Education
Institutes for Social Protection
Information Technology
local employment councils
Labour Force Survey
LLL
LSG
LSMS
MC
MICS
MIPD
MIS
MoES
MoERD
MoLSP
MoF
NAO
NCHE
NEAP
NEC
NES
NF
NIPAC
NGO
NPAA
NQF
OECD
OIS
OP
OS
OSC
PISA
PRAG
PWD
R&D
RPI
RS
RSD
RSO
RTC
SCF
SCFJB
SCO
SEA
SEC
SEIO
SEA
SIEPA
SIF
SILC
SIWG
SME
SMC
SWOT
TA
TAIEX
UN
UNDP
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Lifelong Learning
Local Self-Government
Living Standards Measurement Study
Monitoring Committee
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys
Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document
Management Information System
Ministry of Education and Science
Ministry of Economic and Regional Development
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Ministry of Finance
National Authorising Officer
National Council for Higher Education
National Employment Action Plan
National Education Council
National Employment Service
National Fund
National IPA Coordinator
Non-Governmental Organisation
National Programmes for the Adoption of the Acquis
National Qualifications Framework
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Operation Identification Sheet
Operational Programme
Operating Structure
Operation Selection Committee
Programme for International Student Assessment
Practical Guide to EC External Aid Contract Procedures
People With Disabilities
Research and Development
Retail Price Index
Republic of Serbia
Serbian Dinar
Republican Statistical Office
Regional Training Centre
Strategic Coherence Framework
SCF Joint Body
Strategic Coordinator
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Socio-Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia
Serbian European Integration Office
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency
Social Innovation Fund
Survey on Income and Living Conditions
Social Inclusion Work Group
Small and Medium-sized Enterprise
Sectoral Monitoring Committee
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument
United Nations
United Nations Development Programme
1st draft
UNESCO
UNHCR
UNICEF
VET
WB
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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
Vocational Education and Training
World Bank
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GLOSSARY OF OP TECHNICAL TERMS
Absolute poverty line
Active inclusion
Activity rate
(participation rate)
Active Labour Market
Programmes (ALMP)
At-risk-of-poverty rate
Carer allowance
Case management
Cash Social Assistance
(CSA)
Child allowance
Community based
services
Competence
iv
Consumption needed to meet basic subsistence (food and non-food) based on a
consumption basket calculated by the Republic Statistical Office corrected year by year
for changes in the price level (Purchasing Power Index). In transition countries, it is
generally accepted that consumption represents a better indicator of material wellbeing than income as it shows greater stability over time.
A comprehensive policy mix combining three elements, namely: (i) a link to the labour
market through job opportunities or vocational training; (ii) income support at a level
that is sufficient for people to have a dignified life; and (iii) better access to services
that may help some individuals and their families in entering mainstream society,
supporting their re-insertion into employment (through, for instance, counselling,
healthcare, housing, childcare,
lifelong learning, ICT training, psychological and social rehabilitation).
Total number of all employed and unemployed people expressed as a percentage of
the total working-age population.
The principal instrument to improve the functioning of the labour market through
targeted support to the unemployed. ALMPs provide labour market integration
measures for the job seekers. The primary goal of active labour market policies and
programmes (ALMPs) is to support the transition from inactivity and unemployment to
labour market and work maximising the opportunities available in the economy.
Percentage of individuals living in households where the total household income is
below 60% of national median income, after social transfers. At-risk-of-poverty-rate
allows comparisons with poverty levels in the EU, where relative poverty line is
calculated based on income.
Cash benefit intended for protection of persons who, due to physical or sensory
impairment, intellectual difficulties or deteriorated health conditions are in need of
another person's care and assistance in order to meet their basic needs. In contrast to
CSA, carer allowance is conditioned only by a health condition, not by the beneficiary’s
financial standing.
System of coordination of care services to meet individual personal needs and
involving a continuous cycle of assessment, service planning, service provision,
monitoring and review.
Means-tested cash benefit equivalent to the guaranteed minimum income for no or
low income households. The level of support granted is related to the number of
family members. It is activated when the individual or the family are unable to
maintain even the minimum living standard.
Cash benefit targeted to poor families with children. It is a conditional cash transfer i.e.
the entitlement to child allowance can be acquired for no more than four children in a
family, provided that they attend elementary or secondary school regularly and can be
extended beyond school age for children with disabilities up to 26 years if they are
covered by educational programmes or training for work. The threshold and
entitlement levels are equal for all children in the whole of Serbia and are indexed to
the cost of living. The threshold and entitlement levels are higher (an increase in the
threshold by 20% and the amount of child allowance by 30%) for foster and guardian
families, single parents and children with disabilities in order to encourage alternative
initiatives to institutional placement.
A wide range of non-institutional services locally based, including supportive, health
and personal care, which help people in need of assistance lead a life as independent
as possible in their own homes or in a substitute environment of their choice.
The proven ability to use knowledge and skills and personal, social and/or
methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal
development. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, competence
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Consumer unit
Curriculum
Deinstitutionalisation
Difficult to employ
population
Drop-out rate
Early school leavers
Earmarked transfer
Employment rate
European Qualification
Framework (EQF)
Fertility rate
Formal learning
Gini coefficient
Gross value added
(GVA)
Inactivity rate
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is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy.
Defined as either (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood,
marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements; (2) a person living alone or sharing a
household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in
permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or
(3) two or more persons living together who pool their income to make joint
expenditure decisions.
The set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. A curriculum is
prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies the topics
to be understood and the level to be achieved in order to obtain a particular grade or
standard.
Process of limiting admission to institutions and accelerating placements outside
institutions with a view to closing those institutions.
Any person encountering particular difficulty in finding a job due to unfavourable life
circumstances such as poor health, insufficient education, disadvantaged socioeconomic background and/or place of residence, etc.
Percentage of children having abandoned school before achieving their first
qualification.
Percentage of the population aged 18 to 24 with no more than secondary education
and not engaged in further education or training (Eurostat).
Funds allocated to an exclusive purpose e.g. for social welfare services, education, etc.
In Serbia, the State may earmark funds for transfer to local government units in order
to perform specific functions. The relevant Line Ministry determines the amount of
money earmarked and the criteria for transferring it to individual local government
units as well as the dynamics of transfer.
Total number of people in employment expressed as a percentage of the total
working-age population aged 15-64. An employed person is defined as anybody who
performed any work at all in the reference period for pay or profit (or pay in kind), or
was temporarily absent from his/her job for reasons such as illness, parental leave,
holiday, training or industrial dispute.RSO labour force surveys are carried out
according to this definition and capture therefore both formal and informal
employment.
The EQF is a common reference framework for qualifications systems in Europe. It
encourages countries to relate their national qualifications systems (general, higher
education and vocational education and training) to the EQF so that all new
qualifications carry a reference to an appropriate EQF level in order improve the
transparency, comparability and portability of citizens' qualifications issued in
accordance with the practice in the different countries.
The ratio of live births in an area to the population of that area; expressed per 1000
population per year.
Formal learning is always organised and structured, and has learning objectives. From
the learner’s standpoint, it is always intentional i.e. the learner’s explicit objective is to
gain knowledge, skills and/or competences. It takes place within education and
training establishments and leads to recognised certificates and qualifications
Coefficient measuring the inequality in income distribution on a scale ranging from 0
to 100, where 0 means perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and
100 means perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, and everyone else
has zero income).
The value of all newly generated goods and services in basic prices less the value of all
goods and services consumed as intermediate consumption. Gross value added is
compiled according to the industry that created it.
Number of persons who are neither employed nor unemployed and are not actively
seeking work, expressed as a percentage of the total working-age population.
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Inclusive education
Individual education
plan (IEP)
Informal economy
Informal employment
Informal employment
rate
Informal learning
International Standard
Classification of
Occupations (ISCO)
ISCED
Participation rate
Learning outcomes
Licensing
Life expectancy
Lifelong learning (LLL)
Long-term unemployed
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Process of removing barriers in education and enabling all pupils/students, including
those from previously excluded groups (in particular, children with disabilities, and
children with special education needs), to learn and participate effectively within the
general school system.
A document for planning additional educational and pedagogical support for children
in need (due to social deprivation, developmental impairment, physical disability or for
other reasons) and helping the removal of physical and communication obstacles
preventing their integration into the education system.
Informal economy (or sector) is business activity which is not monitored or taxed by
the Government (‘monitored’ being a euphemism for business registration,
declaration of activity and expenditure, etc). It includes (i) all employers, selfemployed, and own-account workers of non-registered enterprises; (ii) unpaid family
workers; and (iii) all employees without written labour contracts. (ILO Definition) The
‘black economy’ is a subset (trade in illegal goods and services).
Any job where the employment relationship is, in law or in practice, not subject to
national labour legislation, income taxation, social protection or entitlement to certain
employment rights (e.g. advance notice of dismissal, paid annual leave etc). It
comprises:
Informal jobs in the formal sector e.g. where there is no explicit, written
agreement, because the person is casually employed or not declared to the
authorities;
Paid domestic workers by households; and
Informal jobs in the informal sector, which by their nature must be informal
employment (even if there are written agreements, the enterprises operate
outside legal boundaries).
The proportion of people employed informally out of the total number of people
declaring themselves employed during the LFS.
Informal learning is never organised, has no set objective in terms of learning
outcomes and is never intentional from the learner’s standpoint. Often it is referred to
as learning by experience at work, at home or during leisure time for instance or just
as experience.
ILO-developed tool for organising jobs into a clearly defined set of groups according to
the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. Its main aims are to provide: a) a basis for
the international reporting, comparison and exchange of statistical and administrative
data about occupations; b) a model for the development of national and regional
classifications of occupations; and c) a system that can be used directly in countries
that have not developed their own national classifications.
Instrument developed by the UNESCO for assembling, compiling and presenting
statistics of education both within individual countries and internationally.
See activity rate
Statements describing competences, skills, knowledge and attitude that learners have
achieved, and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or programme.
The permission granted by the relevant responsible Line Ministry/designated Authority
to a service provider/individual practitioner to perform specific services.
The expected (in the statistical sense) number of years of life remaining at a given age.
Lifelong, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge whether formal or
informal for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances
social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness
and employability.
People who have been looking for a job for longer than a year
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Minimum service
standards
National Occupational
Classification (NOC)
Non-formal learning
National Qualification
Framework (NQF)
Net reproduction rate
Programme for
International Student
Assessment (PISA)
Population growth rate
Qualification
Relative Poverty Line
Skills
Structural
unemployment
Supervision in social
care
Transformation
Unemployment rate
Working-age
population
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Simple statements that identify minimum performance required to comply with
structural and functional requirements in social care provision.
Nationally accepted reference on occupations providing a standardised framework for
organising the world of work in a coherent system.
Non-formal learning may occur at the initiative of the individual but also happens as a
by-product of more organised activities, whether or not the activities themselves have
learning objectives. It takes place outside the main systems of general and vocational
education and does not necessarily lead to the award of a formal certificate.
A reference framework to facilitate the recognition of learning and to link better the
education and training systems to the labour market and civil society. The process of
building a NQF involves the organisation of qualifications and the definition of
requirements and standards through social dialogue.
The average number of daughters a hypothetical cohort of women would have at the
end of their reproductive period if they were subject during their whole lives to the
fertility rates and the mortality rates of a given period. It is expressed as number of
daughters per woman. A net reproduction rate equal to 1 means that the population is
being replaced pro rata, and when the rate is below 1 it means that the population is
not being replaced, therefore a decrease in the total population can be expected.
International survey coordinated by the OECD providing comparative data on the
knowledge and skills of students and the performance of education systems of
participating countries.
The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or
deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a
country.
A formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a
competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to
given standards.
A conception of poverty which argues that people are poor when they are very much
worse off than other people in their society. In Serbia, relative poverty corresponds to
an average consumption below 60% of the median consumption per consumer unit.
The ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve
problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are
described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or
practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and
instruments).
A mismatch between the supply of skills by the labour force and the needs of
employers
A supportive and developmental activity of maintaining or improving professional
capability in the provision of social care
An activity of improving the quality of care provided within institutions or developing
community outreach services staffed by institutionally based personnel.
The number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the total active
population (employed and unemployed).
All residents within the Republic of Serbia who are aged 15 and 64 inclusive.
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INTRODUCTION & SUMMARY
This document presents Serbia’s priorities for financing operations under component IV of the
Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), in anticipation of the Republic becoming a candidate
country for European Union membership.
IPA component IV is designed to help aspiring member states to get ready for Structural Funds
(specifically, the European Social Fund), by preparing and managing Operational Programmes (OPs)
which are based on the same principles and practices, but with a tighter focus of eligible activities, a
smaller scale of resources, and the application of pre-accession implementing rules that safeguard
the financial interests of the EU.
Alongside the OP for IPA component III (economic development), which is intended to also equip
Serbia for future Structural Funds (specifically, the European Regional Development Fund), this
represents a new endeavour: the first time that Serbia has prepared a multi-annual, sectoral
programme to identify the most effective and efficient use of EU and national resources.
The OP itself covers the financial perspective 2012-2013, but under the EU’s funding rules, which
follow the Structural and Cohesion Funds model, the timeline for implementing the programme’s
activities extends in practice to 31 December 2016, which sets the mid-term outlook of the OP.
The potential scope of IPA component IV is four-fold:
 Employment and labour market: measures related to the improvement of labour force
participation, the fight against unemployment and the integration of people at disadvantage
in the labour market;
 Education and VET: measures related to the development of a skilled workforce, the
promotion of lifelong learning and social inclusion and the modernisation of the education
and VET systems in line with labour market needs;
 Social inclusion: measures related to the reduction of poverty, exclusion and discrimination
and the promotion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups’ full participation in society and
economy.
 Technical assistance (TA) for preliminary studies, administrative capacity-building and
preparatory, management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control activities.
This Operational Programme for Human Resources Development (OP-HRD) follows the programming
logic which is applied to Structural Funds in EU member states. This is about making informed
choices on the best use of inevitably limited funding (the principle of concentration), based on:
consistency with EU and national priorities; continuity from past investments, studies and project
preparation; and complementarities with existing and parallel activities, including national
programmes, other IPA components, donor and IFI assistance. Preparing the OP requires a regular
process of inter-ministerial coordination and consultation with partners which represent economic,
social and environmental considerations, including civil society organisations. It demands rigorous
scrutiny by independent evaluators during the process of OP development (ex ante), as well as by
the European Commission (EC). The OP also fits under the umbrella of the Strategic Coherence
Framework (SCF), which is the overarching reference document for the planning and coordination of
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IPA components III and IV, and as such, provides the overall strategic structure and vision for the two
OPs.
The following table summarises the choices made in the OP-HRD, with regard to concentration of
resources:
Sector
Employment &
labour market
Potential scope
Active and preventive labour
market measures to raise the
employability and adaptability of
the workforce, combat
unemployment and increase LM
participation; capacity building of
labour market institutions to
improve efficiency of labour
markets.
Concentration within OP
Strengthening
employment policy at
local level; active labour
measures for difficult-toemploy people, improved
access of people with
disabilities to
employment, capacitybuilding of labour
inspectorates and
promotion of flexible
forms of work
Education &
VET
Reforms in education and training
systems, in order to develop
employability and labour market
relevance, increased participation
in education and training
throughout the life-cycle,
integration of disadvantaged
groups into society and economy
through education and learning.
NQF development,
support to VET reforms;
development of adult
learning, promotion of
pre-school education and
inclusive education.
Social inclusion
Reinforce social inclusion and
integration of people at a
disadvantage, with a view to their
sustainable integration in
employment, and combat all forms
of discrimination in the labour
market
Development of
community-based
services providing crosssectoral solutions to
vulnerable and
disadvantaged groups
and support to LSGs in
leading social inclusion
policies. Support the
transition from welfare to
work through active
inclusion measures.
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Rationale
Capacity building at local level is
required to improve employment
policy and follow up on labour
market institutions strengthening
carried out under IPA I. ALMP
targeting difficult-to-employ people
are needed to complement existing
LM measures and increase the
impact of employment policy; the
recently adopted Law on Vocational
Rehabilitation and Employment of
People with Disabilities (PwD) needs
to be enforced to improve the
labour market situation of PwD;
fighting against the growing
informal employment requires the
strengthening of labour
inspectorates and the promotion of
flexible forms of work with a view to
introducing flexicurity in the long
run.
NQF is key to quality education and
training systems; VET schools need
to upgrade their training offers and
become more responsive to the
needs of the economy, a wider
range of adult education
opportunities is needed in order to
improve labour market participation
and workforce employability and
adaptability; better pre-school and
inclusive education is needed to
improve access to education and
reduce drop-out rates among
children of disadvantaged groups
Serbia is pursuing social welfare
reforms centred on the
decentralisation of services delivery
and better linkages between
education, health, housing and
labour market policies to address
the needs of disadvantaged and
vulnerable groups and facilitate
their transition to the labour
market.
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In accordance with programming logic, the OP takes the following structure:

It takes the policy priorities of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union as its overall
strategic context, all within the framework of preparations and negotiations for accession, and
presents an analysis of the current situation, based on historic factors and recent performance,
and describes the process of inter-ministerial and policy coordination, partner consultation, ex
ante evaluation (chapter 1).

It then projects forward the medium-term needs and challenges facing Serbia in the fields of
employment and labour market, education and VET and social inclusion based on an assessment
of existing, internal strengths and weaknesses and future, external opportunities and threats
(chapter 2).

To meet these medium-term challenges, the OP sets out its own strategy (chapter 3), which
follows a hierarchy of objectives and outcomes, starting with an overarching goal, identifying
objectives for each sector (employment, education and VET, social inclusion and TA), which
define the strategic priorities, and disaggregating these priorities into subsidiary measures,
whose combined effect will achieve the sector’s objective, as measured through results
indicators. The measures are the key level of the OP for selecting and implementing operations,
whose performance will be assessed through the achievement of output indicators (which in
turn will achieve results at the level of the four sectoral priority axes). The operations
themselves will be chosen or confirmed, and approved after agreement of the OP by the
European Commission.

Alongside the achievement of performance targets (defined alongside the indicators), the most
important parameter for the OP is the financial table (chapter 4), which lays down the funding
limits for each priority axis and each measure, and the prescribed mix of IPA grant (85%) and
national co-financing (15%).

The implementing arrangements for the OP (chapter 5) centre on the ‘operating structure’ of
accredited bodies within Serbian ministries, which is responsible for sound financial
management of the OP, maximising expenditure, minimising errors and irregularities, and
ensuring its objectives and targets are fulfilled.
The relationship in the OP between context, analysis, strategy (goal, objectives and priorities) and
action (measures), and the role of partnership and synergies, is summarised overleaf.
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1 CONTEXT, CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION
1.1
National policy and socio-economic context
The following section provides an overview of the contextual factors which will shape the strategy
and medium-term perspective of the Operational Programme. It places a particular emphasis on key
events in the recent past for Serbia which provide the starting point and baseline for the OP’s
interventions from 2012 onwards. All data, diagrams and tables used in section 1.1 are taken from
the latest available official statistics 1.
1.1.1 Demographics
Demographic trends are vital for understanding the challenges facing human resources development
in Serbia, as they have a direct impact on: the size and structure of the working-age population and
the non-working age population supported by employment and wealth creation; the potential scale
of entry to the education system at every level; and the characteristics of society, including groups at
most risk of social exclusion.
According to the Serbian Statistical Office’s official population data (projections based on Census
2002), Serbia counted 7,306,677 inhabitants on January 1st 2010 2. The country has lost 3.6% of its
population since 1998 when the figure amounted to 7,567,745. In 2010, the population ‘growth’ rate
was negative (-0.39%) 3. The fertility rate, 1.4 children per woman in 2008, remains at a low level and
below the rate necessary to maintain the population level in the long-term. This fertility rate almost
corresponds to the EU-27 average, which amounted to 1.5 in 2007.
The decline in population reflects both low fertility rates and continued emigration due to the
hardships linked with economic transition and a shortage of work opportunities.
TOTAL POPULATION, thousands
1998-2009
7,600
7,500
7,400
Population in the
middle of the year
7,300
7,200
7,100
Source: Serbian Statistical Office
Figure 1
According to the latest estimate (31st December 2010), the population of Belgrade accounted for
22.3% of the total population.
1
All data presented in the OP excludes Kosovo and Metohija, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
Labour Force Survey (October 2009) shows a higher population base amounting to 7,528,262, because it includes Kosovo
according to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
3
Serbian Statistical Office, January 2010 vs. January 2009. Census 2002: 7.50 million.; 1991: 7.58 million
2
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Population (2009), thousands
8,000
7,000
6,000
5,000
4,000
3,000
2,000
1,000
Belgrade
Vojvodina
Central Serbia
without Belgrade
working-age
Total population
population
Source: Serbian Statistical Office
Figure 2
The population of Serbia comprises 51% women and 49% men. The age structure of the population
in Serbia is very similar to the EU-27 average. Like these countries, Serbia is experiencing
demographic ageing4. 17.1% of the population was above sixty-five 5, which is almost equal to the
EU-27 average in 2008 6.
Life expectancy is slightly lower in Serbia than in the EU-27 for both sexes. In 2009, it amounted to
71.1 years for men and 76.4 for women compared with 76.1 years and 82.2 years respectively in the
EU 7. This is a slight improvement in comparison to 1998 when life expectancy was approximately
one year less for both sexes.
The population of Serbia is predominantly made up of ethnic Serbs (83%) with significant minorities
of Hungarians (around 300,000 persons or 3.9% of the total population), Roma (1.4% of the
population8), and Albanians (0.8% of the total population). The Serbian diaspora is estimated at 3.5
million people 9.
1.1.2 Macro-economic context
The underlying context for socio-economic development in Serbia is a macro-economy which has
demonstrated strong year-on-year expansion since 2000, until the global economic crisis started in
2008 and hit hardest in 2009. The key headline facts and figures 10 are set out below:
4
According to Eurostat, the share of the persons of 80 years and over in the EU-27 is projected to grow from 4.1% in 2006
to 11.2% in 2050.
5
Serbian Statistical Office, estimate in mid-2009
6
17%, Eurostat, 2008
7
Eurostat, 2007
8
According to NGO estimates, the Roma account for 6.2% of the population
9
The Serbian diaspora comprises all people who consider Serbia their homeland and who identify with Serbian culture and
language, regardless of whether they have Serbian citizenship or they belong to the second and third generation of
emigrants, whether they are living overseas or within our region, whether they are Serbs or national minorities who live in
Serbia. Most members of the Serbian diaspora are living in the USA and Canada, in the countries of Western Europe and in
the other countries of former Yugoslavia. Source: Ministry for Diaspora
10
Unless stated otherwise, the historic data quoted below concerning macro-economic performance is taken from the
Ministry of Finance’s “Public Finance Bulletin” July 2010 and the MoFs “Basic Macroeconomic Indicators, updated October
7, 2010” up to August 2010, using whichever source provides the most recent data. These statistics will be updated in later
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•
Serbia’s national output grew strongly and consistently through most of the last decade,
with GDP almost trebling in value from €12.8 billion (2001) to €33.4 billion (2008). After
inflation, Serbia enjoyed overall real GDP growth averaging over 6% at times over the
period, which was marginally above the long-term trend rate. The global financial crisis
started to affect the economy in the fourth quarter of 2008, leading to a 3.1% contraction in
2009 to an estimated €30.0 billion, but is forecast to show a modest increase of 1.5% in
2010, and to rise to 3.0% growth in 2011.
•
The wealth of the average household also improved significantly from 2001 to 2008. Annual
GDP per capita more than doubled from €1709 (2001) to €4547 (2008), due to high rates of
real GDP growth. However, GDP per person remains low by EU-27 standards (the average
being €25 100 in 2008 11), and even by comparison with other EU candidate and potential
candidate countries. In line with GDP trends, per capita levels in Serbia fell to €4093 in 2009,
and have slid further in 2010 to €4016. However, Serbia’s GDP per capita is forecast to
recover in 2011 (€4388).
•
Real GDP growth in Serbia has been partly due to falling inflation 12, which was brought
under tighter control in the 2000s through monetary and fiscal policy measures,
management of the dinar-euro exchange rate, and economic reforms. Measured through
the retail price index (RPI), the inflation rate reduced from 93.3% (2001) to 7.0% (2007). A
temporary upward turn in 2008 (13.5%) was followed by a lower rate in 2009 (8.6%), and
inflation measured through RPI continued to decline in 2010 (6.8%). However, the
predictions for 2011 are bleaker (9.4%).
•
Inflation rates have fallen despite a surge in household and investment spending, which has
been the driving force behind GDP growth and which caused import consumption to rise
three-fold between 2001 and 2008. While exporting also increased and over half went to EU
countries, the total value of exports stood at only 45% of imports in 2008. A widening
import-export gap has produced a growing trade deficit, which reached €9 billion in 2008,
and a current account deficit 13 of 21.6% of GDP in 2008, before improving in 2009 to €5.5
billion (trade deficit) and 7.6% of GDP (current account deficit). The current account deficit is
expected to have worsened in 2010 (9.3% of GDP), despite the surge in exports, exceeding
the rise in imports, compared with the same period in 2009. The current account is expected
to begin to improve in 2011 (8.2%), nNevertheless, the Serbian economy remains highly
dependent on inflows of foreign capital (investment and credits) to achieve its balance of
payments.
•
Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in the period 2001-2008 amounted to more than €11
billion, mostly directed into the financial, transport and processing sectors. This inflow
reached a peak in 2006 of €3.3 billion, mainly from privatisation in the areas of
telecommunications, banking, insurance, etc. Net FDI fell sharply from €1.8 billion in 2008 to
€1.4 billion in 2009, as a result of the global financial crisis, while net FDI for the first 11
months of 2010 (€0.8 billion) did not reach half the value of 2008.
drafts of the OP, as new data becomes available and estimates are confirmed. Estimates for 2010 and 2011 are taken from
the Government’s “Memorandum on the Budget and Economic and Policy for 2011, with Projections for 2012 and 2013”,
(August 2010)
11
Eurostat, Compact Guides 2010
12
Measured by consumer prices, as an average for the period; to allow comparisons with 2001, the COICOP methodology
is not applied to this data
13
Excluding donations
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•
By the end of October 2010, some 2405 socially-owned enterprises had been privatised with
total employment of 340,899, achieving revenues of almost €2.7 billion, and investment of
over €1.2 billion. In 2009, only 94 enterprises were privatized and 34 in the first ten months
of 2010, which is well below the approximate average of 325 in the period between 2002
and 2008. 14
•
The Government had adopted an expansionary fiscal policy before the international
economic and financial crisis hit Serbia. Public expenditure by the whole of Government
reached the equivalent of around € 12.4 billion15 in 2010, an increase in nominal terms of
92% over 2005 levels. At the same time, public revenues amounted to around €11.3 billion 16
in 2009, leading to a fiscal deficit of 4.8% of GDP reflecting in part the ‘automatic stabilisers’
of lower tax and other revenues and higher welfare spending. The deficit is expected to
narrow to 4.1% in 2011, as fiscal retrenchment measures take effect and the economy
returns to healthier growth rates.
•
While the Government has been running fiscal deficits since 2006, the proceeds from
privatisation have helped Serbia to manage public debt successfully through the 2000s.
Measured against national output, Serbia succeeded in reducing its public debt from 104.8%
of GDP (end 2001) to 26.3% (end 2008). Debt has increased during the global crisis, and
stood at 32.9% in December 2009, and 41.4% by December 2010 which, despite rising, is still
in line with the Budget System Law that provides a limit of 45% public debt to GDP. In the
first two months of 2011, public debt stood at 39.7%.
•
However, Serbia’s overall external debt has been rising since 2004, due to rising private debt
with foreign lenders, reaching 77.1% of GDP in September 2010 17, and is estimated to have
reached 79.3% by end 2010, before falling back to 74.2% by the end of 2011.
•
Strong output growth up to 2008 was largely achieved through productivity improvements,
rather than higher levels of formal employment 18. By 2008, official employment levels were
just under 2 million on average, out of the working age population of almost 5 million 19. The
crisis reduced formal employment levels by around 110,000 in 2009 (on average) or 5.5%,
and have slid further in 2010 by 93,000 (a further 5% fall compared to the previous year). In
fact, the number of people in work stood at less than 1.7 million in January 2011. The MoF
expects employment to level off in 2011. At the same time, productivity is expected to have
risen by 5.8% in 2010 and grow 3.0% in 2011.
•
These figures do not take account of informal employment 20, which raised the number of
people who declared themselves to be working in 2008 to 2.6 million. This group was hit
hardest by the recession, the number of informal jobs standing at just below 400,000 in
January 2011, one third lower than the 2008 peak.
14
Ministry of Finance, “Revised Memorandum on the Budget and Economic and Policy for 2011, with Projections for 2012
and 2013”, December 2010
15
1359.9 billion dinars converted at the agreed budgeting rate of 110 RSD: 1 EUR
16
1223.4 billion dinars converted at the agreed budgeting rate of 110 RSD: 1 EUR
17
“Analysis of the Republic of Serbia’s Debt – September 2010”, National Bank of Serbia (December 2010)
18
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Survey “RAD” (translation is “work”) - the establishment survey and the main
national source of data on formal employment
19
Source RSO, Survey “RAD”. The RAD survey (translation is “work”) is the establishment survey and the main national
source of data on formal employment.
20
Labour Force Survey, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia; 15-64 age group
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•
Taking into account both formal and informal employment, the employment rate 21 of the
population aged 20-64 stood at just 54.2% 22 in 2008, well below the proposed Europe 2020
target of 75%, but has since fallen still further to 51.9% (April 2010).
•
The employment data is matched by high levels of unemployment. While the rate fell to
14.4% in 2008, according to the ILO definition, this has since climbed to 20.0% (January
2011). No EU member has a national unemployment rate higher than Serbia. Labour market
inefficiencies remain prevalent, and long-term unemployment (more than one year) has
been endemic. Already high during the economic peak (10.4% in 2008) 23 the long-term
unemployment rate climbed higher during the recession, as expected, and stood at 13.4% in
April 2010, compared to 3.3% in the EU-27 24
•
Serbia also suffers from a high inactivity rate, accounting for 40.9% of the working-age
population, meaning that the economy and society is not only losing people to joblessness,
but also losing people from the labour force, especially as only around one-third of the
inactive population state they are willing to work. This places a greater pressure on a small,
formally-employed workforce to generate sufficient output and tax revenue to support
social welfare and an ageing population.
•
Unemployment has also fallen disproportionately hard on vulnerable groups, including
young people (15-24 years) and older people (over 55 years), as well as Roma and other
vulnerable groups, such as refugees and IDPs, people with disabilities, single parents, social
benefit beneficiaries and women, contributing to the picture of social exclusion.
•
The growth in GDP through the early-mid 2000s has helped to take people out of absolute
poverty, defined at subsistence level. However, absolute poverty (7401 RSD 25 per person
per month in 2008) was suffered by 6.1% of the general population 26. The previous
downward trend was reversed in 2009, with 6.9% of the population of Serbia, or
approximately 500,000 people, lived below the absolute poverty line 27, with a monthly
consumption of less than RSD 8,022 (€85) 28 per consumer unit.
•
By contrast, Serbia exhibits greater income equality than wealthier European economies.
The Gini coefficient, which measures the distribution of incomes in society ranging from 0 as
perfect equality to 1 as perfect inequality, has Serbia at 0.32 (for 2008) 29. This compares
favourably with the EU-27 (0.31 in 2008 30) and the United States (0.47 in 2007 31).
As elsewhere in Europe, the recession in Serbia has had a devastating short term impact on the gains
made from 2000 to 2008, particularly on output, employment, unemployment, poverty and the
Government’s fiscal position, leading to retrenchment in public spending and financial support from
the EU and IMF. However, it is expected and inevitable that, while the human costs are high in the
short term, most of the economic effects will be temporary, at least taking the medium-term
21
Foundation for Economic Development
Population aged 20-64. Foundation for Economic Development, 2010
23
LFS definition of long-term unemployed: those out of work for 12 months or longer, as a percentage of 15-64 year olds.
24
Eurostat, Q4 2009
25
Approximately €88 in 2008
26
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (March 2010)
27
The Household Budget Survey in 2009 (April 2010)
28
Exchange rate EUR/RSD: 95.5. Source: EC inforeuro (2009)
29
Social Inclusion and Poverty Unit
30
Eurostat (http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_sic2&lang=en)
31
US Census Bureau (2008)
22
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perspective of the OP. Hence, the analysis in the OP focuses on structural factors, rather than
cyclical set-backs, and underlying trends based on the return to growth anticipated from 2011
onwards.
The macro-economy sets the overall context, but the micro-economy of industrial sectors provides a
better understanding of what is happening ‘on the ground’.
Figure 4 overleaf shows the output of the Serbian economy broken down by sector, as measured by
gross value added (GVA)32 in 2008. As with all mature economies, the picture is dominated by the
service sector, which accounts for 60% of output, while manufacturing provides 17%, agriculture,
forestry and fishing stands at 11%, the rest comprising construction (5%) and primary industries
(mining 1% and utilities 4%).
While not directly comparable with GVA data, GDP data shows that the service sector is
characterised by consumer-oriented industries, such as property, finance, trade and
communications, as well as the public sector (administration, services social welfare and defence).
The share of manufacturing (17%) in GVA is comparable with European economies - industry as a
whole, including mining, is very close to the EU-27 average (18%)33. While not directly comparable,
industry figures for GDP at a more disaggregated level show production to be dominated by food &
drink, chemicals and basic metal products.
Agriculture is a proportionately large sector for a European economy, the EU-27 average being just
2% of GVA, and only Bulgaria and Romania of the EU-27 having more than 5% (and both less than
10%). Combined with processing, the wider ‘food and drink’ sector represents a potential source as
comparative advantage to the Serbian economy.
32
Gross value added (GVA) is defined as the value of all newly generated goods and services in basic prices less the value of
all goods and services consumed as intermediate consumption. Gross value added is compiled according to the industry
that created it. Source of GVA data is the Serbian Statistical Yearbook 2009, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
33
Eurostat, “European Economic Statistics”, 2010 (GVA data for 2009),
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Figure 3 Structure of the Serbian economy (2008)
Source: Republic Statistical Office - “Serbian Statistical Yearbook 2009”
The so-called ‘high technology’ sectors, which typically operate in international markets - vehicle
manufacture (automotive, aerospace and others), the production of electrical, electronic, IT and
medical equipment, and the provision of R&D, design and IT services - together accounted for just
1% of total output, measured by GDP.
In this sense, the Serbian economy can be said historically to be structurally geared more towards
consumption and import, rather than high value production and export. However, agriculture and
food industries run a strong trade surplus, along with some other industries, such as wood
processing. In 2009 and 2010, the trade gap narrowed, with the increase in exports exceeding the
increase in imports, and the Ministry of Finance predicting that such a trend will continue in the
2011-2013 period.
There is a strong correlation between GVA of sectors of the Serbian economy and the number of
persons employed in those sectors (figure 5). The biggest discrepancies can be seen in real estate,
renting and business activities, and agriculture (where % of GVA far exceeds the share of employed
persons), as well as manufacturing (the greater percentage of employed persons, compared to GVA,
could be explained through labour-intensive food and other processing activities).
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Figure 4
Employment and Gross Value Added in the Serbian economy (2008)
The number of employed people in 2009 34 was the highest in manufacturing: 339,428 (17.97%), in
the field of wholesale and retail trade 193,065: (10.22%), health and social work: 162,369 (8.60%),
education: 134,795 (7.14%), transportation: 106,739 (5.65%) and construction industry: 78,936
(4.18%).
No description of the economy would be complete without reference to the informal economy. By
definition, this exists largely outside the realm of official statistics, and comprises both the ‘black
economy’, which includes economic activity which is outlawed (illegal goods and services), and the
‘grey economy’, which covers businesses in otherwise legal trades, but which are not registered /
incorporated, declare their accounts and are taxed. As such, grey businesses enjoy a cost advantage
which creates unfair competition for legitimate businesses, which tends to tip whole sectors towards
informality, while at the same time starving the state budget of revenue to pay for public services
and social welfare.
While the informal economy is concerned with enterprises, informal employment is about people,
and comprises jobs where the employment relationship is not subject to national labour legislation,
income taxation, social protection or entitlement to certain employment rights (for example,
advance notice of dismissal, and paid annual leave). Informal employment covers not only all
employees in the informal sector, but also informal jobs in the formal sector, where there is no
explicit, written agreement, because the person is casually employed or not declared to the
authorities, not registered for tax or social protection purposes and hence enjoy fewer rights than
other workers.
34
Source RSO, Survey “RAD”. The RAD survey (translation is “work”) is the establishment survey and the main national
source of data on formal employment.
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Unlike the informal economy, however, the scale of informal employment is estimated frequently by
the Labour Force Survey. The informal employment rate in April 2010 stood at 17.2% 35, or almost
400,000 people. Since there is almost no informal employment in the public sector, this corresponds
to an informality rate of around one fifth of all employed in the private sector.
1.1.3 Income levels and poverty
Serbian society has become richer since 2000, although it is still relatively poor compared with EU-27
averages. Absolute and relative poverty declined steadily between 2002 and 2008 thanks to
economic growth and better coordination of government’s policies and measures aimed at reducing
poverty in the framework of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, adopted in 2003 36. The recent
economic crisis led to a deterioration of the overall population’s welfare. The crisis affected
particularly disadvantaged groups living just above the poverty line. As a result, absolute and relative
poverty rates have worsened in 2009 although they are still much lower than in 2006.
35
Population aged 15-64
The overall goal of the Poverty Reduction Strategy to reduce by half the number of poor population in Serbia by 2010
was achieved in 2007.
36
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Income and consumption
The average net salaries (including all incomes and remuneration received by employees for their
work) have continued to rise since 2004, in line with the economic recovery experienced during
those years 37. Given the recent deterioration of the dinar/euro exchange rate, this upward trend
stopped in 2008 although the average amount in dinar continued to rise.
Figure 5
However, wages and salaries levels remain well below EU-27 countries and are also low compared to
neighbouring countries.
Figure 6
37
Ministry of Finance, Bulletin Public Finance, 2010
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The average available monthly budget per household 38 amounted to RSD 44,801(€438 39) in 2010.
Salaries and wages of the employed represented 46.9% of income in money, while pensions
accounted for another 36.8%. The individual consumption expenditures40 of households in 2010
amounted to RSD 42,448 (€415 41), of which expenditures for food and beverages made up the
largest share (41.3%). Average incomes in money and consumption expenditures of households
peaked in 2009, but have slightly declined since then as a result of the economic crisis.
Figure 7
The Gini coefficient, which measures inequality in income distribution, was stable at 29.5 in 2009 42.
It corresponds to a low level of inequality, which is equivalent to that which is experienced in the EU27, where the average Gini coefficient was 31 43.
38
Cumulating household income in money and household receipts in kind
Exchange rate EUR/RSD: 103.3. Source: EC inforeuro 2010
40
Individual consumption of households follows COICOP classification (Classification of individual consumption by
purpose): food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; clothes and footwear; dwelling, water,
electricity, gas and other fuels supply; home furniture, equipment, appliances and maintenance; health service; transport;
communications; recreation and culture; education; restaurants and hotels; and other goods and services.
41
Exchange rate EUR/RSD: 105
42
See Glossary for the definition of the Gini Coefficient
43
Eurostat (2007)
39
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Poverty levels 44
In 2009, 6.9% of the population of Serbia, or i.e. approximately 500,000 people, lived below the
absolute poverty line 45, with a monthly consumption of less than RSD 8,022 (€85) 46 per consumer
unit.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 8
Compared to 2008, the poverty rate increased by 12% in 2009. This increase did not come as a
surprise as a large number of households were concentrated just above the absolute poverty line
and were, as a consequence, very vulnerable to economic downturns. However, the poverty rate
remains below the 2006 and 2007 levels and is expected to fall down again as the economy picks up.
In 2009, the median average monthly consumption was worth RSD 9,583 (€ 97) and 13.9% of the
population was below the relative poverty line.
44
See Glossary for the definitions of the absolute and relative poverty lines, and at-risk-of-poverty-rate used in this section
The Household Budget Survey in 2009 (April 2010)
46
Exchange rate EUR/RSD: 95.5. Source: EC inforeuro (2009)
45
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Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 9
Just under a quarter (22.5%) of the population, earning less than 60% of the median average
income 47 was living at risk of poverty in 2009. In comparison, the percentage of poor people living in
the EU Member States varied between 10% and 23% 48.
As shown in the following paragraphs, there is a strong correlation between the level of poverty and
type of settlement (urban or non-urban) 49, the employment status, the education level and the size
of the household.
The percentage of population living below the absolute poverty line in 2009 was much lower in
urban areas (4.9%) than in the rest of the country. This is particularly true in Belgrade, which
recorded the lowest poverty rate, compared with the rest of Central Serbia and with Vojvodina. The
highest share of poor population lived in Central Serbia (the most populated region) – 9.3%, which is
also the region with the highest increase in the number of poor population in comparison to 2008
(7%). Urban areas have also lower levels of relative poverty (9.1% in 2009) than non-urban areas
(19.5% in 2009). Although non-urban areas recorded a significant reduction of poverty in past
several years 50 those improvements remain fragile and dependent on economic circumstances.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 10
The economic status of the head of household is the most important of all factors influencing the
level of poverty; 29.3% of households headed by an inactive person were living below the absolute
poverty in 2009. The figure was 17.5% for households headed by unemployed persons and only 3.9%
for households headed by employed persons. It is worth noting that, although only 6% of
households with a self-employed head lived below the poverty line, 39.9% of these households were
at risk of becoming poor compared to 14.4% for households headed by employed people and 49.3%
for households headed by an inactive person.
47
RSD 12,000 (€ 121)
Eurostat
49
Namely, the official statistics recognize only two types of settlements: “urban” and “other”, and the latter category is
most often used to calculate data on rural regions, which is not precise enough.
50
9.6% of the non-urban population lived below the absolute poverty line in 2009 compared to 13.3% in 2006.
48
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There is also an emerging phenomenon of ‘new poor’ among older workers becoming jobless, and
pensioners with low pensions, as well as among people employed for very low and irregular wages,
such as seasonal workers and people working in the informal economy (working poor). 51
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 11
As expected, education has a determining influence on the economic status of individuals and
therefore on their capacity to generate income and become more prosperous; 14.8% of households
whose heads have no elementary education lived below the absolute poverty line in 2009. The
figure is only 3% for households headed by persons with secondary education. While there was a
generally increase in poverty in 2009 compared to 2008, it is interesting to note that the poverty
decreased in the same period among households whose head had completed secondary and higher
levels of education.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 12
51
Overview of Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Western Balkans, G.Matkovic (2006)
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There is an obvious relationship between poverty levels and the size of households. The highest
recorded poverty was among households with 6 and or more members with the poverty rate around
twice bigger than the average (14.2%), followed by the households with 5 members and single
member households. However, only significant poverty decrease recorded was with single member
families from 6.6% in 2008 to 5.7% in 2009.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 13
The risk of poverty depends on the number of adults and dependents composing the household;
35.4% households having 3 or more dependent children were at risk of poverty in 2009. The figure
was 32.1% for single parent households with one of more children and 26.5% for single member old
households aged over 65.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 14
Poverty is more pervasive among younger and older members of the population with younger
children being particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. The percentage of children living
below the poverty line was above average (9.3%) in contrast to the poverty of adults, which was
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slightly below average (6.4%). While a high increase was recorded in child poverty, poverty among
the elderly has remained stable in 2009 compared to 2008.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 15
Children up to 15 and people aged over 65 had also the highest risk of becoming poor (28.1% and
23.2% respectively). However, the risk for children is rising while it is declining for the elderly.
Source: The Household Budget Survey, the Republic Statistical Office
Figure 16
Specific studies also suggest that poverty rates among Roma (49.2%), IDPs (14.5%) and refugees
(7.4%) were above-average in 2007. 52 Moreover, a recent survey 53 show that the current economic
crisis affected particularly vulnerable groups (the Roma, IDPs, single mothers and, social assistance
beneficiaries), as they tend to be employed in the informal economy, where adjustments in the
52
Living Standards Measurement Survey, 2002-2007
Impact of the Crisis on the Labour Force Market and Living Standards in Serbia, Belgrade 2010, Centre for Liberal
Democratic Studies
53
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labour force take place more rapidly and on a larger scale. Reduced wages in the formal and
informal economy also contributed to the deterioration of the overall economic situation of
vulnerable groups.
Currently, the social inclusion indicators are measured and monitored by:
•
•
•
•
The Republic Statistical Office through the Household Budget Survey (HBS) and the Labour
Force Survey (LFS), while the Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) was done in
2002 - 2007 - indicators relating to financial poverty and employment, education and,
health;
The Institute for Public Health “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut” - health indicators;
The Ministry of Education and Science - education indicators;
The Independent researches on the position of the specific vulnerable groups are also
valuable source.
It should be noted that the official statistics provide data on the general population, and detailed
disaggregation of data is limited. Some of the key indicators for social inclusion are not covered 54
and some of the most vulnerable groups are not captured. In order to provide reliable data and
quality analysis of the situation and changes over time of the most vulnerable groups, the detailed
classification of the households against different parameters should be improved.
The regular collection of economic and social data according to EU methodology is necessary for
measuring progress with social inclusion and is very important for Serbia’s participation in the EUwide social inclusion policy. From this point of view, the preparation of the Survey on Income and
Living Conditions (SILC), which is underway, represents a major advance for the analysis of the
situation of socially excluded groups and individuals in Serbia, and will enable valuable comparisons
with other EU countries. SILC will become the main instrument for measuring social inclusion and
poverty in the future period.
54
The report “Monitoring Social Inclusion in Serbia – Overview and Current Status of Social Inclusion in Serbia Based on
Monitoring the European and Nationally-Specific Indicators”, by Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit and the
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (July 2010), provides detailed analysis of the on the existing capacities for the
monitoring of social inclusion indicators and required data
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1.1.4 Employment and labour market
Major labour market indicators and trends
In the period 2006-2008, Serbia achieved an impressive macroeconomic stability performance and a
more favourable microeconomic situation for firms and households. However, at the same time,
despite slight improvements on the labour market until the crisis hit in the last quarter of 2008, the
significant GDP growth experienced earlier in the decade did not convert into notable employment
increases, for several reasons.
Employment and GDP growth
2004 - 2010
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
-2%
-4%
-6%
-8%
-10%
GDP growth
Changes in
Employment
04
05
06
07
08
09
Source: Serbian Statistical Office
Figure 17
April
10
55
First, the economic growth was largely generated by domestic demand, initiated by privatisation
income and, foreign direct investments, as well as access to credit and loans granted by foreign
banks. Even though a portion of these amounts was directed to state and socially owned
enterprises, it was not significant to generate sufficient jobs.
Second, slow legislative changes and limited improvements of the business environment for small
and medium-sized enterprises, which are the main generators of new jobs, were also factors
affecting employment.
The economy is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), defined as businesses
employing less than 250 people, which account for 99.8% of all enterprises, more than 67% of all
employees, 66% of its turnover and 59% of gross value added (GVA). Serbia’s SME business base is
relatively similar in structure to the EU-27, but skewed towards the smallest firms 56 - with 96% micro
enterprises (compared with an average of 92% in the EU-27), 4% are small enterprises (7% in the EU27), while only 0.9% make medium-sized enterprises (1% in the EU-27).
Over the past years until the recent economic crisis, large companies have shown consistently higher
productivity levels than SMEs, but this has actually led to job cuts, as shown on Figure 18. In
55
It should be noted that in 2008 LFS methodology was changed and this is the main reason lying behinf the high
employment growth.
56
Micro enterprises have up to 9 employees, small enterprises employ 10-49, and medium-sized enterprises employ 50249.
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contrast, SMEs have served as a valuable employment generator in this period, but have been
unable to compensate for job-shedding in large enterprises caused by the privatisation and
restructuring process. Even in times of significant economic growth, the benefits of that growth
were transferred to the population through wage increases, and not through employment growth. 57
Real growth rates of output, employment and labour productivity
15%
10%
GVA
5%
Employment
Productivity
0%
2005 2006 2007 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008
-5%
Large
SMEs
-10%
Source: Report on SME and Entrepreneurship 2008 (Ministry of Economy and Regional Development)
Figure 18
When the economic crisis reached Serbia in 2009, many workers became redundant as employers
resorted to dismissals as a way out of economic difficulties. In order to bring down budget deficits,
significant staff reductions also took place in the public sector putting an even greater pressure on
the labour market.
Serbia’s high employment elasticity 58, indicates a strong relationship between GDP levels and the
situation on the labour market. The contraction of the GDP experienced in Serbia since 2008
resulted in considerable job losses compared to neighbouring countries. It contributed to accelerate
the restructuring process of socially owned enterprises. 59
Country
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Hungary
Poland
Romania
Slovenia
Slovakia
Croatia
Serbia
57
Cumulative fall Total fall in Employment
of GDP
employment
Elasticity
7.0
4.9
9.7
7.9
-4.8
9.7
7.0
7.6
4.7
6.1
3.0
2.0
2.9
-0.3
1.2
1.2
5.4
12.5
0.9
0.6
0.2
0.4
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.7
2.6
The share of SME sector in total GVA increased from 35.5% in 2002 to 45.3% in 2008. It fell to 41.6% in 2009 due to the
crisis. During the same period, the share of employment in SMEs increased from 51.7% in 2002 to 57.8% in 2008 (57.7% in
2009). Source: Republic Development Bureau, Serbian Economy 2009
58
Employment elasticity measures the percentage change in employment resulting from 1 percentage change in output. It
provides a useful indication of the labour intensity of growth.
59
Q1 2008 - Q1 2010 FREN
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Serbia, as well as the neighbouring countries and the EU- 27, had negative employment elasticity in
the agricultural sector in the period 2001-2008. In Serbia, it was 0.45, and in the EU-27, it was 1.38.
The highest negative employment elasticity is in the industrial sector (-2.26). The key reason for a
decrease in employment in agriculture and industry is the over- employment that was present in the
previous period in these sectors, or their lack of competitiveness.
Employment and activity 60
The working age population (15-64) in Serbia numbered 4,822,936 people in April 2010 61. The active
population was made up of 2,851,005 people (59.1% of the working age population) consisting of
2,278,504 employed and 572,501 unemployed and 1,971,930 people were inactive (40.9% of the
working age population).
Population structure per activity
Aged 15-64
Inactive, 1,971,930
40.9%
Employed,
2,278,504
47.2%
Unemployment,
572,501
11.9%
Source: Labour Force Survey Q1-10
Figure 19
Employment (47.2%) and activity rates (59.1%) for the population group 15-64, in Serbia in April
2010 are well below EU-27 rates (64.4% and 71% respectively), but also below rates in neighbouring
countries. Serbia is quite far away from reaching the employment rate of 75% - the target set by the
Council of Ministers for the EU in the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Figure 20
60
An employed person is defined as anybody who performed any work at all in the reference period for pay or profit (or
pay in kind), or was temporarily absent from his/her job for reasons such as illness, parental leave, holiday, training or
industrial dispute (RSO). RSO labour force surveys are carried out according to this definition and capture therefore both
formal and informal employment.
61
Labour Force Survey (April 2010)
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For the last 10 years, the participation and employment rates have been decreasing sharply. This is
particularly worrying in the context of a shrinking working age population (15-64), which continues
to characterise Serbia. The fall in the employment rate has been almost continuous in recent years,
with only a slight improvement in 2008, from a peak of 53.4% in 2004, employment fell to 47.2% in
April 2010. The recent deterioration makes it even less likely that Serbia will reach the target of 67%
employment rate by the end of 2010 set in the National Employment Strategy.
The fall in participation and employment are linked to a decline of available jobs and the insufficient
employability and adaptability of the work force. The number of job openings has been falling as a
result of the privatisation and restructuring processes, a phenomenon aggravated by the crisis. The
lack of qualified work force and the high percentage of discouraged long-term unemployed who
have lost motivation to look for a job are negative factors weighing on the labour market.
A higher participation rate of the population is important for competitiveness, especially for an aging
population and is particularly harmful in the current context of the economic crisis and deepening
state deficits. Serbia needs to increase its active working-age population to ensure the viability of its
public services and welfare system. In other words, it is only by putting more people into work and
by reaching higher levels of employments and growth that Serbia will be able to widen its tax base
and gather sufficient means to implement social protection systems.
Figure 21
Unemployment and inactivity 62
The rates of inactivity and unemployment confirm Serbia’s poor performance in terms of labour
market activity compared to EU-27 and neighbouring countries. Serbia has much higher inactivity
(40.9%) and unemployment rates (20.1%). As a comparison, the EU-27 inactivity rate was at 29.2% of
the working-age population and the unemployment rate reached 9.4% of the active population in
April 2010. No EU member has an unemployment rate higher than Serbia.
Historically, unemployment was on the rise in Serbia until 2005. In the period from 2005 until the
beginning of crisis (Q4 2008), the labour market situation slightly improved, and the unemployment
rate was decreasing. However, the negative trend began again in October 2008, caused by the crisis
and the continuation of the privatisation and restructuring process 63. Since privatisation and
62
See Glossary for definition of unemployment and inactivity rates
A significant decrease of unemployment rate recorded in the period from October2007 (18.8%) to April 2008 (14.7%) can
partly be explained by a change in methodology used in labour force surveys.
63
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restructuring are not yet over, further worsening of the unemployment rate can be expected in the
near future.
Unemployment and Inactivity rates
2004-2010
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
Unemployment
rate
Inactivity rate
04
05
06
07
08
09
April 10
Source: Serbian Statistical Office
Figure 22
The inactivity rate followed the same trend during the reference period, which shows that the labour
market was not only losing people to unemployment, but losing more people from the labour force.
This is particularly worrying since LFS measures real inactivity - i.e. people who are neither engaged
in formal nor informal employment. The high inactivity rate means an untapped potential for the
Serbian economy and the fact that the share of those who are inactive and unwilling to work among
the inactive is as much as around 67% is particularly worrying.
According to the data, there is a strong correlation between educational attainment and activity
status. The inactivity rate of people without education is 88%. That rate falls to 21% for people with
higher education. However, the proportion of unemployed among people with medium or high
education is higher than among people with low or no education. One reason for this is that there
are more low-skill jobs available than high-qualified ones.
Inactivity per level of education
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
No education
Low level of
education
Source: Labour Force Survey Q1-10
Secondary
education
Higher
education
Figure 23
Youth labour market in general is marked with low activity rates. The youth activity rate in April 2010
amounted to 28.2%, as compared to general activity rate of 59.1% (15-64). Such a low activity rate
can be accounted for by the fact that a lot of young people opt for extended education when faced
with the impossibility of finding a job, or in order to help them compete better for work in a tight
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labour market. However, the fact that 9.6% of youth are neither in education nor working 64is
worrying, as well as the share of people younger than 35 in the total inactive population which is
23.8%.
Inactive population
Aged 15 and more
15-24 years
18.5%
41.0%
9.0%
5.3%
25-34 years
3.9%
34-44 years
45-54 years
55-64 years
22.3%
65 years and over
Source: Labour Force Survey Q1-2010
Figure 24
If attention turns to the age structure of inactivity, the picture becomes even more worrying, as it
shows that a large proportion of the inactive (18.5%) are young people aged 15-24.
Registered employment and unemployment
Although they give a much higher unemployment level 65, the employment and unemployment
figures published by the National Employment Service (NES), based on individuals registering with
NES, confirm the trend revealed by the labour force surveys. There were 762,592 people registered
as unemployed with NES in May 2010. The overall decrease in unemployment figures recorded in
the past five years is mostly due to the introduction of the new Law on Employment (2003), which
uncoupled the payment of health insurance from unemployment registration. Worth noting is the
fact that the number of newly registered unemployed (42,175) increased by 23% in 2009 compared
to the previous year although the number of registered unemployed remained almost unchanged
(+1%) over the same period. 66
64
The position of vulnerable groups on the labour market, Gorana Krstić, Mihail Arandarenko, Aleksandra Nojković, Marko
Vladisavljević, Marina Petrović
65
NES and RSO use different methodologies for calculating unemployment rates. In addition, the definitions of employed
persons used by the two institutions are not the same. Namely, RSO uses EUROSTAT and ILO definition and the number of
employed persons calculated for LFS purposes takes into account all people who worked for at least an hour in the
reference week and were paid in money, or in kind, that is, all persons who had either formal or informal employment. On
the other hand, all people who are not formally employed can register with NES as unemployed and take part in the
number used for calculating registered unemployment rate, that is, even those who have informal employment can be
registered with NES.
66
The changes in the number of people registered by NES do not reflect the real labour market situation. For example,
when SOS shops opened, the number of people on the register increased by around 30,000
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Regional and labour market imbalances
In addition to structural unemployment and the high share of vulnerable groups among the
unemployed, Serbia also records high regional and local disparities. The key regional problems of
Serbia are: drastic depopulation, high unemployment and low economic activity, especially lack of
competitiveness in industrial enterprises. The degree of district development, measured by the level
of income per capita, is within the ratio of 4:1, where the highest levels are present in the area of
the City of Belgrade and the Southern Bačka county (74% and 41% above the average in the
Republic), and the lowest in Toplički and Jablanički counties (around 60% below the average) in
2009. The highest registered unemployment rates (averages for 2010) are also present on the
territories of the Toplički (47.6%) and Jablanički counties (44.8%) and they are almost two times
higher than the average in the Republic (26.9%), unlike the City of Belgrade (13.5%), where this rate
is the lowest.
Figure 25
Local self-government units belong to 4 sub-groups according to their level of development 67,:
1) local self-government units with a level of development above the national average;
2) local self-government units with a level of development between 80% and 100% of the
national average;
3) local self-government units with a level of development between 60% and 80% of the
national average;
4) local self-government units with a level of development below 60% of the national average.
Local self-government units, with a level of development below 50% of the national average,
are considered devastated areas.
67
The level of development of LSU is defined according to the main and corrective indicator of the economic development
of the LSU. The main indicator for measuring the level of EDLSU (economic development of the local self government unit)
is the sum of the incomes and pensions in the LSU and the budgetary incomes of the LSU upon the exemption of the
resources received from other levels of government for the purposes of mitigating the consequences of emergency
situations, expressed per capita.
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46 out of 150 Serbian municipalities are underdeveloped. They are mainly located in the South; 19 of
those are situated in just 4 districts (representing statistical territorial units): Jablanički, Pčinjski,
Nišavski and Toplički. 40 municipalities are considered ‘devastated’.
Serbia’s largest cities have driven the country’s growth between 2001 and 2008: the largest four
cities in terms of population (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac) contributed to almost twothirds of Serbia’s growth 68. As shown in diagram below, Belgrade itself contributed to about 43% of
growth achieved in Serbia over the past eight years.
Figure 26
As a result, the economic activity is concentrated around Serbia’s three largest cities: Belgrade, Novi
Sad and Niš. Belgrade. Novi Sad alone have contributed to value added of almost 60% of Serbian
economy (see diagram below), while the share of cities and towns in the rest of Serbia is almost
insignificant.
Registered unemployment rate
July 2010
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Source: NES
Figure 27
The problem of regional disparities is compounded by the low mobility of the labour force.
According to NES, employers’ needs for specific skills and occupations are sometimes not met
because of the unwillingness of people with the right skills to relocate to another town. Costs
attached to relocation often explain the reluctance of people to move.
68
0nly three cities in Serbia have share in the national economy above 2%.
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The figure below shows the differences in unemployment rates across Serbia at the level of
municipalities. Municipalities with the highest unemployment rates (higher than 33.5%) are
concentrated in the southern part of Serbia and eastern and western parts of Vojvodina.
Municipalities doing better than the average unemployment rate (25.8%) are the city of Belgrade
and municipalities in Central Serbian, along with three municipalities in Vojvodina (Subotica, Sombor
and Vojvodina).
Source:
SIEPA,
http://www.siepa.gov.rs/site/en/home/2/maps/unemployment_rates/http://www.siepa.gov.rs/site/en/home/2/maps/une
mployment_rates/, downloaded July 2010.
Figure 28
Serbia is committed to reducing existing regional disparities by means of an active regional policy,
the institutional framework of which is currently being developed. The new Law on Regional
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Development divides up the country into five regions 69 classified as developed or under-developed
regions depending on whether their GDP per capita is above or below the national average.
According to the Law on Ministries, the central government institution competent for the creation of
regional development policy is the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development. Pursuant to the
recently adopted Amended Law on Regional Development, Regional Development Agencies and
Regional Development Councils will be established. Other key bodies in this area are the National
Council for Regional Development, the National Agency for Regional Development (NARD), Regional
Development Councils (RDCs), and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).
In the short term, the government is trying to deal with regional imbalances by adopting annual
programmes developed exclusively for underdeveloped areas:
•
The ‘Programme for Revival of Large Industrial Centres (Niš, Zajecar, Kraljevo and Novi Pazar)
and Extremely Underdeveloped Areas’ (in May 2010) aims to reduce regional differences
through reviving production, opening new factories and supporting job creation, targeting
areas with a level of development below 50% of the average in the Republic.
•
The ‘Programme for Attracting Direct Investment’, which is implemented by the Serbian
Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) provides subsidies to investors depending
on the number of jobs created, the location (focus on areas of special interest 70 and
extremely underdeveloped areas 71), the size of the investment 72 and the sector targeted
(focused on automotive, electronics and information and communication technology
industries).
The Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia provides loans of up to RSD 10 billion
(approximately €100 million) in the framework of the ‘Programme for Stimulation of Balanced
Regional Development’, which include the following goals:
1) Stimulation of production and employment in extremely underdeveloped areas;
2) Stimulation and development of enterprises and entrepreneurship in underdeveloped
municipalities;
3) Investment in labour intensive processing industries in underdeveloped municipalities.
The labour intensive processing industries include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
production of clothing and fur;
production of leather and leather products;
footwear;
wood and cork based production and processing;
production of items made of other minerals;
production of metal products except from machines;
production of other machines and devices;
69
Belgrade, Vojvodina, Sumadija and West Serbia, Southern and Eastern Serbia and Kosovo and Metohija
‘Areas of special interest’ are towns representing large industrial centres and whose accelerated development is of
special importance for Serbia: Niš, Zajecar, Kraljevo and Novi Pazar.
71
‘Extremely underdeveloped areas’ are local self-governments whose level of development is below 50% of the national
average. They include the following municipalities: Merošina, Bojnik, Trgovište, Malo Crniće, Tutin, Bela Palanka, Svrljig,
Knić, Žabari, Bosilegrad, Golubac, Kuršumlija, Ražanj, Gadžin Han, Sjenica, Žagubica, Medveđa, Rekovac, Osečina, Blace,
Crna Trava, Žitorađa, Vladičin Han, Mali Zvornik, Plandište, Žitište, Nova Crnja, Preševo, Bujanovac, Kučevo, Babušnica,
Vlasotince, Lebane, Mionica, Prijepolje, Krupanj, Rača, Doljevac, Varvarin and Ljubovija
72
‘Investment of special importance’ is an investment of at least €200 million, creating at least 1000 new jobs within a
three year period
70
27
•
•
•
•
•
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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production of office and calculating machines;
production of highly precise and optical instruments;
production of other transportation vehicles;
production of furniture and similar products;
automotive production;
electronics production.
Coordination between employment and regional development policies is facilitated by the fact that
the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development is in charge of both areas. In order to increase
the impact of those policies, , ALMPs and incentives to regional development are not only often
targeting the same least developed regions but measures are designed to complement each other.
Concrete cooperation is also taking place at the institutional level.
For example, the National Employment Service and the National Agency for Regional Development
(NARD) have been cooperating on entrepreneurship promotion and development since 2002. NARD
organised and delivered training in entrepreneurship development for NES staff (ToT trainings, etc.)
and conducted seminars for registered unemployed in business start ups and management of one’s
own business. It also mentored programmes for entrepreneurs receiving NES self-employment
subsidies. NES and NARD have also carried out joint demonstration in business fairs.
Informal employment 73
The employment rate measured by Labour Force Surveys covers both registered and unregistered
employment.
Work in the informal economy remains pervasive and is increasingly absorbing unqualified and
unskilled labour, although many jobs were recently lost in the informal economy as a result of the
economic crisis. Employment in the informal economy 74 in April 2010 stood at 17.2% 75 i.e. the
number of people employed in the informal economy decreased about 68,000 (-1.3 percentage
points). To put this into perspective, 1.9 million people were formally employed while 2.0 million
were inactive (40.9% of the population aged 15-64), 572,500 were unemployed (11.9%) and about
400,000 worked in the informal sector (8.2%). Since there is almost no informal employment in the
public sector, this corresponds to an informality rate of around one fifth of all employed in the
private sector.
73
This section draws on the Technical note, World Bank, June 2010: “Does formal work pay in Serbia?”
See the Glossary for a definition of informal economy
75
Population aged 15-64. Source: LFS (April 2010).
74
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Informal employment
Aged 15-64
Inactive, 1,971,930
40.9%
Formally Employed,
1,886,601
39.1%
Informally
Employed, 391,903
8.1%
Unemployed,
572,501
11.9%
Source: Labour Force SurveyQ1-10
Figure 29
Employment in the informal sector among people aged 15-24 stood at 28.8%, the highest proportion
for any age group followed by older workers. Informality is high among those that have just joined
the labour force (the young) or those that are about to leave it (in particular workers above the age
of 65). Informal employment among young people is strongly determined by the level of education
and the economic sector. In 2006, nearly 95% of all young workers with primary education were
informally employed, compared to 40% of workers with secondary education and 16.3% of higher
educated employees. Interestingly, young workers who dropped out before completing education
were more likely to be engaged in the informal economy than those who had completed their
studies. For instance, 13.3% of unregistered employees dropped out from primary education
(compared to none among registered employees), 13.8% dropped out from secondary education
(compared to 10.8% of formal employees), and 32.8% dropped out from tertiary education
(compared to 27.6% of registered workers). This shows the need for inclusive education measures to
reduce dropout rates.
Approximately 68% of all informal workers are employed in the agricultural sector mainly as
individual farmers or as unpaid family workers. There is nonetheless a sizable informal labour force
in the non-agricultural sector, in particular in the retail and catering industry.
Characteristics of the labour force (aged 15-64)
Labour force indicators by gender
The share of women in the total labour force is 50.9%. In the first quarter of 2010, 977,548 women
(40.3%) were employed compared to 1,300,957 men (54.3%). Women are less likely to be employed
although the gap between male and female unemployment rates has shown a downward tendency,
from 3 percentage points in October 2009 to 1.5 percentage points in April 2010. The latest available
data 76 reveal that 259,062 women (20.9%) were unemployed, compared to 313,440 men (19.4%). As
for men, women’s unemployment reflects inadequate levels of qualification and skills. However, in
76
LFS (April 2010)
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the private sector, young women are less likely to be employed than young men for an equivalent
educational attainment. 77
Also, according to NES register, there were 5% more women than men on the unemployment rolls in
2010, while almost 60% of first-time job seekers were women, out of which almost 55% are long
term unemployed pointing to the fact that they face multiple barriers to entering the labour market.
Activity rate of women is also low at 50.9%, as compared to male activity rate of 67.4%. Long term
unemployment is also affecting women more than men, as women change more often their activity
status due to family responsibilities. The incidence of women female long term unemployment is
67% and the figure for men is 60%. According to NES, unemployed women on NES’s register in 2010
had been looking look for a job longer than 4.2 years on average, compared with 3.3 years for
unemployed men. The lower participation rate points to specific obstacles preventing women from
actively taking part in the labour market. In particular, women are more vulnerable to long-term
unemployment.
Employment and Unemployment rates per gender
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Male Employment
rate
Male Unemployment
rate
Female Employment
rate
2005
2007
2006
2008
2009
Source: Labour Force Survey Q1-2010
April
2010
Female Unemployment
rate
Figure 30
Labour force indicators by age
The age structure of the unemployed can be described with the following figures: the highest share
of the unemployed is in the age groups 25-34 (29.6%), and 35-44 (21.3%). Of the total number of
572,501 unemployed persons, 29.4% are over 45 years of age, 117,618 (20.5%) are between 45 and
54, and 50,769 (8.9%) are between 55 and 64.
Employment and Unemployment rates
per age
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Employment
rate
Unemployment
rate
15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 and
over
Source: Labour Force Survey 01-10
77
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, LFS Q1-10
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Figure 31
The share of older people among unemployed people has kept increasing with the restructuring of
the economy, as privatised enterprises tend to lay off older workers. The employment rate of the
population aged 55-64 amounted to 32.6% compared to 46.1% in the EU-27. The unemployment
rate for the same population group averaged 11.6% compared to 6.6% in EU-27. Population group
25-34 has the highest long- term unemployment rate of 16.74%.
Youth
Unemployed youth (15-24) make up 19.6% of the total number of unemployed (15-64). The Serbian
youth unemployment rate amounted to 46.4% in the first quarter of 2010, compared to 20.3% in the
EU-27 78. Unemployed youth without qualifications on NES register make up as much as 19% 79
approximately of the total number of unemployed youth (15-24). These figures highlight the
problems faced by young people in making a smooth and quick transition from education to work.
They also point to inadequate qualifications among young people and the failure of the education
system to equip young people with the skills and knowledge required by the labour market. The
highest proportion of inactive people is also found among the younger tranche of the population,
40.3% of inactive people are younger than 35 years. However, this is partly due to the fact that a
significant portion of people aged 15-24 are still in the education system. The share of those that are
neither in school nor in employment is around 7%.
Youth employment and unemployment rate
aged 15-24
50%
40%
Employed
30%
Unemployed
20%
10%
0%
EU27
BG
HR
RO
SER
Source: Labour Force Survey Q4-10, Eurostat Q4-09
Figure 32
In addition, this group has the highest probability of becoming jobless in times of crisis. Work in the
informal economy is also characteristic for this age group, as well as acceptance of jobs below their
qualification level.
Labour force indicators by educational structure
According to the latest LFS (April 2010), the educational profile of the labour force is as follows:
people with tertiary and secondary education make up 80.8% and those with primary education or
less, 19.2%.
The educational levels of the labour force greatly influence their position on the labour market. Low
educational levels are a strong determinant of labour market disadvantage and poverty. According
to LFS, people with lower levels of education (primary school or less) have lower activity and
78
79
Population aged 15-24, Eurostat (Q4, 2009)
NES (December 2010)
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employment rates (38.5% and 31.8% respectively) compared to the general population (59.1%,
47.2%), indicating the difficulties these groups face in entering the labour market. The situation is
due to the mismatch between educational outcomes and employers’ needs for knowledge and skills.
People with secondary education (medium level of education) have the highest unemployment rate
(22.5%), whereas the unemployment rate of people with higher education is 13.3%.
Figure 33
Duration of unemployment
Long term unemployment still poses one of the most serious problems for the Serbian labour
market. The average duration of job search period is worryingly long 80. As much as 66.7% of
unemployed people had been unemployed longer than 12 months (April 2010). As can be seen from
figure 35, long term unemployment has been decreasing in the years preceding the crisis, but
nevertheless, it is still one of the most serious challenges on the Serbian labour market.
Duration of job seeking
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Up to 12 months
Longer than
12 months
Oct 07
Apr 08
Source: Labour Force Survey 01-10
Apr 09
Apr 10
Figure 34
The long-term unemployment rate (>1 year) amounted to 13.4% in April 2010, compared to 3.3% in
the EU-27 81; 33.3% of the unemployed in Serbia in April 2010 were jobless for at least a year and
34.3% for over four years.
80
81
3.8 years in 2009, according to NES data
Eurostat (Q4 2009)
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Long-term unemployment rate
15%
10%
5%
0%
EU27
BG
HR
RO
Source: Labour Force Survey 04-10, Eurostat Q4-09
SER
Figure 35
Data from NES also confirm a high proportion of long-term unemployment. In 2010, 64% of the
registered unemployed were seeking a job longer than a year.
Figure 36
Difficult-to-employ groups
The difficult-to-employ population groups are unemployed persons who due to their health
conditions, insufficient level or inadequacy of education, socio-demographic features, regional or
vocational imbalance between labour market demand and supply, or some other objective
circumstances, have difficulties finding a job. Since labour market is dynamic and prone to changes,
the group of difficult-to-employ also varies and the National Employment Action Plan defines these
groups of unemployed annually to assign them the advantage of inclusion in ALMPs. For example,
the NEAP for 2011 defines the following target groups on the basis of labour market information:
long- term unemployed, unemployed with no/low qualifications, redundant workers, PwD, the
Roma, refugees and IDPs, and returnees under readmission agreements, youth, elderly, women,
trafficking and domestic violence victims, socially disadvantaged people and social welfare
beneficiaries. These groups are defined and then prioritised for inclusion in ALMPs.
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The position of the Roma on the labour market is very unfavourable, according to LFS data from
2009, as their unemployment rate amounted to 40.7% 82. The activity rate of the Roma population is
as low as 46.8%, as compared to the general population (60.8%). Another feature of Roma
unemployment is its long term nature. The share of long- term unemployed Roma in the total
unemployed Roma population is 74.2%.
The unemployment rate of IDPs amounted to 36% 83, as compared to the general unemployment
rate of 13.9%. The educational levels of unemployed IDPs are significantly more unfavourable than
for the general population, making their employment more difficult. The share of unemployed IDPs
with less than secondary education was 36.5%, and for general population, that share amounted to
21.7%.
According to the LSMS, the unemployment rate of refugees amounted to 18.1%, as compared to
general unemployment rate of 13.9%.
According to the recent study conducted by the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics 84,
the number of People with Disabilities living in the Republic of Serbia is estimated at more than
500,000. However, only 20,402 of them were registered with NES (out of which 6,672 were women)
in 2010. This can be explained by the extremely high inactivity rate which amounts to 69% 85.
Figure 37 Source: NES
Active labour market programmes
Active labour market programmes (ALMPs) are the principal instrument to improve the functioning
of the labour market through targeted support to the unemployed 86. They provide labour market
integration measures for the job seekers.
The creation and delivery of ALMPs in the Republic of Serbia is defined in the Law on Employment
and Unemployment Insurance. Under that law, National Employment Action Plans are adopted
82
The position of vulnerable groups on the labour market, Gorana Krstić, Mihail Arandarenko, Aleksandra Nojković, Marko
Vladisavljević, Marina Petrović
83
LSMS of IDPs, Cvejic, Babovic (2007)
84
The position of vulnerable groups on the labour market, Gorana Krstić, Mihail Arandarenko, Aleksandra Nojković, Marko
Vladisavljević, Marina Petrović
85
Ibid
86
According to the Law on Employment and Unemployment Benefits, only people registered with NES as unemployed are
eligible for ALMPs. Inactive people need first to register with NES in order to participate in ALMPs. By doing so, they
become part of the active population.
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annually and used by the National Employment Service to draft and adopt annual Activity Plans
defining active labour market programmes (ALMPs) to be delivered in the forthcoming year.
Measures of active employment policy defined under the Law on Employment and Unemployment
Insurance are as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Job brokering;
Vocational guidance and career counselling;
Employment subsidies;
Support to self employment;
Further education and training;
Incentives for unemployment benefit recipients;
Public works; and
Other measures aimed at employment of job seekers.
ALMP budget allocations over time
The annual budget allocated for addressing the unemployment problems by means of active labour
market measures has been gradually increasing over the past several years, amounting to 5.5 billion
dinars in 2011 (around €55 million) 87. However, this still represents only 0.17% of GDP.
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Budget for
ALMP, in
MEUR
7.5
13
23.8
30.1
35
37
Budget ALMP
in GDP, %
0.04
0.07
0.10
0.11
0.12
0.12
BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR ALMP (2005-2010)
Source : MoERD
Expenditure on unemployment benefits has also been growing to reach the amount of 25.5 billion
dinars (€248 million) in 2010. One of the intentions behind the new employment law is to shift the
focus from passive to active measures. However, a lot remains to be done since the budget for
passive measures is still more than 6 times higher than the budget for active employment policy.
87
Euro equivalent for 2010 was calculated on the basis of average exchange rate for the period of the first 6 months of
2010.
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Figure 38
The total number of unemployed on NES register amounted to 744,000 on average throughout 2010
and 124,349 of them were included in ALMPs, which means that 16.7% of the registered
unemployed benefited from ALMPs in 2010, and only a fraction of them were involved in training
and retraining courses (0.63%). 88 It should be remarked however, that NES main services – active job
search programmes are not a costly measure, as these services present a part of everyday activities
of NES staff. Therefore, they are not funded from ALMP budget, but mostly through the salaries of
NES staff.
Figure 39
The table below provides a breakdown of ALMPs with resources allocated and number of
beneficiaries. These ALMPs are briefly presented in the following paragraphs.
ALMP
Active job search programmes
Further education and training programmes
88
As a % of the total budget
(2010)
0.1%
56.6%
As a % of ALMPs beneficiaries
(2009)
68%
15%
89
3,365 of the registered unemployed
This figure stands for the number of services, as one beneficiary may be counted more than once if he/she received
more than one service. The figure may therefore sometimes include the same people several times.
89
36
Employment subsidies
Public works
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
90
24.3%
18.9%.
1st draft
9%
8%
Job-matching service and vocational guidance and career counselling
These activities are one of NES main activities and they include job matching (with active job search)
and vocational guidance and career counselling provided to job seekers and employers through:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
individual employment plans,
information about career development opportunities,
job counselling,
selection and classification of potential job candidates,
job fairs,
job clubs,
active job search training,
self-efficiency training.
Job-matching services and vocational guidance and career counselling were particularly
effective in contributing to the increase of job placements by NES since 2006, and to some
extent to the decrease in the number of registered unemployed91.
Figure 40
The chart above shows the total number of beneficiaries of active job search. Active job search
includes job fairs, job clubs, active job search training and self-efficiency training for vulnerable
groups. These types of programmes have grown in significance and coverage since 2005.
Further education and training programmes
Further education and training programmes include:
•
•
•
90
91
Functional adult primary education (programme for the Roma);
Apprenticeships, internships and volunteers programmes; and
Training and retraining courses (vocational training, IT and language courses).
Of which, self employment accounted for 8.1% and job creation subsidies for 16.2%
‘Impact Analysis of Employment Policy and Active Labour Market Programmes’ (2008)
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The programme for the Roma (implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and
Science) targets Roma people without basic education. The goal is for them to acquire basic
education and training for less complicated jobs and increase their employability. Under the
apprenticeship programme, young people up to 30 years without previous work experience are
offered 12-month subsidised employment within their occupation.
Training and retraining programmes are aimed at improving employability of the unemployed. There
are two types of programmes: 1) training courses requested from specific employers, who commit
themselves to recruit some of the trained unemployed; and 2) training courses organised by NES and
delivered by training providers in line with labour market needs.
According to the NES Annual Report for 2010, slightly less than 8% of the total ALMP budget was
spent on training courses for the unemployed, and the total number of unemployed people on NES
register that attended training courses reached 4,697. Only 767 (0.3%) unemployed people with
primary education or less (as an average share in the total number of the unemployed people with
primary education registered with NES) took part in some form of training, and 3,048 (0.8%) of those
with lower or upper secondary education. Only a fraction of the unemployed registered with NES
underwent training and retraining courses (0.6%) in 2010. The allocation for training and retraining
courses, and the number of unemployed benefiting from those courses, have been decreasing over
time with a significant drop in 2009 and 2010, as part of the available funds for training were
transferred as a response to the crisis to the ‘First Chance’ programme, a type of apprenticeship
programme helping youth gain their first work experience. Therefore, there is an acute need for
funds to finance vocational training and retraining courses, which are currently underfunded and are
particularly needed to combat unemployment.
Figure 41
Job subsidies
Job subsidies cover different forms of subsidised employment including self-employment subsidies,
and job creation subsidies. Self-employment subsidies are financial support to the unemployed who
decide to start their own business. Job creation subsidies can be granted to private sector employers
for every job created and filled with an unemployed person registered with NES. The subsidy is paid
to the employer as a lump sum per job created. The employer is obliged to keep the employee for at
least 24 months. Job subsidies have increased steadily as a share of ALMP allocation to account for
more than half of the total ALMP budget in the period 2006-2008, but started falling again after that
period.
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The total number of beneficiaries of self employment subsidies reached 2,217 unemployed in 2010
and4,745 unemployed people found a job thanks to a job creation subsidy 92.
Figure 42
Public works
The organisation and implementation of public works in Serbia started in 2006 and has gained
importance since then, both in terms of funding and number of beneficiaries. These programmes
target vulnerable groups in less developed and underdeveloped municipalities of Serbia. Public
works has assumed an important place in employment policy in 2009, as a result of the economic
crisis when almost a third of the ALMP budget was earmarked for this programme. Public works are
an important social security net in times of crisis.
Figure 43
Institutional and legal framework
Annex B describes the ministries responsible for policy and legislation in the field of employment
and labour market namely the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and the Ministry of
92
Combined budgets of the Republic of Serbia and of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
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Labour and Social Policy. It also describes the roles of other key bodies, namely the Agency for
Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, and the Socio-Economic Council (SEC). It also sets out the
current body of laws governing competitiveness, as defined by IPA Implementing Regulation.
Strategic framework
Medium term national employment policy is defined in the National Employment Strategy prepared
by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and adopted by the Government of the
Republic of Serbia. This strategy reflects the three goals of the EU Lisbon Strategy – full employment
(revised in Serbian conditions to satisfactory employment rate increase), improving quality and
productivity of labour and strengthening social cohesion and labour market inclusion – and it fully
embraces the integrated approach of the EU Employment Strategy. The National Employment
Strategy sets the following priorities for the period 2005-2010:
•
•
•
Towards Sustainable Employment Growth
Towards Enhanced Quality and Productivity of Work
Towards Strengthening Social Cohesion in Labour Market
The National Employment Strategy 2005-2010 was made operational through three National
Employment Action Plans: NEAP 2006-2008, NEAP 2009 and NEAP 2010 93. Each NEAP defines
priorities and objectives of employment policy and stipulates programmes and measures that need
to be established for the achievement of those priorities and objectives.
The proposal of the National Employment Strategy 2011-2020 has been prepared and is pending the
Government adoption procedure. The priorities of the proposed strategy are as follows:
•
•
•
•
Labour migration management and development of regional and local employment policy
Human capital promotion and greater social inclusion
Improvement of institutions and labour market development
Reduction of labour market dualities.
The objectives and priorities to be achieved with employment policy in 2011 defined in NEAP 2011
are as follows:
Objectives:
1. Increase employment;
2. Invest in human capital;
3. Social Inclusion.
Priorities:
1. Matching labour market demand and supply;
2. Job creation;
3. Improvement of education and training measures with a view to developing qualified labour
force;
4. Promotion of employment of difficult-to-employ groups and vulnerable groups;
5. Decentralisation and stimulation of development of regional and local employment policy.
93
The 2009 Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance stipulates the annual adoption of National Employment
Action Plans.
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Under the new employment law, National Employment Action Plans (NEAPs) are adopted on an
annual basis, defining the employment priorities for the forthcoming year. A report on the
implementation of each NEAP is produced to feed into the drafting of the new NEAP. Employment
policy is created on the basis of labour market information produced by the Republic Statistical
Office in the form of Labour Market Surveys conducted twice a year. In addition, the National
Employment Service has its own register of unemployed used for keeping records on the situation
on local labour markets and monitoring the status of persons included in ALMPs.
In September 2009, the Government of Serbia adopted the Youth Employment Policy and Action
Plan (2009-2011) prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, defining five
strategic objectives to be pursued for the promotion of full, productive and freely chosen
employment for youth, namely:
•
•
•
•
•
Strengthen the (youth) labour market governance system,
Improve the employability of young people,
Foster youth employment through private sector development,
Improve decent work prospects for youth,
Promote inclusion through targeted measures.
Once it obtains candidate country status, Serbia will also need to draft the Joint Assessment Paper
(JAP) on Employment in cooperation with the European Commission. Technical assistance under IPA
2011 will help the working group, to be established for those purposes, draft the JAP and define
future employment policy priorities and also coordinate with the preparation of the Joint Inclusion
Memorandum (JIM).
1.1.5 Education and VET
Education profile of the Serbian population
The current educational profile of the Serbian population does not match the needs of the economy.
According to the 2002 Census, the overall educational level of the Serbian population is low:
Source: RSO, Census 2002
Figure 44
According to the last Census, the illiteracy rate was 3.6% 94. Illiteracy is likely to be even greater
among marginalised groups, since the Census does not cover all members of these groups 95.
94
Population aged over 15
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According to the Institute for Statistics (UNESCO), 96.4% of the Serbian population was literate in
2003, with a significant gender difference: 98.9% for males versus 94.1% for females, while youth
literacy rate was 99.4% with almost no gender difference.
The educational attainment of disadvantaged groups is even worse, as illustrated by the example of
Roma people 96, of which 62% have no formal education at all.
Figure 45
The latest Labour Force Survey (April 2010) confirms the low educational attainment of the
population aged 15 and above: 3% of the labour force do not have full elementary education, 35%
of the labour force has only elementary education. Secondary education represents the highest
educational attainment for almost half of the labour force aged above 15 (see figure below 97). In the
EU-27, 71.5% of the population aged 24-65 had completed upper secondary education in 2008.
Figure 46
95
The Census measures literacy from the statements of participants. Functional literacy, measured in developed
economies, is not measured in Serbia. Educational deficiency is most prominent among Roma, and it later remains as one
of the causes of trans-generational transfer of poverty.
96
Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS), Serbia 2002-2007, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
97
‘Low’ corresponds to completion of primary education at best (ISCED levels 1 and 2); ‘medium’ corresponds to
completion of secondary education (ISCED level 3 or 4); ‘high’ corresponds to completion of tertiary education or higher
education (ISCED levels 5 and 6).
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Older generations are less educated than younger ones. The great majority of people without
education were over 65 98. In contrast, 21% of active people aged 25-34 had completed tertiary
education in 2010.
Women are better educated than men: the attainment at primary - secondary - tertiary level is 30.6 53.3 - 16.1 for women and 47.8 - 40.0 - 12.2 for men 99.
Only 14% of the population aged 15 and above has completed higher education100. The Europe 2020
Strategy proposes to increase the share of the population aged 30-34 having completed higher
education in the EU-27 from 31% to at least 40%. Currently, the percentage of Serbia’s population
aged 30-34 having completed higher education is only 21%. 101
The education system in Serbia
The education system in Serbia consists of pre-school, elementary, secondary and higher education
with around 1,400,000 pupils, students and children and around 102,000 employed professional
staff (teaching staff, pedagogues, psychologists, social workers and special education pedagogues).
The Law on the Foundations of the Education System (2009) lays down the principles of the
education system, which include:
•
•
equal rights and availability of education at all levels and without discrimination; and
quality and balanced education based on contemporary science, pupil/student-centred and
adjusted to age and personal needs.
The new law puts also emphasis on the timely participation in pre-school education and the need for
appropriate preparation for school and learning.
The diagram overleaf provides an overview of the education system in Serbia with corresponding
ISCED levels 102. The current classification (ISCED 1997) includes the following levels of education:
Level
Description
ISCED 0
ISCED 1
ISCED 2
ISCED 3
ISCED 4
ISCED 5
Pre-school education
Primary education or first stage of basic education
Lower secondary or second stage of basic education
(Upper) secondary education
Post-secondary non-tertiary education
First stage of tertiary education (not leading directly to an advanced research
qualification)
Second stage of tertiary education (leading to an advanced research qualification)
ISCED 6
98
80%, Labour Force Survey (April 2010)
Krstic, G., Corbanese V., Situation analysis of youth employment in the Republic of Serbia, ILO Employment Papers,
(2008)
100
Labour Force Survey (April 2010)
101
The First National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in Serbia, Belgrade, 2011.
102
See Glossary for a definition of ISCED
99
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Pre-school education
Pre-school education for children aged 1 year to school-age (6.5–7.5 years) is carried out in preschool institutions and, less frequently, in elementary schools 103. A total of 184,066 children were
attending pre-school education in 2009/2010 104.
A pre-school institution is established by the Republic of Serbia, an autonomous province, local selfgovernment unit, or other physical or legal person in accordance with the Law on Foundations of
Education System. The network of state-owned pre-schools is currently set-up on the principle of
“one municipality – one institution”. Each pre-school institution has a central building and a preschool network which comprises the buildings within the territory of the municipality. In 2009/2010,
there were 2,364 buildings and other spaces for work with children at the pre-school level across
Serbia 105. The pre-school network is, however, insufficient to cater to the needs of all children and
families across the country. The criteria for establishing a new network of pre-school institutions are
being prepared in line with the Law on the Foundations of the Education System 106.
Pre-school institutions develop and implement education programmes based on the Foundations of
Pre-school Education Programme. Attendance at preparatory pre-school programme is compulsory
and from 2009, has been is extended from six to nine months preceding the child’s enrolment in
primary school. This preparatory programme is free of charge and in effect leads to 9 years’
compulsory education in Serbia
Free pre-school education for children with developmental difficulties and disabilities is carried out
in regular educational groups (1-2 children per group), or special developmental groups (up to 8
children), or in hospital for hospitalised children.
Elementary education
Elementary education is obligatory, free of charge, and lasts 8 years. It covers children aged from 6.5
or 7.5 years to 14 or 15 years. Due to the low birth rate, the number of pupils in elementary school
has been falling. There were 587,147 pupils enrolled in elementary education in the school year
2009/2010 107.
It is carried out in elementary schools, which can be established by the Republic of Serbia, an
Autonomous Province, a unit of local self-government and other legal and physical person, or by a
foreign country or a foreign legal or physical person, in accordance with the Law on Foundations of
Education System. There were 1,176 elementary schools with a network of around 3,500 branch
schools in the school year 2009/2010. There were also 44 schools for children with disabilities and
55 art elementary schools (52 music and 3 ballet schools) 108.
Teaching is carried out in Serbian or in the languages of national minorities 109. Elementary education
is carried out in two educational cycles, the school adopting its own programme in accordance with
national curricula. Each cycle covers four grades and includes compulsory and optional subjects. For
the first time in school year 2010/2011, pupils will take a final exam at the end of their elementary
103
In rural areas or areas with no preschool institutions
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Communications (April 2010)
105
Ibid.
106
new Law on Preschool institutions determinates 100 groups per one preschool institution
107
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Communications (March 2010)
108
Ministry of Education data (September 2010)
109
Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, Rusyn, Slovak and Croatian languages
104
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education to test the acquisition of knowledge according to the curricula and standards of
achievements, which in the case of children with disabilities will be adjusted to their abilities. The
final exam is approved by the National Educational Council. It gives direct access to secondary school
except for specialised secondary schools (maths, language and art secondary schools) where
entrance exams are required.
Elementary education of children with disabilities can take place either in regular or special schools.
In 2008/2009 there were 7,092 children with disabilities enrolled in elementary education. 110
Additional educational, health or social support is being provided, based on the assessment of the
child’s abilities and needs and with the consent of the parents.
Secondary education
Secondary education is free of charge and is not compulsory. It covers pupils aged from 15 to 19. A
total number of 286,844 school children attended secondary school in 2009/2010 111. The secondary
school system consists of:
A. General secondary education, in duration of four years (gymnasium)
B. Secondary vocational education in duration of four years; secondary vocational education in
duration of three years; and education for professions of lower educational level (vocational
schools). They prepare young people for jobs in 12 occupations:
1. Agriculture, food production and processing
2. Geodetics (land survey) and civil engineering
3. Electrotechnics
4. Mechanical engineering and metal processing
5. Health and social care
6. Economics, law and administration
7. Chemistry, nonmetals and graphics
8. Forestry and wood processing
9. Traffic engineering (transportation)
10. Textile and leather processing
11. Geology, mining and metallurgy
12. Catering/hospitality and tourism
C. Art education in duration of four years (music, ballet and visual art schools)
In 2009/2010, there was a total of 579 secondary schools. Out of this total, there were 125
gymnasiums delivering four-year general education (110 state-owned and 15 private ones) of which
9 were specialised 112 gymnasiums (6 state-owned and 3 private ones) and 19 specialised
departments within regular gymnasiums.
In the 2009/10 school year, there were 341 vocational secondary education schools (317 state and
24 private ones), as well as 43 mixed schools (vocational and gymnasiums or vocational and art
110
Statistical Yearbook (2010), Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
Ministry of Education data (September 2010)
112
For particularly talented students in specialised areas such as math, language, sport and IT
111
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schools). Also, there were 41 art secondary schools, and 29 secondary schools for children with
disabilities.
While there has been a declining trend in the secondary school population since the 1990s, the
number of classes and teachers has continued to increase.
Source: RSO
Figure 48
During the school year 2009/10, 28% of secondary education students were enrolled in, general
secondary education (gymnasium), 66% in VET education , 5% in secondary education for children
with disabilities and 8% in art education. 113
A final exam will be taken at the end of three-year vocational education programmes from
2013/2014 school year onwards and a Matura exam at the end of four-year vocational education
programmes (general, vocational and art) will be taken from 2014/2015 school year onwards. The
completion of specialist education is certified by a specialist, i.e. master-of-the craft exam. The final
exam is also taken upon completion of adult education programmes. Final and specialist exams are
proposed by the National Council for Vocational and Adult Education and approved by the Minister.
Secondary education of pupils with disabilities can take place in:
•
•
•
schools for pupils with disabilities;
special departments for pupils with disabilities within regular schools; and
elementary schools, based on an individual education plan
In schools for children with disabilities, a curriculum of lower volume and contents is applied. Special
programmes are also carried out for pupils with mild intellectual disabilities. There were 1,628
children with disabilities enrolled in the secondary education in year 2008/2009 114
113
Ministry of Education (September 2010)
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Higher education
The higher education system includes post-secondary vocational education programmes and
university education leading to bachelor, masters and PhD degrees. There were 235,940 students
enrolled in higher education in Serbia during the academic year 2008/2009 115.
In 2009, Serbia counted:
•
•
•
7 public universities 116 (105 faculties);
7 private universities 117 (53 faculties); and
80 High Schools for Applied Studies
Higher education programmes are broken down into three cycles:
•
•
•
First cycle (3 or 4 years) covers academic studies and applied studies;
Second cycle (1 or 2 years) covers master and academic and professional specialisations;
Third cycle (3 years) covers doctorates.
Access to higher education is available to those who have completed secondary education and
passed the entrance exam. Each year, the Government decides on the total number of students who
can enrol in state-owned universities and post-secondary vocational schools, together with the
distribution of students among different institutions (faculties and vocational schools). These
numbers are not based upon estimated needs but mostly reflect the capacity of the existing
institutions.
The framework for higher education qualifications (levels 6, 7 and-8) was developed in compatibility
with the European Higher Education Area and approved by the National Council for Higher Education
in April 2010.
Since 2007, vocational post-secondary schools (Više škole) can go through an accreditation process
to become part of the higher education system (Visoke Škole); 48 VET post-secondary schools
became "Higher schools of applied studies" after accreditation. While these schools are now closer
to universities 118, at the same time they are farther from VET schools, increasing the gap between
VET and higher education119.
Adult education and lifelong learning
Formal Adult Learning
Formal adult education and training is carried out within the school system – from elementary
schools to postgraduate studies at universities, on the basis of approved programmes of education
leading to diplomas (i.e. national certificates) on acquired qualification and educational level.
114
Statistical Yearbook (2010), Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
Ministry of Education (September 2010)
116
University of Belgrade, University of Arts in Belgrade, University of Niš, University of Kragujevac, University of Novi Sad,
State University of Novi Pazar and University of Pristine in Kosovska Mitrovica
117
University Braća Karić, Megatrend University, European University, Singidunum University, University 'Union' and
University of Novi Pazar, Academy of Economic Studies, Novi Sad
118
In terms of duration of studies aligned on the bachelor level, of proportion of PhD graduates among teachers, and other
accreditation criteria.
119
Review of Human Resources Development In Serbia, ETF (September 2010)
115
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Elementary education for persons over 15 years of age, who do not attend the school regularly, is
realised according to lighter curricula lasting for four years, in accordance with the Law on
Elementary School. However, teaching contents and methods are not tailored to the needs of adults
and many teachers lack the skills and competences required for working with adults. A class cannot
exceed 20 adults. Completion of each grade is sanctioned by a certificate. ‘Functional Education of
Adult Roma’ is also being carried out, as a pilot, in a number of schools for adults, which will be
pursued under an IPA 2008 project. At present, there are 15 schools for adult elementary education
operating in Serbia, with around 2,500 attendees per year.
According to the Law on Foundations of the Education System, secondary schools are entitled to
carry out special training for adults including upskilling and specialisation programmes.
The Ministry of Education and Science has established five Regional Training Centres (RTCs) for adult
education to become leading institutions for vocational training, capacity building and training for
adults in their regions. Their aim is to support the economic development of regions through rapid
and quality responses to the needs for knowledge, skills and competences.
The RTCs are located in five VET schools:
•
•
•
•
•
Chemical, Food-production and Textile School “Uroš Predić” (Zrenjanin), covering the district
of middle Banat;
Technical School in Novi Beograd (Belgrade), covering the city of Belgrade;
Second Technical School (Kragujevac), covering the district of Šumadija;
Civil Engineering and Technical School “Neimar” (Niš), covering the district of Nišava;
School of Mining and Metallurgy (Bor), covering the district of Bor.
RTCs provide:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
training courses, based on regular curricula of vocational education;
short-term and certified vocational training programmes;
programmes for continuous professional advancement for the employed;
post-secondary education programmes; ,
special programmes of non-formal education contributing to the development of key
competences;
the accreditation of prior learning; and,
information and counselling on adult education and lifelong learning.
RTCs have developed around 50 programmes of vocational trainings for adults with certificates
recognised by the Ministry of Education and Science. Around 2,000 people attended trainings in
RTCs. By the end of 2012, three new RTCs are to be established.
Non-formal and informal adult learning
Training courses for adults are increasingly delivered outside the formal education systems by
various organisations, including:
•
•
•
•
•
VET schools and RTCs;
people’s universities, worker’s universities and open universities;
chambers of commerce;
NGOs;
private schools;
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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private companies;
regional development agencies;
professional societies and associations;
museums, libraries, reading rooms, theatres, cinemas, art galleries, and cultural centres;
sports organisations, clubs and recreation centres;
scientific institutions and societies;
care institutions for the elderly;
correctional institutions;
international organisations, institutions and foundations.
There is a lack of comprehensive data on providers of non-formal education.
The great majority of certificates awarded by non-formal training providers are not recognised,
which is a disincentive for adults to enrol in those courses. There is also no system for recognising
informal education.
Investment in education
Public expenditure on education represented 3.3% (2009) of GDP and the share of education in the
whole budget of the Republic of Serbia in 2010 is 16.17% 120, a proportion which was increasing until
2008.
Figure 49
Over the period 2001-2006, the proportion of public expenditures dedicated to education on
average in the EU-27 remained stable at around 5.1% of EU-27 121. The OECD recommends an
average of 6% of GDP.
The education budget is shared between pre-school and primary education (48%), secondary
education (21%), higher education (22%) and student welfare (8%). The remaining 1% covers the
operating costs of the Ministry of Education and Science and other central bodies such as national
120
Review of Human Resources Development In Serbia, ETF (September 2010)
Total public expenditure on education includes the expenditure of all levels of government, from local to central
government, not only with educational institutions, but also with transfers to students and their families and other private
entities.
121
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education councils and institutes. As much as 85% of education expenditures concern the salaries of
the education staff. 122
Financial transfers to school are based on a number of criteria reflecting the size and the needs of
the school 123. However, these formulas are not fully binding and their parameters were fixed in the
1990s 124. The Law on Fundamentals of the Education System introduces a new financing system
which links transfers to teaching costs per capita estimated at market price. It is expected to come
into force in the school year 2014/2015.
While salaries of teaching staff are paid from the national budget, about 20% of public expenditures
in primary and secondary education come from local self-governments to cover operating costs and
school staff development. Many municipalities, however, do not fulfil their obligations towards
schools 125. Large differences in local government spending on education reflect local policy priorities,
but also severe budgetary constraints in municipalities from poorer regions.
122
Review of Human Resources Development In Serbia, ETF (August 2010)
Such as number of students and teaching staff, number and type of profiles taught
124
Masson, J.-R., ETF, Financing VET in the Western Balkans and Turkey, unpublished (September 2008)
125
Only 30% of municipalities financed VET schools
123
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Access to education
Coverage and participation
Figure 50
Pre-school
Pre-school attendance was very low until the recent introduction of a compulsory preparatory preschool programme 126, which in 2009/2010 covered 87.8% of children aged 6 to 7 127. However, the
coverage of children aged 3-5 years at 41.5% in 2009/2010 is still among the lowest in Europe. The
low participation is mainly due to the insufficiently developed network of pre-school institutions. In
urban areas 14,000 children were on waiting lists for enrolling in pre-schools in 2009/2010 128.
Children most in need are not covered i.e. children from poor families and rural areas, Roma
children from marginalised groups and children with disabilities 129.
Elementary education
In 2009/2010, 98.17% of children aged 7 to 14 were attending primary schools 130. The largest
proportions of children outside the education system were recorded among Roma families (21.6%),
poor families (11.8%) and low educated families 131 (4.4%). In the period 2002-2007, the primary
education coverage of Roma children has increased from 56% (2002) to 73% (2007) and the
percentage of these children in schools for children with development difficulties decreased over the
same period (from 8% to 6%). The number of children from rural areas, who are outside the
education system, has increased from 1.5% in 2002 to 2.4% in 2007. 132
126
As a result the coverage of children aged 3-7 years has increased from 43% (2002) to 51% (2007) LSMS, 2002-2007
The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Communications (April 2010)
128
RSO
129
The coverage of city children aged 3 to 5 is 45%, and of rural children 14%, only, 7% of the poorest and 4% of Roma
children Survey of Multiple Indicators of the Situation of Children and Women, UNICEF (2005), hereinafter MICS3.
130
Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Communications (March 2010)
131
Whose head of household has no or incomplete primary school education or with only primary school completed
132
Living Standard Measurement Study, Serbia 2002-2007, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
127
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Secondary education
In 2009/2010, 84.4% of children aged 15-18 years were attending secondary schools 133. The
secondary education net enrolment rate has been continuously increasing since 2005. Participation
is much lower among children from low educated families (72%), the poorest families (58%), Roma
(38%), refugees and IDPs (78%) 134.
There is also a very pronounced gender difference in favour of girls: the participation in secondary
education was 79% for boys and 88% for girls.
Tertiary education
The share of young people engaged in tertiary education has kept increasing for the last ten years.
During the academic year 2007/2008, 40% of the population aged 20-24 was enrolled into tertiary
education. As a comparison, that rate amounted to 57.4% in the EU-27 in the academic year
2004/2005 135.
Figure 51
However, young people from the poorest families are under-represented (14%) in tertiary
education, as well as young people from the least educated families (19%).
Following a similar trend to the EU-27, women’s participation in higher education is higher than
men's since 2002 (123 women enrolled for every 100 men). There remained, however, significant
imbalances depending on the field of study.
Adult education
In 2008, the proportion of the population aged 25-64 years participating in adult education was
significantly lower in Serbia (3%) than in the EU-27 (10%) 136.
133
Ministry of Education (September 2010). If we include persons aged 19, the enrolment rate is 67.1%
Living Standard Measurement Study, Serbia 2002-2007, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
135
At EU-27 level, higher education entrants account for 85% of qualifying graduates of general secondary schooling.
136
Eurostat, Pocketbook on candidate and potential candidate countries (2010)
134
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Figure 52
For those aged 19-24, attendance of various programmes of informal education dropped by 1% over
the last five years. Men are still more frequently attending various courses and training than women
(17% compared to 4%); similarly, young people are more likely to attend from urban than non-urban
areas (16% compared to 8%). Younger people and with higher education are the most likely to be
engaged in adult education. The percentage of older people with lower educational level
participating in adult education is particularly low 137.
Among employed people aged 15-24, 6% of the male population and 14% of the female population
are students, while 0.4% of the male population and 1.4% of the female population attend
secondary school while working at the same time. This indicates that young women are investing
more in further education than young men.
Drop-outs and early school leavers
Figure 53
In 2008/2009, the yearly drop-out rate in primary education was 1.8% 138. However, according to the
generation survey 2000–2008 139, the drop-out rate in primary education amounted to 7%. In
2008/2009 the drop-out rate in secondary education was 2.5% among children attending four-year
education programmes and 8.4% among those attending three-year education programmes.
137
LSMS, 2002-2007
Ministry of Education (September 2010)
139
Percentage of children who enrolled in the 2000/2001 academic year and dropped out by the end of primary education,
2007/2008 academic year. Report for the Enhanced Permanent Dialogue, Ministry of Education (December 2009).
138
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Some studies reveal much higher drop-out rates than official statistics, which do not follow pupils by
age cohorts. (15% for primary and around 30% for secondary) 140 The highest drop-out rates (10%15%) 141 are recorded during the year of transition from primary to secondary school. These figures
are much higher among children from disadvantaged groups 142 as illustrated by the example of
Roma: while 73% of Roma attend primary school, only 38% of them reached secondary school.
Figure 54
Early school leavers represented 30% of the Serbian population aged 18 to 24 compared to 14.9% in
the EU. 143
An unknown number of children remain invisible to statistics because they never enroll in the
education system. This is often the case with Roma children.
Quality of the education system
According to the results of the latest PISA survey in 2009 144, the average education performance of
students aged 15 in the three surveyed areas (mathematical, scientific and reading literacy) is by
around 60 score points below the OECD average 145. The analysis shows that Serbian students would
need slightly more than one year of schooling in all three areas to catch up with the level of students
from Croatia, Slovenia and the OECD average. However, PISA 2009 results are better than in 2006.
Regarding reading literacy, the scale of improvement realised by Serbian students is the greatest
ever recorded by any country between two PISA tests. The average performance is higher by 40
score points while percentage of students not reaching the level of functional reading literacy has
decreased from 52% in 2006 to 33% in 2009. Regarding mathematical and scientific literacy, some
progress has also been made compared to 2006–(+7 score points)..
140
Government of Serbia, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2003)
Report for the Enhanced Permanent Dialogue, Ministry of Education (December 2009)
142
Children from poor and low educated families, from Roma families, from rural areas and children with disabilities
143
EU 2020 target is 10%. Serbia 2020 target is 15% (First National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in
Serbia, Belgrade, 2011). Early School leavers are defined as the percentage of the population aged 18 to 24 with no more
than secondary education and not engaged in further education or training
144
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), OECD, MoE, 2009, Belgrade.
145
1 school year= aproximately 38 score points.
141
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However, despite progress since 2006, 36% of Serbian students can still be considered functionally
illiterate in all three areas 146.
Gender differences in education performance are similar to OECD average. Girls have better
achievements in reading literacy while boys perform better in mathematical literacy. No gender
differences was recorded in scientific performance.
Equality in education has improved compared to 2006. It is higher than in other countries of the
region and above the OECD average. The impact of the socio-economic status of students on
educational achievements has decreased; it explains only 10% of the variance in the educational
achievements in reading literacy compared to 14% in 2006.
Some of the reasons behind poor PISA results are presented below:
•
Curricula are content-oriented, as opposed to outcome-based where learning is oriented
towards development of literacy and living skills (as is the case in EU countries).
•
The teaching process is not sufficiently intellectually stimulating; “learning to learn” is
missing, as well as creative and critical thinking and individual problem-solving. Teachers’
competences are insufficiently in line with contemporary science (both in academic fields
and in pedagogy). A system for following up the academic achievements of pupils is nonexistent.
•
The network of schools is very uneven and scattered 147, with negative influence on the
quality of education. It does not fit the new demographic picture of Serbia 148 and the
demand for new qualifications. There are large schools with more than 3,000 pupils and
small ones with less than 50 pupils. The teaching environment varies considerably. Some
schools comply with ISO standards and boast the latest IT equipment while others lack the
most elementary teaching materials and equipments.
•
The declining trend iof pupils in primary and secondary schools has not been reflected in
reduction in teacher employment or number of classes taught. As a result, the efficiency of
the system has deteriorated. This is true, not just because of a large number of very small
classes in rural schools, but because class sizes in standard schools have been allowed to fall
as well. The teacher-to-student ratio went from 1:16.5 in primary schools and 1:13.6 in
secondary schools in 2000, to 1:13.8 in primary and only 1:10.7 in secondary schools in
2006 149, while the OECD average is 15.2 and 13.0. Another source of inefficiency is the large
number of small schools.
•
Indirect indicators show that teaching time is not being used efficiently enough (i.e. oral
exams are still the most widespread, even if they are the least economical and the least
objective), and that the teaching staff is insufficiently trained for efficient management of
the learning process.
146
Taking into account that 10-15% of pupils do not continue schooling after elementary school and therefore do not take
part in the PISA tests, the percentage of functionally illiterate among the total population is in fact higher.
147
Primary schools exist in around 70% of settlements. Village schools represent 60% of the total number of schools, but
they are attended by only 10% of pupils’ population. In Serbia, 27.8% of pupils travel between 11 and 20 kilometres to go
to school, while 27.9% travel more than 21 km.
148
The current network of schools was established at a time when there were approximately 100,000 newborn children
per year compared to a little more than 80,000 today.
149
Mijatović, B. (ed.), Reforms in Serbia: Achievements and Challenges, Centre for Liberal-Democratic Studies, Belgrade
(2008) http://www.clds.org.rs/newsite/Reforme08-eng.pdf
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The network of special schools and special departments, where education is significantly
more expensive than in regular system, is overgrown with minimal benefits. The number of
employees in special schools has grown dramatically over the past years.
Institutional and legal framework
Annex B describes the ministries responsible for policy and legislation in the field of education and
VET namely the Ministry of Education and Science. It also describes the roles of other key bodies,
namely the Provincial Secretariat for Education, the National Education Council, the National Council
for Vocational and Adult Education, the National Council for Higher Education, the Institute for the
Improvement of Education, the Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation and the Pedagogical
Institute of Vojvodina. It also sets out the current body of laws governing education and VET, as
defined by IPA Implementing Regulation.
Strategic framework
Priorities for an integrated educational strategy (draft)
The Ministry of Education and Science is committed to developing and adopting an integrated
education strategy in the course of 2011. As a part of this process, , the National Education Council
has recently adopted guidelines 150 for further reforms of pre-school, primary, general secondary and
art secondary education. This document lays down also strategic goals for further development of
the education system as whole:
(1) Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the education process in order to improve the
performance of the education systemthrough:
a. Ensuring accessibility of education – increase the coverage of children (drop-out
prevention, increase of school completion rate etc) by promoting equality in
education at all levels;
b. Improving quality of education – that includes all quality parameters – conditions for
learning, educational programmes, teaching process, teachers and in particular
quality of educational achievements through evaluation of skills, knowledge and
competences;
c. Financial and economic efficiency – measured through rational investment in
education and its return on the overall development of the country and local
community.
(2) Establish better communication and linkages e with other sectors (economic, social,
technological and cultural) to enhance the role of education as a key resource for the longterm development of Serbia
(3) Modernise the education system in line with EU and world trends and promote greater
internationalisation of the education system
150
“Education in Serbia, How to Achieve Better Results? Guidelines for further development and quality improvement in
pre-school, primary, general secondary and art secondary education 2010-2020”
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Strategy for the Development of Secondary Vocational Education
The Strategy for the Development of Secondary Vocational Education, adopted in December 2006,
defines the main objective of the VET system, which is “to provide youth and adults with the
opportunities to gain knowledge, skills and competencies needed for work and employment and to
ensure conditions for further education and learning in the perspective of the society’s sustainable
development”. The Strategy’s goals are reflected in the new Law on the Foundations of the
Education System (2009). The Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy was adopted in
2009.
The VET development strategy and its Action Plan revolve around the following themes:
•
•
•
•
•
development of social partnership in vocational education in Serbia though further
institutional development enabling cross-sectoral approach in further reform of the VET
system;
development of the National Qualifications Framework as the cornerstone of the education
system including VET;
Establishment of quality assurance system and transparent accreditation and certification
system;
establishment and development of the system of career guidance and counseling in
vocational education in Serbia 151;
development of entrepreneurship in vocational education.
The Adult Education Development Strategy
The Adult Education Strategy was adopted in 2006, and the Action Plan for its implementation in
2009
The Adult Education Strategy includes the following priorities:
•
•
•
•
•
the establishment of partnership mechanisms with social partners;
the demarcation of responsibilities and competencies between ministries;
the development of adult education programmes (primary and vocational);
the promotion of quality of adult education and training.
the strengthening of the capacity of training providers.
Strategy for Career Guidance and Counselling and the Action Plan
The Strategy for Career Guidance and Counselling and the Action Plan for its implementation (2010 2014) were adopted in March 2010. The main strategic objective is the establishment of a system of
career guidance and counselling promoting a better use of human resources through links between
the worlds of work and education. Such a system would also contribute to the objectives of social
equality and inclusion.
151
The Strategy for Career Guidance and Counseling and related Action Plan are prepared by the Ministry of Youth and
Sport and adopted by the Government
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1.1.6 Social inclusion
An individual’s prospects within the education system and for gaining and retaining work, especially
in the formal economy with full rights and entitlements, are dependent on their background and
personal characteristics. Different groups in society, whether defined by gender, age, ethnicity,
physical, mental or intellectual ability, location or residential status, have widely varying experiences
and expectations of the employment and education systems, and hence life outcomes and access to
opportunities and norms in society.
Characteristics of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups
Not every group in society has equal access to education and work opportunities, or to the benefits
of fully participating in society. While every person has their own unique combination of attributes
and aptitudes, specific groups in society can be characterised as facing distinct challenges, while
sometimes also enjoying specific advantages.
Children (and families)
As already mentioned above, poverty is more widespread among children than any other age
category. Children up to 15 have the highest poverty risk (28.1%) of all age groups. Their economic
dependence explains their greater exposure to poverty. Their deprivation is not just financial but
concerns all aspects of social life, with adverse consequences in the long-term – unhealthy living
conditions, lack of access to cultural and educational services, and inadequate support and
counselling, when faced with non-functional families, violence, alcoholism or depression. The
highest percentage of poor is also among multi-member families, with the highest poverty risk for
families with 3 or more dependant children. Particularly vulnerable groups are single parents with no
or limited system support.
Although poor children and their families are relatively well supported by social assistance schemes,
the lack of coordination and cooperation among available social services prevents strong and
efficient responses to the needs of those populations in education, health and employment.
Moreover, specific services need to be further developed to tackle the whole range of issues from
street children, children without parental care, children with disabilities, through those in conflict
with the law or victims of trafficking and prostitution.
Youth
Young people aged 15-24 are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, due to their precarious
situation on the labour market, as evidenced by the high level of youth unemployment and the low
participation of young people in the labour market (see section 2.1.2). Exclusion from the labour
market is linked to low levels of qualification and the difficulty to acquire a first working experience.
The problem originates in the education system, which fails to equip young people with knowledge
and skills required in the economy, is characterised by a high number of drop-outs in elementary
and secondary school, and offers too little opportunities for training and retraining for young adults
(see sections 1.1.5 and 2.1.3).
As for children, the insertion of young people into society suffers from insufficient or substandard
social services to address some of their specific needs. For example, there is no adequate support for
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adolescent girls/teenagers falling pregnant 152, although it is well documented that young
motherhood is a major factor in poverty among women. The lack of coordinated responses to the
problems of disadvantaged youth is particularly acute among young people leaving institutional care
and those with behavioural problems, disabilities or special educational needs (mental, physical or
sensory), as well as young people from ethnic minorities, in particular Roma.
Elderly
With one sixth of its total population older than 65, Serbia was the sixth “oldest” country in the
world in 2009 153. All demographic projections indicate that the percentage of elderly people will
continue to increase until 2052, when one quarter of the population will be over 65 and the number
of those over 80 will have tripled. Like the rest of Europe, Serbia must reform its social security and
pension systems and increase labour force participation to ensure the continued financing of
pensions and health care for the elderly. Due to their economic inactivity and constraints on social
transfers, elderly people are particularly at risk of poverty and social exclusion. There are insufficient
social services to address the specific needs of the elderly and meet the increasing demands for
support and care.
Women
Women make up 51% of the population of Serbia, but only 43% of the active population and 43% of
the employed population. 60% of the inactive population are made up of women 154. As mentioned
in section 1.1.5, the employment rate among women (15-64) (40.3%) is much lower than among
men (54.3%) and considerably below EU-27 rates. The low participation of women on the labour
market makes them particularly vulnerable to social exclusion. Moreover, women tend to be
discriminated by employers as evidenced by the difference in earnings between men and women
(16% in favour of men) 155.
Women face many socio-cultural barriers in their professional life. Studies show that they have
lower aspirations and tend to comply with stereotypes in selecting education and occupations. As a
result, there is a low participation of women in executive positions (30.5% of women hold executive
positions in the business and public sector while women represent 18.5% of government staff) and
more generally in entrepreneurship and SMEs. The traditional role expected from women in the
family is often not reconcilable with the requirements of a full- time job in the modern economy.
Women also tend to be confined to specific jobs and are excluded from potential job opportunities
not considered suitable for them.
According to a recent study 156, women tend to be are among the most vulnerable during the
economic transition. This is particularly true for older women, low educated women, those living in
rural areas or from ethnic minorities, as well as women faced with family issues, with no family
support and those victims of violence. Single female parents, who are representing over threequarters of all single parents, are also particularly at risk of social exclusion.
152
Alongside the UK, Serbia has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies. The number of adolescent girls falling pregnant is
between 6,000 and 7,000 a year, Source: Republic Centre for Family Planning
153
st
“Demographic Review: Serbia in the Mid-21 Century – Depopulated and Old?”, No.25/2007
154
LFS (Q1, 2010)
155
The National Strategy for Improved Status of Women and Gender Equality Promotion
156
Gender Inequalities the Labour Market and incentives for European integration process, Marija Kolin, European
Movement in Serbia (December 2009)
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Refugees and IDPs
In 1996, there were 537,937 people registered as refugees and 79,791 people registered as waraffected people 157. Almost 15 years later, thanks to systematic action by the Government of Serbia,
the number of refugees has significantly decreased and now it stands at 86,154 158. The figure is
expected to decrease as a result of continuing returns to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, as
well as local integration. The main focus of the government strategy for resolving the situation of
refugees in Serbia in the past 10 years was to support their successful return to their country of
origin or third country, and to support the integration of those who decided to stay in Serbia.
Although a lot has been done, employment and housing still remain the main challenges for their full
integration into society. The unemployment rate among refugees is significantly higher than in the
rest of the population (see section 1.1.5), 29% of refugees have monthly incomes of less then €48,
which is a threshold for social welfare benefits and 61% of refugees do not have a housing
solution 159.
The number of IDPs from Kosovo is 205,835 160. According to the UNHCR, the socio-economic status
of IDPs remains precarious. The unemployment rate among IDPs is notably higher in comparison to
the local population (see section 1.1.5). IDPs are also facing considerable housing problems,
especially Roma who often live in unhygienic settlements. It is crucial to provide them with better
living conditions and ensure that they enjoy the same rights as host communities and receive
adequate assistance.
Still, Serbia hosts one of the largest populations of refugees and (IDPs) in Europe. Most live in private
accommodation, but some 5,100 remain in 57 collective centres. The Government has been making
great efforts to take different options into consideration to address the needs of refugees and IDPs
such as support to employment and housing.
Returnees to Serbia
According to the Council of Europe’s estimate, the projected number of returnees based on the
Readmission Agreement, due to return from the EU to Serbia, is about 50,000 and 100,000. The
great majority of them are Roma (according to estimates, more than 70%). However, there are no
precise data on the exact number and structure of the returnees, which creates a limitation in
understanding their needs and providing the primary admittance according to those needs. The lack
of data also presents the obstacle in assessing the level of vulnerability of the returnees, and from
the estimate, on the number and structure of the most vulnerable groups among them. The recently
adopted Strategy on the Reintegration of Returnees on the basis of the Readmission Agreements
presents the framework for guiding activities for primary admittance and full reintegration of the
returnees in Serbia. Through inter-sectoral cooperation, returnees will be supported in employment,
housing, education and social needs.
Roma
The Roma population is the third largest ethnic group in Serbia with officially 108 193 residents
(Census 2002), of which about 38,000 registered as IDPs. However, various researches estimate their
157
Registration organised by the Commissariat in cooperation with UNHCR in 1996
UNHCR data as of 1 August 2009
159
Commissariat for Refugees Research in cooperation with IOM and UNHCR (October 2008)
160
Ibid
158
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number to range from 250,000 to 500,000. The majority of Roma live in ethnic enclaves, and are
often unwilling to or incapable of participating in nation-wide research, which explains the relative
scarcity and inaccuracy of data about them. The Roma population is a young population with an
average age of 27.5 years old and large families (5.3 members per household on average).
Roma people are one of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in Serbia with acute social
problems, ranging from lack of decent housing, high unemployment and inactivity rates, low
qualifications, lack of access to education, health care, social counselling and employment support,
high insecurity, violence and crimes. The education system is particularly failing to integrate Roma
children, as evidenced by the significant gap between Roma and other children in terms of school
enrolment at all levels and the low rate of completion at both primary and secondary school (see
section 1.1.6). An UNDP survey 161 shows that Roma unemployment rates are between 1.5 and 3
times higher than average (see also section 2.1.2). When employed, the majority of Roma work in
majority in the informal economy (58%). A worrying fact is also that better educated Roma have
more difficulty in finding employment.
Despite numerous policies and initiatives in recent years to improve the situation of Roma people,
the range of social services and initiatives to promote their inclusion into society is still inadequate in
relation to the needs and complexity of the issue.
People with disabilities
There is no official census or comprehensive survey on the number of people with disabilities (PwD),
but according to current estimates, there are about 700,000 to 800,000 of PwD in Serbia 162.
Likewise, there is no accurate data regarding the number, types and levels of disabilities.
Despite significant improvements in their overall status in the society and in the legal and strategic
frameworks concerning them, PwD are at a greater risk of poverty and social exclusion, as they
continue to face numerous barriers in accessing education, employment and healthcare.
As in other countries in the region, social services for children and adults with disabilities is
underfunded and often unable to provide efficient support to PwD in overcoming barriers to
education, healthcare and labour market 163. Social benefits for PwD are based on medical models of
amount and type of disability and tend to be relief-oriented, rather than supportive of employment.
Physical barriers (such as absence of accessible housing, limited access to public buildings and
spaces, and inadequate accessible public transportation) limit the mobility of people with disabilities
and discourage their active participation in society.
There is very low percentage of children with disabilities in the mainstream education. Drop-out
rates are also higher than average.
The lack of job opportunities is one of the major factors of exclusion for PwD. Access to labour
market is hampered by their low levels of education and the insufficient availability of vocational
and rehabilitation training. The attitude of employers, who are often unwilling to employ PwD, is
also part of the problem, although the adoption of a new law should soon bring improvements in
this respect (see section 2.1.2).
161
“At Risk: The Social Vulnerability of Roma, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Serbia”, UNDP (June 2006)
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy data
163
Social Protection and Social Inclusion in the Western Balkans, A Synthesis Report, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (January 2009)
162
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Rural communities
Rural areas account for 85% of the territory of Serbia, generate 41% of gross domestic product
(GDP), and are inhabited by 42% of the total population. The aging index and the dependency index
are considerably higher in rural areas 164. The illiterate population in non-urban settlements is almost
4 times higher than in urban areas with over 30% of people not having finished elementary school.
As already indicated in the previous section on poverty levels, rural areas record above-average
levels of poverty. Factors of poverty in rural areas include the overreliance on agriculture as the
main source of jobs, the insufficiently diversified economic structure and the low mobility of the
labour force. Agricultural households are trapped into poverty due to the unfavourable ownership
structure, underdeveloped land, poor utility and business infrastructure and weak human and
entrepreneurial capacity.
Other vulnerable groups
There are substantial overlaps among the groups described above. Without seeking to provide an
exhaustive list of vulnerable groups, it is worth noting that, in addition to the categories of people
described above, there are other groups of disadvantaged people suffering from exclusion on
various accounts, who have been given little or no attention, due to their size or the slow
recognition of their needs. Among these are:
• “New poor” older workers, - who have lost their jobs due to the restructuring of the
economy and the privatisation process; having outdated skills not in demand any more,
these older workers often faced with mental health issues and other social problems;
• Homeless persons, - who have been supported through social networks at the local level,
without successfully reintegrating society;
• War veterans - suffering from social (residential, financial, unemployment, marital and
family), medical (health physical disability) and mental problems (PTPD, alcoholism,
depression, psychosomatic disorders) as a result of the war;
• HIV/AIDS infected people - who are stigmatised and suffer from a lack of awareness of the
discrimination directed against them;
• Drug addicts - with no developed social network for their reintegration into society;
• Ex-offenders - with no systematic approach to their re-integration;
• People with a history of mental health problems, - who are usually treated within health
system with no community support services for their full integration into society;
• Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population;
• People seeking international protection and others moving irregularly - the number of
asylum applications remains low. Implementation of Serbia's asylum legislation started in
mid-2008 165.
When available, the support to these groups is fragmented within single systems and uncoordinated
and therefore unable to promote efficiently their (re)integration into society.
164
The share of dependent categories of the population (children aged 0-14 and elderly older than 64) in comparison to the
population of working age is 55% and/or 43% in urban settlements (Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia).
165
UNHCR Statistical Yearbook (2009)
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Social welfare system in Serbia
The overall goal of the social welfare system in Serbia is to promote decent living for all and ensure
social cohesion, in particular by combating poverty and social exclusion and helping vulnerable and
disadvantaged groups lead independent and productive lives.
The provision of social welfare in Serbia is managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. It
consists of cash benefits and social services to citizens, which are provided through the network of
institutions run by the state and local self-governments. Over the past few years, service providers
from the non-governmental and private sector have become increasingly involved in social service
provision across Serbia.
The social welfare system has been characterised by a high degree of centralisation since it was
designed in the nineties. Reforms have gradually been introduced in the last 10 years to modernise
social welfare by encouraging, in particular, greater involvement of local actors. A number of
breakthroughs have been achieved since reforms started:
•
Integrating lessons learned from best practices and various pilot projects implemented in
Serbia, a new Law on Social Welfare has been drafted which creates a framework for a
progressive decentralisation and modernisation of social welfare in Serbia.
• The Law promotes service delivery pluralism and quality assurance through national
minimum standards for social services and supervisory support. It also creates a regulatory
framework based on the licensing of professionals and service providers 166 and inspection
mechanisms. .
• Emphasis is now placed on the provision of services in the community and the family.
• Services have been grouped together in an open-ended list which allows for the
development of new services and their mainstreaming into the system.
• Earmarked transfers from central level to local communities are foreseen to support the
development of community-based social services.
• In order to reach the most vulnerable populations often excluded from the system in the
past, the new Law provides for higher amounts of cash social assistance for the poor and
encourages accompanying active inclusion measures.
• Institutes for Social Protection are operational since 2006 and provide research and
development at Republican and Provincial level for the promotion and development of the
social welfare system 167.
The following paragraphs describe key aspects of the existing welfare system as transformed by
reforms carried out to date while a more detailed look at further reforms and challenges linked to
the implementation of the new Law is provided under section 2.1.4.
Social welfare expenditures
Social welfare expenditures consist of expenditures on social services and cash benefits both at
central and local levels. Social welfare expenditures reached a peak of 3.8% of GDP in 2002-2003 168,
166
the Social Welfare Chamber will be established for issuing licences to professionals
This includes monitoring the quality of work in the social welfare sector including supervisory support to service
providers and other actors (e.g. local governments), development of national minimum standards and accreditation of
training programmes for professionals. See Annex B for more details.
168
Assessment of the actual allocation of functions and financial resources among central and local level in the domain of
social welfare services, DFID (September 2007)
167
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after which they decreased to 3.1% of GDP in 2008 (€955m). The total budget for social welfare was
€929m 169 in 2009 accounting for 3.8% of GDP.
Central level expenditures represent 90% of this budget. Services account for 32.4% of total
expenditures and cash benefits for 67.6%168. However, the greatest share of local level expenditures
is spent on services (70%).
Out of the total spending on social services at the central level, residential care represents more
than 70% (73% in 2005 and 71.6% in 2006). This ratio gives an indication of the excessive weight of
residential care and the underdevelopment of community-based services in Serbia168168.
The main poverty targeted benefit the so-called cash assistance support CSAaccounted for 5.1% of
social protection expenditures and 0.2% of GDP. Although it increased, this share is still lower than
other countries in the region (Croatia, 0.3% of GDP Slovenia, 0.6% of GDP Bulgaria, 0.3% of GDP) 170.
In 2009, child allowances represented 9.2% of the total social protection expenditures and 0.3% of
GDP and the carer’s allowance accounted for 6.5% of the total social welfare expenditures, and 0.2%
of GDP.
Local self-government contributes for less than 10% of total social welfare expenditure.
Municipalities have discretionary power to decide how much to spend on social welfare.
Municipalities spend between 0.1% and 9.5% of their total budget on social welfare and an average
59 RSD per capita on social assistance, an indication that social welfare is not among their first
priorities. There are huge disparities between LSGs. The four largest cities – Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš
and Kragujevac – accounted for around 73% of total social expenditure at the local level in 2005 and
2006. The State budget contribution to local government expenditure in social welfare has been very
important: two-thirds in 2005 and more than 60% in 2006168.
Social welfare budgets at the local level present an almost completely opposite structure to the one
prevailing at central level: the major part of the budget is spent on social welfare services (86%),
with only a small portion expanded on cash benefits (14%) 171. In practice, the latter has little impact
on the welfare of beneficiaries, since they are only supplementing central cash benefits. However,
almost all LSGs allocate funds for one-off payments to people most in need and almost one-third of
LSGs allocate budget funds for in-kind assistance and humanitarian support 172.
169
The lower budget amount in 2009 in euro is caused by high drop of dinar value comparing to euro
World Bank (2006)
171
Ibid
172
Such as assistance in purchasing basic food items, items for beneficiaries placed in residential institutions, school items
for poor children, funding soup kitchens, etc. The Situation Analysis on Social Welfare at Local Level, survey in 30
municipalities, Matkovic (2006)
170
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Social welfare at the central level
a. Central cash benefits
The cash benefits funded at the central level can be grouped according to the laws which regulate
them:
i. Financial social support regulated by the Law on Social Welfare. It includes cash social
assistance (CSA) and carer allowance;
ii. Benefits for children and families regulated by the Law on Financial Support to Family and
Children. They include maternity allowance, parental allowance, child allowance, pre-school
attendance cost for children without parental care, and pre-school attendance cost for children
with disabilities;
iii. Cash benefits for disabled war veterans.
Scope and take-up of cash benefits (2009)
Benefit
Cash Social Assistance (CSA)
Beneficiaries
(average on a
monthly basis)
59,067 households
(151,504 individuals)
Carer allowance
46,739
Maternity allowance, child
care allowance and special
child care allowance
30,568
Parental allowance
Child allowance
173
61,406
(62,558 children)
203,403
(386,465 children)
Commentary
The Government’s main instrument against poverty
and social exclusion, this is a means-tested instrument
for no or low income households, the level depending
on number of family members activated when
individual/family are unable to maintain even the
173
minimum living standard .
Intended for protection of persons who, due to
physical or sensory impairment, intellectual difficulties
or deteriorated health conditions are in need of
another person's care and assistance in order to meet
their basic needs, , carer allowance is conditioned only
by a health condition, not by the beneficiary’s financial
standing (in contrast to CSACSA).
Benefits paid to pregnant women/new mothers for the
st
nd
period of maternity leave (up to 1 year for 1 and 2
rd
th
child, and up to 2 years for 3 and 4 child). It can be
exercised by father, adopter, foster parent or carer of
the child. To exercise the right the person must have
been employed.
st
nd
rd
th
One-off fixed benefit for the 1 , 2 , 3 and 4 child.
Targeted at poor families with children, it is a
conditional cash transfer i.e. the entitlement to child
allowance can be acquired for no more than four
children in a family, provided that they attend
elementary or secondary school regularly and can be
extended beyond school age for children with
disabilities up to 26 years if they are covered by
educational programmes or training for work. The
It is a typical guaranteed minimum income that can be found in almost all EU countries
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threshold and entitlement levels are equal for all
174
children in the whole of Serbia and are indexed to
the cost of living
Pre-school attendance cost
for children without
parental care
Pre-school attendance cost
for children with disabilities
Cash benefits for disabled
war veterans
300
Cumulative benefit exercised only for the beneficiaries
of child allowance
Source: MoLSP Annual Report 2009
CSA is the most important source of income for poor families, namely Roma families, single member
families, families with many members, the elderly, and persons with disabilities who are unable to
work. It gives access to other types of assistance provided by local governments, such as one-off
payments, subsidies for the payment of utility services, free textbooks, transportation and medical
treatment. 175
CSA beneficiaries have doubled since 2000, following amendments to the Law. In mid 2009, the
number of households receiving CSA reached 70,012, after an increase of 20,000 compared to the
previous year. The increase of CSA beneficiaries in mid- 2009, as a result of the financial crisis, shows
the importance of the CSA as an instrument to respond quickly to sudden shifts in poverty.
Despite a higher coverage, only 8.6% of the poor received CSA in 2007, while only 11.4% of
households living below the poverty line applied for CSA. 176 Of the total number of households in
Serbia, only about 2% receive CSA. The cumbersome administrative procedures, the relatively high
application costs, and the social stigma attached to it, explain partly the reluctance of many
potential beneficiaries to apply for the CSACSA.
The largest group of CSA beneficiaries is constituted by single member families (39.1%), followed by
families with 4 and more members, (27.7%) and 2-member families (18%). The low amount of
assistance and inadequate equivalency scale favouring individuals over households 177 explain why
single-member families are the principal CSA beneficiaries, despite the fact that families with 3 and
more members are at a higher risk of poverty.
174
The threshold and entitlement levels are higher (an increase in the threshold by 20% and the amount of child allowance
by 30%) for foster and guardian families, single parents and children with disabilities in order to encourage alternative
initiatives to institutional placement.
175
Support to the employment of socially excluded youth -guidelines for the development of integrated services of the
labour market and social services, Lela Veljkovic (November 2009)
176
Living Standard Measurement Study, Serbia 2002-2007
177
An Analysis of the Impact of Government Financial Assistance for the Poor, Gordana Matkovic and Bosko Mijatovic
(September 2008)
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Figure 55
Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, May 2010
The take-up of CSA varies widely across Serbia and leads also to controversial outcomes: in some
underdeveloped local self-governments (LSGs) with very low living standards and significant social
problems, the share of households receiving CSA is less than 1%. 178 LSGs where the share of
households receiving CSA is over 5% include both some of the least developed LSGs 179 and some of
the most developed ones. This situation results from the different approaches that staff of Centres
for Social Work (CSW) use when assessing the eligibility of applicants and the lack of standardised
assessment procedures.
According to available data, almost half of CSA beneficiaries are unemployed and able-bodied. The
current rule to limit access to CSA to a maximum of nine months per year for working-age
beneficiaries is not a sufficient incentive to bring people back to work. 180 On the contrary, CSA might
discourage poor beneficiaries to look for a job since it is a regular and reliable benefit. In many cases,
working-age beneficiaries survive three months without CSA, relying on child allowances and
incomes gained on the informal economy before reapplying.
Out of 178,000 CSA beneficiaries in 2010, 46% were unemployed, a figure which indicates the
potential for active inclusion measures. 181
178
Kučevo, Ljubovija, Malo Crniće and Žabari Source: An Analysis of the Impact of the Financial Government Assistance for
the Poor, G. Matkovic and B. Mijatovic (September 2009)
179
Žitište, Crna Trava, Bujanovac, Preševo and Lebane. Source Ibid
180
World Bank, Serbia Social Assistance and Child Protection Note (2006), p.9
181
MoLSP data (May 2010)
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Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, May 2010
Figure 56
200,488 households benefited from child allowances, which reached 311,116 children in 2010. The
coverage of poor households by child allowances amounted to 58% in 2010 and is much higher than
for the CSA. On the other hand, 84% of households receiving child allowances were not poor
pointing to weaknesses in targeting 182.
b. Centrally managed social services
Centrally managed social services are all social services provided by state institutions and they
include services provided by Centres for Social Work, residential care and foster care.
•
Centres for Social Work
The backbone of the social welfare system is the country-wide network of 140 Centres for Social
Work (CSWs), acting as de-concentrated offices 183 of the MoLSP in almost every local selfgovernment (LSG). CSWsare public bodies existing since the mid-1950s in charge of basic social
services for children, young people, adults and elderly people from disadvantaged and vulnerable
groups. Although CSWs are established by LSGs, their responsibilities derive from the central
government which provides the majority of their funding.
The primary function of CSWs is to assess the needs and abilities of their clients and refer them to
appropriate social services and benefits to meet those needs. The whole process of assessment and
planning is defined in individual care plans. It is difficult to access financial social support, be placed
in a residential institution or a foster family, or even use local services, without the assessment of
and decision from a CSW. In addition to this key role, CSWs must also fulfil other functions of public
interest in accordance with the laws such as counselling, mediation, custody, foster family
assessment, emergency intervention service, etc. They also administer financial social support for
the poor and people with disabilities 184.
182
MOLSP data (May 2010)
Decentralization of Social Welfare in Serbia, G. Matkovic (2006)
184
CSA, carer allowance and one-off payments
183
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The new Law on Social Welfare specifies the conditions under which CSWs may become service
provider themselves 185. This is an important novelty as it ensures better quality of service provision,
clear distinction of public functions and service provider role and it also contributes to the plurality
and diversification of service providers.
Finally, CSWs also play an important role in planning and developing local social policy, monitoring
local social problems, and proposing the creation of new programmes and services required in the
local community. CSWs fulfil this role through their participation in local Social Policy Councils (see
next section).
CSWs employ a total of 3,069 people, out of which around 60% are professional workers, including
social workers, lawyers, psychologists, educators and sociologists. 186
Source: Annual Report on the work of CSWs in Serbia for 2009
Figure 57
Compared to 2008, the number of CSWs’ clients increased by 7.45%, reaching a total of 555,425
people, which accounts for 7.5% of the total population of Serbia.
185
a separate organisation unit must be formed and licensed for the provision of the given social service, no other licensed
service providers must be active in the given LSG, the service must be funded by a commissioner of service such as LSG or
Provincial Authority.
186
The Annual Report on the work of CSWs in Serbia for 2009
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Source: Annual Report on the work of CSWs in Serbia for 2009
Figure 58
Case management was introduced in all CSWs throughout 2008 and 2009. The shift to case
management was accompanied with extensive training 187 and professional supervisory support
organised by the MoLSP and the Institutes for Social Protection (ISP).
•
Residential care
The state network of residential care institutions consists of 79 residential institutions grouped into
10 categories 188. Placement within an institution is decided by the CSWs.
Source: MoLSP data, May 2010
187
Figure 59
Training programmes for case management and supervision have been accredited and a network of accredited trainers
was developed through training of trainers programme (34 for case management and 8 for supervision). All over Serbia
1,453 case managers and 253 supervisors successfully completed the basic accredited course in case management..
188
Children and youth without parental care, children with disabilities, children with behavioural problems, adults with
disabilities (physical and sensory i.e. visual impairments), adults persons with learning disabilities, adults persons with
mental disorders and homes for elderly and gerontology centres
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Over the years, residential care has gradually become the dominant social service for children, young
and adult persons with disabilities, due to insufficiently developed capacities of LSGs and the
shortage of alternatives.
Residential care institutions often lack staff and specialised care programmes. 189 Premises and
equipment are often sub-standard and would require significant investment. Placement into those
institutions has often adverse consequences on the inmates, who are kept in isolation, away from
their family and natural environment and with little possibility to access other forms of social
support. 190
The transformation process of residential care was given a prominent place on the reform agenda as
illustrated in the field of child care. 191 Thanks to systematic support to the provision of care into
family environment and deinstitutionalisation, the number of children placed in institutions has
been reduced by half since 2000. This decline has been accompanied by the parallel growth of
number of children in foster families, whose number has more than doubled over the same
period. 192
Source: MoLSP, January 2010
Figure 60
In parallel, MOLSP has supported efforts to improve the quality of care provided in institutions. A
good practice example is given by the successful pilot project in Stamnica’s residential care
institution, which is being replicated in other institutions across the country.
The “Dr Nikola Sumenkovic” institution at Stamnica is a large complex providing institutional care for approximately 338
adults and 90 children with severe to profound learning disabilities. Many beneficiaries have multiple and/or complex
189
Report on the State of Affairs in the Residential Institutions for Children, Adults and Elderly with disabilities in Serbia,
November 2007
190
For example, once a child is admitted into an institution, there is often a lack of cooperation between the CSW’s
employee responsible for the child’s care and the professionals from the respective institution, with rare visits to the child.
191
The MoLSP developed a Master Plan for the Transformation of Residential Institutions for Children with support from
UNICEF (September 2009). The Plan foresees that within the next five years all residential institutions for children without
parental care, children with disabilities and correctional institutions for children and youth will enter into or conclude the
transformation process The Plan is an integral part of the new Decision of the Network of Residential institutions in Serbia
adopted by the Government in June 2010
192
In June 2010, the total number of children (without parental care, with behavioural problems and with disabilities) in
residential institutions amounted to 2,001 while the total number of foster families reached 3,622.
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disabilities, but there is a significant number of beneficiaries who are only moderately disabled by their impairments. The
care treatment was faced with three major quality issues: an inadequate or out-of-date assessment of the needs and
abilities of beneficiaries, inappropriate grouping of beneficiaries and overcrowding to the extent that it is well below the
new minimum standards adopted by the MOLSP.
The MoLSP, in partnership with Child’s Heart (a Serbian NGO), the ISP and the staff of Stamnica, designed and
implemented the new work methodology and achieved the following results:
•
Functional assessments and individual service plans (ISPs) for all 434 beneficiaries, including the definition of specific
treatments;
•
These treatments were aggregated into an Institutional Treatment Plans (ITPs), in a format, which is easy for the
institutional staff to use and review;
•
Eligibility criteria for each treatment identified in the ITPs are developed, and a computer database makes it possible
to research quickly the needs and development of all individuals;
•
Stamnica staff was trained in the assessment model and service planning.
Overall, the project has resulted in the improved quality of life of beneficiaries and a change in the staff’s attitude towards
them. All beneficiaries now have activities all throughout the day, designed in accordance with their abilities and needs,
and a higher number of them are involved in constructive activities outside the institution.
•
Foster care
The Foster Care Programme started in 2003. As explained above, this programme has been one of
the pillars of child care reforms.
In 2009, the Rulebook on Foster Care was adopted defining basic types of foster care 193, foster care
service standards and procedures and professional development for foster advisors. Foster advisors
completed intensive training programmes to manage foster families and provide appropriate
support in the best interest of the child.
Comparing to 2004, the number of foster families across Serbia has tripled as a result of constant
improvement of the Foster Family Programme over the past several years. The network of foster
families included 3,622 families fostering at total of 5,453 people in June 2010.
There are eight regional foster centres established by the MoLSP in 2011 (Novi Sad, Ćuprija, Niš,
Subotica and, Bela Crkva Kragujevac, Belgrade and Milosevac)
Social welfare at the local level
Local self-government is the most important player in the implementation of social policies at the
local level. LSGs are responsible for providing social welfare to their citizens in line with identified
local needs through the provision of both social benefits and social services . Social benefits in cash
or in kind194, which are provided by the LSGs out of their own resources, supplement the financial
193
These are: i) standard foster care for a child of a normal psychophysical development; ii) specialized foster care for
childen with disabilities, health problems or behavioural disorder; iii) emergency foster care applied in emergency
situations; and iv) respite foster care, which envisages placement of a child in another foster family, so that the foster or
natural family can have a break and maintain its capacities for further caring of the child, or for children older than 10 years
old who have been placed in an institution for a longer period, aiming to provide them the experience of family life model
and prepare them for independent living.
194
Such as one-off payments, clothing and incidentals for beneficiaries placed in residential institutions or other family, as
well as pre-school attendance cost for children from material deprived families, subsidies for communal services to
materially deprived households etc
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assistance provided by the State at central level. LSGs also finance and manage community-based
social services. Although the previous legislation officially recognised only home care, day care,
shelters and safe houses services, it also enabled the provision of additional community-based
services beyond those prescribed by law. The new law goes further and promotes the development
of diversified and innovative community-based services and encourage the involvement of the
largest possible number of actors in the provision of services. The new Law creates conditions and
mechanisms for LSGs to meet the social needs of their vulnerable groups primarily through the
development of services supporting their inclusion in the community.
The MoLSP, with significant support from international donors, has been helping LSGs to steer the
development of community-based services at the local level. Assistance was available to develop
local social strategies and action plans and to access financial resources necessary to implement the
services prioritized in those strategies. The vast majority of LSGs have established a Local Social
Policy Council, a consultative body making recommendations regarding the design, implementation
and monitoring of social strategies at the local level. Local Social Policy Councils are composed of
representatives from LSGs, CSWs and from all relevant local organisations and institutions in the
field of education, health, employment, police, NGOs, media, local companies and service users. As a
result, over 120 LSGs have developed strategies and plans to address the needs of local vulnerable
groups. 195
An example of a well-managed support to LSGs in implementing local social policies is provided in
the box below. However this is not a unique . Based on lessons learnt, the MoLSP has launched
similar initiatives for LSGs within the IPA 2008 - Fostering Social Inclusion by Developing CommunityBased Social Services for Children with Disabilities and their Families and IPA 2009 - Supporting
access to rights, employment and livelihood enhancement of refugees and IDPs in Serbia. Both IPA
projects include technical assistance to LSGs and grant scheme for the development of communitybased services focusing on very specific vulnerable groups not covered by this OP. These two
projects will however produce very important lessons regarding the involvement of LSGs in social
policy.
The joint DfID/NMFA programme, which supported the implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy,
196
represents a good practice of local social planning :
•
28 LSG strategies with budgets and action plans have been adopted. Three of them (Krusevac, Ivanjica and
Subotica) were assessed as the best practice examples.
•
Out of the 28 strategies, two are inter-municipal cluster strategies: (South Banat or Vrsac cluster and West Backa or
Sombor cluster). The Vrsac cluster initiated the first ever system for funding inter-municipal social services in Serbia.
•
4 large cities adopted strategies with action plans and budgets - Nis, Kragujevac and Novi Sada while Belgrade’s
strategy is currently being drafted.
•
37 community-based social services (CBSS) have been co-funded through a grant scheme, out of which 6 are intermunicipal services that can be accessed by citizens from four different LGSs.
•
31 LSGs have allocated budget resources for funding the implementation of local strategies.
•
The overall budget allocations to community-based social services for the 31 LSGs and cities (excluding Belgrade)
has increased by 149% since 2005 and 94% since 2006, while the number of CBSSs supported has increased from 91
195
The number is probably higher, as many LSGs include social policy activities within broader economic and social
developments strategies.
196
Implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy, Final Report, Oxford Policy Management (December 2009Janury 2010)
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in 2006 to 148 in 2009.
•
Through the ‘decisions on extended entitlement’ funds were allocated in LSG budgets to finance CBSSs for four
years, a clear evidence of commitment to the sector and a key indicator of sustainability
In addition to support to LSGs, the MoLSP has been providing continuous technical and financial
support to local service providers and community-based services through two mechanisms: the
Social Innovation Fund and the Fund for Organisations dealing with People with Disabilities.
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was launched in 2003 as a programme of the MoLSP, managed by
the UNDP and supported by the EU, Norway and DFID. Since its beginning, SIF has contributed to
more diversified community-based services and providers (from the non-governmental and private
sectors) including non-state providers) while promoting local partnerships in providing services. As a
grant mechanism, SIF funded over 300 projects for a total value of €7.3m. Projects helped develop a
variety of services aiming at greater inclusion of the most disadvantaged into the community ranging
from support to housing for people with intellectual disabilities, personal assistants services for
people with physical disabilities to day care centres for different vulnerable groups – children,
elderly, etc. Many services developed thanks to SIF participated in the pilot programme to develop
national minimum standards for social services as a basis for the future licensing of service
providers. This programme served as a basis for creating regulatory mechanisms now enshrined in
the new Law on Social Welfare.
SIF has also provided capacity building to over 500 professionals from more than 300 organisations
through technical assistance, training, partnership building and support with the implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of local social services. SIF has not been institutionalised although it is still
operational at programme level within reduced capacity and scope.
The Fund for the Organisations dealing with People with Disabilities (PwD) is an institutional
mechanism managed by the Department for the Protection of PwD in the MoLSP. It has a long
tradition in supporting the development of community-based initiatives for PwD through funding
support and capacity building activities funded from the national budget and the national Lottery.
The Fund has supported over 560 civil society organisations (associations, NGOs, socio-humanitarian
organisations) since its creation. The Fund’s procedures were refined on several occasions in the
past and methodology was aligned with SIF since many organizations were applying to both Funds.
Since a new Law on Civil Society Organisations has been enforced in October 2009 197, the work of
the Fund is exclusively managed through open calls for proposals. The World Bank DILS project has
further improved the funding procedures. Approximately €3m were allocated to different
community-based services for PwD in 2010. The Fund recently extended its scope and target groups
to cover vulnerable groups such as Roma, IDPs, young, elderly, etc.
Despite past efforts and support provided to LSGs and service providers, the availability of
community-based services across the country is still limited. 21.2% of all LSGs do not have home care
service and only 38.8% have day care centres for children with disabilities 198. There are also huge
discrepancies among municipalities, given the difference in the size of LSGs and their budgets.
Among the most developed LSGs, 90% have home care, while this number decreases to 57% among
the least developed ones. The ratio falls to 2:1 for day care for children with disabilities. Among the
poorest municipalities, none has a day care centre for the elderly. 199
197
RS Official Gazette, no. 51/9
Distribution of the Social Welfare Services in Serbia, UNDP and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Belgrade (January May 2009).
199
Ibid
198
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Institutional and legal framework
Annex B describes the ministries responsible for policy and legislation in the field of social inclusion
namely the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Human and
Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government, and the Ministry of Youth and
Sport. It also describes the roles of other key bodies, namely the Province Secretariat for Health and
Social Policy, the Institutes for Social Protection, the Fund for the Organisations for People with
Disabilities, the Commissariat for Refugees, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Unit and the Social
Inclusion Work Group. It also sets out the current body of laws governing social inclusion, as defined
by IPA Implementing Regulation.
Strategic Framework
Serbia has a well developed strategic framework for fighting poverty and social exclusion.
Poverty Reduction Strategy
The Poverty Reduction Strategy for Serbia was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia
in 2003. The Strategy defines poverty as a multi-dimensional phenomenon which, in addition to
insufficient income for securing livelihood, implies the inability to find employment, inadequate
housing and access to social welfare, medical, educational and utility services. Other key aspects of
poverty include the inability to exercise the right to a healthy environment and natural resources, in
the first place clean water and air. The main goal set out in this document was to reduce poverty by
half by 2010, which was already achieved by 2007.
The strategy has helped mainstream concerns about poverty and social exclusion across all relevant
policy fields and coordinate public and private efforts in favour of the poorest and socially most
vulnerable groups. As such, it paved the way for Serbia’s preparation of the Joint Inclusion
Memorandum (JIM) and future participation in the EU Open Method of Coordination on social
inclusion.
Social Welfare Development Strategy
The Social Welfare Development Strategy has been guiding reforms in the sector since 2005. The
Strategy sets out two main objectives for the reform process:
•
•
Improvement of social welfare for the poorest citizens, by securing an "existential minimum"
and developing a more efficient system of financial support;
Development of a network of integrated community-based services reflecting the needs of
local beneficiaries and complying with minimum quality standards.
The MoLSP is committed to developing a new Strategy on Social Welfare and accompanying action
plan to support the enforcement of the new Law and and implement improved systems. ..
Other relevant national strategic documents
The Strategy for Improving the Position of People with Disabilities in the Republic of Serbia promotes
a multi-sectoral approach in improving the status of people with disabilities and equal opportunities
in the area of the protection of the law, education, employment, housing and labour market.
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The National Strategy for Improved Status of Women and Gender Equality Promotion sets actions in
the key areas for the improvement of status of women and gender equality:
1)
2)
3)
4)
increased representation of women in public and political life,
improvement of the economic position of women,
achievement of gender equality in education,
improvement of the health state of women and improvement of the gender equality in the
health policy,
5) prevention and suppression of violence against women, and
6) elimination of gender stereotypes in the media and promotion of gender equality.
The Strategy for Improvement of the Status of Roma in the Republic of Serbia sets the foundation for
identifying and implementing affirmative actions in favour of Roma in the areas of education, health,
employment and housing.
The National Strategy for Resolving the Problems of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
provides the framework for resolving refugee and IDP issues - the return and integration of
refugees/IDPs, livelihood enhancement, housing and employment.
Strategy for the Reintegration of Returnees on the basis of the Readmission Agreements provides a
framework from primary admittance of returnees and their full reintegration into local communities,
The National Youth Strategy and the Action Plan for its implementation until 2014 provides a
framework for the promotion of young people in the 21st century as active and equal participants in
all areas of social life with equal rights and opportunities for the full development of their potential.
The Sport Development Strategy and its action plan sets a vision of Serbia until 2013 as a country
where sport will be available to every person, especially children, with developed sport
infrastructure and high achievements in sport competitions. The main inter-related strategic
priorities are 1) sport development for children and young people, 2) sport infrastructure
development and 3) professional sport development.
The National Plan of Action for Children is based on the four basic principles of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child 1) the right to life, survival and development; 2) the best interests of the child;
3) protection from discrimination and 4) right of participation. The priorities of the National Action
Plan until 2015 are: poverty reduction, quality education and better health for all children, the
improvement of the position and rights of children with disabilities, the protection of the rights of
children without parental care, the protection of children against abuse, neglect, exploitation and
violence and the strengthening of national capacities for dealing with problems related to children.
The National Strategy for Children Protection and Prevention of Violence is in line with international
conventions and runs until 2015. The Strategy sets as a goal that every child in Serbia, regardless of
gender, age, ethnic origin or social status, should grow in a safe environment respecting the integrity
of his/her personality and dignity. The Strategy covers physical and psychological violence,
exploitation, neglect and maltreatment as well as sexual abuse of children.
The National Strategy on Ageing promotes the lifelong development of individuals, the quality of life
in old age, the full integration and participation of the elderly into the community, the elimination of
all forms of social negligence due to the regression of functional abilities in old age and disability and
inter-generational and intra-generational transfers, solidarity and dialogue.
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The Migration Management Strategy sets measures for monitoring migrations, strengthening the
institutional and legal framework for managing migrations and achieving international standards in
the field of human rights protection for all migrants and towards their integration and social
inclusion.
The strategic framework for improving the state of health of the population in Serbia includes
several strategies. The main ones are the National Public Health Strategy, the National Mental
Health Strategy, the Strategy for Development and Health of Youth, the Strategy for Palliative Care
and the Strategy for fighting HIV/AIDS.
Social cohesion is also one of the most important dimensions of the Sustainable Development
Strategy of the Republic of Serbia (see section 3.3.2).
Towards the Joint Inclusion Memorandum
As Serbia is preparing for the candidate status, the consultation process on drafting the Joint
Inclusion Memorandum (JIM) has started with the support of the Social inclusion and Poverty
Reduction Unit in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration. The JIM will
identify and outline the principal challenges which Serbia faces in tackling poverty and social
exclusion. It will assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies and identifies future
challenges and policy priorities.
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1.2 Community strategic framework
1.2.1 Introduction
The strategic context for the analysis, priorities and measures of the OP has two dimensions – a
national (including local and regional) and a supranational level. The key strategy documents for the
sector within Serbia, adopted by the Government, were described in the preceding section. The
following section describes the European Union’s priorities for the sector, taken from its regulations,
plans and guidelines, as transposed into agreements with the Republic of Serbia.
In particular, the OP has been shaped by:
•
•
•
•
•
The Council regulation establishing IPA 200, and the Commission regulation which governs its
implementation and determines its eligible actions 201;
The Multi-Annual Indicative Programming Document (MIPD), which sets out the
Commission’s objectives and expectations for all interventions using IPA funding over the
programming period 202;
The European Partnership203, adopted by the Council of the European Union, which sets out
mid-term objectives for Serbia to meet the requirements of EU membership, within the
context of the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp).
The Community Strategic Guidelines on economic, social and territorial cohesion for 20072013 204, also adopted by the European Council, which elaborate how the Lisbon 205 and
Gothenburg 206 agendas should be interpreted within the context of funding the EU’s
cohesion policy;
“Europe 2020”, which was adopted by the Council on 17 June 2010 and provides the
framework for Europe-wide action to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth over
the next decade 207.
In accordance with the principle of concentration, the OP will focus limited resources on priority
themes of this OP, by matching Serbia’s priorities and development needs with the most relevant
aspects of the EU’s strategies and guidelines.
200
Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 of 12 June 2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No1085/2006
establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession assistance
202
The MIPD for 2011-2013 will not be published by the European Commission until autumn 2010, and hence this subsection will be added later. Moreover, specific guidance for IPA components III to V will only be issued when Serbia
achieves candidate country status.
203
Council Decision (Official Journal of the European Union, L 80 of 19.03.2008)
204
Council Decision of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion (2006/702/EC)
205
In March 2000, the European Council adopted the Lisbon Strategy and set a goal for the Union to become the most
competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and
better jobs and greater social cohesion by 2010. In 2005, the European Council re-launched the Lisbon Strategy by focusing
on growth and jobs.
206
By adopting the Gothenburg Strategy in June 2001, the European Council agreed on the first EU Sustainable
Development Strategy, adding an environmental dimension to the Lisbon process for employment, economic reform and
social cohesion. In June 2005, the European Council adopted a Declaration on Guiding Principles for Sustainable
Development.
207
http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/index_en.htm
201
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1.2.2 IPA regulations
The European Council’s IPA Regulation describes IPA Component IV as “accessible only to candidate
countries accredited to manage funds in a decentralised manner, in order to help them prepare for
the time after accession, in particular for the implementation of the Community's cohesion policies”.
According to Article 11, IPA component IV “shall support countries … in policy development as well as
preparation for the implementation and management of the Community's cohesion policy, in
particular in their preparation for the European Social Fund”.
Article 148 of the IPA Implementing Regulation defines, inter alia, the eligible activities under IPA
component IV as contributing to strengthening economic and social cohesion, as well as to the
priorities of the European Employment Strategy in the field of employment, education and training
and social inclusion. It states that assistance shall focus on those policies and activities which have
the potential to act as catalyst for policy change and which enhance good governance and
partnership. In particular, the scope of this component shall cover assistance to persons and focus
on the following priorities, the precise mix and concentration of which shall depend on the economic
and social specificities of each beneficiary country:
(a) increase adaptability of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs, with a view to improving
the anticipation and positive management of economic change, in particular by promoting:
(i) lifelong learning and increased investment in human resources by enterprises and
workers;
(ii) design and dissemination of innovative and more productive forms of work
organisation;
(b) enhance access to employment and sustainable inclusion in the labour market of job seekers
and inactive people, prevent unemployment, in particular long term and youth
unemployment, encourage active aging and prolong working lives, increase participation in
the labour market notably by promoting:
(i) creation, modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions;
(ii) implementation of active and preventive measures ensuring early identification of
needs;
(iii) improvement of access to employment and increase of sustainable participation and
progress of women in employment;
(iv) increase in migrants’ participation in employment, thereby strengthening their social
integration;
(v) facilitation of geographic and occupational mobility of workers and integration of
cross-border labour markets;
(c) reinforce social inclusion and integration of people at a disadvantage, with a view to their
sustainable integration in employment, and combat all forms of discrimination in the labour
market, in particular by promoting:
(i) pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people;
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(ii) acceptance of diversity in the workplace and non-discrimination;
(d) promote partnerships, pacts and initiatives through networking of relevant stakeholders,
such as social partners and non-governmental organisations, at national, regional, local
level, in order to mobilise for reforms in the field of employment and labour market
inclusiveness;
(e) expand and enhance investment in human capital, in particular by promoting:
(i) the design, introduction and implementation of reforms in education and training
systems, in order to develop employability and labour market relevance;
(ii) increased participation in education and training throughout the life-cycle;
(iii) the development of human potential in research and innovation;
(iv) networking activities between higher education institutions, research and
technological centres and enterprises;
(f) strengthen institutional capacity and the efficiency of public administrations and public
services at national, regional and local level and, where relevant, the social partners and
non-governmental organisations with a view to reforms and good governance in the
employment, education and training, as well as social fields.
Technical assistance may also be granted to support the preparatory, management, monitoring,
administrative support, information, evaluation and control activities of the programme, and
preparatory activities with a view to the future management of European Structural Funds.
The strategy of the OP is entirely aligned with the eligible actions in the IPA regulations.
1.2.3 European Partnership
The European Partnership set out specific challenges for Serbia to be positioned for EU membership.
Some of these priorities, when enacted, will set the context for the programming of IPA IV in Serbia,
while others provide the framework for actual assistance under the OP. The following table sets out
all the relevant mid-term objectives, and identifies which are covered by the OP, relative to the
three main themes.
Mid-term objective
Improve the education system with the aim of increasing skills
which foster employment opportunities and long term
economic growth
Adopt a national qualifications framework for vocational and
education training
Promote regional cooperation in the field of higher education
Adopt measures to increase school enrolment rates at
secondary level of children of all communities
Reform the childcare system and ensure mainstream
education for children from minorities
Continue de-institutionalisation, community-based services
and aid to dependent persons, including in the field of mental
health
81
Employment &
labour market
-
Education &
VET
Y
Social
inclusion
-
-
Y
-
-
N
P
-
-
P
-
-
-
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Improve the protection of women's and children's rights
Ensure that constitutional provisions on cultural and minority
rights and protection of minorities are observed
Fully implement the strategies and action plans relevant to
integration of Roma, including returnees
Implement the anti-discrimination legislation
Continue efforts to integrate and improve the conditions for
children with disabilities
Provide sustainable solutions for the integration of
readmitted persons;
Further develop social inclusion and social protection policies
Take further efforts to improve the situation of persons with
disabilities
1st draft
P
Y
P
Y
P
Y
P
P
P
P
Y
P
Y
P
Y
P
-
P
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y = fully; P = partly; N = not applicable
1.2.4 Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG) for 2007-2013
The OP has also been prepared to move Serbia closer to the Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas, as
articulated through the CSG. The CSG state that the programmes supported by the EU’s cohesion
policy in the 2007-2013 financial perspective should seek to target resources on the following three
priorities:
•
•
•
Improving the attractiveness of Member States, regions and cities by improving accessibility,
ensuring adequate quality and level of services, and preserving the environment;
Encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of the knowledge economy by
research and innovation capacities, including new information and communication
technologies; and
Creating more and better jobs by attracting more people into employment or
entrepreneurial activity, improving adaptability of workers and enterprises and increasing
investment in human capital.
While the CSG is intended to guide the implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion
Fund, which have a far greater scope than IPA, the OP will follow the most appropriate guidelines for
action, set out below.
Guideline 1.3.1: Attract and retain more people in employment and modernise social protection
systems
In the framework of the Commission’s Employment Guidelines, the specific guidelines of the CSG are
as follows:
•
•
•
•
Implementing employment policies aimed at achieving full employment, improving quality
and productivity at work, and strengthening social and territorial cohesion.
Promoting a life-cycle approach to work.
Ensuring inclusive labour markets, enhancing work attractiveness, and making work pay for
job-seekers, including disadvantaged people, and the inactive.
Improving the matching of labour market needs.
The CSG notes the primacy of efficient and effective labour market institutions, notably employment
services that can respond to the challenges of rapid economic and social restructuring and
demographic ageing, in order to support service delivery to job seekers, the unemployed and
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disadvantaged people. An important priority is to strengthen active and preventive labour market
measures, and to ensure inclusive labour markets for people at a disadvantage or at risk of social
exclusion, such as early school-leavers, the long-term unemployed, minorities and people with
disabilities. This calls for an even broader range of support to build pathways to integration and
combat discrimination. The aim should be to:
•
•
Improve their employability by enhancing participation in vocational education and training,
rehabilitation and appropriate incentives and working arrangements, as well as the
necessary social support and care services, including through the development of the social
economy.
Combat discrimination and promote the acceptance of diversity in the workplace through
diversity training and awareness-raising campaigns, in which local communities and
enterprises would be fully involved.
The OP’s strategic priorities for employment and social inclusion will take on board the holistic
approach to raising employment levels and opportunities, especially among the most vulnerable
groups.
Guideline 1.3.3: Increase investment in human capital through better education and skills
To enhance access to employment for all ages and to raise productivity levels and quality at work,
there is a need to step up investment in human capital and to develop and implement effective
national lifelong learning strategies for the benefit of individuals, enterprises, the economy and
society. In the framework of the Employment Guidelines, the specific guidelines for action in the
less developed territories include:
•
•
•
•
•
Ensuring an adequate supply of attractive, accessible and high quality education and training
provision at all levels;
Supporting the modernisation of tertiary education and the development of human
potential in research and innovation, through post-graduate studies, further training of
researchers, and attracting more young people into scientific and technical studies,
Promoting the quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training, including
apprenticeships and entrepreneurship education,
Ensuring, where appropriate, greater mobility at regional, national or transnational level,
and promoting frameworks and systems to support the transparency and recognition of
qualifications and the validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Investing in education and training infrastructure including ICTs, where such investments are
necessary for the implementation of reform and/or where they can significantly contribute
to increasing the quality and effectiveness of the education and training system.
Within the resource constraints of IPA IV, the strategic priority for education focuses on
strengthening education and training provision, and particularly the frameworks for ensuring
transparency and recognition of qualification and validation of learning, and the quality and
attractiveness of VET.
1.2.5 Europe 2020
The OP will also adopt the priorities of Europe 2020, within a Serbian context. As a Europe-wide
strategy which will be implemented at the national level and therefore attuned to national
circumstances, Europe 2020 sets out a vision of Europe's social market economy delivering high
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levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, and based on three mutually reinforcing
priorities:
•
•
•
Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation;
Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive
economy;
Inclusive growth: fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial
cohesion.
In order to establish a clear direction, the Commission has proposed a series of headline targets for
the EU as a whole, which will be converted into national targets and trajectories for Member States.
In relation to HRD, these are:
•
•
•
Aiming to raise to 75% the employment rate for women and men aged 20-64, including
through the greater participation of young people, older workers and low-skilled workers
and the better integration of legal migrants;
Improving education levels, in particular by aiming to reduce school drop-out rates to less
than 10% and by increasing the share of 30-34 years old having completed tertiary or
equivalent education to at least 40%;
Promoting social inclusion, in particular through the reduction of poverty 208, by aiming to lift
at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion
The Commission has also put forward seven flagship initiatives, of which three apply to the field of
HRD:
•
•
•
"An agenda for new skills and jobs" - to modernise labour markets and empower people by
developing their skills throughout the lifecycle with a view to increase labour participation
and better match labour supply and demand, including through labour mobility;
"Youth on the move" - to enhance the performance of education systems and to facilitate
the entry of young people to the labour market; and
"European platform against poverty" - to ensure social and territorial cohesion such that the
benefits of growth and jobs are widely shared and people experiencing poverty and social
exclusion are enabled to live in dignity and take an active part in society.
The strategic priorities of the OP will be fully aligned with the direction of these initiatives, in terms
of action on modern employment policies, strengthening the education system and its relationship
to labour market needs, and enhancing social cohesiveness.
1.2.6 Coordination mechanisms
The programming and management of IPA component IV monies will be coordinated with those of
other IPA components, and with national programmes, bilateral funds and International Financial
Institutions (IFIs), in line with the principles of complementarity and consistency. Inter-ministerial
and donor coordination will evolve from the preparation of the OP (described in the following
section) into the implementation phase.
According to Article 9 of the IPA Implementing Regulation, assistance under IPA shall be consistent
and coordinated within and between the IPA components, both at planning and programming levels.
208
Defined as the number of persons who are at risk-of-poverty and exclusion according to three indicators (at-risk-of
poverty; material deprivation; jobless household), leaving Member States free to set their national targets on the basis of
the most appropriate indicators, taking into account their national circumstances and priorities.
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Any overlap between actions covered by different components shall be avoided and no expenditure
shall be financed under more than one operation. Coordination between different components has
been ensured through the inter-ministerial working groups for IPA components I, III and IV and with
strong involvement of the NIPAC Technical Secretariat throughout the process of SCF and OP
preparation.
The NIPAC and NIPAC Technical Secretariat will have eight Sectoral Working Groups (SWGs) to
prepare the Needs Assessment Document (NAD) for international assistance in 2011-13, as the basis
for identifying annual IPA I programmes and bilateral donor projects. These SWGs will comprise
representatives from Line Ministries and other beneficiaries as the main actors in programming and
project identification, with considerable cross-over with the OPWGs for IPA III and IV. The SWGs will
contribute to the identification and prioritisation of projects, ensuring co-financing and analysis of
project implementation, and will be structured according to the following eight sectors, in line with
the eligibility criteria for IPA component I and the transition from potential to full candidate country
status: the rule of law; public administration reform; civil society, freedom of speech and cultural
rights; transport; environment and energy; competitiveness; human resources development; and
agriculture and rural development. As with IPA III and IV, the IPA I programming process has
engaged representatives of partners, donors and IFIs.
Experiences and lessons learned from CBC programmes have been taken into account during
drafting of SCF and OPs. The key task concerning future coordination will be implementation of
specific grant schemes. Concerning IPA component V (IPARD), the process of conducting sector
analysis for the chosen sectors (dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables) of agricultural production will be
completed by 30th June 2010. Drafting of the Rural Development Programme, in line with article 184
of the IPA Implementing Regulation, will proceed in parallel with drafting of the SCF and the OPs
under IPA III and IV, and is expected to be prepared by November 2010. Preparation for IPARD will
be supported by IPA 2007 project ‘Strengthening the capacities of the Republic of Serbia for the
absorption of EU Rural Development funds in pre-accession period’.
Coordination of programming at the highest policy level is the responsibility of the Commission for
Programming and Management of EU Funds and Development Assistance. The Commission is
chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, who also fulfils the role of NIPAC,
and is composed of 9 ministers and the Director of the SEIO. The task of the Commission is to review
draft documents that will be presented to donors, suggest priorities for use of resources of
international development assistance, and consider and make proposals to the Government on
other significant issues related to the use and management of EU funds and development assistance.
Meetings of this Commission are organised on an annual basis. As a monitoring tool, the EU
Delegation and NIPAC have also created monthly ‘’bottleneck meetings’’ between DEU, NIPAC and
line ministries to discuss the progress of IPA funded projects and to ensure their smooth
implementation.
Looking to the future, the IPA Implementing Regulation stipulates two levels of Monitoring
Committee, in order to provide coherence and coordination in the implementation of IPA and
engage all relevant actors:
•
•
IPA Monitoring Committee (IPA MC);
Sectoral Monitoring Committees (SMCs) for each OP.
The IPA Monitoring Committee has been operational since 2009, to ensure coherence and
coordination in the implementation of all IPA components. Among its members, the IPA MC includes
representatives of the European Commission, the National IPA Coordinator, the National Authorising
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Officer, representatives of the Operating Structures, and the Strategic Coordinator. Meetings are
organised regularly twice a year. The two Sectoral Monitoring Committees for IPA components III
and IV will come into being following the approval of the OPs and signature of the Financing
Agreements, but will be established as shadow SMCs in anticipation. It is expected that the core
membership of the SMCs will mirror the participation in the OPWGs for IPA III and IV, and to a large
extent, the SWGs for IPA I, offering both continuity and coordination. Once Serbia attains Candidate
Country status, it will be necessary to review and to adjust the role of the Commission for
Programming and Management of EU Funds and Development Assistance in programme
management implementation, in light of this full and reconfigured set of Monitoring Committees.
A pivotal mechanism for coordination across IPA components is the role of the ‘IPA Units’ within
each line ministry. In preparing the systematisations of staffing across the Government of Serbia,
the management of IPA funds has been largely unified at ministry level, by creating IPA Units based
on the PIUs for IPA component I, which are responsible for the programming and implementation of
IPA components III, IV and V, as appropriate. These IPA Units will form the basis of the Operating
Structures for the two OPs under decentralised management of IPA III and IV.
Furthermore, donor coordination meetings on the central level are organised at least twice a year to
discuss national priorities, international assistance reports, aid effectiveness progress, etc.
Programming of IPA components IV has been integrated in the existing aid effectiveness framework.
The main principle in aid design and delivery is an integrated approach to all sources of aid (EU funds
and other donor funds) as well as integrated approach to planning of Serbian with external sources
of financing. In that respect, the main achievements in the period up to 2011 include the following:
•
•
•
•
Establishment of a set of institutional mechanisms for effective aid planning, programming
and reporting;
Deployment of IT as a tool for aid coordination (the ISDACON Information System);
Establishment of comprehensive national mid-term planning/ programming documents, as a
priority platform for all sources of financing (Needs Assessment document, National
Programme for Integration etc);
Defining programming procedure for international assistance, including a set of
programming tools and intensive capacity building activities – the programming process is
defined as to ensure synchronisation with the GoS planning and budgeting processes, and
envisages the common project identification phase for all development assistance.
Switzerland leads the donor coordination group for education, while the coordination of social
sector reform is primary responsibility of the UK’s Department for International Development and
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Further details of synergies and complementarities between actual proposed measures under the
OP, and the programmes and projects under other IPA components, national funds, donor aid and
IFIs, are described in OP section 3.4.
1.3 Partnership consultation
This draft OP has been prepared through a process of inter-ministerial coordination and consultation
with key economic, social and environmental partners and civil society organisations, which will
continue and be further elaborated, until the OP is submitted for formal approval by the
Government of Serbia and the European Commission.
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In order to ensure full coherence with national policy goals, create full ownership, and ensure
synergies and complementarities with other IPA components, the Strategic Coherence Framework
Joint Body (SCFJB) was formally created on 28 August 2009 through the “Inter-ministerial Agreement
on the SCFJB”, to act as a forum for discussing inputs to the SCF and two OPs and to review draft
documents. The SCFJB is convened and chaired by the Strategic Coordinator for IPA Components III
and IV and comprises senior representatives of Government institutions. The Inter-Ministerial
Agreement is appended as Annex D and E.
The work of the SCFJB has been supported by Working Groups, including one on human resources
development which has taken the lead role for this OP. In accordance with the Inter-Ministerial
Agreement, membership can also been extended to economic, social and environmental partners as
required, to participate in SCFJB or Working Group meetings, along with other Government
institutions. The core membership of the Working Groups consists of bodies that will constitute the
actual Operating Structures for the OPs, to ensure that the right analyses, objectives and priorities
are identified, and to give the members ownership and accountability for the entire process from
programming through to implementation.
Membership of Working Group (as at June 2010)
Working Group
HRD
Represented institutions
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; Ministry of Economy and Regional
Development; Ministry of Education and Science; Ministry of Labour and
Social Policy; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Finance; Serbian European
Integration Office; Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. .
Members
17
Following an initial briefing to prospective members on 1 July 2009, the Working Groups had their
inaugural meetings in September 2009, and have since held a further six meetings, with the
following goals:
Date(s) of meeting
22 September 2009
23 & 26 October 2009
26 November 2009
17 February 2010
31 May 2010
16 July 2010
19 January 2011
Purpose
Presentation and discussion of situation analysis of sector
Performance of SWOT analysis and implications for possible measures
Adoption of socio-economic analysis, strategic priorities, measures and operating
structures
Discussion of draft descriptions of priority axes and measures, and implementation
provisions
Discussion of outline content of OP and content of measures (operations, modalities
and timelines)
Discussion of first draft OP
Pre-meeting for discussions with Commission on first draft OP
The proposed content of the OP has been the subject of presentations by responsible line ministries
and discussions with the European Commission, specifically the Directorate-General for Regional
Policy and the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, together with the
Directorate-General for Enlargement, during their missions to Belgrade, on 28-29 September 2009,
27 November 2009 (Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion only) and 2-4
December 2009.
On 16 December 2009, the first round of consultations with the donor community was held,
regarding the SCF and the two OPs. The aim of the meeting with bilateral and multilateral donors
was to initiate consultation and ensure coordination, synergy and complementarity with their
actions. Besides avoiding overlap of funds or lack of absorption due to missed opportunities,
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consultations with other donors are viewed as crucial so that effects of their investments, together
with complementary IPA funds, leave a more effective and deeper impact on Serbia.
Consultations with socio-economic partners and civil society organisations were held on the SCF
and two OPs on 17 December 2009 and then again on the 2nd draft of the SCF on 17 May 2010. This
included an introduction to IPA components III and IV and the process and content of OP
preparation, in order to raise awareness and seek initial feedback. The aim of inviting partners was
not merely for them to be informed about the process, but to engage them in the identification of
the challenges facing Serbia and to provide comments, inputs and ideas on the wider objectives and
more specific measures to be undertaken under the two OPs. All comments were taken on board in
the SCF drafts, before its submission to DG for Regional Policy and DG for Employment, Social Affairs
and Inclusion. Participating institutions are set out in the table below.
Purpose
Consultation
multilateral and
donors
with
bilateral
Consultation with socioeconomic partners and civil
society organisations
Participating institutions
Delegation of the European Union; EBRD; German Embassy;
Italian Development Cooperation; KfW Entwicklungsbank;
Swedish International Development Association; World Health
Organisation
European Movement of Serbia; Serbian Chamber of Commerce;
Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities; Union of
Employers of Serbia; Union of Independent Syndicates;
University of Belgrade Faculty of
Transport and Traffic;
Vojvodina CESS; Young Researchers of Serbia
Number
7
8
In addition to the partner consultations during December 2009 and May 2010, which make an
important contribution to shaping both OPs, human resources development has been subject to a
specific consultation exercise, in the form of a workshop on preparing for IPA IV in Belgrade on 9-10
June 2010. This was jointly organised with DG Enlargement (TAIEX), DG for Employment, Social
Affairs & Inclusion and the European Training Foundation (ETF), to present and discuss the ETF
country review report, covering the sectoral analysis for employment, education and social inclusion,
with a view to preparing the OP. The workshop attracted the active participation of representatives
of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, three principal line ministries and their agencies, the
Republic Statistical Office, Councils and Institutes, local self-government, employers and business
associations, trade unions, NGOs, and education and training providers.
The preparation of the OP is an ongoing process, with the first draft submission to the European
Commission in November 2010, and informal written comments provided by the DirectorateGeneral for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion during February 2011. Consultations will
continue with socio-economic partners and civil society representatives throughout the discussion
and revision of subsequent drafts with the European Commission. In particular, a more formal and
deeper consultation phase on the OP will take place in June 2011 on second drafts, with an extensive
range of partner organisations at the national and local levels.
It is intended that the final draft SCF and OPs will be subject to inter-services consultation by the
Commission, as soon as Serbia achieves Candidate Country status, assumed to be by December
2011. After the Commission’s final comments have been taken on board, the final SCF and OPs shall
be submitted to the Government of the Republic of Serbia for approval, the target date being March
2012. Once approved by Government Decision, the SCF will be submitted to the European
Commission for collective agreement and adoption, and the OPs will then be submitted for approval
by COCOF and ESF Committee.
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1.4 Ex ante evaluation
The ex ante evaluation of the OP will commence in March 2011, after informal comments have been
received from the European Commission on the first draft, and a second draft has been produced
which integrates this feedback. In line with Commission guidance, the purpose of the evaluation is to
optimise the allocation of resources and to improve the quality of programming, by using
independent experts to review drafts of the OP and assess, inter alia, the rationale, relevance and
coherence of the OP, and, as far as possible, the potential effectiveness and efficiency of the assisted
actions, whether the OP demonstrates that allocated resources contribute to the objectives of the
measures, and an assessment of the implementing provisions, including plans for monitoring and
evaluation and the proposed quantified indicators.
The evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the European Commission’s “Indicative
guidelines on evaluation methods: Ex ante evaluation, Working Document No.1” (August 2006) 209. In
addition, the working papers on monitoring and evaluation for the 2000-2006 programming period
may also be taken into account. The ex ante evaluation will be an interactive and iterative process
whereby the judgment and recommendations of the experts are taken into account in subsequent
drafts of different parts of programmes, based on a constructive dialogue, whilst acknowledging that
the SCFJB is responsible for the final text of the programme submitted to the Government for
approval.
At the same time, the external experts will perform a strategic environmental assessment (SEA), in
order to assess systematically the expected and potential environmental impact of the OP, and
ensure that the OP takes into consideration any material consequences for the environment,
subjects them to public consultation, and that the measurement of environmental effects is built
into the monitoring system. The SEA will be conducted in accordance with the “Handbook on SEA
(Strategic Environmental Assessment) for Cohesion Policy 2007-2013” 210. In applying the advice in
the Handbook, the evaluator will be guided by the principle of proportionality, given the finite
resources available for the OP and hence the limitations on environmental impact, and therefore a
‘light touch’ SEA will be appropriate.
The ex ante evaluation and SEA will be tendered and contracted by the Delegation of the European
Union to Serbia (DEU), through a framework contract under IPA 2008. The evaluation will be
conducted in parallel with the formal partnership consultation, described in section 1.3.
In later drafts of the OP, this section will identify the chosen expert team, describe the scope,
content and timing of the ex ante evaluation and the strategic environmental assessment,
summarise the findings, and describe how they have been taken on board in revising the OP authors,
and hence the impact on the draft. The experts’ full report will be appended to the final draft of the
OP, before it is submitted to the European Commission for comments and, eventually, agreement
and adoption.
209
210
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/2007/working/wd1_exante_en.pdf
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/doc/sea_handbook_final_foreword.pdf
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2 ASSESSMENT OF MEDIUM TERM NEEDS, OBJECTIVES AND
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
2.1 Socio-economic analysis (including SWOT analysis)
The following sections identify the challenges facing Serbia in raising employment levels,
strengthening the education system and outcomes in line with labour market needs, and promoting
social inclusion. It focuses on the future, and specifically the medium-term outlook (2012-2016),
which will be the implementation perspective of the OP, based on reasonable assumptions and
projections.
2.1.1 General
The mid-term outlook for the macro-economy is conducive to the OP’s interventions, according to
forecasts by the Ministry of Finance 211. As with section 1.1, further details are elaborated in the SCF,
the principal highlights are as follows:
•
The economy is expected to recover from the recession and show renewed GDP growth
coinciding with the programming period of 2012-2013. The MoF predicts that economic
recovery in Serbia will come from rising capital investment in fixed assets, job creation and
higher levels of personal spending, and return to pre-crisis real growth rates (above longterm trend) in 2012 (4%) and 2013 (4.5%). For its part, inflation is forecast to stay low and
falling to 5.3% (2012) and 4.1% (2013) by the end of each year.
•
GDP per capita is expected to exceed pre-crisis levels in 2012 (€4,751) and 2013 (€5,127).
•
The MoF expects that growth rates for both exports and imports will remain relatively high
in 2012-2013, but that exports will consistently exceed imports each year, reducing the
trade deficit to 13.9% of GDP (2012) and 13.2% (2013), and the current account deficit to 8%
and 7.6% respectively. Average expected FDI for the period 2012-2013 is around €1.7
billion.
•
The other key risk lies on the external side; trade and current account deficits are
increasingly financed by borrowing from abroad, and careful management and supervision
of lending standards will be necessary to avoid a painful contraction of the economy.
External debt is projected to fall to 73.3% (2012) and 71.5% (2013).
•
The main short-term macroeconomic challenge is on the fiscal side. Government action to
rein in public expenditure, and introduce a new framework of fiscal responsibility rules
within the Budget System Law, means the MoF is forecasting reduced government spending
as a share of GDP in 2012 (41.4%) and 2013 (39.5%) 212, to stand at €14.6 billion. A similar but
smaller contraction in public revenues means the consolidated fiscal deficit would fall to
3.2% (2012) and 2.3% (2013). The MoF forecast is that public debt as a share of GDP will be
held below 40% (39.6% in 2012 and 37.5% in 2013).
211
Forecasts for 2012-2013 from the Government’s “ Revised Memorandum on the Budget and Economic and Policy for
2011, with Projections for 2012 and 2013” (December 2010)
212
Compared with the more expansionary fiscal policy pursued by the Government at the onset of the crisis, when
spending amounted to 44.0% of GDP in 2010
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
•
1st draft
In line with the direction of its real GDP forecasts trends, the MoF predicts a modest
expansion of formal employment opportunities in 2012, to an annual average of 1,838,000
employed, and a further increase by 39,000 jobs on average in 2013. Employment will
remain below the pre-crisis levels of 2008, however, when the number of formal jobs stood
at 1,999,000.
•
The difference between changes in GDP and employment over the period can be explained
through changes in labour productivity. According to the Budget Memorandum, the MoF is
estimating that productivity will continue to show strong growth in 2012 and 2013, at 2.6%
and 2.3%.
According to demographic forecasts for Serbia, the population decline and aging process will
continue. The population growth rate in the next ten years is expected to be negative (-0.5%). The
number of persons above the age of 65 will increase over the period 2010–2020 by 13% (around
181,000 persons) and their share in the total population will rise from 17% in 2010 to 20% in 2020.
The number of young people aged 15-24 over the same period will decrease by around 17%
(131,092 persons). The share of young people in the total population will decrease from 12% to
11% 213 over the same period.
Source: US Census Bureau, International Data Base, 3rd August, 2010
Figure 61
A minor increase in fertility rate is expected from 1.4 to 1.5, but still far below the level necessary for
generation change (in Serbia the net reproduction rate was 0.7 in 2008 and forecasts show that it
will be around 0.8 214 over the period 2010 – 2020). Life expectancy will remain stable and similar to
neighbouring countries 215.
213
All percentage values were calculated based on the data of U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base.
See Glossary
215
US Census Bureau, International Data Base
214
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Demograpgic Indicators
2010
1.7
79
1.4
1.1
78
0.5
77
0.2
-0.1
-0.4
Serbia
Croatia
Bulgaria
Romania
years
0.8
76
Growth rate
(percent)
Total fertility rate
(births per woman)
Life expectancy
at birth (years)
-0.7
-1.0
75
Source: US Census Bureau
Source: US Census Bureau, International Data Base, 3rd August, 2010
Figure 62
The working age population will decrease approximately by 424,000 (9.2%) in the period 2010 –
2020. The number of persons above the age of 65 will increase over the period 2010–2020 by 13%
(around 181,000 persons) and their share in the total population will rise from 17% in 2010 to 20% in
2020. The number of young people aged 15-24 over the same period will decrease by around 17%
(131,000). The share of young people in the total population will decrease from 12% to 11% 216 over
the same period.
The table overleaf summaries the main Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
derived from the current overall socio-economic situation in Serbia.
216
All percentage values were calculated based on the data of U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base.
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
STRENGTHS
•
•
•
•
Steady GDP growth over the period 2001-2008, until global
economic crisis - GDP per person more than doubled
Established legal and strategic framework for HRD policy
Social and Economic Council operational at national level,
Lessons learned from previously implemented projects in
the fields of employment, VET, adult education, Roma
Education, vulnerable groups, young people, outcomebased curricula
WEAKNESSES
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
OPPORTUNITIES
Recovery expected to be led by investment, exports and
job creation, as well as higher levels of personal spending
Growing SME sector offers new work opportunities
Increase in foreign direct investment during 2000s
continues and generates new employment
Scope to use Public-Private Partnerships to invest in
infrastructure and service delivery
Scope to increase social dialogue through the development
of Social Economic Councils and local employment councils
at local level
Measures introduced to enhance productivity and
competitiveness of the Serbian economy
Upcoming amendments to the Labour Law will promote
greater labour market flexibility in line with EU trends
High resilience and adaptability of population to economic
fluctuations
Political will to carry out economic, social and institutional
reforms and pursue EU integration
Greater access to and involvement in EU programmes,
including Lifelong Learning, Marco Polo, Youth in Action,
etc
Sharing of best practice from EU and other countries in
particular regarding lessons learnt from previous and
ongoing projects
Ongoing support of EU and bilateral donors
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Living standards and income levels (GDP per person) remain low
relative to EU-27
Recent economic growth driven by consumption (leading to high
import levels), more than production, suggesting structural
imbalance
Gains in GDP largely through productivity improvements, rather
than job creation
Falling population numbers, due to demographic trends and net
migration
Impact of current global financial and economic crisis on Serbian
economy and jobs
Severe constraint on State Budget resulting from higher welfare
expenditure and falling tax and other revenues
Regional disparities in levels of employment, unemployment,
education and social inclusion
Slow implementation of existing laws, policies and strategies
Very slow integration of pilot projects into system (mainstream
activity funded through State Budget)
Underdeveloped mechanisms for inter-sectoral cooperation
(between ministries) and with stakeholders
Low level of social dialogue in designing policies, including
engagement with employers and lack of capacity at local level to
operate Social and Economic Councils
Insufficient decentralisation of service delivery and weak
costumer focus
Underdeveloped links between education, employment and
economic development and innovation policies, and with
industrial restructuring
THREATS
Unfavourable demographic trends – low birth rate, ageing
population, outward migration from Serbia (brain drain),
depopulation of rural areas and inflow to cities and major towns
Public and private investments in human capital cut as a result of
crisis
Weaker than expected recovery from current world financial and
economic crisis undermining business and investor confidence.
Insufficient future economic growth generates too few jobs
Recovery is strong but fails to convert into job generation (only
higher productivity among existing employed instead, due to
capital investment)
Further restructuring of the economy worsens labour market
situation in the short-term, including redundancies from
privatisation of state-owned enterprises (process of privatisation
not yet finished)
Underdeveloped transport, environment, economic and social
infrastructure: lack of investment holds back job creation
Reverse in the trend of falling poverty levels
Increase in regional inequalities.
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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2.1.2 Employment & labour market
Long-term labour market trends
The study “Evidence-Based Policy Making Initiative in Employment” forecasts that employment and
unemployment will not go back to their pre-crisis levels before 2013. This represents a more
pessimistic scenario than the Ministry of Finance’s forecasts, and is being used as the basis for
employment policy planning on the basis of a ‘worse case’ scenario. The study foresees that the
employment rate (15-64) in 2020 will amount to 61.4% as compared to 50.91% in April 2010
(+440,000 compared to 2010). Unemployment is expected to decrease by around 340,000.
Looking at the distribution of employment per sector, the study makes the following forecasts for
the same period (2011-2020): employment in industry will increase by almost a quarter (+170,000).
Employment in services will slightly increase (+250,000). Employment in agriculture will stagnate. It
is also expected that employment in public sector will not increase significantly in the next decade as
a part of the Government’s savings policy).
However, the expected rise in overall employment in the next decade will be due, to a certain
extent, to the contraction of the working-age population, which will result in much fewer labour
market entrants than exiting cohorts, providing better employment prospects for young people as
the competition for jobs becomes less fierce. Despite this more favourable demographic context,
young people will remain at risk of labour market exclusion unless they meet the level of
qualifications required by the economy.
Like many European countries, Serbia will face a sharp increase of inactive people aged over 65,
dependent on the social contributions from a shrinking working-age population. In this context,
unless formal employment increases, it will be difficult for Serbia to generate sufficient GDP growth
and Government revenue through taxation to ensure the sustainability of its public services and
social welfare.
The medium-term challenge that Serbian labour market is therefore to ensure simultaneous actions
on both sides of the labour market equation, demand as well as supply, by:
•
•
•
stimulating business creation, investment, innovation and growth, increasing the number
and quality of jobs available;
mobilising potential (currently inactive) participants in the labour force, fighting long term
unemployment and thus improving personal well-being, keeping skills fresh, injecting
dynamism into the labour market and reducing the build-up of social problems;
ensuring both unemployed and inactive are equipped to access the new jobs created and to
compete effectively with the already employed, by increasing vocational knowledge and skill
levels, strengthening brokerage through ALMPs and establishing linkages and synergies
between labour market and social inclusion policies.
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Active labour market programmes
NES will continue to implement ALMPs in line with the objectives of NEAP (see Strategic Framework
1.1.5). NES budget for ALMPs is expected to continue to rise until 2013.
2011
Budget for
217
ALMP, in
55.5
MEUR
Budget ALMP
0.16
in GDP, %
2012
2013
56.5
60
0.16
0.15
BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR ALMP (2011-2013)
Source : MoERD
The chart below shows the upward trend of ALMP budget since 2005 with forecast amounts for
2011 to 2013.
One of the recommendations of the study ‘Evidence-Based Policy Making Initiative in Employment’
(FREN) is to increase gradually the budget allocation for ALMPs from the current 0.1% to 0.4% of
GDP by 2013, and then to 0.5% in the second half of the decade in order to increase the coverage
and the impact of ALMPs. At the same time, the study recommends that budget increases should be
linked to improvements in the quality of monitoring and evaluation of existing ALMPs and ultimately
to better targeting of measures to the needs of disadvantaged groups.
Given limited financial and administrative resources, ALMPs need to be carefully selected and
targeted. Experience shows that some programmes are more effective at assisting specific target
groups than others. It is therefore of crucial importance to match the unemployed with the right
programme.
217
This amount is the sum of ALMP national budget allocation and savings from unemployment insurance contribution.
Additional funds for implementation of ALMPs for PWD will also be available from the Budget fund for vocational
rehabilitation and employment PWD for the year 2011 in the amount of €8m
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ALMP planning and delivery also need to be taken down to the local level. Local stakeholders need
to be more actively involved in the identification of local labour market needs and the analysis of the
local labour market situation. In order to do so, the institutional capacity of local self-governments
need to be strengthened and local partnerships should be developed as a major instrument for the
definition and implementation of employment measures at the local level.
The main challenges expected on the labour market in the coming years and their implications for
Serbian employment policy are presented in the following sections.
Main labour market challenges
In order to take advantage of job opportunities in the medium-term, particularly in the lagging and
under-developed areas, and indeed to make those areas more attractive for investment, Serbia must
address the mismatch between demand and supply on the labour market and raise the participation
of disadvantaged groups. Without tackling these issues, it will be difficult for Serbia to reverse
current labour market patterns such as the high proportion of the long-term unemployed within
total unemployment, the low youth employment rate, the significant disparities between local
labour markets, the low labour force mobility, the high share of difficult-to-employ people among
the unemployed, and the high percentage of people employed in the informal economy.
Structural unemployment
The mismatch between the supply of skills by the labour force and the needs of employers is one of
the most serious problems on the Serbian labour market. Despite high levels of unemployment,
58,028 vacancies remained unfilled in 2009, of which 20% for a lack of the level of knowledge and
skills required by the employer. 218
The high share of people with secondary education in the total number of unemployed registered
with NES (54.3%), as well as the high share of people with low or no qualifications (33.5%), provides
further evidence that the level of qualifications of the population does not meet the requirements of
the economy.
The lack of responsiveness of the education system to labour market needs is partly to blame for this
situation. In particular, teaching in vocational secondary schools is often outdated and of poor
quality. In addition, opportunities for adult learning and lifelong learning in general remain scarce
preventing people from upgrading their skills and increasing their chances of finding a job (see
section 1.1.6 and 2.1.3).
In order to remedy this situation, NES organises training and retraining measures for the less
qualified population groups, or groups without adequate knowledge and skills. However, as already
stated in the previous section, the funds for training and retraining are insufficient to cover the
needs.
It is expected that the number of unemployed with secondary education will continue to increase in
the course of the decade making it even more urgent to invest in vocational training, retraining and
upskilling programmes 219.
218
This number is probably higher given the fact that, for 30% of the cases, the reason is unknown as there was no
feedback.
219
“Draft Study: Evidence-Based Policy Making Initiative in Employment”, Foundation for the Development of Economics
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Long-term unemployment
The high incidence of long term-unemployment in the latest LFS (66.8%) indicates the scale of the
problem. The less educated are particularly affected by long-term unemployment; the proportion of
long-term unemployed diminishes among the more educated. Low education attainment being
much more pronounced among vulnerable groups (Roma, IDPs and refugees, and disabled persons),
there is a higher risk for them to fall into long-term unemployment. A particularly distressing
observation is that youth unemployment is also predominantly of a long-term nature. 220
The reasons for long-term unemployment are a shortage of jobs, particularly in the least developed
areas of Serbia, a lack of knowledge and skills required by the economy among young people, and an
overreliance on mid-term solutions to compensate for the absence of income, such as welfare
benefits and severance payments, which tend to reduce people’s motivation to seek jobs219.
Moreover, long-term unemployment can become self-perpetuating, in the absence of interventions
to raise skill levels, provide placements for work experience, and improve confidence and
motivation.
The long-term unemployed can benefit from ALMPs delivered by NES. However, the number of longterm unemployed persons included in ALMPs in 2010 amounted to 42,569, which is only 9% of the
total number of this group on NES register. The coverage of the long term unemployed with ALMPs
over a longer time perspective cannot be presented, due to incomparability of data 221.
Prolonged spells of joblessness, particularly early in life, can lead to demotivation and the
obsolescence of knowledge and skills. International evidence shows that the probability of finding a
job decreases with the duration of unemployment, which, in turn, may lead to permanent labour
market exclusion and poverty. In order to make an impact on long-term unemployment rate, it is
necessary to better focus ALMPs on the needs of long-term unemployed, in particular through
activation measures.
Youth unemployment
The promotion of employment among young people up to 30 years presents a great challenge for
the Republic of Serbia, since its youth unemployment rate is among the highest in Europe. A delayed
entrance into the world of work can have serious social consequences for young people, including
risk of poverty and reduced employability as skills become obsolete. Work in the informal economy
is also characteristic for this age group, as well as acceptance of jobs below qualifications. Even
though some young people find decent, steady employment sooner or later, some of them remain
trapped on temporary and badly-paid jobs for a long time. Support during the transition from
education to the labour market can improve later employment prospects. For this reason, youth
employment promotion is a priority for ALMPs, in line with the Youth Employment Policy and Action
Plan (see section 1.1.5), particularly for young people facing multiple disadvantages on the labour
market (including youth with no/low qualifications, coming from marginalised groups, and/or living
in underdeveloped areas).
Proportionately, young people (15-30) are well covered by ALMPs relative to the population of NES
clients as a whole; 66,986 young people, or 34% of the total number of young unemployed
registered with NES, benefited from ALMPs in 2010, compared to 64,762 in 2009 (33%).
220
The incidence of long term unemployment in the age group 15-24 is 56.3%.
According to the old employment law, long term unemployment started after 24 months. This duration was reduced to
12 months under the new law, which entered into force in May 2009.
221
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ALMPs for young people are objective-oriented and tailored to their specific needs, while at the
same time aimed at the creation of productive employment, facilitating the transition from school to
work. In 2010, the „First Chance“ programme provided one year of employment to 17,175 young
first-time job-seekers.
, A Youth Employment Fund (YEF) was also established in 2009 with the support of two international
projects 222 with the purpose of funding ALMPs aimed at unemployed youth without qualifications,
unemployed young Roma and PwD. YEF is currently funded from several sources 223.. Implementation
of ALMPs funded through YEF started in 2009 in pilot NES Branch Offices (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Vranje,
Niš, Jagodina, Subotica, Bor, Novi Pazar, Kraljevo, Požarevac) and project intervention is expected to
end at the end of 2011. The plan is to continue YEF in the future as the need for ALMPs promoting
youth employment will remain acute in the coming years, especially for youth with lower levels of
education which should be given priority in the context of a shrinking working-age population219. .
Until present, more than €1.5m have been disbursed through YEF and 2,331 unemployed youth
benefited from the Fund so far. The type of measures funded include on and off-the-job trainings,
self-employment subsidies, employment of persons with disabilities, work placement and
employment subsidies.
Regional disparities
As described in section 1.1.5, regional imbalances in Serbia are among the highest in Europe. The
poor performance of some local labour markets can be explained to a great extent by the slower
pace of enterprise restructuring, the undeveloped infrastructure and the lack of qualified workforce,
entrepreneurial initiative and know-how. In addition, it is widely acknowledged that economic
restructuring tends to deepen the gap between the stronger labour markets in the capital and more
developed regions with a favourable geographic position, and those labour markets in less
developed parts of the country 224.
As part of Serbia’s current plans for promoting the harmonious development of its regions, regional
strategies including annual financing plans will be developed for each of the five regions of Serbia
(see 1.1.5) by one or more accredited regional development agencies and local self-government
units. They will be adopted by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development.
These efforts are also paving the way for stronger and better co-ordinated regional development
and employment policies. In this perspective, closer cooperation between NES and NARD must take
place in the future to ensure that regional strategies articulate the right mix of measures, for
example by accompanying incentives to investment in a given area with the relevant employment
promotion measures.
In order to address regional employment disparities, the new Law on Employment and
Unemployment Insurance provides incentives for local self-governments to submit local
employment action plans to the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, which are eligible
for co-financing under ALMPs 225.
222
Implemented with the support of ILO and UNDP and funded by the Governments of Spain and ItalyILO Youth
Employment Promotion and ILO, IOM, UNDP, UNICEF Youth Employment and Management of Migration.
223
Youth Employment and Migration Project (Spanish MDG Fund) in the amount of USD 1.9m, Youth Employment
Promotion Project (Italian Government) 450,000 USD, Fund for an Open Society USD 570,000 and the national budget.
224
Assessment of the capacity of the local Employment Councils to implement the active policy on employment in the
Republic of Serbia
225
See Institutional and Legal Framework in Annex B
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MoERD approved 10 LEAPs under the 2010 budget and 122 under the 2011 budget including one
Provincial Employment Action Plan for the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. A total of €8.5m
were requested by LSG to co-finance those plans. This testifies to the interest of local self
governments in taking a more active role in designing and implementing employment policies
tailored to their needs. However, the quality of local employment action plans needs to be further
improved and the modest capacity currently available at the local level should be strengthened.
The National Employment Plan puts a strong emphasis on strengthening the role of local
stakeholders in employment policy and some initiatives have been taken recently in this direction.
Further support is envisaged with the IPA 2011 Preparation of Serbian Labour Market Institutions for
European Employment Strategy which will strengthen the capacity of selected local self governments
and local employment councils in identifying local needs and designing LEAPs. These efforts need to
be pursued in the coming years. Local actors require support in improving LEAP and in funding and
implementing agreed measures. Partnerships between municipalities need also to be promoted to
develop joint responses to unemployment covering wider areas. The implementation of
employment policy at the regional level will require the establishment of regional entities, which are
currently being discussed in the context of the regional development policy.
Synergies between regional development and employment policies need to be encouraged also at
the local level. Cooperation should take place among responsible local institutions/councils in order
to ensure consistency and complementarity of plans and initiatives.This will also involve closer and
more frequent contacts between NARD and NES. Regional Development Agencies and NES branch
offices should be encouraged to devise and implement together measures for promoting economic
development and employment in their area..
Employment of people with disabilities (PwD)
Unemployed people with disabilities face the worst risk of long-term unemployment and labour
market exclusion than any other group of unemployed. The current situation of people with
disabilities in Serbia is characterised by exceedingly low employment rate and high unemployment
and inactivity rates 226. The educational attainment of people with disabilities is lower than the
national average. Prejudices of employers, their unwillingness to adjust the working environment to
the special needs of people with disabilities, and their general lack of practice and experience
prevents many people with disabilities from getting a job and often leads to job search
discouragement. There are also insufficient employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
As a result, people with disabilities are highly dependent on benefits and are particularly at risk of
poverty.
In order to tackle this rather unfavourable situation, the new Law 227 introduced many new features,
which will require considerable resources for their full implementation.
The number of PwD benefiting from ALMPs in 2010 amounted to 2,815, which is 14% of the total
number of PWD on NES register. In order to introduce a case management approach for assisting
people with disabilities, NES established a Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of
Persons with Disabilities (CVR) in 2008,and appointed 31 employment counsellors in branch offices
to work exclusively with people with disabilities. However, NES counsellors will require extensive in226
See Section 1.1.5.
The Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (adopted in May 2009) stipulates
introduction of measures specialised for employment of PwD like wage subsidies to employers for employing PwD, and
subsidies for accessibility of the work place.
227
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service training and coaching to better match people with disabilities with suitable employment
opportunities.
People with disabilities in Serbia have the possibility to gain sheltered employment in the so-called
‘enterprises for vocational rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities’. The role of
these enterprises is to promote integration of people with disabilities into the labour market as well
as their social integration, so that from being passive recipients of social assistance, they become
productive members of society. There are 41 enterprises currently active in Serbia228 employing
2,871 people and 1,624 of those are people with disabilities. However, their capacity and experience
are still very weak and support is therefore required to help them realise the potential of people
with disabilities and ensure the sustainability of their activities.
Informal employment
Over the past few years, the Government of Serbia has started to tackle the informal economy,
which accounts for almost a fifth of total employment in April 2010. The average fiscal burden on
employees’ net salaries was decreased, state subsidies for employment of hard-to-employ persons
were introduced (younger than 30 years old and older than 45 years old), the overall business
environment was improved, while labour regulations were amended and Labour Inspectorate was
modernised. These actions, however, did not have a significant impact, due to their fragmented
approach and the lack of inter-ministerial cooperation on the subject.
According to a recent study from the World Bank 229, the main reasons for employers, self-employed,
and workers not to register their activities are:
•
•
•
•
•
Too stringent regulations in the product and labour market (product licensing, employment
protection legislation, and minimum wages);
Cumbersome administrative procedures related to taxes, accounting, statistics;
Unwillingness of employers and employees to pay taxes on revenues, income, profit, or
property and social security contributions;
Loss of social benefits (social assistance or unemployment benefits); and
Weak enforcement of legislation against informal employment and taxation regulations.
The work of the Labour Inspectorate has a direct impact on the incidence of informal employment.
73.5% 230 of people employed in informal jobs concluded regular employment contracts with their
employers as a result of an inspection.
Despite pilot initiatives, legal instruments for flexible employment are not commonly used, part-time
jobs accounted for only 9.7% of total employment in 2007 and temporary work with temporary or
fixed term contracts accounted only for 12%. 231 More often, work flexibility was applied by
employers as a way to violate labour regulations at the expense of workers’ rights and security.
Although on-site inspection proved to be effective in enforcing labour regulations and formal
employment, the Labour Inspectorate is understaffed 232 and under-funded, with information
228
MoERD (March 2010)
“Does formal work pay in Serbia?”, World Bank (2010)
230
Labour Inspectorate records
231
According to Impact Analysis of the Employment Policy, 2008, part-time jobs were almost non-existent while temporary
work with temporary or fixed term contracts accounted for only 5 percent of total employment in 2002
232
The Labour Inspectorate has 263 inspectors (total 285 employees) in 28 branch offices across the country and over
330,000 enterprises which potentially need to be inspected; following the IMF arrangement, the number of inspectors was
sized down by 39 (Labour Inspectorate records)
229
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technology infrastructure underdeveloped to support modernisation of work process and manage
the scope of work. Moreover, it has weak cooperation and coordination with other state bodies
dealing with the informal economy, with no procedures and protocols developed. This situation
means that the Labour Inspectorate can only focus on expensive on-site inspections, and that the
case proceedings take more time and that the number of enterprises inspected is declining.
The Government is aware that the fight against the informal economy requires a whole range of
coordinated social and economic policies and joint actions from different state bodies. Therefore, in
the medium term, it proposes to develop a national Action Plan to promote work in the formal
economy, which will connect and coordinate the various actions and measures (fiscal, economic and
social) implemented by different government agencies and labour market institutions, as well as
employers’ and workers’ organisations and representatives. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
will be leading this initiative with the support of other relevant ministries (Ministry of Economy and
Regional Development, Ministry of Finance, etc.).
The Government has also started to address weaknesses in the functioning of inspection bodies. It
has adopted a reform programme of state inspections, involving the integration of processes and
outputs and interconnection of ministries in charge of controls and inspections (Ministry of Labour
and Social Policy, Ministry of Trade and Services, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Finance,
etc), through an information system.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy will prepare further amendments to align the Labour Law
with EU standards and practices, in particular regarding the implementation of new flexible forms of
work and the introduction of policies promoting flexibility and security on the labour market
(flexicurity). These measures will require close cooperation between the government and the main
social partners. Nationwide information campaigns will target both social partners and the general
public, in particular to raise the awareness of workers about their rights and obligations and
convince companies about the benefits of running legal businesses.
The table overleaf summaries the main Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
related to the employment and labour market sector in Serbia.
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STRENGTHS
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Employment and labour market policies given more
prominence
in recent years, with increase in
expenditure and expansion of coverage since 2005
National Employment Service (NES) with country-wide
coverage of branch offices and ongoing reforms
(introduction of client-oriented services and
Management by Objectives)
Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance
adopted in May 2009
Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of
People with Disabilities (PwDs) adopted in May 2009
introduces the obligation on the part of employers to
employ PwDs , enables more comprehensive laboursocial integration of PwDs on LM and establishes a
network of providers of vocational rehabilitation
services
National Action Plans for Employment are developed
annually in accordance with the new law. In addition,
an Action Plan for Youth Employment has been
adopted
The new Employment Law provides incentives for the
establishment of local employment councils and
adoption of local employment action plans with the
possibility for co-financing by central budget
Monitoring and evaluation of ALMPs and labour market
forecasting stipulated in new Employment Law and
methodologies developed under IPA 2011.
Reduced difference between male & female rates of
employment and unemployment
Interest in entrepreneurship is increasing
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WEAKNESSES
• Relatively low employment rates and high
unemployment rates, in comparison with neighbouring
countries, EU-27 and EU2020 targets, in spite of recent
expansion
• Large portion of the working-age population is inactive
• Mismatch between educational attainment and
employers’ needs for qualifications
• Unfavourable age and qualification structure of
unemployment
• High incidence of long-term unemployment
• High percentage of unemployed people belong to
groups with low employability (PwDs, Roma people,
refugees, IDPs, returnees, women, youth, older workers,
redundancies)
• Lack of special incentives for employers targeted at
employing people from vulnerable groups
• Lack of training and employment opportunities for
people with disabilities due in particular to prejudices
among employers
• High ratio of unemployed adults to vacancies, but
employers report skill shortages in technical areas
• Low percentage of private sector employment within
total employment, and generating insufficient jobs in the
formal economy even during boom-times
• Lack of work opportunities in rural areas and low levels
of labour mobility
• Despite recent expansion, coverage of ALMPs remains
relatively low compared to the numbers of unemployed
• Insufficient resources for ALMPs, given the scale of the
problem, in particular for training and targeted
measures.
• ALMPs not sufficiently responsive to labour market
requirements and adapted to the specific needs of
disadvantaged groups - education and training not
sufficiently targeting low-skilled unemployed
• Insufficient analysis capacity at local level to understand
labour market needs and trends, and anticipate changes
in the labour market.
• Lack of regional labour market data
• Low level of social dialogue in designing employment
policies, including engagement with employers - no
established
methodology
for
operating
local
employment councils and insufficient capacity at the
local level for implementing Local Employment Action
Plans
• Growing share of informal economy especially among
poorest sections of population, inadequate enforcement
of existing labour laws against informal economy and
insufficient incentives to move from informal to formal
economy
• Legislation allows only a limited number of flexible forms
of employment - part-time, temporary and fixed-term)
• Very small number of labour inspectors (301) compared
to the large number of entities (legal persons) that need
to be controlled (330 000)
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2.1.3 Education and VET
Impact of demographic, labour market and economic trends on VET and adult education
According to the last Census, Serbia is one of the “oldest” countries in the world with every sixth
person aged over 65. It is expected that a quarter of the population will belong to that category by
the second quarter of the century. On the other hand, the population aged less than 15, which has
been declining since 1995, will continue to shrink in both absolute terms and as a share of the
overall population. 233
The impact of demography on the secondary school population in the medium term is fairly certain,
since the children who will make up the school population between 2012 and 2017 are already born
and death rates in this age group are very low. If all other factors (length of schooling, drop-out, and
participation rate) remain the same, the population of children in secondary schools will go down by
10.3% by 2012, and by 22.2% by 2017, compared to 2007 levels (the baseline presented in section
2.1). 234
The declining demographic trend has serious implications for the reform of the education system, in
particular regarding the rationalisation of the school network, but it has also considerable
significance for education policies.
Given the shrinking working-age population 235, it will be even more crucial that the education
system succeeds in increasing participation in the labour market and the performance and
productivity of workers to generate greater growth for Serbia, by raising the employability and
adaptability of the labour force. A common priority of education and employment policies is
therefore to reduce Serbia’s large proportion of inactive and long-term unemployed citizens, who
belong in majority to the less educated categories of population 236.
The focus should also be on young people and older workers. Young people face particular
difficulties in joining the labour market, as evidenced by their high unemployment and inactivity
rates 237. Older people have even higher unemployment rates. Many of them are former workers
with outdated skills and competences, made redundant as a result of the restructuring and
privatisation process 238. Since the latter is not yet completed, it is expected that the proportion of
older unemployed or inactive workers will increase further in the near future.
This situation calls for further adult education and training measures to upgrade the skills and
competences of those who are inactive, unemployed or are at risk of becoming redundant. Shortterm training targeting those populations and responding to the needs of employers should be more
vigorously promoted. More generally, the possibilities for lifelong learning should be expanded to
enable people to continue to develop their skills and enhance their employability throughout their
lives.
233
st
“Demographic Review: Serbia in the Mid-21 Century – Depopulated and Old?”, No.25/2007. See also section 2.1.1
“Rationalisation of Serbian Secondary School System”, John West and Andre Peer.
235
The working age population in Serbia will drop by more than 210,000 by 2020. Serbia, Labour Market Assessment,
September 2006, World Bank
236
As explained section 1.1.5 (characteristics of the labour force), there is a strong correlation between educational
attainment and activity status
237
Almost 20% of unemployed are aged 15-24. See section 1.1.5 (characteristics of the labour force)
238
The exact number of people who made redundant is not known, approximately is over 200,000 people. 29.4% of
unemployed are over 45 years and 20.5% between 45 and 54.
234
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Many disadvantaged groups are at a greater risk of exclusion from the education system 239, which
inevitably leads to later exclusion from the labour market with adverse effects on Serbia’s economic
performance and employment. The risk of exclusion should therefore be reduced by more proactive
education and training measures tailored to the needs of populations at risk.
As explained in section 1.1.3, Serbia’s economic structure is weighted towards agriculture and
industry while the service sector, which is the primary generator of employment in most developed
economies, remains relatively underdeveloped. Changing this pattern will be essential for improving
the performance of the labour market 240. Further reforms of the VET and adult education systems
are necessary to facilitate the transition to an innovative and competitive economy with a dynamic
service sector (see next section).
Reforming the VET system
The VET system is not preparing students well for employment and the labour market. The lack of a
performing VET sector and the poor alignment of educational outcomes to the requirements of the
economy result in skills mismatches and bottlenecks in the labour market and low employability of
the labour force, which translates into high unemployment and inactivity rates. In this context,
policies to increase the competitiveness of the economy and attract foreign direct investment are
difficult to achieve.
The key challenge of the VET reform is to modernise the structure of educational profiles in line with
the needs of the economy. The current structure is still characterised by a high number of overspecialised and outdated profiles, which correspond neither to the state of technological
advancement nor to the needs of modern businesses, which require individuals who are highly
adaptable, equipped not only with technical but also with soft skills (communication skills, problemsolving, team work and self-discipline) and are capable of performing routine tasks, as well as solving
unexpected problems.
The Ministry of Education and Science has been leading the reform of the VET system since 2002. To
date, 67 out of 347 educational profiles across 12 occupational sectors have been fully revised241, in
line with revised occupational standards agreed with representatives from the relevant industries
through a consultation process. In parallel, new competence-based and outcome-oriented modular
curricula have been developed. Revised profiles were piloted in 157 VET schools with accompanying
support, training of teachers and new equipment.
Early evaluations of the pilot show an increased attendance and higher average marks for students
taught with modernised curricula 242. Moreover, 86.1% of school representatives think that the pilot
profile is much better than classical one, 13.4% think that the pilot profile and the classical profile
are more or less the same, and only 0.5% think that the classical profile is better than the pilot
one 243.
In September 2010, the revised profiles were mainstreamed for the first time throughout all schools
in the following three sectors, replacing classical profiles: Agriculture, Food Processing and
239
See section 1.1.6 (access to education)
It is however worth noting that there has been an increase in interest in “service” profiles compared to “industrial”
ones: +10% in trade, catering, tourism, business administration and transportation and -30% in mechanics and metals and
textiles and leather.
241
Only 6 of pilot profiles are competence based and outcome oriented modular curricula
242
70-80% in metal processing and agricultural schools of students have found employment within three months after
graduation.
243
Comparative analysis of 22 classical and reformed profiles
240
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Production (7 profiles), Geodetics (land survey) and civil engineering (1 profile), Electrotechnics (1
profile). The mainstreaming of revised and piloted profiles through the whole VET system will
continue in 2011 and 2012 with the support of IPA 2007 project ‘Modernisation of VET Education’.
A mere 18% of all VET students are enrolled in the revised VET profiles 244. This means that the
majority of students are still taught in occupations that do not reflect the needs of the economy and
with outdated curricula and teaching methods. The modernisation of profiles, curricula and
textbooks needs to be pursued in a more systematic manner in the context of the development of a
NQF (see next section) and corresponding final exams should be developed.
Experience from past CARDS and IPA projects shows that extensive support is required to help VET
schools manage the transition to new profiles, ranging from training of teachers and management
staff, to introducing new teaching methods and techniques, to supplying equipment and materials,
to meeting higher standards of quality. Further modernisation of profiles and the development of
the NQF (see next section) will put more requirements on VET schools, which will need further
assistance and support.
The ongoing reform of education profiles and curricula cannot be implemented satisfactorily without
rationalising the network of schools. In February 2011, the Council for Vocational Education and
Adult Education (CVEAE) agreed to define a new network of VET schools reflecting the needs of the
country. The Centre for VET and Adult Education, which is an organisational unit within the Institute
for Improvement of Education, has been entrusted with the task of drafting a proposal for the new
network This complex and demanding task 245 will be carried out through labour market research
and development forecasts 246 in a consultative process involving all relevant stakeholders (Ministry
of Education and Science, Serbian Chamber of Commerce with its regional branches, National
Employment Service, representatives of the industry, of local self-governance, unions of employers
at national and regional/local level) .
Building the National Qualifications Framework
In line with the new Law on the Foundations of the Education System, Serbia has started to develop
a National Qualifications Framework for its entire education system (levels 1 to 8) 247. The main
objectives Serbia wants to achieve through the NQF are:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
To promote competence-based and learning-oriented education;
To facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences at all ages and educational
levels;
To organise education through a clear system of qualifications and profiles with transparent
progression routes and a system of credit transfer;
To ensure that qualifications are aligned with the most up-to-date occupational standards;
To involve social partners in defining occupational and qualifications standards;
To ensure the recognition of all learning outcomes through better connections between
formal, non-formal and informal education;
To ensure the quality of education through clearly defined educational standards;
244
before September 2010
Department for Development for Qualifications and Network of Schools
246
Demographic forecasts of school population by area, geographic characteristics, employment and economic
development plans, equal access to education and availability of communication.
247
Levels 1 to 5 are covered by initial and continuing VET education, while levels 6 to 8 are acquired in higher education.
245
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•
•
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To ensure the mobility of students through the compatibility of Serbian qualifications with
the European Qualifications Framework
to contribute to inclusive education by giving people with low education level better chances
to access the education system and by preventing them from leaving the education system
without any level of qualification;
The key body for guiding the development of the NQF in vocational and adult education, the Council
for Vocational Education and Adult Education (CVEAE), has been operational since June 2010. In
autumn 2010, the CVEAE adopted a Protocol on NQF Development together with an action plan for
2010/2011. The action plan foresees the establishment of a high level coordination body that would
steer the development of the NQF and would include as members representatives from the three
education Councils 248, MoERD, MoE and both Institutes 249. In line with the action plan, a NQF
Committee has been established in December 2010 with the responsibility of building the NQF on a
day-to-day basis. With the assistance of IPA 250, the NQF Committee is currently developing a concept
for the NQF up to level 5 which will specify levels required and general level descriptors.
A new National Occupational Classification (NOC) is being adjusted in line with the International
Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 08) 251. The revised NOC is a prerequisite for further
reforms in vocational education since standards of qualifications (knowledge, skills and
competences) will be developed only for occupations included in the NOC. Based on a survey of
existing and future needs of the economy, new occupations will be added and obsolete ones will be
removed.
The development of the NQF will pursue this process further with the review and updating of all
profiles belonging to the occupations classified in the NOC. The needs are for all profiles at levels 3
and 4 to be revised and for developing new profiles to cover craft vocations and specialist education
programmes at level 5 as well as low qualifications at levels 1 and 2.
Sector Committees are being established as a tool for developing the NQF 252. Their role is to
establish the list of educational qualifications and profiles, to define the standards of knowledge,
skills and competences for all existing and emerging qualifications and profiles and to chart clear
progression routes with links to formal, non-formal and informal learning. In doing so, the sector
committees will continue in a more systematic way the efforts initiated during past pilot VET
projects, and will ensure that revised pilot profiles are mainstreamed throughout the system.
In parallel, a system of credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (both non-formal and
informal) needs to be developed to ensure easy access and progress throughout the education
system.
The IPA 2008 project ‘Support for Quality Assurance within the National Primary and Secondary
Education Examination System’ will provide assistance in reaching these objectives until 2012. .
248
National Education Council, Council for VET and Adult Education, National Council for Higher Education
Institute for the Improvement of Education and Institution for Education Quality and Evaluation
250
IPA 2007 ‘Modernisation of VET Education’ and IPA 2008 ‘Support for Quality Assurance within the National Primary and
Secondary Education Examination System’
251
The adjustment of NOC is ongoing and is expected to be completed with the support from IPA 2011 ‘Preparation of
Serbian Labour Market Institutions for European Employment Strategy’.
252
They are composed of representatives from the VET sector and all other relevant stakeholders ( relevant line ministries,
union of employers, trade unions, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, professional associations, NES, representatives of
industry and other governmental bodies)
249
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The establishment of a NQF is closely connected to the development of a quality assurance system
to promote consistent standards throughout the education system and ensure compliance with the
requirements of the NQF. Serbia has been putting in place elements of a quality assurance system
through past CARDS and IPA projects. Normative standards for revised profiles were defined, basic
criteria and indicators to measure quality in education were identified, while procedures for selfassessment and external monitoring/evaluation, which any future quality assurance system will
need to articulate, were developed. However, much remains to be done to bring this system into
life. In particular, institutional responsibilities need to be clearly assigned and stakeholders need to
agree on mechanisms and incentives to promote higher standards of quality and develop a culture
of excellence across the sector.
Developing education and training opportunities for adults
In the absence of education and training opportunities, many adults are unable to upgrade or
develop their skills and competencies and raise their employability. As a result, labour markets are
less flexible. There is an acute need to develop adult education opportunities particularly in the
context of the current restructuring and privatisation process and taking into account the overall low
level of education among the Serbian labour force. The shortage of adult training affects also
employers, who have difficulty in securing the skills they need to develop their businesses, too few
training providers being able to meet the requirements of employers. An accreditation and licensing
system needs to be developed to guarantee a minimum level of quality from training providers,
discourages employers to invest into training.
The existing network of schools offering elementary education for adults is clearly not meeting the
huge needs of Serbia. There are as many as 1.3 million people in Serbia without completed
elementary education 253, but only 15 schools for adult elementary education with around 2,500
attendees a year 254. Although there are a number of past and ongoing pilot projects in this field,
there is a need to develop further programmes, upgrade the competences of teaching staff and
encourage the participation of adults.
Source: RSO Statistical Yearbook 2008, Chapter: Education, database for educational statistics
Figure 63
253
254
Census, 2002
See section 1.1.6
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Outside elementary education, opportunities for adults in the formal education system are almost
non-existent.
Only a few VET schools are engaged in continuous VET and even fewer of them in non-formal
training for adults, despite the fact that the new Law entitles VET schools to carry out special training
for adults including upskilling and specialisation programmes. VET schools need to develop their
capacity and experience in establishing effective partnerships with employers and employment
services to develop short-term non-formal education and training for adults, in line with the needs
of the economy.
Although the offer of non-formal training has been growing in recent years, there is no system in
place to assess the quality of training courses and training providers. The capacity of training
providers in developing quality courses, in line with labour market requirements, is as weak as in the
case of VET schools.
Some estimates show also an increase of company investment in employee education and
professional development 255. However, learning outcomes gained within companies are not
recognised.
Serbia’s mid-term needs in the field of adult education and training are:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
to support all forms of education and training opportunities for adults (formal, non-formal
and informal);
to improve the knowledge and competences of teaching staff and increase the number of
training educators in adult learning;
to develop special curricula and learning materials adapted to the needs of adults;
to involve more actively social partners in defining training contents and learning outcomes;
to encourage VET schools to engage in CVET and non-formal training for adults;
to establish links between formal and non-formal education through the NQF to ensure the
recognition of all learning outcomes;
to develop an accreditation and licensing system in order to regulate and improve the
quality of training offers;
to support training providers in developing quality training programmes in line with market
needs and NQF requirements; and
to strengthen the capacity of institutions such as the Centre for Vocational and Adult
Education and the Regional Training Centres.
The new Law on Adult Education is currently being drafted and will provide a regulatory framework
for the adult education system.
Promoting inclusive education
The Ministry of Education and Science is committed to the development of inclusive education
policies to ensure that all children have a fair access to education and learning opportunities to
develop their potential 256. Although there is a high awareness among teaching staff about the
255
ETF, HRD Review (2010)
The principle of equity in education is enshrined in the Serbian Constitution and in a number of international
conventions, which Serbia has ratified. The new Law on Foundations of System of Education promotes inclusive education
and the use of Individual Educational Plan. There is no strategy for inclusive education although drafts were prepared in
2002 and in 2006 but never adopted. There is, however, a roadmap for inclusive education (Ministry of Education, 2008)
256
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importance of fostering inclusion of all children, in practice, they are often ill-equipped to carry out
inclusive education measures in their schools.
As presented in section 1.1.6 (access to education), attendance in the education system at all levels
is much lower among children from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups 257. Non-attendance in
(non-compulsory) pre-school education is particularly damaging for such children as it becomes
harder to break the circle of exclusion and poverty later in life. The percentage of early school
leavers is particularly high among vulnerable groups and particularly among Roma children with
disabilities, and children from the rural areas, especially girls..
Approximately 80% of Roma children and youth are institutionally segregated in special schools for
children with mild intellectual disabilities. Children with disabilities are predominantly educated in
special schools 258or special classes in regular schools 259, mainly located in large towns, with almost
no possibility to be transferred to mainstream schools. Medical solutions prevail over inclusive
approaches.
On the other hand, children with special needs 260 in mainstream schools do not receive extra
support through additional programmes tailored to their needs to ensure their success. Professional
development for staff working with children with special needs is almost non-existent in
mainstream, but also in special, kindergartens and schools. 261
There is no adequate mechanism to prevent children from dropping out, in particular during the
transition year between primary and secondary education, when this risk is the highest among
children from vulnerable groups. Children who have completed special schools often do not
continue their schooling. The few of them who attend special secondary education programmes in
special schools rarely acquire the right skills to join the labour market. 262 The formal educational
system does not provide specific institutions and programmes for illiterate adults and adults without
primary education263. Adults with disabilities have almost no available training opportunities
corresponding to their needs.
Some developments in inclusive education have, however, taken place in Serbia, through different
projects to build the capacity of schools/kindergartens in implementing inclusive practices. The
embryo of a quality assurance system has been developed, with mechanisms for evaluation and selfevaluation of the work of schools, several Handbooks and Guides 264 about inclusive education, and
the development of inclusive culture and practice in educational institutions.
Scholarships are being increasingly awarded to students from different vulnerable groups.
Cooperation and coordination has begun among the social welfare, education and health care
systems on inclusive education issues.
257
Children with disabilities, children from poor and low educated families, Roma families, children from rural areas
These schools are specialized for educating children with mental, physical and/or sensory disabilities, and children are
referred to the school based on a doctor’s commissions’ referral.
259
Special classes existed in 90 regular elementary schools in the academic year 2007/2008.
260
Children with relatively minor disabilities, borderline intellectual capabilities, difficulties in reception and expression of
speech, bodily disabled, chronically ill, hyperactive, hypoactive children, with emotional difficulties, with behavioral
difficulties, children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds
261
Serbia, Regional Preparatory Workshop on Inclusive Education Eastern and South Eastern Europe, June 2007, UNESCO
262
Ibid
263
The situation is about to change with the IPA 2008 “Second chance” project
264
The ‘Guide to the Advancing Inclusive Educational Practice’ provides 6 criteria and 32 indicators of good inclusive
educational practice, piloted in 5 pre-schools and in 26 primary schools. The ‘Handbook on Inclusive School Development’
was prepared to guide self-evaluation of concrete inclusive aspects in 7 areas
258
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The Ministry of Education and Science has recently launched a survey, in order to assess the extent
and causes of drop-out across schools in Serbia, which will provide a solid basis for designing
preventive actions. A grant scheme under the World Bank DILS programme will assist schools to
develop capacities for inclusive education, with a focus on children with disabilities, Roma children
and children from rural areas.
The DILS programme is also developing mechanisms to increase access and quality of education for
vulnerable groups on all educational levels (children requiring hospital treatment, children with
learning disabilities and children from disadvantaged groups). It has also recently started a massive
training of teachers in primary and secondary schools, which will increase skills and knowledge in
inclusive approaches, the development and implementation of individual educational plan and the
application of individualised education approach 265. The IPA 2008 project ‘Education for all’ will
promote education among Roma children. The project focuses on building the capacity of
pedagogical assistants currently operating in pre-school and school institutions across Serbia 266.
Their role is to provide support to children from all vulnerable groups (predominantly Roma and
children with disabilities).. The IPA 2009 ‘Implementation of pre-school education’ will support 15
selected LSGs in developing their network of pre-schools and improve access of vulnerable groups to
pre-schools.
Important by-laws 267 have been adopted which will facilitate the shift from the current dominant
medical approach towards social inclusion solutions based on the assessment of individual needs.
However, further strengthening and support is required for the new commissions identifying the
needs of and support for vulnerable children
Serbia’s main challenges in further developing inclusive education are summarised in the ‘Roadmap
for Inclusive Education’ developed by the (then) Ministry of Education in 2008 268, which identifies
the following medium-term needs:
•
•
•
•
There is a need to increase education coverage of children from disadvantaged and
vulnerable groups. Mechanisms should be established to identify children at risk of exclusion
and promote their inclusion, starting from pre-school. The assessment of needs should
involve representatives of health, education and social sector, but also parents and child.
The school completion rate among children from vulnerable groups should be improved
through preventive mechanisms against drop-outs. Children at risk of drop out should be
encouraged to reintegrate into the education system through mentorship programmes and
other preventative measures.
It is necessary to develop professional competences of teaching staff to address the diversity
of the needs and pace of development of pupils, through a wide and flexible range of
responses. This will require improvement of pre-service and in-service teacher training.
Individual educational plans (IEPs) and the evaluation of child/student’s achievements
should be widely used. IEPs, along with professional development of teachers, are essential
265
A pool of 100 professional trainers has been selected and it is planned that training will cover 22,650 participants being
15,875 people 7,500 staff including teachers and school directors.
266
All pedagogical assistants have completed the introduction training, and in the course of the project will complete
modularised training for which a Rulebook was adopted in December 2010
267
The ‘Rulebook on the Additional Educational, Health and Social Support provided to a child and student’ was approved in
July 2010 regulates setting of the Commissions which replace the Commission for Categorisation of Children with
Disabilities. The ‘Rulebook on Conditions for Determining the Right for an Individual Education Plan, its implementation and
evaluation’ was adopted in September 2010.
268
Inclusive Education: Roadmap, National Report of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Education (2008)
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•
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components for an inclusive approach which seeks to realise the full potential of the child
and motivates both parents and child in achieving agreed targets.
Schools need to adapt their facilities and require special equipment and schoolbooks to
implement inclusive education measures, in particular to meet the needs of children with
disabilities.
LSGs should be encouraged to take a more active involvement in the implementation of
inclusive education policies, coordinating and supporting the work of educational and social
of local services and institutions dealing with children from disadvantaged and vulnerable
groups.
The table below summaries the main Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
related to the education and VET sector in Serbia.
STRENGTHS
•
•
•
•
•
•
Free education for preparatory pre-school, primary and
secondary education
Strong government commitment of government to reforms of
the education system
New Law on the Foundations of the Education System
adopted in August 2009, enabling implementation of reforms
in the education system, including creation of Council for VET
and Adult Education and development of quality assurance
system.
Established network of educational institutions, including 341
vocational education schools, 48 ‘schools of applied studies’
(post-secondary) and 13 public & private universities
Network of educational bodies to be used for Lifelong
Learning (LLL), including informal education system
Significant funding from EU and international donors to
support education reforms
WEAKNESSES
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
111
Investment in education (at 3.3% of GDP) lower than EU-27
(and below OECD target of 6%), with around 90% spent on
salaries.
High numbers of illiterate and under-qualified adults
Average performance of students aged 15 for reading literacy,
mathematics and science below OECD average
Low performance of the education system towards vulnerable
groups reflected in their low participation rates, high dropout rates and lower educational achievements at all
education levels
The share of children aged 3 to 5 in pre-school (nonpreparatory) among the lowest in Europe
Mismatch between education and the world of work
VET schools not responsive to market needs and to changing
demographics and pedagogical developments - outdated
curricula and obsolete teaching and learning methods and
environment
Incomplete National Qualifications Framework and lack of
progression routes and credit transfer system.
Absence of adult education and lifelong learning system and
lack of recognition of skills and knowledge acquired outside
the formal education system
Insufficient
offer of quality adult training and LLL
opportunities due to lack of resources and capacity
VET mostly limited to initial VET with little involvement in
continuous education & training
Participation rates in adult education low and falling
Lack of institutional capacity at central level to plan VET and
AE developments
Lack of quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation in adult
education and VET sector including standards, accreditation
and certification mechanisms
Lack of quality in-service teachers training and poor capacity
of teachers to develop transversal key competences
School network not adapted to changing demographics and
pedagogical developments
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2.1.4 Social inclusion
Impact of demography on poverty and social welfare
As already indicated in section 1.1.1., Serbia in the first half of the 21st century will experience
depopulation and intensive ageing, due to low fertility rates and increased life expectancy. These
two phenomena will shape future policies in the fields of health care, education, employment and
social care.
By the middle of the 21st century, people aged over 65 will make up a quarter of the population. The
number of elderly people over 80 will treble, requiring a major shift in delivery of social care to meet
new demands in particular of long-term care services.
Ageing will pose considerable challenges for the organisation and delivery of health care, long-term
care, income support and community-based services for the elderly and other services, such as
housing, transportation, and additional cash benefits. It will put extra pressure on public finances at
a time when the shrinking working-age population is already reducing the revenue available for
social policies. As already argued in section 2.1.2 (employment and labour market), the challenge is
to bring down the share of inactive people in the economy, not only to ensure the sustainability of
the welfare system, but also to address social inclusion issues, since there is a strong correlation
between poverty and social exclusion on the one hand, and inactivity and unemployment on the
other. From this point of view, it is paramount to ensure better links and connections between social
welfare, labour market policies and other forms of social assistance, in order to increase the
employability of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and raise the overall participation in the
labour market.
The Roma population has the highest population growth in Serbia, due to a high birth rate and a low
mortality rate. The Roma will not be affected by the same process of ageing like the rest of the
population. On the contrary, the challenge will be to integrate large amounts of young Roma people
particularly at risk of social exclusion (see section 1.1.7). In order to stop the transmission of poverty
and social exclusion from generation to generation, strong social inclusion policies targeting Roma
people are required from early childhood onwards.
Future challenges in social welfare provision
In line with the new Law on Social Welfare, the medium-term priorities are
1. to improve decentralised services delivery through:
• strengthening local self governments’ capacities to lead social policies at the local level;
• modernising CSW and introducing the case management social work;
• developing community-based services as an alternative to institutionalisation; and
• developing regulatory mechanisms and quality assurance system to manage and control
decentralisation.
2. to improve social financial support for the poorest and promote active inclusion to facilitate
transition from welfare to work.
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1. Further decentralisation of social welfare delivery
The delivery of social services entrusted to the local level and based on a close cooperation between
local self-government and local stakeholders makes it easier to respond to the needs of
disadvantaged people where it is best for them i.e. in their natural environment (family and/or local
community). The new Law on Social Welfare sets the directions for reforms needed to make further
decentralisation work.
a. Strengthening local self governments’ capacities to lead social policies at the local level
Local self-governments in Serbia are entitled by Law to provide social welfare to citizens in line with
identified local needs. LSGs and the local Social Policy Councils play a major role in planning,
coordinating and supervising the implementation of social welfare strategies and plans, and monitor
social inclusion indicators and targets.
However, as explained in section 1.1.7, the delivery of social policies, both services and benefits,
varies widely across Serbia. To date, most LSGs did not fully seize the opportunities granted to them
to lead and support the efforts of local stakeholders against social exclusion and poverty. A reason
for this is the modest size of local budgets (see section 1.1.7, social welfare expenditure), which
makes it difficult for LSGs to ensure the availability and sustainability of a wide-range of communitybased social services. Another reason is the lack of capacity of both LSGs and local stakeholders to
implement social inclusion policies in a participative manner 269, jointly mapping out needs and
resources, drawing up plans for tackling identified problems, commissioning specific services; and
regularly reviewing results.
Strong human and management capacities and the availability of local funds are prerequisites for
implementing social welfare strategies and plans.
The new Law on Social Welfare gives the possibility to LSGs to receive additional funds from the
national level (earmarked transfers) for developing community-based social services. Earmarked
transfers will be available for underdeveloped LSGs and/or LSGs where residential institutions are
being transformed. However, they can also be used for the development of innovative services.
Support will be required to help LSGs to take full advantage from these additional resources.. LSGs’
capacities should also be developed to promote the development of services within their mandate
and encourage cross-sectoral initiatives that have a stronger impact on the situation of vulnerable
groups. LSGs will require support in reforming residential care for the elderly, which is planned to be
decentralised. More generally, LSGs’ capacities should be strengthened in order to manage the
provision of social welfare by combining resources from CSW services, state-run institutions
undergoing transformation and other social service providers.
b. Modernising CSW and introducing case management social work
In the past, CSWs used to deal with the problems of their clients in a fragmented way without
making connections between health, education, social and employment needs. No clear objectives
and outcomes were agreed with the client and access to assistance was a long and complicated
269
Pilot projects funded by the MoLSP through the Fund of for the Organisations dealing with People with Disabilities and
other donor programmes (in particular through the Social Innovation Fund) give plenty of examples of the importance of a
strong partnership between local stakeholders and LSGs
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process. Moreover, CSWs would often refer clients to residential institutions, due to non-existing or
insufficient community-based social services.
To remedy this situation, a system of case management was introduced in all CSWs in line with the
Rulebook on Standards and Organisation of Centres for Social Work 270. Case management is a new
approach to social work in Serbia. Centred on the needs and abilities of the client, it takes into
account his/her personal background and social environment before arranging and coordinating a
package of multiple services to meet the client’s specific needs.
Case management is at the heart of ongoing reforms and modernisation of social work. It ensures
that vulnerable groups are primarily provided with appropriate services in the community and
envisages placement in residential institution only if all other existing forms of services have been
exhausted. . Case management is a strong driver for better local planning and monitoring of social
issues as it encourages the design of new programmes and services in the local community. It
facilitates a clear separation between the role of service commissioner/financier, referral body and
the function of service provider. Finally, it stimulates competition by encouraging the participation
of non-governmental and private stakeholders in the delivery of services.
The case manager in the CSW assesses the needs and abilities of his/her client, establishes an
individual care plan in cooperation with him/her and coordinates the delivery of services and
support between the local branches of various public and private services (health, education, social,
employment). The practice of social work case management is highly complex and calls for a variety
of roles and skills, such as advocate, broker, diagnostician, planner, community organiser, evaluator,
consultant, and therapist.
According to an analysis of the performance of CSWs carried out in 2009, about one-third of CSWs
have had difficulties in fully applying the expected standards of case management with their clients.
This is true in particular for small CSWs. Therefore, ISPs started to organise supervisory support for
CSWs in 2010. Of critical importance is also the capacity to establish connections and synergies
among the different segments of support (housing, employment, education, health and other social
services) to better respond to the needs of target groups. In addition, active inclusion (“activation”)
programmes will require the introduction of case management to beneficiaries of social benefits.
There is, therefore, a need to further strengthen the knowledge and technical expertise of case
managers in CSW to provide quality services to their clients in the most efficient and effective
manner. The success of case management is also depending on the availability of a wide range of
community-based social services covering the needs of local disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
c. Developing community-based services as an alternative to institutionalisation
The new Law on Social Welfare places great emphasis on developing social care services that help
disadvantaged people lead a normal life in their community and involve all aspects of their existence
(health, social, education, employment) in contrast to residential care which tends to apply onedimensional solutions and often exclude patients from society.. Under the new Law, placement in a
residential institution is considered only as a last resort solution after all other options have failed,
and when the client’s physical and mental conditions require special treatment and/or supervision,
which can only be provided inside an institution.
270
Entered into force in June 2008, Official Gazette of RS, 59/2008.
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Deinstitutionalisation is has been implemented at national level through parallel and coordinated
interventions namely:
•
•
•
the gradual downsizing of residential care institutions;
the improvement of quality of the care provided in residential care institutions; and
the development of community-based alternatives to institutional care.
While significant progress with deinstitutionalisation already took place in the field of child care (see
section 1.1.7), it is necessary to continue this process by addressing the needs of other vulnerable
groups.
Deinstitutionalisation can only seriously be envisaged when alternative quality community services
are available. The development of the latter is, however, dependent on funding and the availability
of a variety of providers, on the definition of national quality standards and on the implementation
of monitoring and control mechanisms (see next section quality assurance and regulatory
mechanisms). .
As explained above, the decentralisation of social welfare policy and the accompanying development
of the community-based services are also hampered by the lack of resources in local selfgovernments’ budgets. Although it can be expected that earmarked transfers foreseen in the new
Law will bring improvements in the long-run, it is of utmost necessity to create incentives for LSGs to
use “non-earmarked revenues” (own revenues, tax shared revenues and general grants) in support
of greater diversity of community-based services. Recent initiatives led by the MoLSP and donor
programmes have shown that a lot can be achieved by raising local allocations for social welfare and
social services in particular (see section 1.1.7). The availability of alternative community-based
services at the local level is a pre-condition for continuing the processes of decentralisation and
deinstitutionalisation. Assistance is particularly needed:
•
•
•
•
to expand the range of services in relation to identified needs;
to develop cooperation and coordination among the various services and across sectors;
to introduce new methods of social work in line with EU best practices; and
to enhance the capacity of private and public service providers, in particular to ensure
compliance with minimum quality standards.
d. Developing regulatory mechanisms and quality assurance system to manage and
control decentralisation
The development of regulatory mechanisms and quality assurance system for decentralised social
service delivery is essential for further social welfare development in Serbia. In a decentralised
environment, the MoLSP will no longer be involved in direct delivery of services at the local level. Its
role will be confined to quality control, performance monitoring and expert guidance and support to
local authorities and service providers.
The MoLSP has recently started to set up a quality assurance system of social services providers,
which will be based on national minimum standards for each type of social service, clear supervision
and inspection mechanisms and licensing procedures for service providers and professionals.
To date, national minimum standards have been developed for 16 priority social services covering
residential care institutions and community-based social services. The development of standards is
carried out through a highly participatory and consultative process currently involving over 200
professionals and practitioners from state, private and non-governmental organisations and with the
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participation of service beneficiaries. A piloting stage is compulsory before standards can be
introduced throughout the system. National minimum standards for ten social services 271 have been
successfully piloted across the country and will be made universal by means of a by-law. It is
necessary to pilot and subsequently mainstream the minimum standards for six remaining six
services 272. However the process should continue with the development of national minimum
standards for other existing social services. Criteria need also to be developed for identifying
innovative services which could be mainstreamed.Institutes for Social Protection should be further
supported in doing so while the MoLSP needs strengthening its capacity to ensure compliance with
standards and monitor the performance of service providers. The licensing system of service
providers and professionals will enable the MoLSP.to perform this role. The MoLSP has just started
to develop a licensing model which is being piloted, and once approved, will be implemented
throughout the system. Licensing, based on defined minimum standards, is an important pillar of the
quality assurance system, which will ensure that service providers and professionals meet a
sufficient level of quality. Licensing is a precondition for expanding the availability of communitybased social services at the local level both by facilitating investment decisions by local selfgovernments and by encouraging a greater range of organisations to provide services in the
community. National mechanisms to grant and review licensing need to be further developed.
Looking at the national level, MoLSP has recently started to adopt a more proactive approach in
coordinating its activities with related ministries in order to develop integrated social services
(Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Youth and Sport and Ministry of
Economy and Regional Development). Inter-ministerial cooperation is particularly needed for the
development of joint national standards and the mainstreaming of pilot cross-sectoral services.
However, the capacities of the MoLSP and other ministries are still insufficient to achieve the
necessary level of cooperation which would enable fully integrated social policies.
2. Improving social welfare for the poorest and promoting active inclusion to facilitate transition
from welfare to work
One of the key objectives of the new Law of Social Welfare reforms is to improve the situation of the
poorest citizens by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of financial support system. Although
there has been some improvements with the guaranteed minimum income (CSA) in terms of
coverage over the past few years (see section 1.1.7, social welfare at central level), the potential of
the CSA as an instrument for combating poverty and social exclusion could still be significantly
enhanced. Issues with the low take-up (not all eligible people requests the benefits) and
administrative leakages (some people receiving benefits are not eligible) need to be addressed, in
order to increase the impact of CSA on poverty levels 273. In this sense, the new Law on Social
Welfare enables the transformation of CSA into a modern social welfare instrument by linking it to
activation programmes that facilitate access to other services and ultimately lead to employment.
As indicated in section 1.1.7, the budget for the CSA is one of the lowest in the region. The new draft
Law on Social Welfare proposes higher social security levels for multi-member households, namely, a
271
Residential institutions for children and youth., Residential institutions for adults and elderly, Shelters., Supported
housing for people with physical disabilities, Home care and help, Day care, Clubs for the elderly, Personal assistants,
Fostering for children and youth, Supported housing for young people leaving care.
272
Residential institutions for children with severe and profound disabilities, Residential institutions for mentally ill persons
(persons with mental disorders), Shelter for human trafficking victims., Day care for youth with behaviour disorder,
Fostering for adults and elderly, Drop in centres for children and youth living in the streets
273
“Options for Delivering Social Assistance: a Feasibility Study”, Oxford Policy Management (April 2007)
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new equivalence scale, 274 which should improve the coverage of CSA among the poor and lead to
higher amounts of benefits. Legal provisions, however, are not sufficient to ensure that all people in
real need access benefits to which they are entitled.
Potential beneficiaries of CSA need better information about the eligibility criteria, and the
application process should be made easier. Procedures used by CSW staff for assessing the eligibility
of CSA beneficiaries need to be standardised, in order to improve the coverage of poor people, but
also to enable an adequate distribution of CSA across LSGs, in line with their levels of social and
economic development.
Better synergies between welfare and employment policies should be created. The concept of active
inclusion “combining in an integrated way adequate income support, inclusive labour markets and
access to quality services” 275 , which is promoted throughout the EU, is still a new concept in Serbia
introduced for the first time by the new Law on Social Welfare.
One of the objectives of active inclusion policies is to make social protection systems for the most
vulnerable citizens (i.e. people who face a set of complex problems and are the most distant from
the labour market) more employment-friendly. This requires the establishment of strong links
between social services, social benefit schemes and active labour market measures. Currently, public
works are the only existing programme with such links. However, a recent study 276 shows that public
works involving CSA beneficiaries rarely lead to long-term employment. The cooperation between
CSW and NES branch offices is not sufficiently developed 277, although it is recognised that
cooperation would greatly improve the response to the needs of target groups, who are often
common to both institutions.
Active inclusion policies should also contribute to better targeting of cash benefits, excluding, for
example, those engaged in the informal economy, and including, on the other hand, those most in
needs, 278, thereby maximising the poverty alleviation impact of financial social assistance schemes.
The current financial crisis and rising unemployment rates makes it even more important to link
better social assistance, social benefits and active labour market measures, in order to prevent the
rise of long-term unemployment and the growth of the informal economy.
Within the social system in Serbia, beneficiaries of cash benefits do not have a case manager
assigned to his/her case, thus they are often not able to access other services that could make a real
change in their life. Active inclusion schemes would help change this situation. Based on an
individualised assessment of his/her needs and abilities, the beneficiary would be referred to the
relevant services ranging from public works engagement, retraining and additional training, and
adult education programmes to various types of therapy and social services. Case managers in CSWs
would be the cornerstones of successful activation policies, referring clients to the relevant services
274
A rough estimate indicates that the new equivalence scale will raise expenditures for CSA by 69%, compared to the
current budget based on the Analysis of the Impact of Government Financial Assistance for the Poor, Goradan Matković
and Bosko Mijatović (September 2008)
275
COM(2008) 639 final - Commission Recommendation on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market
276
Activation of MOP Beneficiaries in Serbia – First Stamp in Work Booklet, Marina Petrovic (2009)
277
The current cooperation is classified as Level 3: multi-disciplinary teams of professionals, and in some locations limited
to Level 2: ad hoc, limited, reactive co-operation in response to crisis or other pressure by the Good Practices in Providing
Integrated Employment and Social Services in Central and Eastern Europe, Youth Employment and Management of
Migration in Serbia, ILO, Angela Taylor, 2009. The research uses the concept of “Integration Ladder” from the Council of
Europe report “Integrated Social Services in Europe” (Munday 2007)
278
Reforms in Serbia: Achievements and Challenges
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across different sectors at the local level and facilitating cooperation between institutions and
synergies between different forms of assistance.
The priority is therefore to establish strong mechanisms of cooperation between the Employment
Advisor in NES branch office and the Case Manager in the CSWs, to harmonise their respective
programme of measures in favour of unemployed beneficiaries and ensure a clear demarcation of
roles and responsibilities among LSGs, CSWs and NES. In order to achieve this, NES and CSW have
just started developing a model of cooperation and information exchange linking their respective
activities, requirements and procedures. 279 They must identify the needs of common beneficiaries
(single parents, financial assistance beneficiaries, long-term unemployed, older workers, Roma and
IDPs) in order to give simultaneous access to services available in both systems, regardless of which
one is approached first.
In addition to a strong cooperation between services across different sectors, active inclusion
policies are also dependent on the availability of a wide range of inter-connected community-based
services covering all the types of needs of target groups at the local level. As explained above, the
LSG plays a key role in providing those community-services. A number of ongoing initiatives are
promoting the delivery of decentralised services in the field of education, employment and health.
This creates the necessary momentum to promote greater integration of services across institutional
boundaries (social, employment, health and education) and pursue more ambitious active inclusion
policies in line with EU trends. It is also important to build capacity to mainstream the best initiatives
across the system.
279
IOM, ILO, UNDP and UNICEF joint project ''Support to national efforts for the promotion of youth employment and
management of migration'' supports the development and piloting in six municipalities of the model of integrated
employment and social services from 2009 to 2011
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The table below summaries the main Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
related to the social inclusion sector in Serbia.
STRENGTHS
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Social inclusion is recognised as top priority and
included in Government strategies and policies
Income equality is comparable to levels in EU-27
Although it increased in 2009, poverty is still below
2007 and 2006 levels
Recent legal changes in social welfare improves
financial social assistance scheme to the poorest,
promotes
active inclusion and regulatory
mechanism s supporting delivery of decentralised
social services
¾ of LSGs established Social Policy Councils which
could play an important role in shaping integrated
services at local level
Over 120 LSGs developed local social policy
strategies with increasing number, range and quality
of community-based initiatives
Improved delivery of services at the local level in the
education, health, social and employment sectors
provides opportunity to deliver cross-sectoral
community based initiatives to respond to multidimensional needs of beneficiaries
WEAKNESSES
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Poverty has increased with economic crisis and remains
high in rural areas, among refugees and IDPs, and Roma
people.
Low take-up and inadequate targeting of cash benefits
for the poorest
High percentage of beneficiaries of ‘cash assistance
support’ (CSA) are unemployed but able-bodied
Lack of social activation of able-bodied vulnerable groups
as a first step to employment (Roma, women especially
single mothers, returnees through readmission, PWD,
CSA beneficiaries, poorly educated,) etc.
Cash benefits schemes not linked to social inclusion
services and active labour market measures tend to trap
people into poverty and long-term social welfare
dependency
Insufficient availability, variety and quality of community
based social services for vulnerable groups, particularly
cross-sectoral services;
Weak capacities of LSGs to implement and coordinate
social inclusion policies, especially in underdeveloped
areas
Regional inequalities impacts unequal distribution of
social welfare services in underdeveloped municipalities
Licensing system in early development stage with low
number of licensed local service providers
National minimum standards for cross-sectoral services
inexistent
Low awareness among general population of issues
relating to social exclusion
2.2 Strategic priorities
The Strategic Coherence Framework sets out an overarching goal for IPA components III and IV in
2012-2013, which is: to stimulate Serbia’s sustainable socio-economic development and accelerate
Serbia’s readiness to join the European Union.
This goal is broad in scope but sets a clear direction, and signals Serbia’s determination to meet the
standards of membership, as an equal and active partner in the European Union, by driving up
political, socio-economic and environmental performance and adopting the systems and structures
associated with the EU Member States.
The following three diagrams (overleaf) explain how this goal will be implemented through the OP
for Human Resource Development, through the three main operational priorities: employment and
labour market, education and VET and social inclusion.
Both the SCF and the OP takes, as their starting points, Serbia’s obligations in acceding to the EU, as
set down in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, and the mid-term objectives in the
European Partnership (which will become an Accession Partnership, once Serbia becomes a
Candidate Country). These obligations and objectives are translated in operational terms in the
National Programme for Integration of the Republic of Serbia into the European Union, and, after
Candidate Country is secured, the National Programmes for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA).
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These priorities for meeting the EU’s expected norms and standards, along with other parameters the IPA regulations, MIPD, Community Strategic Guidelines and Europe 2020 (described in section
1.2) - alongside Serbia’s own strategic priorities, set out in national and local strategies, programmes
and action plans (as described in section 1.1), define the overall policy envelope for analysis and
action.
Each diagram summarises the main themes in the socio-economic and SWOT analysis (as set out in
sections 1.1 and 2.1), and identifies the main challenges facing Serbia over the programme period to
benefit from existing strengths and potential opportunities, and to overcome existing weaknesses
and potential threats.
These medium-term challenges are then articulated in a series of strategic priorities, which have a
direct parallel in the objectives in the SCF. These are:
1. To increase access to formal employment opportunities and enable a more inclusive labour
market, by developing local employment policies, increasing the coverage and relevance of
ALMP and improving labour standards in line with EU trends;
2. To facilitate lifelong learning and greater relevance of education to the world of work, by
developing further the NQF, building the VET system and promoting inclusive education
from pre-school onwards;
3. To support the social inclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and their longterm labour market integration, through cross-sectoral approaches and local partnershipbased initiatives.
There is an additional strategic priority which relates to priority axis 4 (technical assistance): to
enhance and reinforce Serbian capacities, in the context of the EU pre-accession process, for
management of Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund.
Cutting across each of these ‘vertical’ objectives is a commitment to ensure that ‘horizontal’
concerns are taken into due consideration in the preparation and implementation of programmes,
namely the need to foster gender equality and tackle discrimination, to promote sustainability and
to engage with civil society, wherever appropriate.
These strategic priorities will be realised through priority axes, each of which will be implemented
through lower-level measures, which in turn will form the basis for selecting operations for funding.
The priority axes and measures are described in detail in chapter 3.
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SAA / Accession Partnership – National Plan for Integration with the European Union / NPAA
+
National strategic priorities
EU strategic priorities
+
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
+
Socio-economic and SWOT analysis
Established legal, strategic and institutional framework, including NES with branch office structure, emerging network of Local Employment Partnerships, and Labour Inspectorate
Low employment rates and high unemployment rates; high levels of long-term unemployment; large proportion of the working-age population is inactive;
Mismatch between labour demand and supply; labour force lacks skills needed by the economy
High percentage of unemployed people belong to vulnerable groups with low employability
Growing share of informal economy and high proportion of informal employment, particularly exposed to economic crises
Low levels of labour mobility and regional disparities in employment and unemployment; ALMPs not sufficiently responsive to local labour market needs
Economic recovery, growing SME sector and potential FDI presents new work opportunities, depending on business and investor confidence in private sector
Priority Axis 1 – Employment and Labour Market
Medium-term challenges: benefiting from strengths and opportunities
Medium-term challenges: overcoming weaknesses and threats
• Support NES branch offices and local self-governments to implement Local
• Support social dialogue on local employment policies to reduce local
• Implement the new Law on Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment of People
• Develop the range and relevance of ALMPs targeting disadvantaged groups. The
Employment Action Plans
with Disabilities
• Expand ALMPs for the unemployed, particularly targeting unemployed youth with
low/no qualifications and long term unemployed (including redundant workers)
• Encourage the transition from informal to formal employment to strengthen
resilience of private sector and labour market for future economic development
unemployment
initiative will target the young unemployed without qualifications, long-term
unemployed and people with disabilities
• Enhance policies and their implementation to bring Serbia in closer alignment to
EU labour policy standards
• Strengthen the capacity of Labour Inspectorate to enforce legislation
SCF OBJECTIVE AND STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1:
“To increase access to formal employment opportunities and enable a more inclusive labour market, by developing local employment policies,
increasing the coverage and relevance of ALMP and improving labour standards in line with EU trends”
Measure 1
Support to the development of
regional and local employment
policies
Measure 2
Increasing the effectiveness of
employment policies towards
disadvantaged groups
Measure 3
Bringing the informal economy
into the mainstream
Partnership, coordination, complementarities and synergies – national programmes; IPA components I,II,III and V; IFIs and bilateral donors
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SAA / Accession Partnership – National Plan for Integration with the European Union / NPAA
+
National strategic priorities
EU strategic priorities
+
•
•
•
•
•
•
+
Socio-economic and SWOT analysis
Established legal, strategic and institutional framework, including vocational secondary schools and emerging network of Regional Training Centres; large scale reforms, including
to Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Free education at pre-school, primary and secondary education, but poor educational achievements compared with OECD average
High numbers of illiterate and under-qualified adults
Education system is reactive, rather than pro-active; mismatch between education and the world of work
Partially completed National Qualifications Framework (NQF); absence of system for adult education (AE) and lifelong learning
Lack of education coverage and high drop-out rates among children from vulnerable groups, minorities and in rural areas
Priority Axis 2 – Education and VET
Medium-term challenges: benefiting from strengths and opportunities
Medium-term challenges: overcoming weaknesses and threats
• Support the modernisation and improvement of quality and relevance of the VET
• Streamline and upgrade the network of VET schools in line with labour market
• Develop further the NQF and facilitate recognition of skills and competences by
• Establish accreditation and certification mechanisms for VET and AE programmes
• Strengthening institutional capacity (the VET & Adult Education Centre, VET
• Strengthen the capacity of Regional Training Centres to become resource centres
• Support children from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups to access pre-school
and adult education sectors to labour market requirements
defining NQF levels 1-5, progression routes and credit transfers system
Council, NQF sectoral committees)
• Support the implementation of the new Law on Pre-school Education and Law on
Foundation of Education System
needs
and providers
education, through inclusive education initiatives which target drop-out among
‘at risk’ children
SCF OBJECTIVE AND STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2:
“To facilitate lifelong learning and greater relevance of education to the world of work, by developing further the NQF, building the VET
system and promoting inclusive education from pre-school onwards”
Measure 1
Improving the quality and relevance of
VET and adult education within the
National Qualifications Framework
Measure 2
Ensuring access and reaching higher
levels of education for children at risk
Partnership, coordination, complementarities and synergies – national programmes; IPA components I,II,III and V; IFIs and bilateral donors
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SAA / Accession Partnership – National Plan for Integration with the European Union / NPAA
+
National strategic priorities
EU strategic priorities
+
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
+
Socio-economic and SWOT analysis
Established legal, strategic and institutional framework, including the production of local social inclusion strategies and establishment of local Centres for Social Work (CSWs)
Income equality levels comparable to EU-27; poverty levels have fallen, due to economic growth and policies targeting poverty reduction, but remain susceptible to recessions
Poverty concentrated in rural areas, and among the unemployed and inactive, families, those with low and no education, Roma, internally displaced persons and refugees
Inadequate targeting and low take-up of cash benefits for the poorest; social welfare spending is low;
Ongoing decentralisation of service delivery and formation of local partnerships following decade-long reform process
Regional disparities remain in social inclusion; still insufficient capacity at the local level to implement effective policies
EU and donor support to the Government’s Social Innovation Fund, the delivery of improved local services, and social policy planning
Priority Axis 3 – Social Inclusion
Medium-term challenges: benefiting from strengths and opportunities
Medium-term challenges: overcoming weaknesses and threats
• Support further decentralisation of services in the area of social protection, health,
• Increase the coverage of social assistance benefits among excluded groups not
• Broaden and strengthen community based services, responding to local needs, in
• Provide direct support to local self-government (LSGs) to coordinate the
• Build on existing partnership-based initiatives funded by the EU, World Bank,
• Disseminate best practice and support development of national minimum
• Support cooperation between CSWs and NES branch offices to set up single entry
• Improve the employability of those furthest from the labour market, through
education and employment policies
line with LSG action plans and in compliance with minimum quality standards
Norwegian and UK bilateral assistance
services connecting their clients to the full range of opportunities and support
covered by the social safety net, to lift them out of extreme poverty
implementation of social inclusion policies
standards for new cross-sectoral services
active inclusion measures
SCF OBJECTIVE AND STRATEGIC PRIORITY 3:
“To support the social inclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and their long-term labour market integration, through crosssectoral approaches and local partnership-based initiatives”
Measure 1
Support to social inclusion through more
diversified community-based services
Measure 2
Supporting the transition from welfare
to work through active inclusion
Partnership, coordination, complementarities and synergies – national programmes; IPA components I,II,III and V; IFIs and bilateral donors
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3 PROGRAMME STRATEGY
3.1 Priority axes and measures
Priority Axis 1 – Employment and Labour Market
Aim:
The priority axis will invest in active labour market policies, strengthen employment policy at local
level and look to reduce the scope of the informal economy through better intelligence,
enforcement of existing laws and inspectorate networks and awareness-raising.
EU legislation:
Acquis communautaire regulating the area of employment
Specific objective:
To increase access to formal employment opportunities and enable a more inclusive labour market,
by implementing local employment policies, increasing the coverage and relevance of ALMPs and
improving labour standards in line with EU trends.
Rationale:
After some amelioration in recent years due to a relatively favourable economic environment, the
unemployment rate started to rise again in 2008, in the wake of the global economic crisis. The
participation and employment rates remain among the lowest in the region. While the formal
economy does not generate enough jobs, the labour force also lacks the skills and competencies
needed to succeed in today’s workplace. Unless the unemployed are given more opportunities to
upgrade their skills and/or gain some work experience, they are at risk of remaining trapped into
unemployment.
A significant percentage of the unemployed also belongs to disadvantaged groups that are
considered the least employable: young people aged 15-29, women, older people, people with
disabilities, IDPs and refugees and Roma, long term unemployed 280. Employment policy should
target those populations more effectively, including through a greater access to quality short-term
job-related training.
Although employment policy in Serbia has assumed more importance in recent years, ALMPs have
had only limited impact on the level of unemployment. This is partly due to budget constraints which
limit the coverage of ALMPs to a small portion of the unemployed. ALMPs are also not sufficiently
tailored to the specific needs of different disadvantaged groups and to the specific conditions of
local labour markets. This requires greater participation of social partners in employment policymaking, as foreseen in the Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance which provides
incentives for the creation of employment councils at local level. In this context, local stakeholders
(local self-governments, social partners and NES branch offices) must develop their capacity to
implement and monitor local employment action plans. NES branch offices across the country must
play a more active role in leading this process and implementing appropriate employment measures
agreed in partnership with local self-governments and social partners.
280
National Employment Service register (March 2010)
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Over one-fifth of all workers are estimated to be employed outside formal job structures, without
any access to social protection. Capacity is lacking to enforce the relevant provisions of the labour
law against the informal economy and to raise the awareness of both employers and employees
about the disadvantages and risks connected with informal employment. There is no systematic plan
to tackle the phenomenon at its roots and to articulate concrete actions to counteract its expansion.
Expertise is required to build the capacity of labour inspectorates and to explore possible policy
responses including the promotion of more flexible forms of employment in line with EU trends.
Description:
In line with the National Employment Strategy, this Priority Axis will seek to improve the
employability of the labour force through better implementation of employment policies and
services, in particular towards disadvantaged groups. The efficiency and relevance of employment
measures and services will be improved by supporting the decentralisation of employment policy
implementation, and by encouraging greater involvement and cooperation of local economic and
social development actors in employment and labour market issues. The role of local selfgovernments in implementing employment policy will be enhanced through funding of concrete
employment measures, targeting specific disadvantaged groups in line with local employment action
plans. The focus of activities planned in this OP will be on establishing strong cooperation among
local stakeholders to implement relevant employment promotion measures in line with those action
plans. By doing so, the Priority Axis will encourage a greater involvement of social partners in the
implementation of local employment policy and contribute to locally-based solutions to
unemployment.
The Priority Axis will contribute to the objectives of the National Employment Action Plan, by
improving the relevance and effectiveness of NES services and ALMPs and increasing the coverage of
unemployed by employment policies, thanks to additional funding for ALMPs. NES will manage a
direct grant to expand the coverage of ALMPs , adjusted to the specific needs of disadvantaged
groups, in relation to the competencies and skills demanded by local employers. The Priority Axis will
also contribute to the development of employment measures and services in favour of people with
disabilities.
Policy responses to the informal economy will be improved through capacity-building of labour
inspectorates, the promotion of more flexible forms of employment and better information to
employers and employees on their labour rights and duties.
Targeting:
The greatest part of the resources under this Priority Axis will be devoted to the implementation of
active labour market measures, and strengthening the role of local self-governments and other local
stakeholders in the implementation of employment policy at local level through NES branch offices,
in cooperation withlocal employment councils. The aim will be to strike a balance between meeting
the enormous needs of the sector and learning from ‘demonstration projects’ prepared to EU
standards.
The priority will be targeting the following groups:
•
•
•
•
•
Unemployed youth with low/no qualifications (15-30);
Long term unemployed (including redundant workers);
People with disabilities aged 15-64;
NES Headquarter and MoERD (Employment Department);
NES branch offices;
125
•
•
•
•
•
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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Local self-governments;
Enterprises for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of people with disabilities;
Training providers;
Private employment agencies;
Other institutions-providers of employment oriented services;
Staff of labour inspectorates.
Measures:
Three measures have been considered for support under this priority axis:
1. Measure 1.1 - Support to the development of regional and local employment policies;
2. Measure 1.2 - Increasing the effectiveness of employment policies towards disadvantaged
groups;
3. Measure 1.3 - Bringing the informal economy into the mainstream
Delivery:
The Priority Axis will be delivered through a mix of service and supply contracts, and grant schemes
and a direct award to NES. The procurement rules will follow the PRAG 281.
Targets and indicators:
Objective
Result
indicator
Definition
Unit
To increase
access
to
formal
employment
opportunities
and enable a
more
inclusive
labour
market, by
developing
local
employment
policies,
increasing
the coverage
and
relevance of
ALMP
and
improving
labour
standards in
line with EU
trends.
Increased
ALMP
coverage
Number of
unemployed
people who
benefited from
ALMPs, during
OP
implementation
(at least 50%
women; by
type of ALMP)
Increasing the
effectiveness
of
Number of
unemployed
people from
281
See section 5.1.1
126
Source of
verification
Number
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
Project
monitoring
reports;
NES Report
Frequency
of
monitoring
Yearly
Target value
(2016)
Yearly
19,500
25,000
employment
policies
towards
disadvantaged
groups
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
specified target
groups who
benefited from
ALMPs, during
OP
implementation
(at least 50%
women; by
type of ALMP)
1st draft
NES Report
Measure 1.1 – Support to the development of regional and local employment policies
Specific objective:
To improve the effectiveness of local employment policies and build the capacity of local
stakeholders in implementing employment policies tailored to the needs of target groups.
Rationale:
There are wide regional employment discrepancies in Serbia. While Belgrade and Northern Serbia
are doing much better than the rest of the country, Southern Serbia experiences higher than average
unemployment. These imbalances make a strong case for a greater involvement of local
stakeholders in the creation of employment policy. The decentralisation of employment policy
means strengthening local capacities for employment policy creation and implementation with
significant participation of NES branch offices and local stakeholders in order to achieve a welltrained, effective local workforce, which will meet the current and future needs of the economy.
Despite available co-financing mechanisms from the central level, resources available at the local
level have been insufficient in the recent years for effective implementation of local employment
plans 282. With support of the IPA 2011 project ‘Preparation of Serbian Labour Market Institutions for
European Employment Strategy, local employment councils will acquire the necessary knowledge
and skills for identifying local needs and designing local employment action plans. Advice and
support will be necessary for local stakeholders to draft project proposals and apply for grants to
finance ALMPs in line with the action plans.
Description:
In line with the new Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance, the Measure will encourage
further decentralisation of employment policies and services delivery. A grant scheme under this
measure will be launched to support local employment promotion projects, in line with local
employment action plans approved by local self-governments. The measure will link directly to the
IPA 2011 project, which will help LSG develop those plans in line with local labour market needs.
Districts to be covered by this type of assistance will be selected according to the classification of
local self governments of the Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia 283. local employment
council Local self-governments will have tocooperate with NES branch offices when implementing
ALMPs. The Measure will promote the development of partnerships in the design and delivery of
employment promotion activities among local authorities, NES branch offices and other bodies in
the field of training, labour market and regional development as well as representatives of business,
282
State co-financing amounts to 70% for less developed regions and 50% for all others under the new Law on Employment
and Unemployment Insurance, adopted in May 2009.
283
The Development Fund defines underdeveloped municipalities as those with below-average level of development, i.e.
group two, three and four. Group two includes municipalities with between 80% and 100% of the average development
level, group three consists of municipalities with level of development ranging from 60% to 80% of average and group four
is made up of municipalities below 60% of average development level.
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and social partners. . Employment promotion activities involving several municipalities will be
encouraged. Assistance and capacity building activities envisaged under this measure will help
MoERD Employment Department and NES with the preparation and management of the grant
scheme. It will also support potential applicants with drafting and implementing projects that
contribute to the objectives of the local employment action plans.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
Assistance in developing local employment promotion grant scheme;
Training and capacity building for grant scheme potential applicants and beneficiaries;
Support with the implementation and monitoring of grant projects
Support to local employment activities.
Selection criteria:
In addition to the selection criteria introduced for the Employment and Labour Market priority axis,
the following will apply specifically to this measure:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Contribution to the development of strong employment partnerships at local level;
Relevance of employment initiatives to the local needs in line with local employment action
plans;
Efficiency of operations proposed;
Evidence of quality assurance of the proposed measures for the unemployed;
Planned impact of prepared projects in terms of envisaged number of unemployed to be
covered by stipulated measures;
Track record of activity of local employment councils demonstrated by regular meetings and
drafting and adoption of local employment action plans.
Grant scheme projects will be selected in in line with local employment action plans, their relevance
to the needs of target groups and the availability of co-financing.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiary for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA implementing
regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for Contracting and
Implementation within the Operating Structure and for grant schemes will be grant recipients. The
end recipients who will be responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their
outcomes will be the National Employment Service and Ministry of Economy and Regional
Development (Employment Department).
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
The measure
will improve
the
effectiveness
128
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Participation of
local
institutions in
implementation
Municipalities
with adopted
local
employment
Percentage
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
Source of
verification
Project
monitoring
reports
Frequency
of
monitoring
Yearly
Target value
(2016)
At least 20%
of local
employment
policies and
build the
capacity of
local
stakeholders
in
implementing
employment
policies
tailored to
the needs of
target groups
of active
employment
policies
Approved
projects for
funding
Effect of local
employment
projects
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
action plans
who apply for
grants to fund
employment
policies
stipulated in
LEAPs
Number of
project
applied for
funding under
the grant
scheme that
were
approved for
funding
Number of
persons who
received
support
through the
grant schemes
Number
Number
1st draft
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Yearly
at least 30
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Yearly
Values cannot
be defined at
present. They
will be
established in
the first year of
OP
implementation.
Measure 1.2 - Increasing the effectiveness of employment policies towards disadvantaged groups
Specific objective:
To increase the coverage and relevance of ALMPs to the needs of disadvantaged groups through
better targeted employment policies and services.
Rationale:
One of the main objectives of the National Employment Strategy (2005-2010) is to tackle
unemployment among disadvantaged groups more actively. Active labour market programmes
targeting people with disabilities, the Roma, refugees and IDPs, women and youth are being
implemented by NES, in line with annual National Employment Action Plans. In addition, MoERD is
implementing several projects with the ILO to build the capacity of labour market institutions in
designing, monitoring, implementing and evaluating active policies on youth employment. 284 These
projects constitute a useful resource base for developing comprehensive employment and training
services tailored to the needs of vulnerable groups and integrated with social services.
The coverage of ALMPs remains limited mostly for financial reasons. The annual budget allocated in
2009 for ALMPs amounted to a mere 0.12% of GDP. Only a small portion of that money is earmarked
for vocational training. Moreover, recent research shows that education and training is not
sufficiently targeted on low-skilled unemployed 285. There is a need to expand the range and
relevance of ALMPs, putting more emphasis on vocational training and retraining measures to bring
disadvantaged groups closer to the world of work and increase their responsiveness to the demands
of labour market, and to address the persistent problem of mismatch between educational
attainment and employers’ needs for qualifications.
284
ILO project Youth Employment Promotion in Serbia (YEPS), MDG F project Youth Employment and Migration
Management assisted establishment of the Youth Employment Fund in the National Employment Service
285
The Impact Analysis of Employment Policy and Active Labour Market Measures (2008)
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The purpose of this measure will therefore be to increase training, retraining and employment
opportunities for the unemployed youth with low/no qualifications and for long term unemployed
who lost the courage to look for a job as well as the required knowledge and skills.
People with disabilities are also discouraged from looking for a job, which is demonstrated by a
rather small number of PwD on NES register. 286 The new law on PwD employment promotion
introduces many novelties and incentives for employment of PwD.. Consequently, NES staff will
require extensive in-service training and coaching to better match PwD with employment
opportunities. Enterprises for vocational rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities 287
have the role of promoting labour and social integration of people with disabilities, so that from
being passive recipients of social assistance, they become productive members of society. However,
their capacity and experience are still insufficient, and support is therefore required to help them
realise the potential of people with disabilities and ensure the sustainability of their activities.
Description:
The direct award of funds to NES will supplement NES resources available for ALMPs financed in line
with the annual National Employment Action Plan. It will particularly be directed to ALMPs targeting
unemployed youth with low/no qualifications, long-term unemployed (including redundant workers)
and different forms of measures aimed at vocational rehabilitation and employment of people with
disabilities. The majority of the funds available will be used for development and delivery of ALMPs
targeting these groups of the unemployed.
The Measure will improve the coverage of the unemployed benefiting from ALMPs, and help NES
and MoERD adjust ALMPs to the needs of disadvantaged groups, taking into account the lessons
from previous policies and future labour market trends. It will help NES expand effective services
such as the centres for career guidance and counselling, job clubs, etc. It will link to the IPA 2011
project ‘Preparation of Serbian labour market institutions for European employment strategy’ which
will improve NES methodologies for monitoring and evaluating ALMPs, forecasting labour market
trends, and better adjusting ALMPs to the specific needs of different target groups. Technical
assistance will be provided to build the capacity of NES in managing the direct award and developing
tailor-made ALMPs funded under this Measure.
Another important focus of the Measure will be on the implementation of the new Law on
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of People with Disabilities. The capacity of key
institutions (Employment Department of MoERD-staff dealing with PWD, NES Centre for vocational
rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities, employment counsellors in NES branch
offices dealing with people with disabilities, and enterprises for vocational rehabilitation and
employment of people with disabilities) will be strengthened to deliver measures promoting the
inclusion of people with disabilities in the open labour market. Enterprises for vocational
rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities will receive support in providing effective
vocational rehabilitation.
Eligible actions:
The following types of actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
286
287
Employment promotion measures for unemployed youth with no/low qualifications;
Employment promotion measures for long-term unemployed (including redundancies);
See Section 1.1.5
A form of sheltered enterprises
130
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Employment promotion measures for people with disabilities;
Subsidies in combination with initial training and mentoring to potential entrepreneurs to
enter self-employment and set-up micro-enterprises;
Technical assistance to NES to manage the direct award;
Establishment of several more job clubs in NES to deal with the difficult-to-employ;
Establishment of more Career Guidance and Counselling Centres in big NES branch offices;
Employment caravans for outreach activities for marginalised groups in rural areas;
Capacity building of NES Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of people
with disabilities and employment counsellors;
Strengthening Enterprises for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of people with
disabilities in preparing and conducting employment-oriented skills training for people with
disabilities;
Support to Enterprises for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of people with
disabilities with preparing project documents for applying for funding;
Capacity-building of professional workers in Enterprises for Vocational Rehabilitation and
Employment of people with disabilities.
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Employment and Labour Market priority axis, the
following will apply specifically to this measure:
•
•
•
•
Contribution to better matching ALMPs for PWD to specific groups of PWD;
Demonstration of the linkage between the project and improved employment services for
people with disabilities.;
Quality of the training programmes;
Relevance of employment initiatives to the specific needs of the three target groups.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure and the National Employment
Service for the directaward of funds for ALMPs. The end recipients who will be responsible for the
technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the National Employment
Service and Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (Employment Department).
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Monitoring indicators:
Objective
This measure
will seek to
increase the
coverage and
relevance of
ALMPs to the
needs of
disadvantaged
groups
through
better
targeted
employment
policies and
services with
special focus
on short term
job related
training for
the
unemployed
and labour
market
inclusion
initiatives for
people with
disabilities.
132
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Baseline
value
(2012)
Source of
verification
Frequency
of
monitoring
Target
value
(2016)
Participation
of
unemployed
PwD in ALMPs
People with
disabilities from
NES register
who benefited
from ALMPs
funded through
the direct
award (at least
50% women; by
the type of
ALMP)
Youth
without/with
low
qualifications
from NES
register
benefiting from
ALMPs funded
through the
direct grant (at
least 50%
women; by the
type of ALMP)
Long term
unemployed
people from
NES register
benefiting from
ALMPs funded
through the
direct grant (at
least 50%
women); by the
type of ALMP)
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
NES Report
Yearly
4,500
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
NES Report
Yearly
10,000
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
NES Report
Yearly
5,000
Selfemployment
Number of
unemployed
people who
start their own
business
through
subsidies for
selfemployment (at
least 50%
women)
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
NES Report
Yearly
2,000
NES staff
capacity for
dealing with
No of NES staff
members who
attended
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports;
Yearly
40
Participation
of
unemployed
young people
in ALMPs
Participation
of long term
unemployed
in ALMPs
PwD
Capacity of
enterprises
for vocational
rehabilitation
and
employment
of PWD (I)
Capacity of
enterprises
for vocational
rehabilitation
and
employment
of PWD (II)
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
training (basic
and advanced)
for effective
matching of
PWD with the
right ALMP
No of staff
members in
enterprises for
vocational
rehabilitation
and
employment of
PWD trained in
creation and
implementation
of training
programmes
for PwD
Enterprises for
vocational
rehabilitation
and
employment of
PwD that have
the capacity to
provide skills
training to PwD
1st draft
NES annual
Report
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Yearly
50
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Yearly
25
Measure 1.3 - Bringing the informal economy into the mainstream
Specific objective:
To encourage the transition from informal to formal employment through promotion of flexible
forms of work in line with EU trends and enforcement of national labour regulations
Rationale:
The informal economy has been a persistent problem in Serbia, absorbing a growing share of the
active population. It is associated with low earnings, poverty and vulnerability. The informal
economy has adverse effects on both individuals and society. Workers in the informal economy
forfeit their labour rights and social benefits; they are more exposed to exploitation and miss out on
training opportunities. The informal economy has also less obvious disadvantages for employers,
who cannot take full benefit of state incentives and subsidies, limiting their further business
expansion and growth. The informal economy distorts market competition, erodes tax revenues and
ultimately, undermines the national welfare system.
The consequences of the economic recession were felt much earlier in the informal sector with a
dramatic fall in employment and significant wages cut, affecting primarily the most vulnerable
groups who rely on the informal economy to support themselves and their families.
The work of the Labour Inspectorate has a direct impact on the transition from informal to formal
employment. However, the Labour Inspectorate is understaffed and lacks the necessary technology
to manage its workload and increase the efficiency of its controls. In the medium-term, the main
priority for the Labour Inspectorate is to upgrade its capacity, in particularly its IT system and to
create inter-linkages with the tax revenues, pension fund and health insurance and other state
inspections in line with the Government’s reform programmes of state inspections.
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The utilisation of flexible work needs to be more vigorously promoted through a wide range of
activities and cooperation with social partners. The awareness of employers and employees about
the disadvantages of informal employment and the benefits linked to joining the formal economy
needs to be raised.
Description:
The Measure will provide technical support to the Labour Inspectorate to upgrade its Information
System with new software and hardware, and ensure it is connected to other relevant databases
across the Serbian administration, enabling prompt exchange of relevant information on each
individual case. Fast access to accurate and updated data will decrease the need for expensive onsite inspections, and better coordination will significantly improve effectiveness and efficiency of
inspection. The development of IT capacity will also enable transparency of the work of the
Inspectorate, and automatic allocation of work to inspectors to mitigate corruption, on-line
reporting of any irregularities or violation of labour regulation by the employers. It will help design
procedures and protocols of cooperation with key state bodies, such as tax revenues, pension fund
and health insurance and other state inspections, to improve the overall response to the informal
economy.
The Measure will link to current efforts initiated by the Labour Inspectorate to modernise the way it
operates in particular through a more efficient use of its limited human and financial resources.
The measure will also support the development of new flexible forms of work in line with EU trends
and towards labour markets combining flexibility and security (flexicurity). It will encourage the use
of flexible work contracts, through capacity-building activities and cooperation with social partners,
drafting and disseminating guidelines and manuals and advice to employers’ associations and
business services. The measure will address the low public awareness among the employees,
employers, trade unions, and the general public on the issue of informal employment. It will support
national campaigns raising awareness about the dangers of informal employment and the
advantages connected with registered employment from the point of view of both employers and
employees.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
•
Technical assistance support to upgrade the Labour Inspectorate Information System, through
the design and installation of software and, training of staff and procurement of necessary IT
equipment;
Capacity-building of the Labour Inspectorate to develop protocols of cooperation with other
state bodies and related procedures for each partner.
Support to the Labour Sector in implementing flexible work policies, drafting and disseminating
guidelines and manuals;
Capacity-building of social partners; and
National awareness-raising campaign and social dialogue on informal economy and flexible
forms of employment.
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Employment and Labour Market priority axis, the
following will apply specifically to this measure:
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•
•
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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Contribution to the modernisation of Labour Inspectorate and to the greater efficiency of labour
inspection controls;
Impact on the level of awareness about the informal economy and flexible forms of
employment; and
Relevance and practicality of solutions proposed for promoting more flexible labour market.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure. The end recipients who will be
responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (the Labour Inspectorate and Labour Sector).
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
To
encourage
the
transition
from
informal to
formal
employment
through
promotion
of
flexible
forms
of
work in line
with
EU
trends and
enforcement
of national
labour
regulations
IT capacity and
connectivity to
other state
agencies ‘
databases
Inspection staff
capacity
Performed
inspections and
persons
covered
% increase
in number
of
inspections
Staff trained in
using new IT
system
Persons who
concluded
formal work
contract after
inspection
Inter-agency
protocol of
cooperation
adopted and
accompanied
procedures
developed
Utilisation of
flexible work
contracts
135
Transition form
informal to
formal
employment
Level of
cooperation
between
agency
Degree of
flexibility
Baseline
Value
(2012)
0
Source of
measurement
# of staff
trained
0
% increase
of persons
# of
protocols
and
procedures
developed
% increase
of flexible
contracts
Frequency
of
monitoring
Annually
Target
value
(2016)
30%
Monitoring
Report
One-off
All
inspectors
60%
Monitoring
reports,
Inspection
records
Annually
75%
0
The Labour
Inspectorate
records,
Monitoring
Report
Annually
1 protocol
and 5
procedural
guidelines
Annually
20%
Annually
100
people
trained;
25
completed
ToT
20%
increase
of public
awareness
Monitoring
Report, IT
system record
Capacities of
social partners
Representatives
trained in
modern
management
concepts
# of people
trained
The Labour
Sector
statistic,
Monitoring
report
Monitoring
Report.
awareness
about informal
employment
Promotion
events
organised
across the
country
# number
of events
Monitoring
report
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Priority Axis 2 – Education and VET
This priority axis will contribute to the modernisation of the education system in Serbia in line with
market needs and, in the perspective of lifelong learning, ensuring an adequate supply of labour to
meet the needs of the economy. It will also encourage greater inclusion of disadvantaged groups
into the education system.
EU legislation:
Not applicable.
Specific objective:
To facilitate lifelong learning and greater relevance of education to the world of work by developing
further the NQF, building the VET system and promoting inclusive education from pre-school
onwards
Rationale:
A majority of unemployed and inactive people have low or no education at all (see section 1.1.5).
Unless the education system provides young generations but also adults with the right skills and
competences to succeed on the labour market, the unemployment rate is likely to remain high, in
particular among young people and older workers. However, at present training in VET schools is
often based on outdated curricula and teaching methods unsuited to the needs of both students and
future employers. Despite ongoing reforms, the VET system is not responsive enough to the changes
taking place in the economy. There is a need to pursue the modernisation of vocational profiles,
initiated through pilot projects, on a much larger scale.
Efforts at school level should be connected with the development of the National Qualifications
Framework at the national level. At present, there is no organised system of qualifications to make it
easier for student to access and progress through the education system. Serbia needs to define
standards of knowledge, skills and competence for all occupational levels, chart clear progression
routes, develop a system of credit transfers and organise a quality assurance system to ensure that
schools meet minimum quality standards and deliver training in line with the needs of the economy
Opportunities to reintegrate people into the education system and to improve attainment and
prospects are limited, due to the underdeveloped adult education and lifelong learning system.
Participation of adults in lifelong learning is below the EU average and has not increased since 2001.
The development of adult learning is hindered by a lack of recognition of qualifications acquired
outside the formal education system, and by the absence of a well-structured NQF to connect formal
to non-formal and informal learning achievements.
One of the key challenges facing the education system in Serbia is the high drop-out rates and poor
performance of children from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups - children from Roma families,
from poor and low educated families, , rural regions and children with disabilities - compared to the
rest of pupils. Failure to access pre-school and/or to complete higher levels of education is an
important factor of social exclusion later in life. There are insufficient resources and capacity at the
local level to address the educational needs of those children through tailor-made programmes and
measures.
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Description:
The National Qualifications Framework will be further developed, by organising and systematising
qualifications obtained through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult education
sectors. Standards of knowledge, skills and competences, learning pathways and credit transfer will
be defined for all vocational profiles. The capacity of institutions and stakeholders involved in the
process will be strengthened.
The quality and relevance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult education in the
perspective of lifelong learning will be improved, by supporting VET schools and training providers in
upgrading their training offers in line with market needs and in compliance with NQF requirements
and minimum quality standards. The institutional set-up for VET and adult learning will be
strengthened, in particular with the development of quality assurance systems.
The capacity of the education institutions to lead reforms and ensure quality standards in the sector
will be strengthened. VET schools and training providers in adult education and learning will receive
further support to upgrade teaching methods and environment, in line with labour market
requirements and modern educational trends.
Emphasis will also be laid on creating better conditions for the early inclusion of disadvantaged
groups into the education system, particularly Roma and the promotion of higher levels of education
among students at risk in local communities. Support will be available for local self governments,
local schools and other service providers need support in devising and implementing inclusive
education initiatives in a cooperative way in order to increase the participation of children from
disadvantaged backgrounds, primarily Roma into pre-schools and reduce the number of drop-outs in
primary and secondary education.
Targeting:
Resources under this priority axis will be committed to improving openness, relevance and quality of
education and training system from pre-school to secondary education. In this context, the priority
will be targeting the following groups:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pre-school and school children from disadvantage and vulnerable groups i.e. children from
poor and low educated families, children with disabilities, children from rural areas and
Roma children and children with ethnic and minority backgrounds;
VET school students;
Adults with no qualification or the ones seeking for new/additional qualifications; and
Teacher at all levels of pre-university education, including adult education teachers
Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation,
the the National Education Council and National Council for VET and AE,
the Regional training centres,
VET schools and formal and non-formal adult education providers
pre-schools, primary and secondary schools – state and non-state
Measures:
Two measures have been considered for support under this priority axis:
•
Measure 2.1 - Improving the quality and relevance of VET and adult education within the
National Qualifications Framework;
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•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Measure 2.2 - Ensuring access and reaching higher levels of education for children at risk.
Delivery:
The priority axis will be delivered through a mix of service and supply contracts and grant schemes.
The procurement rules shall follow the PRAG.
Targets and indicators:
Objective
To
facilitate
lifelong
learning
and
greater
relevance
of
education
to the
world of
work by
developing
further the
NQF,
building
the VET
system and
promoting
inclusive
education
from preschool
onwards
138
Result
indicator
Definition
Unit
Relevance of
VET
increase of
students
completing
new, revised
curricula in
VET
secondary
school
Programmes
in initial and
CVET
applying
ECVET system
Increase in
primary and
secondary
schools
implementing
inclusive
education
initiatives
and
programmes
increase of
children from
targeted
groups
attending
pre-school
education in
selected LSGs
%
Baseline
value
(2012)
15%
#
0
Transparency
of education
system
Equal access to
education
Integration of
children from
disadvanataged
groups
%
%
0
Source of
verification
Frequency of
monitoring
Target value
(2016)
MoE records
Yearly
80%
Educational
Gazette
One-off at the
end of
programme
Monitoring
report, School
development
programme
and plans and
school reports
Yearly
Monitoring
report, and
pre-school
records
Yearly
50%
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Measure 2.1 – Improving the quality and relevance of VET and adult education within the
National Qualifications Framework
Specific objective:
To improve the quality, coverage and relevance of VET and adult education by developing further
the National Qualifications Framework, strengthening the capacity of VET schools and adult training
providers and ensuring better governance of the sector.
Rationale:
Serbia is implementing reforms to improve the quality and relevance of VET and adult education in
order to raise the employability and adaptability of its labour force. Efforts in this area have been
mostly invested in revising a range of vocational profiles at level 3 and 4 in line with market needs,
and pilot-testing them in selected VET schools.
These measures have resulted in higher teaching standards in participating schools, but the scale of
improvements remains modest compared to the needs of the sector.
Experience from past CARDS and IPA projects shows that extensive support is required to help VET
schools manage the transition to new profiles, revamping teachers’ knowledge and skills and
upgrading the teaching environment to meet higher standards of quality. Another lesson is the
necessity to insert effectively new profiles within the overall VET system to ensure that obtained
qualifications give access to higher levels of education. From this point of view, the absence of a
comprehensive NQF diminishes the impact of VET reforms conducted to date. With support from the
IPA 2007 project ‘Modernisation of VET education and IPA 2008 Education Quality Assurance’ and
IPA 2008 project ‘Support for Quality Assurance within the National Primary and Secondary
Education Examination System’, Serbia has, however, laid the foundations of the NQF by sketching
out the overall structure of the framework and by initiating the classification and description of
existing qualifications according to levels of learning outcomes and competences. Despite this
progress, there is still very little capacity to implement the NQF, both at the level of social partners
and among institutions in charge of supervising the process.
The establishment of an NQF is closely connected to the development of a quality assurance system
to promote consistent standards throughout the education system and ensure compliance with the
requirements of the NQF. Serbia has been putting in place elements of a quality assurance system
through past CARDS and IPA projects, notably by defining normative standards for revised profiles
and identifying basic criteria and indicators to measure quality in education, while laying down
procedures for self-assessment and external monitoring/evaluation that any future quality
assurance system will need to articulate. However, the creation of an effective quality assurance
system has been hampered by slow progress with the establishment of the Council for VET and AE.
The tasks in the area of VET and adult education are distributed between the VET and AE Centre
within the Institute for Improvement of Education, the Institute for Education Quality and
Evaluation, and the Council for VET and AE. It is necessary to strengthen their capacities to perform
the duties assigned to them. The recently established Council for VET and AE needs strong support
to become a strong institution to steer developments in the VET and adult education sectors, by
enabling and speeding up success of current and future reforms.
Challenges in adult education are similar to those of the VET sector. The development of adult
learning is hindered by a lack of recognition of qualifications acquired outside the formal education
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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system, and by the absence of a well-structured NQF to connect formal and with non-formal and
informal learning achievements through a transparent system of pathways and credit transfers.
Moreover, adult education suffers from inexistent monitoring and control mechanisms to ensure the
quality and relevance of training to the needs of the economy. VET schools rarely supplement their
training programmes with a corresponding CVET offer. Courses organised by private training
institutions have been growing in number in recent years, but there is still limited capacity and
experience in devising training responding to real labour market demands and tailored to the needs
of adults. However, Serbia has been taking recent measures to address the situation. A new law on
adult education is currently being drafted, which will provide incentives and improve conditions for
adult education. A network of eight Regional Training Centres (RTCs) is being established with EU
funding to promote adult and lifelong learning across the country and increase the variety of training
opportunities. The IPA 2008 project about to start, ‘Second Chance’, will also make a significant
contribution to the development of the sector.
Description:
The Measure will continue the development of the National Qualifications Framework initiated and
supported with previous IPA assistance. Support will be available to classify education and training
qualifications in an easily readable and transparent framework, aimed at facilitating access to, and
mobility and progression within the education and training systems.
The emphasis will be on setting up and institutionalising consensus-building mechanisms to develop
the NQF through sector-based partnerships of stakeholders, who will cooperate to define and
regularly update standards of knowledge, skill and competence for all occupations in demand on the
labour market. Sectoral committees of experts involved in this process will receive extensive support
in carrying out their tasks from the description of qualifications, in terms of level, learning outcomes
and competences to the definition of clear progression routes, through the revision of vocational
profiles in line with the requirements of the economy.
The Measure will also help develop a transparent credit transfer system, in order to make it easier
for individuals at any stage throughout their lives to acquire new qualifications through the
recognition and validation of all their prior learning achievements. Comparability and compatibility
with the European Qualifications Framework will also be promoted throughout the process.
The capacity of national institutions responsible for overseeing the implementation of the NQF will
be strengthened. In particular, the role of the National Council for Vocational Education and Adult
Education will be reinforced through training and capacity building for its members. Assistance will
also target the Centre for VET and Adult Education within the Institute for the Improvement of
Education to plan and organise the NQF process and manage the work of sectoral committees and
the National Council. Assistance will be available to any other body established in order to develop
the NQF.
The Measure will also support national authorities in building an effective quality assurance system
for VET and adult education, in order to contribute to higher quality of education and training
provision in line with the requirements of the NQF. The Measure will help setting quality standards
for programmes and providers and promote their introduction through an accreditation and
licensing system. Capacity of the both Institutes will be strengthened to develop and implement
criteria and procedures for the quality assurance system.
The Measure will also promote a more effective governance structure for VET and adult education,
by helping reorganise and transform existing national bodies into real centres of excellence, capable
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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of researching and guiding developments in VET and adult education and promoting quality and best
practices.
Building on the outcomes and experience of previous CARDS and IPA projects, the Measure will help
roll out revised profiles throughout the VET system. VET schools will receive support in developing
outcomes-oriented and competence-based curricula in line with NQF requirements, and in
upgrading their capacity to fulfil licensing and accreditation criteria. To that effect, training will be
organised across all VET schools to familiarise teachers with new teaching methods, while
equipment will be supplied to schools offering the most demanded profiles.
The Measure will support the development of the still embryonic adult education sector. VET
schools will be encouraged to engage into CVET, by adapting their offer of training to the needs of
adults. Assistance will be available to adjust curricula and training materials and organise training of
teachers. The eight Regional Training Centres (RTC) established with previous EU assistance will
receive support to diversify their offer of training courses and strengthen their role as local
reference and focal points for the promotion of adult and lifelong learning in particular regarding the
recognition of prior learning. A programme of training and dissemination of best practices will be
organised by the RTCs targeting local training providers of adult education, which will be encouraged
to develop courses meeting NQF requirements and minimum quality standards, in order to obtain
licensing and accreditation.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Capacity building for the VET and AE Centre/Institute for Improvement of Education, as well
as for the Institute of Quality in Education;
Support to the social partners/sectoral committees for cooperation with the Centre for VET
and AE (Institute for Improvement of Education) and National Council for VET and AE;
Support to the national body acting as the national qualifications authority (Council for VET
and Adult Education);
Support to further development of NQF, development of standards of qualifications, QA
mechanisms, credit transfer system and recognition of prior learning system, etc
Development of standards, accreditation criteria and procedures for programmes and
providers;
Revision of the vocational profiles in accordance with the labour market needs;
Support to the Centre for VET and AE, and to selected VET schools in implementing new
curricula.
Training of teachers of vocational training, school directors and pedagogical advisors for the
implementation of the new curricula; and
Support to adult training providers, particularly RTCs
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Education and VET Priority Axis, the following will
apply specifically to this measure:
•
•
•
•
Strong experience in designing and improving NQF;
Coverage of, and impact on secondary schools’ students;
Impact on increasing participation of business sector;
Coverage of the VET schools in the areas for the highest rate of unemployment;
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
•
•
•
1st draft
Relevance for ethnical communities and gender equality;
Impact on the promotion of adult education;
Experience in designing a credit transfer system, and recognition and validation practices of
learning achievements;
• Strong expertise and experience in developing adult education policies and its
implementation at local/regional level.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure. The end recipients who will be
responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the
Ministry of Education and Science and the Institute for Improvement of Education – VET and AE
Centre and the Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation.
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
To improve
the quality,
coverage and
relevance of
VET and adult
education by
developing
further the
National
Qualifications
Framework,
strengthening
the capacity
of VET
schools and
adult training
providers and
ensuring
better
governance
of the sector
142
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Completeness
of NQF
Credit transfer
system
Levels of NQF
designed
Credit
accumulation
and transfer
routes defined
Staff trained
participate in
developing NQF
NQF
level
profile
Sectoral
committees
supported
#
0
%
19%
Technical
capacity of VET
schools and VET
Centre
Revised
vocational
profiles in NQF
system in line
with economy
requirements
VET schools
implementing
modernised
curricula
Equipped schools
covering more
than 2000
students
#
0
Pedagogical
capacity of VET
school
Teachers,
trainers, school
directors,
#
0
Capacity of in
VET and AE
Centre,
Institute for
Education
Quality and
Evaluation and
member of
National
Council
Number of
sectoral
committees
supported
Reform of
vocational
profiles
Reform of VET
schools
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
%
#
Source of
verification
NQF
Frequency
of
monitoring
Annually
Target
value
(2016)
Levels 1-5
defined
For 30
profiles
NQF
Annually
Monitoring
report,
Annually
80% of staff
trained and
participate
in
developing
NQF
annually
12
NQF
Quarterly
90%
VET centre
database
Quarterly
250
Project
monitoring
report.
Procurement
specification
Project
monitoring
report
At the end
of the
project
10 schools –
2000
students
Quarterly
250
directors
30
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Training
opportunities
for adults (I)
Monitoring
System in adult
education
Training
opportunities
for adults (II)
Capacity of
training
providers
Capacity of RTC
System of
recognition of
prior learning
pedagogical
advisors trained
for
implementation
and monitoring
of the new
curricula
increase in
accredited AE
programmes
AE programmes
and providers
went through the
M&E system
increase
Accredited AE
courses offered
by companies
Number of
accredited AE
providers
# schools and
providers each
RTC is supporting
RTC performing
recognition of
prior learning
%
45
Catalogue of
accredited
programmes
Yearly
%
0
Guidebooks,
manuals,
monitoring
reports
Yearly
%
1st draft
pedagogical
advisers
50%
increase of
accredited
AE training
programme
10%
20%
increase
#
0
#
0
AE training
providers
registry
Quarterly
100
Quarterly
5 school
and
providers
by RTC
8 RTC
Measure 2.2 - Ensuring access and reaching higher levels of education for children at risk
Specific objective:
To create better conditions for the early inclusion of disadvantaged groups into the education
system and promote higher levels of education among children at risk, by supporting inclusive
education and drop-out prevention initiatives in local communities.
Rationale:
One of the key challenges facing the education system in Serbia is its poor performance towards
children from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups – in particular Roma families, children from poor
and low educated families, Roma families, rural regions, and children with disabilities - compared to
the rest of pupils. Statistics show that children from those backgrounds are more likely to be left out
of education, a high proportion of them never enrolling into the system or dropping out at a very
early age. They have also rarely access to the best standards of education.
The quality of pre-school education has a clear impact on a child’s subsequent educational
achievements and has an influence on his/her overall life prospects. However, children from
vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, in particular Roma children, are often not included in preschool education. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to build the capacity of pre-school
institutions and encourage a more active involvement of local self-governments in supporting the
development of an inclusive pre-school education.
In addition to policy measures which are required to reduce the selective nature of the Serbian
education system, specific teaching programmes and services have to be developed to address the
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable children. Teaching staff must learn about inclusive
education, and acquire skills and experience with inclusive measures targeting children from
disadvantaged groups.
Children from vulnerable groups, in particular Roma, are at a disadvantage throughout the
education system. Their drop-out rate by the end of the primary education is significantly higher
than average. The same is also true at higher levels of education. As a result, there are still
differences of educational achievements between children with the lowest and the highest socioeconomic status.
As with pre-schools, this situation calls for specific measures targeting children from less-favoured
backgrounds, primarily from Roma people. In particular, more emphasis should be put on integrating
social and education initiatives at the local level. Primary and secondary schools and LSGs should
promote more actively the enrolment of children from disadvantaged background at all levels of
education. The use of inclusive teaching methods and supporting initiatives to prevent drop-outs
should be encouraged, as well as the continuous monitoring of educational progress among children
from disadvantaged groups.
Continuing support is required to build the capacity of LSGs in planning and promoting inclusive
education in their area and to support schools and key local stakeholders in devising and
implementing measures targeting the needs of children from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
Description:
The assistance under this Measure will support inclusive education at the local level, by building on
the lessons learned from other programmes 288 and disseminating best practices.
The Measure will support LSGs and local pre-schools to devise and implement local plans together to
improve the quality of pre-school and encourage greater participation of children from vulnerable
groups in pre-school education, and primarily Roma children. The local plans will promote the
development of teaching programmes and supporting services addressing the specific needs of
children and their families, the delivery of training for teachers in pre-school education to learn how
to work with children from vulnerable groups, the adaptation of teaching materials and upgrading of
equipment, etc. Technical assistance will provide examples of successful methods and initiatives of
inclusion of children from disadvantaged groups into pre-school, and support the development of
concrete projects in line with the objectives of the local plans. The best initiatives will be selected
and funded through a grant scheme.
The Measure will also promote the development of inclusive education in primary and secondary
schools, by implementing the best initiatives identified in school development plans to increase
access and prevent drop-outs among children from vulnerable groups. The capacity of schools in
selected municipalities will be strengthened to design project initiatives in favour of children from
disadvantaged groups, in line with school development plans. Technical assistance will provide
examples of successful methods of inclusive education and disseminate best practice to encourage a
more active engagement of students in learning, increase the attractiveness of the teaching process,
adjust teaching activities to the needs of children at risk of drop-out and monitor progress of
education on a constant basis, establish a mentorship system, introduce extra-curricular activities,
better integrate students into the school community, and establish better communications with
parents to arouse their interest in the education of their child and the life of the school. Preference
288
World Bank DILS programme, IPA 2008 ‘Education for All’ and IPA 2009 ‘Improvement of Pre-school Education’
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will be given to initiatives developed in partnership with LSGs, civil society organisations and other
relevant local stakeholders. The best initiatives will be selected and funded through a grant scheme.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
• Capacity building of MoE staff and National Education Council in developing inclusive
education and steering the implementation process, disseminating best practices and raising
awareness on inclusive education and drop-out prevention;
• TA to develop manuals, guidelines, web-based syllabi, serving as support to teachers for
inclusive teaching practices;
• Capacity-building of selected local authorities in design and implementation of policies
aiming at enhancing access of vulnerable children to pre-school education and provision of
high quality pre-school education;
• Capacity-building of schools to design and subsequently implement inclusive programmes
and initiatives in line with school development plans;
• Support to LSGs to support implementation of concrete actions and interventions to
facilitate greater access and quality of pre-school education of vulnerable children, in line
with the local plans; and
• Support to schools to implement actions towards inclusive school ethos, as defined in their
development plans.
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Education Priority Axis, the following will apply
specifically to this measure:
•
•
•
•
•
LSGs with high share of population from vulnerable groups, and availability of co-financing;
Impact on the capacities of the LSGs to provide quality pre-school education for all;
Impact on the level of awareness on inclusive education at local level;
Relevance of initiatives for the needs of target groups;
Sustainability and ownership of the proposed interventions
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure. The end recipients who will be
responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the
Ministry of Education and Science (Sectors for pre-school education, primary and secondary
education).
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
To create
better
conditions for
the early
inclusion of
disadvantaged
Capacity of MoE
staff and NEC
members
Trained MoE
staff and NEC
on policy
measures for
inclusive
education
%
145
Baseline
value
(2012)
Source of
verification
Monitoring
report,
Frequency
of
monitoring
Annually
Target
value
(2016)
80%
groups into
the education
system and
promote
higher levels
of education
among
children at
risk by
supporting
inclusive
education and
drop-out
prevention
initiatives in
local
communities.
Local funding
for pre-school
education
Capacity of preschool teaching
staff
Capacity of preschools in
inclusive
education
Access to preschools
Inclusiveness of
education
Capacity of
teachers and
management in
primary and
secondary
schools
Capacity of
primary and
secondary
schools in
inclusive
education
Mentorship
system
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Increase of
local funding
allocated for
pre-school
education –
including
investment and
running costs in
selected LSGs
Trained
teachers in preschool
education to
develop
programmes
responsive to
children from
vulnerable
groups
# pre-schools
delivering
inclusive
programmes
% Increase
of local
funding
% for preschool
education in
local budget
of selected
LSG
Monitoring
report,
local
budgets
One-off at
the end of
programme
20%
# of LSGs
where all
pre-school
teaching
staff are
trained
0
Monitoring
report,
MoE and
pre-school
records
Yearly
15
#
0
Yearly
30
Increase of
children from
disadvantaged
groups
attending preschool
education
decrease of
drop-out rates
in supported
schools at the
end of the
implementation
period
Schools
teachers
and
management
(both primary
and secondary)
trained
in
inclusive
education and
drop-out
prevention
programmes
# of drop-out
prevention
projects
%
# of children
from
disadvantaged
groups in
selected preschools
Monitoring
report,
MoE and
pre-school
records
Monitoring
report,
MoE and
pre-school
records
Yearly
50%
%
Average % of
drop-outs
before the
support
Monitoring
report,
school
records
One-off at
the end of
programme
20%
decrease
Number of
schools
0
Monitoring
report,
school
records
Yearly
30
# of drop-out
prevention
school
project
developed
0
Monitoring
report,
school
records
Yearly
15
# of LSG
0
Monitoring
report,
school
records,
Yearly
30 LSGs
# of LSG with
mentorship
system
functioning
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Priority Axis 3 – Social Inclusion
Aim:
This priority axis will promote the long-term integration of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups into
the labour market, by improving the design and delivery of social inclusion policies that ultimately
enhance employability. The capacity of local stakeholders in identifying the needs of disadvantaged
groups will be strengthened, as well as their ability to develop effective and coordinated responses
across institutional boundaries.
EU legislation:
Not applicable
Specific objective:
To support social inclusion and long-term labour market integration of disadvantaged and vulnerable
groups, through cross-sectoral approaches and local partnership-based initiatives
Rationale:
As part of the ongoing reforms of the social welfare system, efforts have been taking place in recent
years to improve the delivery of social policies at the local level. The reform of the system has been
led at several levels and is now translated into the new Law on Social Welfare. The capacity of local
self-government to effectively lead social policy at local level is has been strengthening. CSWs have
been modernized with the introduction of case management which radically changed the way CSWs
operate. The main public function of the CSWs is to administer entitlements and refer client to
appropriate social services according to his/her individual needs. Since clients are primarily referred
to services supporting life in the community, case management is also strong driver for planning and
developing the network of community-based services. The reform is also focussing on the
development of regulatory mechanisms and the definition of national minimum standards to
promote better quality services provided by a plurality of service providers.
Parallel efforts to improve delivery of services at the local level are taking place in the education,
health and employment sectors, notably through the World Bank DILS programme. However, better
coordination and cooperation among these various services would represent a significant
improvement for disadvantaged and vulnerable people seeking assistance and facilitate their
inclusion. It would also result in more cost-effective solutions, which are particularly needed in the
context of the current economic crisis.
The capacity of local self-government is still very fragile to lead coordinated responses to social
inclusion needs at the local level and to promote new approaches to service delivery in the
community. Their role should be reinforced to devise and implement social inclusion policies in
partnership with a wide range of stakeholders. Community-based services should be developed to
help with the implementation of social inclusion policies and address the needs of local
disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Until recently, social assistance benefits failed to reach those most in need. The new Law of Social
Welfare will improve the distribution and amounts of social benefits to the most disadvantaged and
vulnerable people in order to promote their inclusion into society. In addition, it regulates active
inclusion elements that will enable beneficiaries capable of working to access the wide range of
social and employment services to support their labour market inclusion. However, this system is
still not functioning across the country and consequently people from vulnerable and disadvantaged
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groups on social benefits tend to be trapped in social welfare dependency. There is a need to
promote, develop and implement active inclusion policies. This will require clear model of work and
cooperation between CSW and NES to link social assistance benefits to active labour market
measures and other social inclusion services -. In parallel, capacity of LSGs should be strengthened
in particular regarding the promotion of a wide range of community-based services on which
CSW/NES can rely when referring their beneficiaries.
Description:
Local self-government will receive support to lead cross-sectoral social inclusion policies in line with
local needs and to broaden and strengthen available community-based services. Local providers will
be encouraged to improve service delivery, and develop innovative and coordinated responses to
the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, in cooperation with local self-governments.
Active inclusion of vulnerable groups will be promoted through closer coordination and cooperation
between Centres for Social Work and NES branch offices, in order to reduce welfare dependency and
facilitate the inclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups into the labour force. Supporting
activities will be implemented at local level to improve the take-up of the minimum guaranteed
income among the poorest people and contribute to their inclusion into society.
The capacity of the MoLSP will be strengthened in overseeing and guiding developments at the local
level, developing national minimum standards for social services, capitalising on lessons learned,
mainstreaming the most successful schemes and raising awareness of social inclusion.
Targeting:
Resources under this priority axis will be committed to supporting social inclusion and long-term
labour market integration of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, through cross-sectoral
approaches and local partnership-based initiatives. In this context, the priority will be targeting the
following groups:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Beneficiaries of social assistance benefits;
Persons with physical, learning and mental disabilities;
Roma people;
People from rural areas;
Refugees and IDPs;
Returnees according to readmission agreements;
Drug addicts;
Ex-offenders;
Single parents;
Youth at risk; and
Women.
Local self-governments and local Social Policy Councils,
State and non-state (private and NGOs) service providers.
Measures:
Two measures have been considered for support under this priority axis:
•
Measure 3.1 - Support to social inclusion through more diversified community-based
services;
148
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Measure 3.2 - Supporting the transition from welfare to work through active inclusion.
Delivery:
The priority axis will be delivered through combined service contracts and grants scheme in line with
EU procurement rules
Selection criteria at the level of priority axis shall, beside the specific selection criteria given at the
measure level, include the following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Strong expertise in local social inclusion policies, their implementation and development of
social inclusion initiatives and experience in similar assignments;
Strong expertise in guaranteed minimum income schemes and active inclusion policies at
national level and experience in similar assignments in other EU countries;
Strong expertise in capacity building in the area of social inclusion services;
Impact on the poverty level and social exclusion;
Sustainability and ownership of the activities proposed;
Relevance to the needs of target groups;
Clear link with national social inclusion priorities set by legislation and relevant strategies.
Targets and indicators:
Objective
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
To
support
social
inclusion and
long-term
labour market
integration of
disadvantaged
and
vulnerable
groups,
through crosssectoral
approaches
and
local
partnershipbased
initiatives
CSA targeting
increase of
people living
below
absolute
poverty line
covered by
CSA
crosssectoral
services for
which joint
standards
have been
developed
by relevant
line
ministries
Beneficiaries
satisfied with
the new
services
%
Mainstreaming
cross-sectoral
services
Relevance of
the new
services
supported
Baseline
value
Source of
verification
RSO, MoLSP
register
Frequency
of
monitoring
One-off
Target
value
(2016)
30%
#
%
0
Monitoring
report,
adopted
standards
Yearly
Number of
people
0
Beneficiary
satisfaction
survey
Yearly
Measure 3.1: Support to social inclusion through more diversified community-based
services
Specific objective:
To strengthen the capacity of local self-governments (LSGs) in leading partnership-based social
inclusion policies and improve the range and quality of community-based services providing crosssectoral solutions to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
149
Rationale:
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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In order to develop quality community-based social services addressing the needs of vulnerable
groups, the MoLSP has pursued ambitious reforms to reinforce the capacity of local self-government
in managing local social policies, modernise the network of Centres for Social Work (CSWs) and
develop the regulatory framework for decentralised social services. As a result, a majority of local
self-governments established local Social Policy Councils and approximately 120 of them have
adopted strategies or plans to address the needs of vulnerable groups 289.
The range and outreach of community-based social services have improved in some municipalities
which started to cooperate with a wider variety of service providers to run day care, shelters,
supported housing, etc. However, their availability throughout Serbia remains limited290. It is
essential that more municipalities develop well-coordinated community-based services to meet the
multiple needs of their beneficiaries in the most efficient manner. In this context, support is required
to strengthen existing services and to create new ones tailored to the needs of vulnerable groups.
Local self-governments are currently facing challenging times with reduced transfers from the
central level and limited ability to raise their own revenues. The capacity of local authorities should
therefore be reinforced to make better use of means available for social inclusion, and encourage
cooperation and coordination among the various providers involved in the implementation of
policies.
The delivery of local services is being improved in related sectors such as education and health
thanks to major donor-funded initiatives (e.g. World Bank-funded DILS programme). These initiatives
create the necessary momentum to promote greater co-operation among services across
institutional boundaries (social, employment, health and education) and pursue ambitious social
inclusion policies in line with EU trends. The Roma community is among the largest ethnic groups,
but at the same time the poorest and most vulnerable group in Serbia exposed to multiple exclusion.
Cross-sectoral initiatives at the local level to support their social inclusion should be further
supported.
National minimum standards need to be defined for other existing social services, new services to
be mainstreamed but also for cross-sectional services. The relevant sectors/ line ministries should
cooperate on this issue to facilitate the introduction of the most successful community-based
services across the whole country. A licensing system of social services providers is being developed,
but procedures and mechanisms for its implementation need to be enforced. Service providers
should be encouraged to develop new services and apply for licensing.
The delivery of local services is being improved in related sectors such as education and health
thanks to major donor-funded initiatives (e.g. World Bank-funded DILS programme). These initiatives
create the necessary momentum to promote greater co-operation among services across
institutional boundaries (social, employment, health and education) and pursue ambitious social
inclusion policies in line with EU trends.
Description:
In line with the new Law, the capacity of selected LSGs will be strengthened to carry out regular and
comprehensive needs analyses of vulnerable citizens and to promote the development of adequate
services to meet those needs. Skills and competencies of LSGs staff will be enhanced to implement
289
See section 2.1.4
90% of the most developed municipalities have home care, compared with 57% among the least developed
municipalities
290
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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more effective social inclusion policies ranging from the development or revision of action plans,
budgeting of those plans, selection and contracting of local service providers through an open
competition procedure, to monitoring and evaluation of supported services, including collecting
clients and workers views. The Measure will also improve the quality of data available on vulnerable
groups and promote inter-municipal cooperation, towards economies of scale and budget efficiency.
Community-based social services available for vulnerable groups will be developed in line with LSG
action plans in selected municipalities/districts. A grant scheme will strengthen the network of
existing community-based social services, but also encourage the development of new/crosssectoral approaches in service delivery. For existing services, service providers will be required to
comply with national minimum standards and complete the licensing procedure in line with the new
Law. The measure will encourage inter-municipal cooperation in social service delivery (cluster
approach). The grants scheme will also support initiatives promoting the inclusion of Roma people .
The MoLSP will get support in mainstreaming the most successful initiatives and adopting national
minimum standards for social services, including the development of joint standards for crosssectoral services in cooperation with other relevant ministries. The Measure will also support the
MoLSP to manage further decentralisation of social policies and services, provide guidance and
support to LSGs in the process, monitor and evaluate the process, disseminate best practices and
raise awareness on social inclusion policies.
The assistance will be a logical and necessary continuation of almost a decade-long reform process.
It will be based on lessons learned from partnership-based initiatives supported through EU
assistance, World Bank, DFID, NMFA and other donor programmes.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Capacity-building for local authorities in implementing social inclusion policies: identification
of needs, development/revision of action plans, preparation of call for proposals, financing,
monitoring and evaluating of implemented policies;
Capacity-building to LSGs to design community-based social inclusion initiatives in line with
needs identified in the LSG action plans through building local partnerships and stronger
inter-sectoral networking (social, employment, health and educational services);
Grant schemes for LSGs to support concrete community based social inclusion services to
meet the multiple needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged population, and to support
outreach services to socially excluded groups, including Roma;
Capacity-building at national level in steering process, disseminating best practices, raising
awareness on social inclusion, performing licensing of local service providers, developing
joint standards;
Support to development of joint national standards for cross-sectoral services and training
of policy- and decision-makers in relevant ministries, for mainstreaming and monitoring
locally developed initiatives; and
Training for service providers on compliance with minimum standards linked to licensing
procedure.
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Social Inclusion Priority Axis, the following will
apply specifically to this measure:
151
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Impact on the capacities of the LSGs to lead social inclusion policies at local level;
Existence of the local social policy/inclusion documents and availability of local co-financing;
Contribution to cluster approach among LSGs in developing social inclusion initiatives;
Participation of underdeveloped municipalities
Contribution to partnership and cross-sectoral approach and cooperation;
Impact on the level of awareness on the social inclusion at local level;
Relevance of the services for the needs of target groups as identified in local strategic
documents; and
Sustainability and ownership of the proposed interventions
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure. The end recipients who will be
responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (the Family Care and Social Welfare Sector)
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
To strengthen
the capacity
of local selfgovernments
(LSGs) in
leading
partnershipbased social
inclusion
policies and
improve the
range and
quality of
communitybased services
providing
cross-sectoral
solutions to
vulnerable
and
disadvantaged
groups.
152
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Capacity of LSG
developed to
implement
social inclusion
policies
Underdeveloped
LSGs
implementing
social inclusion
policies
# of LSGs
implementing
social inclusion
policies
#
% of
underdeveloped
municipalities
implementing
social inclusion
policies
% increase of
local budgets
for CBBSs
Number of
CBSSs both
existing and
innovative
/cross-sectoral
implemented in
supported LSGs
Increase in
cross-sectoral
initiatives
0
Local funding of
CBBSs
Availability of
CBSSs
Cross -sectoral
cooperation
Baseline
value
(2012)
%
0
#
0
%
0
Access to
community
based services
increase of
beneficiaries
%
Quality of
service
providers
Services
providers that
are licensed by
the MOLSP
#
0
Source of
verification
Monitoring
report, local
decisions,
local
budgets
Monitoring
report,
local
decisions,
Local
budgets
Monitoring
report. Local
budgets
Monitoring
report, local
decisions on
extended
rights
Monitoring
report,
reports from
LSGs
Monitoring
report,
reports from
LSGs
Monitoring
reports,
registry of
the licensed
service
providers
Frequency
of
monitoring
One-off
Target
value
(2016)
30
One-off
15 %
Yearly
20%
Quarterly
30
Quarterly
10%
Quarterly
30%
One-off at
the end of
programme
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Measure 3.2: Supporting the transition from welfare to work through active inclusion
Specific objective:
To increase the coverage of guaranteed minimum income among socially excluded groups, and
promote the transition from welfare to work through active inclusion and better integrated social
and employment services.
Rationale:
The incidence of absolute poverty is particularly high in rural areas, among Roma, refugees and IDPs,
and families with children. Social assistance benefits are playing a major role in lifting people out of
extreme poverty.
The Cash Social Assistance programme (guaranteed minimum income) suffers from weaknesses in
its implementation (not all eligible people receive benefits and some people receiving benefits are
not eligible), which compound weaknesses in its design (not all poor people are eligible and not all
eligible people are poor). There is also very low take-up among beneficiaries in underdeveloped
municipalities with low living standards and significant social problems. The reasons for such a
situation are poor information available to potential beneficiaries regarding eligibility and
application process, complex administrative procedures, high application costs, social stigma and
different approaches among staff in the CSWs in assessing eligibility of potential beneficiaries. Since
the guaranteed minimum income is the main benefit against poverty and social exclusion, there is a
great need to improve its targeting by addressing all of these weaknesses.
The new Law on Social Welfare introduces the concept of active inclusion for the first time in Serbia.
It creates opportunities for promoting active inclusion among beneficiaries of social benefits, and
paves the way for active inclusion policies based on a strong cooperation between CSWs and NES.
This system needs to be developed, and its implementation strongly supported across country. Until
present, social benefits schemes have no systemic link to other services and to the labour market. As
a result, they tend to trap people into poverty and long-term social welfare dependency. Public
works are the only existing programme that links social assistance and employment service, with
relative success in achieving longer-term employment of guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries.
Current cooperation between the CSWs and the NES can be characterised as ad hoc and reactive (i.e.
responding to crisis or other pressure), although there is recognition of the need to develop mutual
cooperation due to common target groups. Despite encouraging initiatives in some areas 291, the
integration of people excluded from the labour market remains a real challenge in Serbia. The Law
on Social Welfare will create new opportunities for promoting active inclusion among beneficiaries
of social welfare, and pave the way for active inclusion policies based on strong cooperation
between CSWs and NES throughout the country, which need to be encouraged and supported.
Description:
The measure will support the implementation of the new Law in the part relating to more efficient
social benefits scheme for the poorest people. It will help target better social assistance benefits on
the poorest people and link social benefits schemes to measures promoting active inclusion.
291
IOM, ILO, UNDP and UNICEF joint project ''Support to national efforts for the promotion of youth employment and
management of migration'' will pilot the model of integrated employment and social services as a response to complex
problems faced by particularly vulnerable groups of unemployed young people 2009/2011.
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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Assistance will focus mostly on the Family Care and Social Welfare Department within MoLSP, the
network of CSWs and NES branch offices.
The measure will support the MoLSP in drafting and disseminating guidelines for CSWs to help them
assess in a uniform manner clients’ eligibility and to monitor social benefits schemes. This will also
involve training of CSW staff working on social benefits. A better targeting of the guaranteed
minimum income will also be ensured through the design and implementation of outreach activities
and through the review of the application process and application costs. Outreach activities will
consist of information campaigns to raise the awareness of the most vulnerable groups about their
entitlements and to help them in applying for social protection. Civil society organisations dealing
with targeted vulnerable groups could also be mobilised for outreach activities through the social
inclusion grant scheme implemented under measure 3.1.
The measure will support active inclusion of vulnerable groups by helping CSWs and NES branch
offices set up single entry services connecting their clients to the whole range of opportunities and
support available under social assistance benefits, social inclusion services and active labour market
measures. Core teams in CSWs and NES will be trained and supported with exchange of information
and peer transfer of knowledge on active inclusion across the country. This will also include the
design and delivery of capacity building packages for both CSW and NES staff, including joint training
for multi-disciplinary teams, manuals, guidelines, etc. The measure will also encourage NES and
CSWs to cooperate in identifying relevant services addressing the specific needs of vulnerable
groups and proposing their development under Measure 1.1 (employment promotion) and Measure
3.1 (social inclusion).
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
•
Assistance to MoLSP in designing outreach campaign and activities and implementing them
locally;
Assistance to MoLSP in reviewing application procedures and designing standardised work
procedures for social assistance benefits to be applied in CSWs;
Training of CSW staff in applying new procedures and monitoring social assistance benefits
schemes for the poorest;
Support in implementing an active inclusion system linking income support, inclusive labour
market policies and quality services in NES and CSWs through joint training and peer
knowledge transfer; and
Contribution in designing social activation services customised to the individual needs of
vulnerable groups and based on EU best practices
Selection criteria:
In addition to selection criteria introduced for the Social Inclusion priority axis, the following will
apply specifically to this measure:
•
•
•
•
Impact of the intervention on socially excluded people;
Impact on efficiency of the social assistance benefits scheme;
Effective implementation of systems linking income support, inclusive labour market policies
and quality social inclusion services;
Relevance of the services to the needs of target groups
Final beneficiaries:
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The final beneficiaries for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA
implementing regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation within the Operating Structure. The end recipients who will be
responsible for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes will be the
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (Family Care and Social Welfare Sector).
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
To increase
the coverage
of
guaranteed
minimum
income
among
socially
excluded
groups and
promote the
transition
from welfare
to
work
through
active
inclusion and
better
integrated
social
and
employment
services.
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Baseline
value
Source of
verification
Trained staff
of NES and
CSWs
Appointed
NES and CSWs
trained in
implementing
integrated
employment
and social
service
Core CSWs
CSA staff
trained in
monitoring
CSA
beneficiries
and referaal
to case
management
Increase of
beneficiaries
Decrease in
share of ablebodied
beneficiaries
receiving
guaranteed
minimum
income
Disadvantaged
people
benefiting of
active
inclusion
measures (at
least 50%
women)
%
0
MoLSP and
NES human
resource data,
monitoring
report
%
0
MoLSP
records,
monitoring
report,
Yearly
One-off
30%
One-off
20%
Quarterly
#
Training of
CSWs CSA
staff
CSA coverage
CSA targeting
(I)
CSA targeting
(II°
155
%
%
46%
MoLSP
database
MoLSP records
# of people
receiving
active
support
0
MoLSP records
Frequency
of
monitoring
Yearly
Target
value
(2016)
90% of
staff
appointed
in all NES
and CSWs
in Serbia
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3.2 Technical assistance
3.2.1 Priority axis 4 - Technical Assistance
Aim:
This priority axis will support the effective and efficient management of the OP, the absorption of
IPA assistance, and preparation for future programming periods, including the design and
development of strategies, and identification of operations for elaboration into mature and highquality proposals.
EU legislation:
Not applicable.
Specific objective:
To enhance and reinforce Serbian capacities, in the context of the EU pre-accession process, for
future management of Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund
Rationale:
The greatest challenge facing national authorities in managing EU, national and IFI funds is to
maximise both its absorption and its impact, while ensuring that spending is efficiently administered
and completely aligned with all relevant regulations and agreements. This triple focus on spending
fully, correctly and wisely will be the basis of IPA programme management by Serbian institutions
under the decentralised implementation system (DIS), and in the longer term, the administration of
Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund as an EU member state. The raison d’être for IPA is
pedagogical as much as developmental, with an explicit goal of preparing accession candidates for
the tasks ahead of them. The structures and systems under IPA component III and IV are designed to
facilitate ‘learning by doing’, but at a smaller scale of disbursement and hence a lower level of
absorption risk.
Nevertheless, the transition from the traditional pre-accession environment of CARDS and IPA
component I, under centralised management, is not an easy one. IPA III and IV introduces entirely
new challenges for the Serbian authorities based on multi-annual programme implementation,
including flexibility in programme expenditure (under the N+3 rule), and managing, monitoring and
evaluating the OP to optimise the use of resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including
switching resources across operations, measures and priority axes, if appropriate. Decentralised
management means procurement, grant scheme management and contracting is transferred to the
Ministry of Finance, with ex ante approvals by the EU Delegation, and responsibility for drawing
down finance from the EU, and making payments (and recoveries and repayments, if necessary)
transferred wholly, with ex post controls only.
Moreover, the management of IPA component IV will involve extraordinary costs that do not form
part of the Serbian administration’s traditional operating expenses. This includes: information and
publicity on IPA; the development of monitoring indicators and an EU funds Management
Information System; the commissioning of external, independent experts for interim and ongoing
evaluations; and the costs of managing and implementing the IPA programmes.
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Finally, the programme period of 2012-2013 will shortly be followed by the 2014-2020 financial
perspective. The direction of the Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the EU’s European Council of
Ministers, indicates that employment, education and social inclusion will remain pivotal to ensuring
Europe’s future prosperity and hence will play a guiding role in the governance of future EU funds.
Serbia needs to be fully up-to-date in its strategic planning and put in place an active pipeline of
potential projects for funding, which correspond with this agenda.
Description:
The priority axis will provide technical support to all aspects of OP implementation, including
promotion, project appraisal and selection, procurement, grant scheme management, contracting
and contract management, financial management and control, monitoring, evaluation, reporting,
audit and any necessary revisions to the OP.
The priority axis will ensure that the public and beneficiaries are well informed about IPA support
from the EU, and future end recipients are able to generate and prepare concepts, elaborate viable
ideas into eligible and high quality proposals, and apply for IPA assistance in future funding
perspectives. It will finance studies, analysis and strategic planning, with a view to ensuring
successful programming and absorption in 2014-2020.
It will facilitate close working relationships across the Operating Structure and with the rest of the
IPA administration, and promote networking and cooperation with the wider partnership of
economic, social and environmental partners and civil society. It will enable the Operating Structure
to apply the horizontal themes of equality of opportunity, tackling discrimination and ensuring
sustainability
Most importantly, technical assistance under this priority axis will embody the ‘learning by doing’
principle, strengthening the administrative capacity for sound management of the OP, and
enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency.
Targeting:
It is proposed that the activities under this priority axis are fully aligned with the eligible activities
allowed in the IPA implementing regulation, without exception.
The assistance under the priority axis will be directed towards end recipients who will be responsible
for the technical implementation of the operations and their outcomes, and the members of the
Operating Structure. Ultimately, this assistance will include: members of the Sectoral Monitoring
Committee, Project Selection Committees and evaluation committees for tenders and grant
schemes; end recipients of assistance under the other priority axes; works, supplies and service
contractors and grant recipients; and economic, social and environmental partners, civil society, the
general public and the media.
Measures:
Two measures are proposed for support under this priority axis:
•
Measure 4.1 – Programme management, information and publicity;
•
Measure 4.2 – Preparation of studies, programmes and projects
Delivery:
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A ‘road map’ of activities under this priority axis will be elaborated in a Technical Assistance Plan,
which will be prepared by the Head of Operating Structure and submitted to the Sectoral Monitoring
Committee for discussion and agreement. The operations which will be performed under this
priority axis will then be specified in the Operation Identification Sheet (OIS) for submission to the
European Commission for approval. Service and supply contracts will be awarded through
competitive tender, according to EU procurement rules and will be tendered and contracted by the
Central Finance and Contracting Agency, as the Body Responsible for Contracting and
Implementation within the Operating Structure, subject to ex ante controls by the European
Commission.
The following criteria must be fulfilled in selecting operations (through the preparation of the OIS)
under this priority axis:
•
•
•
•
Eligibility under Article 151 of the IPA implementing regulation and relevant provisions of
the OP Financing Agreement;
Absorption of funds within the limits of the financial table and the ‘N+3’ rule for disbursing
expenditure;
Ensuring achievement of the performance targets set for the outputs and results indicators;
Optimising the ‘learning by doing’ benefits for the IPA administration in Serbia.
The priority axis will complement past and ongoing EC technical assistance projects. Any overlap
with projects to be financed under other priority axes of the OP or IPA component I will be avoided.
Approximately 6% of the total budget of the OP is allocated to this priority axis.
The use of funding for technical assistance under this priority axis will be addressed specifically
within the annual and final implementation reports.
Targets and indicators:
Objective
To enhance
and reinforce
Serbian
capacities, in
the context of
the EU preaccession
process, for
future
management
of Structural
Funds and the
Cohesion Fund
Result
indicator
Definition
Unit
Staff trained
Officials of the
Operating
Structure,
Sectoral
Monitoring
Committees and
possible end
recipients
participating in
OP-financed
Incurred
expenditure
declared by the
NAO to the
European
Commission and
accepted by the
latter without
corrections,
deductions or
seeking
recoveries
Evaluation
findings
Absorption
of OP funds
Effective use
of OP funds
158
Source of
verification
Number
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
Frequency
of
monitoring
Quarterly
Target
value
(2016)
Minimum
150
%
0
Annual and
final
implementation
reports
Annual
95%
Ex post
evaluation
0
Ex post
evaluation
Completion
of OP
Positive
report
Project
monitoring
reports
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
reporting a
positive impact
from OP
expenditure
by the EC
1st draft
report
commissioned
by EC
Measure 4.1 - Programme management, information and publicity
Specific objective:
To ensure effective OP management and implementation, information and publicity, and develop
the institutional capacity for managing and absorbing IPA
Rationale:
Absorption rates under CARDS and IPA I have been consistently high, as programming and
management have been highly centralised. When Serbia adopts decentralised management, as an
essential pre-condition for receiving funds under IPA components III and IV and an important step to
membership status, it is likely that the absorption of funds will come under pressure initially, based
on the experience from other countries which have gone down this path. The administration lacks
experience in the direct management of EU funds, particularly the processes of project appraisal and
selection, contracting, project management and control, including payments, verification and
monitoring.
Description:
This measure will support the strengthening of the newly established structures and underpin the
foundation of OP management in two ways.
First, it will enable the procurement of consultancy and training services, for the benefit of the
Operating Structure, which will provide valuable advice and capacity-building during the lifetime of
the OP. This will help consolidate and enhance the competences and capabilities of the Serbian
administration, building on the momentum from previous technical assistance under IPA component
I, and focus on transfer of knowledge, skills and techniques. It is essential that the Serbian
administration is able to train and retain a body of technically competent and committed staff,
which can ensure high levels of absorption and be capable of putting in place programmes for the
next financial perspective.
Second, it will co-finance specific implementation costs of the OP, including information and
publicity, project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation activities, including services, equipment and
supplies, software and hardware. These constitute items of expenditure arising entirely from OP
management, which the Serbian administration would not normally bear in the course of its
conventional day-to-day activities.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
TA consultancy support (including advice and training) to the Operating Structure regarding
any aspect of management, project appraisal and selection, monitoring, control, audit,
evaluation, visibility, publicity and control, including grant scheme management and
procurement (for example, fees for expert assessors and evaluators of project applications)
and interpretation of the horizontal themes;
Preparation and implementation of information and publicity strategy and specific activities;
159
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Setting up and maintaining an information exchange system (through the internet, media,
brochures, folders, CDs etc) for potential beneficiaries and end recipients, on the contents of
the assistance, and accessibility of the IPA funds for implementation of specific projects;
Support (including advice and training) to socio-economic partners and civil society, to
engage them on the delivery of the OP, performance, progress and any planned revisions;
TA support to the Operating Structure in the preparation of guidelines for potential
applicants;
Development of the monitoring arrangements and establishment, maintenance and
upgrading of the Management Information System, including hardware, software and
training;
Aid to enhance the specification, collection and use of statistics for effective monitoring and
evaluation;
Costs of external evaluators engaged for interim and ongoing evaluations;
Expenditure related to the organisation and administration of meetings of the Sectoral
Monitoring Committee and Operation Selection Committees, including interpretation
services, ad-hoc hiring of meeting rooms and audio-visual and other necessary equipment,
provision of documentation and related facilities, fees for the participation of experts and
travel expenditure in accordance with EC rules;
Exchanges of experience for staff involved in OP management through study visits and
internships;
Organisation of briefings, seminars, conferences and workshops;
Provision of translation and interpretation services.
Salaries and allowances of members of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee (and any subcommittees) incurred in the context of their participation in such committees, will not be eligible.
Selection criteria:
The Operating Structure will apply the selection criteria at priority axis level to all operations under
this measure, based on the Technical Assistance Plan prepared at the priority axis level and
approved by the Sectoral Monitoring Committee. Assistance will be commissioned through one or
more procurement contracts. Tenders will require the successful bidders to demonstrate a track
record of similar activities, named key experts with appropriate skills and experience, and a viable
and cost-effective methodology.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiary for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA implementing
regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for Contracting and
Implementation within the Operating Structure.
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
To ensure effective
OP management
and
implementation,
information and
publicity, and
develop the
Training
activity
Total training
provided to
officials of the
Operating
Structure
(including study
visits and
Hours
160
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
Source of
verification
Project
monitoring
reports
Frequency
of
monitoring
Sixmonthly
Target
value
(2016)
Minimum
1500
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
institutional
capacity for
managing and
absorbing IPA
1st draft
internships)
and Sectoral
Monitoring
Committee
Monitoring
committees
Publicity
measures
Meetings of the
Sectoral
Monitoring
Committee
successfully
organised and
attended
Successful
launch of
information,
publicity and
visibility
measures
identified in
the
Communication
Action Plan
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Sixmonthly
10
Percentage
0
Project
monitoring
reports
Sixmonthly
100%
Measure 4.2 - Preparation of studies, programmes and projects
Specific objective:
To ensure the future absorption of IPA funds, through the development of sector planning and
programming documents and the generation of a pipeline of mature, eligible and high quality
projects.
Rationale:
Like all countries receiving EU funds, Serbia needs to ensure that absorption is maximised, but that it
is also well-targeted, to have the maximum positive effect on the problems and challenges facing the
country.
The preparation for IPA III and IV in 2012-2013 is Serbia’s first experience of multi-annual
programming under EU funds. Unlike IPA component I, IPA IV takes a medium-term rather than
annual perspective, and organises priorities for expenditure, which govern the selection of
operations for funding, based on robust sector analysis, a clear hierarchy of objectives and outcomes
and widespread consultation. This places new obligations on the Serbian administration to plan its
programming and to ensure national strategies and plans are up-to-date and aligned with the
timeframes and opportunities of EU funding.
At the same time, while there are databases of projects in various stages of preparation and
readiness, such as the ISDACON Information System at the national level and the SLAP database for
municipalities, there are insufficient projects which are fully implementation-ready for future
programme needs and to required standards. Moreover, many potential end recipients do not have
the necessary knowledge and techniques to prepare projects to the level required for approval
under EU regulations and conventions.
Description:
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Serbia needs to prepare itself fully now for the next financial perspective. While the preparation of
the next set of operational programmes for the 2014-2020 financial perspective will be supported by
technical assistance under IPA component I (2011 programme), this measure will support the
development of strategic documents, and researching and producing sector strategies relevant to
eligible activities in the IPA implementing regulation. The measure will also finance the preparation
of a future project pipeline and support relevant institutions and potential beneficiaries in the
preparation of required documentation. This includes the generation of project ideas and their
elaboration into mature and high-quality proposals with all the supporting technical documents, and
will involve both advice and training services. This measure complements other priority axes, which
allow for the development of project documentation within the specific and narrow scope of eligible
actions under the measure, by looking at emerging needs in the preparatory phase for the 20142020 programmes.
Eligible actions:
The following actions are considered eligible for implementation:
•
•
•
•
•
Support with the preparation of sector studies related to the strategic priorities of the OP
and future programming documents;
TA to identification of project ideas and preparation of project pipeline for future IPA
assistance;
Consultancy and training in project conception, design, preparation and implementation;
Organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops;
Printing, publishing and provision of translation and interpretation services.
Selection criteria:
The Operating Structure will apply the selection criteria at priority axis level to all operations under
this measure, based on the Technical Assistance Plan prepared at the priority axis level and
approved by the Sectoral Monitoring Committee. Assistance will be commissioned through one or
more procurement contracts. Tenders will require the successful bidders to demonstrate a track
record of similar activities, named key experts with appropriate skills and experience, and a viable
and cost-effective methodology.
Final beneficiaries:
The final beneficiary for procurement under this measure, in accordance with the IPA implementing
regulation, will be the Ministry of Finance’s CFCU, as the Body Responsible for Contracting and
Implementation within the Operating Structure.
Monitoring indicators:
Objective
To
ensure
the
future absorption of
IPA funds, through
the development of
sector planning and
programming
documents and the
generation of a
162
Output
indicator
Definition
Unit
Training
activity
Staff of
potential end
recipients
participating
in training on
project
preparation
Hours
Baseline
value
(2012)
0
Source of
verification
Project
monitoring
reports
Frequency
of
monitoring
Annually
Target
value
(2016)
Minimum
750
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
pipeline of mature,
eligible and high
quality projects.
Adopted
strategic
documents
and prepared
projects
Strategy
documents
approved by
Ministers or
Government,
and projects
ready for
submission
for Operating
Structure and
EC approval,
including
completed
Operation
Identification
Sheets with
supporting
documents
Number
0
Project
monitoring
reports
1st draft
Annually
Minimum
2
3.3 Horizontal issues
3.3.1 Equal opportunities for men and women
Political will and commitment to build gender equality policy by introducing modern standards in
gender issues is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which prohibits all forms of
discrimination (Article 21) and guarantees the equality of women and men and developing equal
opportunities policy (Article 15). This proclamation is underpinned by legislation, namely the Gender
Equality Law, the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, the Family Law, the Labour Law, the Law
on Employment and Unemployment Insurance 292, the Criminal Code 293, Election laws 294, and the
Ombudsman Law 295.
Various institutions are involved in the promotion and protection of gender equality in Serbia,
namely, the Parliamentary Committee for Gender Equality; Government Council for Gender Equality,
the Directorate of Gender Equality within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Committee on
Gender Equality within the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and the Provincial
Secretary for Labour, Employment and Gender Equality, while Local Municipal Committees for
gender equality exist in majority of Serbian LSGs.
The objectives of the National Strategy for Improved Status of Women and Gender Equality
Promotion are in line with the recently adopted Strategy for Equality between Women and Men in
Europe 2010-2015. The EU Strategy identifies five priorities: equality in the field of economy and
labour market, equal pay, equality in senior positions, tackling issues of gender violence and
promoting equality beyond the EU. It spells out a series of actions such as facilitating the entry of
women into the labour market and putting forward targeted initiatives to get more women into top
jobs in economic decision-making, promoting female entrepreneurship and self employment;
instituting an annual European Equal Pay Day and EU-wide cooperation against women violence.
292
See Annex B
It penalises domestic violence and marital rape and defines human trafficking as organized crime
294
It sets a system of quota of 30% for the less represented gender for the national, provincial and local elections
295
The gender issues are one of the priorities
293
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The principles of equal opportunities have been applied throughout the programming process:
•
Priority axis 1 puts a strong emphasis on enhancing the employability of women through
ALMPs, and increasing job search for unemployed women. Depending on the situation at the
local level, women might be identified as a specific target group in local employment action
plans, which will receive support under Measure 1.1 supporting the development of regional
and local employment policies. Under Measure 2.1, which will implement ALMPs tailored to
the needs of disadvantaged groups such as PwD, young people and long-term unemployed,
50% of beneficiaries will have to be women. The strengthening of Labour Inspectorate under
measure 1.3 should contribute to a better protection of women against all forms of work
discrimination specific to women (sexual harassment, pregnant women rights, etc).
•
Within priority axis 2, measure 2.2, which will promote inclusive education policies from
pre-school onwards and addresses early school leavers, will pay special attention to girls
from vulnerable groups i.e. girls with disabilities, Roma girls, and girls from the rural areas.
•
Within priority axis 3, measure 3.1 will support the development of community-based social
services to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including those targeting women victims
of violence, pregnant teenagers, single mothers, in line with local needs. Measure 3.2, which
will promote the transition from welfare to work through active inclusion measures, will
include targets to ensure equal opportunities among beneficiaries.
The impact of the OP on equality of opportunity will be factored into its implementation, as will also
tackling discrimination against minorities and other vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. To ensure
that these principles are taken into account at all levels of implementation, the following procedures
will be adopted:
•
The requirement to ensure gender equality and non-discrimination in the operation of IPA
projects will be included in information and publicity campaigns, and materials provided to
potential contractors during the tendering process and to potential grant recipients during
calls for applications, with the use of case studies and examples;
•
Applicants for IPA assistance for non-major projects will be expected to demonstrate how
their project promotes equal opportunities or otherwise takes account of potential gender
bias (for example, by describing the efforts the project to overcome any barriers to equality)
and/or ensures that its actions do not compound and reinforce discrimination;
•
Gender and anti-discrimination implications will be taken into account through the project
appraisal process and selection criteria;
•
The requirement to observe equality of opportunity and avoid discrimination during project
implementation will be built into agreements with end recipients and contractors, and will
be checked, as part of the verification process;
•
The outputs and results indicators for projects will be broken down by gender where
appropriate, for the purposes of project and programme monitoring;
•
Commentary will be prepared on operations linked to equal opportunities in the annual and
final implementation reports of the Operational Programme;
•
The impact of the OP on gender equality will be written into the terms of reference for its
interim evaluation, where relevant;
164
•
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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Representatives of Government bodies with related responsibilities and relevant NGOs as
members of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee, to monitor implementation of the
principle of gender equality and anti-discrimination.
The Operating Structure will make sure that all operations co-financed by the IPA programme are in
compliance with, and contribute to, the equal opportunities policy and legislation of the European
Union. Support to the Operating Structure in developing and interpreting guidelines on ensuring
equal opportunities will be provided under the technical assistance priority axis through consultancy
and training (measure 3.1).
3.3.2 Environmental protection and sustainable development
The Republic of Serbia has adopted the Sustainable Development Strategy (“Official Gazette of the
RS” no. 57/08), which is harmonised with the objectives from other national strategies (National
Strategy of Serbia for the Accession of Serbia and Montenegro to the European Union, the Poverty
Reduction Strategy, The Serbian Strategy of Economic Development 2006–2012), as well as the EU
Sustainable Development Strategy, EU Lisbon Strategy and UN Millennium Development Goals.
The objective of the Sustainable Development Strategy is to establish a balance between the three
key factors of sustainable development, embracing them in one whole supported by an adequate
institutional framework:
•
•
•
sustainable economic growth and economic and technological progress;
sustainable social development, based on social balance; and
environmental protection accompanied with reasonable use of natural resources.
These objectives refer to EC priorities from Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 and Europe
2020.
Integration of environmental issues in other sectoral policies in one of the principles of the
Sustainable Development Strategy. This has been introduced through the promotion of integration
of economic, social and environmental approaches and analyses and support of use of instruments,
such as the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). During its preparation, the OP will be subject
to an independent SEA (SEA), in line with practices established by EU Directive, set out in the
“Handbook on SEA for Cohesion Policy 2007-2013”. This will assess systematically the expected and
potential environmental impact of the OP, and ensure that the OP has taken into consideration any
material consequences for the environment, subjected them to public consultation, and that the
measurement of environmental effects is built into the monitoring system. The SEA will be
appended to the final draft of the OP. The results of the SEA will be central to future evaluations
(interim and ex post) of the OP, as well as to the monitoring of performance.
The effect on the environment will be taken into consideration in the implementation of all
measures of the OP, where relevant. To ensure that sustainability and environmental protection are
taken into account throughout programme management and implementation, the following
procedures will be adopted:
•
The requirement for IPA to promote environmental protection & sustainable development
will be included in both information and publicity campaigns, and materials provided to
potential contractors during the tendering process and to potential grant recipients during
calls for applications, with the use of case studies and examples;
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•
Applicants for IPA assistance will be expected to demonstrate that their project will not have
a detrimental environmental impact, to certify that it is environmentally neutral, and/or to
present how the project will make a positive contribution to sustainable development; these
factors will be taken into account through the project appraisal process and selection
criteria, if appropriate; where appropriate, projects should be compliant with EU
Environmental Impact Assessment standards
•
Any consequences of the appraisal of environmental impact during the selection stage will
be reflected in agreements with end recipients and contractors, and will be checked, as part
of the verifications process;
•
Commentary will be prepared on operations linked to environmental protection &
sustainable development in the annual and final implementation reports of the Operational
Programme;
•
The impact of the OP on environmental protection & sustainable development will be
considered as part of its interim evaluation, where relevant;
•
Representatives of Government bodies with related responsibilities and relevant NGOs as
members of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee, to monitor implementation of the
environmental effects of the OP.
All activities carried out in the framework of the OP should be carried out in compliance with EU
environmental legislation.
3.3.3 Participation of civil society
Civil society organisations (CSOs) will be engaged in the preparation of the OP, as described in
section 1.3 on partner consultations, and will be involved in supervising its implementation as
members of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee. The active involvement of civil society will be
encouraged through the opportunity for social partners and NGOs to participate as individual grant
applicants. Civil society actors will also benefit, from improved cooperation between the
Government and socio-economic partners and civil society organisations, to support strategic
planning and future programming including partner consultation.
3.4 Complementarities and synergies with other forms of assistance
The measures proposed for funding under this OP have been selected to complement other national
and international interventions to facilitate human resources development in Serbia, starting with
the State Budget and taking into account other EU programmes, and bilateral and multilateral
assistance.
These synergies take many forms. In some cases, this national and international assistance sets a
broader context for action, by intervening in complementary areas which will not be targeted in the
OP. In other cases, past funding has laid the ground, by instigating studies and projects which are
eligible for implementation through the OP. There are also recent and ongoing projects which will
operate in parallel with the OP and thereby will strengthen the impact of funded actions.
The guiding principle in programming the OP is to maximise coordination, complementarities and
consistency, while concentrating limited resources to achieve the maximum impact from the
programme’s implementation. In this way, the OP seeks to prevent deadweight and duplication, and
to ensure the optimal deployment and added value of IPA resources.
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OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
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The OP places a particular weight on continuity. The measures and operations under the OP are
mainly based on experiences and lessons learned from national programmes (for example, active
labour market policies) past and ongoing IPA projects (for example, education reform and social
inclusion), and multilateral and bilateral donors (such as the World Bank ‘DILS’ programme, tackling
education and social inclusion at the local level).
3.4.1 Coherence with national programmes
Total budget allocations of relevant line ministries in the year 2010 are shown in the table below.
Since the programme budgeting is still in its pilot phase, figures presented below include both
programmes and annual running costs of relevant ministries. Programmes which are relevant to the
OP include:
State budget 2010 allocations to relevant ministries
Ministry of Economy and Regional Development
Ministry of Education and Science
Budget
€37m
*
€20.75m
€0.07m
€0.1m
€0.06m
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
€323.74m
€165.44m
€0.18m
€2.7m
*
Comment
Active Labour Market Programmes
implemented
through
National
Employment Service
Preparatory pre-school programme
Professional
development
of
preschool
teaching
staff
and
associates
Professional development of primary
school teaching staff
Professional
development
of
secondary school teaching staff
Social protection allowances for
children and families (Maternity
Allowance, Parent allowance, Child
allowance,
Reimbursement
of
preschool costs, other children and
family allowances)
Other social protection allowances
(Carer allowance, Disabled
allowance, Financial support to
families, Costs for centers for social
work, other allowances)
Programmes implemented through
Budget fund for protection
programmes of disabled persons
Programmes implemented through
Budget fund for programmes of
social protection and humanitarian
organisations
EUR equivalent for 2010 was calculated on the basis of average exchange rate for the period of the first 6 months of 2010.
Budgets are set out on an annual basis in the Republic of Serbia and hence may fall or rise,
depending on economic circumstances and political priorities. Each approved budget includes
expenditure projections for the following next two years. The Government has introduced
programme budgeting on a pilot basis with launch of the GOP (yearly operational planning) process
in 2005.
In addition to the ministries identified in the table above which will form the Operating Structure for
this OP (see chapter 5), the National Investment Plan (NIP) is supporting a set of infrastructure
167
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
related projects linked to the development of capacities in the area of social protection and social
service delivery, including the financing of the construction of apartments for youth stepping out of
the social protection system (as an alternative to half-way houses), the adaptation, reconstruction
and renovation of facilities for the placement of youth without parental care at local levels, social
housing for war veterans and housing support for persons.
3.4.2 Coherence with other IPA Components
The preparation of this OP has been closely coordinated with actions under IPA components I and III
in particular, building on the activities funded under the previous CARDS programmes.
In the four annual programmes approved by the European Commission since 2007, IPA component I
(transition assistance and institution-building) has financed projects in the HRD sector worth over
€130 million, mainly focused on education reforms and social inclusion, as presented in Annex J.
•
For employment and labour market policy, assistance has been targeted at the National
Employment Service (NES) to upgrade analysis and forecasting of labοur market trends and
monitoring and evaluation of active labour market programmes.
•
Education and VET support is strengthening institutional capacities and support reforms of
the VET system, develop the National Qualifications Framework, design and implement
quality assurance systems with primary and secondary education and VET, promote the
inclusion of children from marginalised and special needs groups in the system of pre-school
and elementary education, and establish a system of ‘second chance’, practice-based
elementary education for adults, and improving the quality of higher education teaching and
infrastructure.
•
In the area of social inclusion, IPA assistance has also been directed to house, advise, train
and reintegrate internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and returnees, to improve their
living conditions and facilitate income generation support, and to foster social inclusion by
strengthening national and local institutions that oversee and provide community-based
social protection services for different target groups (including children and the mentally ill).
After granting Candidate Country status to Serbia, it is expected that the future allocation of IPA
component I resources to HRD will be minimal. In the meantime, programming of IPA 2011 is
ongoing. The projects listed provisionally in Annex J, which are directly relevant to the OP-HRD, have
been proposed for the Commission’s approval, with a total value of €17.6 million.
In addition, there are cross-cutting projects under IPA component I, currently running and proposed
for the 2011 programme, relevant for management of IPA component IV, such as project
preparation facilities and support to the decentralised implementation system for these two IPA
components.
As can be seen in Annex J, which also sets out previous EU assistance under the CARDS programmes
since 2003, the vast majority of projects under IPA 2007-2010 will be operational during the lifespan
of this programme, and hence active management and synchronisation of their activities and
outcomes will be important for ensuring the success of the OP. The table overleaf explains how the
measures proposed under this OP will build upon the foundations of previous EU funding, based on
the principles of continuity and coordination.
168
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Relationship between OP-HRD measures and CARDS / IPA I assistance
Proposed OP measure
Past and ongoing projects
Comment
Measure 1.1 - Support to the
development of regional and
local employment policies
Measure 1.2 - Increasing the
effectiveness of employment
policies
towards
disadvantaged groups
Measure 1.3 - Bringing the
informal economy into the
mainstream
Measure 2.1 - Improving the
quality and relevance of VET
and adult education within
the National Qualifications
Framework
Measure 2.2 - Ensuring
access and reaching higher
levels of education for
children at risk
Measure 3.1 - Support to
social inclusion through more
diversified community-based
services
169
CARDS 2006 – Twinning project - Support to
the development of national employment
policy (€1.5m);
CARDS
2006
-Twinning
projectModernisation of NES (€1.5m);
IPA 2008 – Forecasting and NES data
management (€1.5m);
IPA 2011 - Preparation of Serbian labour
market
institutions for European
Employment Strategy (€3.5m)
CARDS 2006 – Support to the development
of national employment policy (€1.5m);
IPA 2008 – NES forecasting and data
management (€1.5m);
IPA 2011 - Preparation of Serbian labour
market
institutions for European
Employment Policy (€3.5m)
-
CARDS 2003, 2005, 2006 – VET reform
programme (€17.0m);
CARDS 2006 – Equipment for VET schools
(€3.0m);
IPA 2007 – Modernisation of the VET system
(€4.0m);
IPA 2008 – Support for quality assurance
within the national primary and secondary
education system (€4.0m);
IPA 2008 – Second chance: systemic
development of elementary, practice-based
adult education in Serbia (€7.5m).
IPA 2011 - General education and human
capital development (€10.0m)
IPA 2008 – Education for all: increasing the
availability and quality of education for
children from marginalised groups (€3.0m);
IPA 2009 – Improvement of pre-school
education (€5.0m)
CARDS 2003 – Social Innovation Fund
(€7.5m);
IPA 2008 – Fostering social inclusion by
strengthening institutions that provide
community-based social protection services
for children (€5.5m).
IPA 2011 - Enhancing the position of
residents in residential care institutions for
persons with mental disability and mental
illness and creation of conditions for their
social inclusion in the local community
(€5.17m)
The measure will build on the results of
IPA assistance by further improving the
effectiveness of local employment
policies, through supporting National
Employment Service (NES) branch offices
and local employment councils to prepare
and implement Local Employment Action
Plans. It will support delivery of the local
employment policies designed through
IPA 2011.
The measure will build on established
mid-term labour market forecasts,
evaluation of ALMPs and local labour
market needs assessed, under the
previous IPA programmes, by enabling
the provision of a range of existing and
innovative
ALMPs
targeting
underdeveloped regions, poor rural areas
and hard-to-employ vulnerable groups
This represents a new area of
intervention for EU support.
The measure will build on foundations
developed within of the IPA assistance by
further supporting NQF development and
quality assurance system in vet and adult
education. Support will expand to
activities not covered by previous
assistance, specifically new economy
sectors, levels 1,2 and 5, elements of NQF
not defined such as recognition of prior
learning, and credit transfer system, etc,
support additional schools in providing
reformed profiles through teachers
training and procurement of necessary
equipment, support to providers of adult
education programmes and support that
certificates and qualifications gained
through adult training programs are
recognised in NQF.
The measure will build on capacity built of
the national and local stakeholders and
model of inclusive practices developed by
rolling out to other LSGs across Serbia not
covered by previous interventions
The measure will build on the market of
social services providers created and local
social policy plans and methodologies for
development of community-based social
services by extending best practice
examples to other LSGs across Serbia and
focusing on the vulnerable groups among
adult population. The model of integrated
social and health services will be further
supported and applied to integrated
approaches with other sector, for
example employment
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Measure 3.2 - Supporting the
transition from welfare to
work through active inclusion
IPA 2009 - Supporting access to rights,
employment and livelihood enhancement of
refugees and IDPs in Serbia (€ 13.8m)
1st draft
The model of employing IDPs within
health and social service sector as a good
model of activation policies toward
vulnerable groups will be extended to
other vulnerable groups and considered
to be integrated into system of the
national activation policies based on the
thorough evaluation.
Serbia also receives support under multi-beneficiary IPA, which is accessible by all the Candidate
Countries and Potential Candidate Countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Serbia’s
participation in the TEMPUS programme, targeting reform of higher education, has been
continuously supported by €7 million of IPA funding each year since 2007. Serbia will also benefit
under IPA 2010 from:
•
The ‘regional initiative for Roma integration’, worth €3.3 million, which will operate between
2011 and 2014, and aims to improve the quality of life and access to rights of the Roma,
Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) communities in the Western Balkans;
•
The ‘Youth in Action’ programme, worth €1.5 million, which is designed to promote the nonformal education and youth sector in the Western Balkans; and
•
Two projects under Erasmus Mundus, with a combined value of €20 million, providing
scholarships to enable highly qualified graduates from the Western Balkans and Turkey to
engage in postgraduate study at European universities and to obtain qualifications and/or
experience in the European Union and EFTA-EEA States (€8 million) and enabling the
exchange of academic staff and students at all levels between Western Balkans and EU
member state institutions, thereby enhancing their knowledge and skills (€12 million).
Concerning IPA component II (cross-border cooperation), Serbia participates in cross-border
programmes (CBPs) with its six neighbouring countries and in two trans-national programmes
(TNPs). In each case, Operational Programmes already have been prepared and the following areas
of support identified:
Programme
Adriatic TNP
Bosnia and Hercegovina CBP
Bulgaria CBP
Croatia CBP
Hungary CBP
Montenegro CBP
Romania CBP
South-East Europe TNP
170
Scope of interventions
Economic, social and institutional cooperation, natural and cultural resources
and risk prevention and accessibility and networks
Social and economic cohesion through actions to improve physical, business,
social and institutional infrastructure and capacity
Development of small-scale infrastructure and enhancing capacity for joint
planning, problem solving and development
Sustainable socio-economic development
Infrastructure and environment and economy, education and culture
Socio-economic cohesion through joint actions to improve physical, business,
social and institutional infrastructure and capacity
Economic and social development, environment and emergency preparedness
and promoting “people to people” exchanges
Facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship, protection and improvement
of the environment, improvement of the accessibility and development of
trans-national synergies for sustainable growth areas.
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
Experiences and lessons learned from CBC programmes have been taken into account during
drafting of the OP. The key task concerning future coordination will be implementation of specific
grant schemes.
In each case, the priorities of the programme are realised through projects on each side of the
border. In the implementation of OP-HRD measures, the Operating Structure will coordinate with
the relevant CBPs and TNPs, to ensure that the scope of intervention is well-targeted (for example,
in the designing of calls for proposals) and that no applicant receives funding through more than one
programme for the same project.
The relationship with IPA component III (regional development) has been firmly established
through the Strategic Coherence Framework, as the overarching reference document for both the
OPs for Economic Development (OP-ED) and Human Resources Development (OP-HRD). The SCF
notes the importance of the interaction of the supply and demand sides of the economy in creating
jobs and strengthening Serbia’s productivity and competitiveness. Improving transport infrastructure
rejuvenates the economy, increases the efficiency of trade, reduces costs and eases access to
employment in growth centres, by reducing travel times and improving safety performance.
Spending on environmental infrastructure creates uplift in living standards, especially in poorly
served and remote communities, and improves the outlook for attracting investment and job
generation, reducing unsustainable demands on natural resources and boosting tourism potential.
Encouraging enterprise, enabling investment and innovation, and spending on education and skills
are all proven generators of higher productivity in the economy. At the same time, boosting activity
and employment rates leads to GDP growth, as the economy moves towards full employment and
makes greater use of its most important asset, its people. Promoting a more inclusive labour market
and wider society spreads the gains from wealth generation to all communities and sections of the
population, and should particularly benefit those who are presently most disengaged and
disadvantaged.
The cross-over between the two OPs is inevitably constrained by the scale of resources available
under IPA III and IV, relative to the scale of need. However, wherever possible and appropriate, the
resources of the OPs will be concentrated spatially to exploit synergies to maximum effect,
particularly on under-developed municipalities. For example:
•
Investments in environmental (waste and water) infrastructure and business-related
infrastructure under OP-ED will target poorer localities, which will also be the focus of
measures under OP-HRD for employment, education & VET, and social inclusion;
•
Support to SME development under OP-ED will include consultancy advice to businesses on
human resources, which dovetails with the support to businesses in employing and training
young people and adults who are unemployed and inactive under OP-HRD.
Concerning IPA component V (rural development), the preparation of the Rural Development
Programme (IPARD), in line with article 184 of the IPA Implementing Regulation, is taking place in
parallel with drafting of the OP-HRD. There is very limited scope for overlap, given the IPARD is
focused on production in the dairy, meat, fruits and vegetable sectors, but any sectors funded under
this OP will be excluded from IPARD and vice versa. The actions envisaged under OP-HRD will
support rural employment, through active labour market policies, and enhance the prospects of
rural communities through education and VET and help to tackle rural poverty.
171
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
3.4.3 Coherence with bilateral and IFI assistance
IPA assistance builds upon an extensive reform programme, covering labour market policy,
education at all age levels, and social welfare and services, through the support of World Bank, EIB,
UNDP and bilateral aid from Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as presented in Annex K. Switzerland leads the donor
coordination group for education, while coordination of social sector reform is primary responsibility
of the UK’s DFID and Norway. It is important to mention that Serbia also participates in the Progress
Community Programme.
The table overleaf below explains how the measures proposed under this OP will take forward
previous bilateral and IFI assistance, based on the principles of continuity and coordination.
Relationship between OP-HRD measures and donor assistance
Proposed OP measure
Past and ongoing projects
Comment
Measure 1.1 - Support to the
development of regional and local
employment policies
Sweden - Serbian Labour Market
Institutional Capacity Building (€1.7m);
WB and UK – Employment Promotion
Project ($4.5m);
Austria – Severance to job (€2.0m )
Italy – Youth employment promotion
($1.2m);
Spain – Support to national efforts for
the promotion of youth employment
and management of migration ($6.1m);
Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, UNDP Strengthening capacity for inclusive
local development in Southern Serbia
(€ 5.4m)
Norway
–
Modernisation
and
integration of the labour inspection
system in accordance with ILO and EU
standards and practice (€0.2m)
Developed capacities of the key
stakeholders and good practice models of
ALMPs will be further supported through
delivery of local employment policies
within this measure
Inclusive labour market policies and
services designed and piloted in NES
branch offices within past assistance will
create solid base for its systematic
implementation throughout the country
and application of the model and
methodology to other hard-to-employ
vulnerable groups (women, older
workers, etc)
The past assistance created a good
foundation for the further improvement
of the capacity of Labour Inspectorate
and labour policies planned under this
measure.
The model od support to schools with the
network of trainers and teachers training
programmes accredited will be used as a
basis for designing support to schools not
covered by the past interventions in
providing reformed profiles.
Measure 1.2 - Increasing the
effectiveness of employment
policies towards disadvantaged
groups
Measure 1.3 - Bringing
informal economy into
mainstream
the
the
Measure 2.1 - Improving the
quality and relevance of VET and
adult education within the
National Qualifications Framework
Measure 2.2 - Ensuring access and
reaching higher levels of education
for children at risk
172
Austria – TourReg and ECONET
(€2.56m);
Germany – VET reform programme
(€2.0m);
Switzerland – Support to the
establishment of a teacher training
system (€2.0m);
EIB loan – School modernisation
programme (€100m)
World Bank – Delivery of improved
local services ($12.0m)
The developed inclusive education
polices,
school
programmes
implemented, teachers training delivered
and drop-out analysis present a firm basis
for designing roll-out to other LSGs and
schools and pre-school institutions within
the measure
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Measure 3.1 - Support to social
inclusion through more diversified
community-based services
Measure 3.2 - Supporting the
transition from welfare to work
through active inclusion
173
World Bank – Delivery of improved
local services (€5.2m – social sector
only);
Norway and UK – supporting the
implementation of the Social Welfare
Development Strategy (€4.19m);
Norway
–
Development
and
implementation of the accreditation
system for social care professionals in
Serbia (€0.52m);
Norway - Combating sexual and
gender-based violence (€3.0m)
World Bank – Delivery of improved
local services (€5.2m – social sector
only);
Spain – Support to national efforts for
the promotion of youth employment
and management of migration
($8.04m)
1st draft
Good practices implemented for social
policy
planning,
budgeting
and
development
of
community-based
services will be used as a model in
designing support to LSGs. Accredited
training programmes will be utilised as an
important pillar in quality assurance of
services developed and provided.
IT system implemented within DILS
support on material support Beneficiaries
will enable clients’ analysis and
understanding of needs in designing
activation policies. Model piloted and
implemented on integrated employment
and social services presents condition to
roll-out of the model through out CSW
and NES network in the country which is
planned within this measure.
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
4 FINANCIAL TABLES
(z)
IPA
cofinancing
rate
x/(x+y+z)
€1,720,004
€0
85%
€2,903,538
€512,389
€0
85%
€7,074,949
€6,013,706
€1,061,242
€0
85%
€975,815
€829,443
€146,372
€0
85%
Priority Axis 2: Education and VET
€7,318,418
€6,220,655
€1,097,763
€0
85%
Measure 2.1:Improving the quality and relevance of VET and adult
education within the National Qualifications Framework
€4,879,189
€4,147,311
€731,878
€0
85%
€2,439,229
€2,073,344
€365,884
€0
85%
€4,880,617
€4,148,524
€732,093
€0
85%
€3,904,494
€3,318,820
€585,674
€0
85%
€976,123
€829,705
€146,419
€0
85%
€1,414,526
€1,202,347
€212,179
€0
85%
Measure 4.1: - Programme management, information and publicity
€926,798
€787,778
€139,020
€0
85%
Measure 4.2: - Preparation of studies, programmes and projects
€487,729
€414,569
€73,159
€0
85%
€25,080,252
€21,318,214
€3,762,038
Year 2012
Priority Axis 1: Employment and the Labour Market
Measure 1.1: Support to the development of regional and local
employment policies
Measure 1.2: - Increasing the effectiveness of employment policies
towards disadvantaged groups
Measure 1.3: Bringing the informal economy into the mainstream
Measure 2.2: Ensuring access and reaching higher levels of education for
children at risk
Priority Axis 3: Social inclusion
Measure 3.1: - Support to social inclusion through more diversified
community-based services
Measure 3.2: - Supporting the transition from welfare to work through
active inclusion
Priority Axis 4:Technical Assistance
TOTAL 2012
Please note: measure allocations are indicative
174
Total Public
Eligible Cost
EU
IPA
(x+y)
x
CC
National
Public
y
€11,466,691
€9,746,688
€3,415,927
Private
(indicative)
85%
For
information
IFI
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Total Public
Eligible Cost
EU
IPA
(x+y)
x
CC
National
Public
y
€12,016,889
€10,214,356
€3,579,831
1st draft
(z)
IPA
cofinancing
rate
x/(x+y+z)
€1,802,533
€0
85%
€3,042,857
€536,975
€0
85%
€7,414,421
€6,302,257
€1,112,163
€0
85%
Measure 1.3: Bringing the informal economy into the mainstream
€1,022,637
€869,242
€153,396
€0
85%
Priority Axis 2: Education and VET
€7,669,572
€6,519,136
€1,150,436
€0
85%
Measure 2.1:Improving the quality and relevance of VET and adult
education within the National Qualifications Framework
€5,113,304
€4,346,308
€766,996
€0
85%
€2,556,268
€2,172,828
€383,440
€0
85%
€5,114,800
€4,347,580
€767,220
€0
85%
€4,091,840
€3,478,064
€613,776
€0
85%
€1,022,960
€869,516
€153,444
€0
85%
€1,482,398
€1,260,039
€222,360
€0
85%
Measure 4.1: - Programme management, information and publicity
€971,267
€825,577
€145,690
€0
85%
Measure 4.2: - Preparation of studies, programmes and projects
€511,131
€434,461
€76,670
€0
85%
€26,283,659
€22,341,111
€3,942,549
Year 2013
Priority Axis 1: Employment and the Labour Market
Measure 1.1: Support to the development of regional and local
employment policies
Measure 1.2: - Increasing the effectiveness of employment policies
towards disadvantaged groups
Measure 2.2: Ensuring access and reaching higher levels of education for
children at risk
Priority Axis 3: Social inclusion
Measure 3.1: - Support to social inclusion through more diversified
community-based services
Measure 3.2: - Supporting the transition from welfare to work through
active inclusion
Priority Axis 4:Technical Assistance
TOTAL 2013
Please note: measure allocations are indicative
175
Private
(indicative)
85%
For
information
IFI
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
Year 2012-2013
Priority axis 1: Employment and the labour market
Measure 1.1: Support to the development of regional and local
employment policies
Measure 1.2: - Increasing the effectiveness of employment policies
towards disadvantaged groups
Measure 1.3: Bringing the informal economy into the mainstream
Priority axis 2: Education and VET
Measure 2.1:Improving the quality and relevance of VET and adult
education within the National Qualifications Framework
Measure 2.2: Ensuring access and reaching higher levels of education for
children at risk
Priority axis 3: Social inclusion
Measure 3.1: - Support to social inclusion through more diversified
community-based services
Measure 3.2: - Supporting the transition from welfare to work through
active inclusion
Priority axis 4:Technical Assistance
Measure 4.1: - Programme management, information and publicity
Measure 4.2: - Preparation of studies, programmes and projects
TOTAL 2012-2013
Please note: measure allocations are indicative
176
Total Cost
EU
IPA
(x+y+z)
€23,483,580
(x)
€19,961,043
CC
National
Public
(y)
€3,522,537
€6,995,759
€5,946,395
€14,489,369
1st draft
(z)
€0
IPA
cofinancing
rate
x/(x+y+z)
85%
€1,049,364
€0
85%
€12,315,964
€2,173,405
€0
85%
€1,998,453
€1,698,685
€299,768
€0
85%
€14,987,989
€12,739,791
€2,248,198
€0
85%
€9,992,493
€8,493,619
€1,498,874
€0
85%
€4,995,497
€4,246,172
€749,325
€0
85%
€9,995,417
€8,496,105
€1,499,313
€0
85%
€7,996,334
€6,796,884
€1,199,450
€0
85%
€1,999,083
€1,699,221
€299,863
€0
85%
€2,896,925
€1,898,065
€2,462,386
€1,613,355
€434,539
€284,710
€0
€0
85%
85%
€0
85%
€998,860
€849,031
€149,829
€51,363,912
€43,659,325
€7,704,587
Private
(indicative)
85%
For
information
IFI
OP for Human Resources Development, 2012-2013
1st draft
5 IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS
5.1 Management and control structures
This chapter describes the systems and arrangements in place, as they are known at the time of the
preparation of the first draft OP and which have formed the basis of stages 0 and 1 of the
preparation of the decentralised implementation system (DIS). As with the rest of the OP, the chapter
will be subject to negotiations with the European Commission and the recommendations from the
upcoming ex ante evaluation, and hence the bodies within the Operating Structure may be subject to
change, not least as they are directly linked to the formulation of priority axes and measures in
chapter 3. In addition, the precise allocation of responsibilities within the Operating Structure may be
subject to adaptation, through DIS stage 2 and subsequent stages of assessment and accreditation,
but the totality of responsibilities and functions of the Operating Structure will always remain entirely
consistent with Article 28 and other relevant provisions of the IPA Implementing Regulation, as will
be set out in the Financing Agreement, to which the OP will be annexed.
5.1.1 Bodies and authorities
Based on the IPA Implementing Regulation, the Government of Serbia has adopted the Law on
Ratification of the Framework Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and
the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation Concerning ECFinancial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the Implementation of the
Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), which will designate specific
bodies for IPA management and implementation roles.
Under the management and control provisions, the following bodies have been established and
specific functions assigned through Government Conclusions:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
National IPA Coordinator
Strategic Coordinator for the regional development and the human resources development
components
Competent Accrediting Officer
National Authorising Officer
National Fund
Audit Authority
Operating Structures
National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC)
The role of the National IPA Coordinator will be performed by:
Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration
The Government of the Republic of Serbia, Nemanjina 11, Belgrade
The specific tasks of NIPAC in relation to the IPA programme include:
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a) to ensure partnership between the Commission and the beneficiary country, and a close link
between the general accession process and the use of assistance under the IPA Regulation;
b) to bear overall responsibility for:
•
•
•
the coherence and co-ordination of the programmes provided under this Regulation;
the annual programming for the transition assistance and institution building
component at national level;
the co-ordination of the participation of the beneficiary country in the relevant
cross-border programmes, both with Member States and with other beneficiary
countries, as well as in the transnational, interregional or sea basins programmes
under other Community instruments. The national IPA co-ordinator may delegate
the tasks relating to this co-ordination to a cross-border co-operation co-ordinator;
c) to draw up and, after examination by the IPA monitoring committee, submit the IPA annual
and final reports on implementation as defined in Article 61(3) to the Commission with a
copy to the national authorising officer.
The operational support in the fulfilment of the NIPAC role will be provided by the NIPAC Technical
Secretariat - the Department for Programming and Management of EU funds and Development
Assistance, under the Ministry of Finance.
Strategic Coordinator (SCO)
The role of the Strategic Coordinator for IPA Components III & IV will be assumed by:
Deputy Director
European Integration Office
As set out in Article 23 of the IPA Implementing Regulation and the Serbian Government’s Decision,
number: 119-214/009-5 from 13th February 2009 and Government’s Conclusion 05 Number 1196858/2010 from 30th September 2010, the Strategic Coordinator coordinates assistance in the
regional development and human resources development sphere, drafts the Strategic Coherence
Framework and ensures coordination between sectoral strategies and programmes.
Competent Accrediting Officer (CAO)
The role of Competent Accrediting Officer (CAO) will be performed by:
Minister of Finance
Ministry of Finance, Kneza Miloša 20, Belgrade
As set out in Article 24 of the IPA Implementing Regulation and the Serbian Government’s Decision,
number: 119-3192/2008, dated 21st August 2008, the CAO is responsible for issuing, monitoring and
suspending or withdrawing the accreditation of the National Authorising Officer and the National
Fund.
National Authorising Officer (NAO)
The role of the National Authorising Officer (NAO) will be performed by:
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State Secretary
Ministry of Finance, Kneza Miloša 20, Belgrade
The NAO is the head of the National Fund and has overall responsibility for the financial
management of the EU funds in Serbia, as defined under Articles 25 and 27 of the IPA Implementing
Regulation and the Serbian Government’s Decision, number: 119-416/2009 dated 29th January 2009.
The NAO is responsible for the following specific tasks:
1. As the head of the national fund, he shall bear overall responsibility for the financial
management of EU funds in the beneficiary country. He shall be responsible for the legality
and regularity of the underlying transactions. For these purposes, he shall in particular fulfil
the following tasks:
a)
provide assurance about the regularity and legality of underlying transactions;
b)
draw up and submit to the Commission certified statements of expenditure and
payment applications; the national authorising officer shall bear overall responsibility
for the accuracy of the payment application and for the transfer of funds to the
Operating Structures and/or final beneficiaries;
c)
verify the existence and correctness of the co-financing elements;
d)
ensure the identification and immediate communication of any irregularity;
e)
make the financial adjustments required in connection with irregularities detected,
according to the provisions of Article 50 of the IPA Implementing Regulation;
f)
be the contact point for financial information sent between the Commission and the
beneficiary country.
2. He shall be responsible for the effective functioning of management and control systems
under the IPA Regulation. For these purposes, he shall in particular fulfil the following tasks:
a)
be responsible for issuing, monitoring and suspending or withdrawing the
accreditation of the Operating Structures;
b)
ensure the existence and effective functioning of systems of management of
assistance under the IPA Regulation;
c)
ensure that the system of internal control concerning the management of funds is
effective and efficient;
d)
report on the management and control systems;
e)
ensure that a proper reporting and information system is functioning;
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f)
follow-up the findings of audit reports from the audit authority, in accordance with
Article 30(1) of the IPA Implementing Regulation;
g)
immediately notify the Commission, with a copy of the notification to the competent
accrediting officer, of any significant change concerning the management and control
systems.
3. Pursuant to the responsibilities laid down in 1 and 2 above, the National Authorising Officer
shall draw up an annual statement of expenditure to be presented to the Commission by 28
February each year, with the copy forwarded to the competent accrediting officer. The
statement of assurance shall be based on the NAO’s actual supervision of the management
and control systems throughout the financial year.
4. Following receipt of the reports and opinions from the Audit Authority, the National
Authorising Officer shall:
a) decide whether any improvements to the management and control systems are
required, record the decisions in that respect and ensure the timely implementation of
those improvements;
b) make the necessary adjustments to the payment applications to the Commission.
National Fund (NF)
The National Fund will operate in the Ministry of Finance and will act as a central treasury entity
through which the EU funds are channelled. It will be in charge of the financial management of
assistance under IPA, as per Article 26 of the Implementing Regulation and the Serbian
Government’s Decision, number: 110-1740/2008-2 from 5th February 2009.
It shall in particular be in charge of organising the bank accounts, requesting funds from the
Commission, authorising the transfer of funds received from the Commission to the Operating
Structures or to the final beneficiaries, and the financial reporting to the Commission.
Audit Authority (AA)
The Audit Authority is currently in the process of being established. The Audit Authority will be
functionally independent of all other parts of the management and control system and responsible
for the following tasks:
a)
during the course of each year, establish and fulfil an annual audit work plan which
encompasses audits aimed at verifying:
• the effective functioning of the management and control systems;
• the reliability of accounting information provided to the Commission.
b)
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submit the following documents as required and described by the Article 29 of the IPA
Implementing Regulation:
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• an annual audit activity report following the model to be found in the framework
agreement;
• an annual opinion as to whether the management and control systems functions
effectively and conforms to the requirements of this Regulation and/or any other
agreements between the Commission and the beneficiary country;
• an opinion on any final statement of expenditure submitted to the Commission by
the national authorising officer, for the closure of any programme or of any part
thereof.
With regard to the methodology for the audit work, reports and audit opinions required by this
Article, the audit authority shall comply with international standards on auditing, in particular as
regards the areas of risk assessment, audit materiality and sampling. That methodology will take into
account any further guidance and definitions from the Commission, notably in relation to an
appropriate general approach to sampling, confidence levels and materiality.
Operating Structure (OS)
Functions
The Operational Programme for Human Resources Development (OP-HRD) will be managed by the
Operating Structure, which in compliance with Article 28 of the IPA Implementing Regulation will be
responsible for the following functions:
a)
drafting the annual or multi-annual programmes;
b)
programme monitoring and guiding the work of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee as
defined in Article 59, notably by providing the documents necessary for monitoring
the quality of implementation of the programmes;
c)
drawing up the sectoral annual and final implementation reports defined in Article
61(1) and, after their examination by the Sectoral Monitoring Committee, submitting
them to the Commission, to the national IPA co-ordinator and to the national
authorising officer;
d)
ensuring that operations are selected for funding and approved in accordance with the
criteria and mechanisms applicable to the programmes, and that they comply with the
relevant EU and national rules;
e)
setting up procedures to ensure the retention of all documents required to ensure an
adequate audit trail, in accordance with Article 20;
f)
arranging for tendering procedures, grant award procedures, the ensuing contracting,
and making payments to, and recovery from, the final beneficiary;
g)
ensuring that all bodies involved in the implementation of operations maintain a
separate accounting system or a separate accounting codification;
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h)
ensuring that the national fund and the national authorising officer receive all
necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to
expenditure;
i)
setting up, maintaining and updating the reporting and information system;
j)
k)
carrying out verifications to ensure that the expenditure declared has actually been
incurred in accordance with applicable rules, the products or services have been
delivered in accordance with the approval decision, and the payment requests by the
final beneficiary are correct. These verifications shall cover administrative, financial,
technical and physical aspects of operations, as appropriate;
ensuring internal audit of its different constituting bodies;
l)
ensuring irregularity reporting;
m)
ensuring compliance with the information and publicity requirements.
Composition
The Operating Structure will be composed of the following bodies
•
•
•
•
Ministry of Economy and Regional Development
Ministry of Education and Science
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Ministry of Finance’s “CFCU”
The organisation of the Operating Structure is represented by the following diagram, which shows
responsibilities for OP, Priority Axes, Measures, and Contracting & Implementation. Each body also
contains an internal audit unit which will be responsible for regular independent reviews of the
functioning of the IPA IV management and control systems within the Ministry, in accordance with
Article 28(2)(k) of the IPA Implementing Regulation, and Accreditation Criteria (4)(a).
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Figure 64
Please note that it is also proposed that measure 1.2 will be mainly delivered through a direct award
(without call for proposals) from CFCU to the National Employment Service, for the purpose of
expanding the coverage of its ALMPs (in addition to ALMPs financed by the state budget). The
selection of NES for a direct award is fully compatible with PRAG section 6.3.2 of the PRAG, being a
body with technical competence, a high degree of specialisation and administrative power to
implement ALMPs on behalf of the Government in the Republic of Serbia. The direct award will allow
NES to implement employment promotion measures, such as:
•
•
•
•
•
Operating costs: to expand its in-house provision of advisory and training services (for
example, self-service systems, centres for career guidance and counseling, job clubs…);
Competitive tenders: to sub-contract the provisions of skills training and re-training (in
accordance with Annex IV to the grant contract);
Re-granting to third parties: to provide conditional subsidies to employers to create jobs,
subsidies to employers for on-the-job training followed by subsequent employment, and
subsidies for workplace adjustment for employers hiring persons with disabilities;
Granting to individuals: to provide subsidies to potential entrepreneurs to enter selfemployment and set up micro-enterprises. in combination with initial training and
mentoring services;
Other employment oriented activities in line with the National Employment Action Plan
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It is proposed that the direct award is subject to derogations from PRAG, to allow the re-granting to
third parties to exceed the maximum levels in section 6.3.2 of €10,000 per third party and total
amount of €100,000 (granting to individuals would remain below the personal limit of €5000,
however, and would not require a derogation).
The heads of the bodies constituting the Operating Structure are responsible for the tasks assigned
to their respective bodies, in accordance with Article 28 (3) of the IPA Implementing Regulation:
The Assistant Minister for Employment in the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development will
act as the Head of Operating Structure (HOS). In accordance with Article 11(3) of the IPA
Implementing Regulation and Article 27 of the Financing Agreement, the Government of Serbia will
ensure that the HOS and the other heads of responsible bodies listed in the Table above are enabled
to exercise their duties, including in cases where there is no hierarchical link between them and the
bodies participating in that activity, through the preparation, implementation and enforcement of an
Operating Agreement. The Agreement shall clearly identify the functions to be delegated by the
Head of the Operating Structure to each body and authority, and shall respect the principle of
segregation of duties. The final responsibility for the tasks delegated shall remain with the Head of
the Operating Structure.
Description of functions
The Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, as the Body Responsible for the OP, will
support the Head of Operating Structure (HOS) by executing the following functions:
•
Coordinating the preparation of the OP, including taking into account the findings and
recommendations of the ex ante evaluation 296;
•
Establishing and maintaining the management and control system for the OP;
•
Ensuring information on and publicity for the OP 297;
•
Establishing and organising the Sectoral Monitoring Committee (SMC) meetings for the
OP 298;
•
Proposing the general criteria for selecting operations to the SMC, and ensuring that all
operations are properly prepared and selected in accordance with the Financing
Agreement 299;
•
Following the approval of each operation by the European Commission, preparing an End
Recipient Agreement (ERA) for signature by the HOS and the designated representative of
the End Recipient, and monitoring and managing the End Recipient Agreement;
•
Ensuring that the national contribution for the OP is secured each year;
296
See also sections 1.4 and 5.2.6
See also section 5.3
298
See also section 5.2.1
299
See also section 5.2.4
297
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•
Ensuring all reporting and information requirements of the European Commission, NIPAC,
Strategic Coordinator, NAO and National Fund are met 300;
•
Preparing annual & final Implementation Reports on the OP 301;
•
Contributing to the preparation of annual & final Implementation Reports on IPA as a whole,
if required by the NIPAC Technical Secretariat;
•
Advising the HOS as a member of the annual IPA Monitoring Committee298298 on upcoming
issues and papers;
•
Ensuring the interim evaluation of the OP by independent evaluators, using funds under
priority axis 4;
•
Ensuring the OP achieves its objectives, its financial targets (to avoid budgetary decommitment) its outcome targets (outputs and results), and the application of horizontal
issues 302, and proposing to the HOS any adjustments necessary to ensure these objectives
and targets are met, including reallocation of funds across measures and priority axes
and/or changes to implementation arrangements, as applicable.
The Department for Employment will also perform an annual accreditation of the National
Employment Service (NES), as a condition of the NES receiving a direct award under Measure 1.2 to
design, implement, monitor and evaluate active labour market measures.
Each Body Responsible for Priority Axis 303 will execute the following functions in relation to its OP
priority axis:
•
Contributing to the preparation of the OP;
•
Implementing any tasks assigned in the Communication Action Plan relating to information
and publicity in relation to its priority axis, as required by the HOS297297;
•
Contributing to the preparation of general selection criteria by the Body Responsible for OP,
and participating in selection committees , as required by the HOS299299;
•
Participating in the SMC298298 and coordinating inputs to the annual and final
Implementation Reports for the OP301301 and for the whole of IPA, as required by the HOS;
•
Monitoring performance of its priority axis, in terms of achievement of its objectives, its
financial targets (to avoid budgetary de-commitment), its outcome targets (outputs and
results)301300 and the application of horizontal issues302302, and if necessary, proposing OP
adjustments to the HOS.
300
See also section 5.2.3
See also sections 5.2.5 and 5.3.6
302
See section 3.3
303
Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (PA1 and PA4), Ministry of Education and Science (PA2), and Ministry
of Labour and Social Policy (PA3)
301
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Each Body Responsible for Measure 304 will execute the following functions in relation to its OP
measure:
•
Contributing to the preparation of the OP;
•
Implementing any tasks relating to information and publicity in relation to its measure, as
required by the HOS297;
•
Ensuring projects are prepared for the measure in accordance with the Operation
Identification Sheet (OIS) 299;
•
Contributing to the preparation of general selection criteria by the Body Responsible for OP,
and participating selection committees, as required by the HOS;
•
Ensuring that the national contribution for the approved operations under its measure is
secured each year;
•
Contributing to the preparation of tender documentation and other activities related to
procurement and calls for proposals for submission to the CFCU as the Body Responsible for
Contracting and Implementation;
•
Participating in the SMC299 and providing inputs to the annual and final Implementation
Reports301301 for the OP, and for the whole of IPA, as required by the HOS;
•
Monitoring performance of its Measure, in terms of achievement of its objectives, its
financial targets (to avoid budgetary de-commitment), its outcomes targets (outputs and
results) and the application of horizontal issues302302, and if necessary, proposing OP
adjustments level to the HOS;
•
Preparing documents for submission to the SMC on the quality of OP implementation;
As the Body Responsible for Contracting and Implementation, the CFCU will execute the following
functions as Contracting Authority for all OP priority axes and measures:
•
Implementing any tasks relating to information and publicity, and ensuring operations
respect the EU visibility guidelines for external action297297;
•
Follow any procedures from the NAO on establishing, maintaining and reconciling bank
accounts for payments to contractors and beneficiaries under the OP;
•
Preparing procurement plans, tender dossiers (procurement) and application packs (grant
schemes), based on the approval decision of the European Commission on the OIS, in
compliance with the Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC external actions;
•
Organising the tender process for procurement of services, supplies and/or works, from
forecast, through procurement notice, receipt of tenders, evaluation, selection and
304
Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (M1.1, M1.2, M4.1 and M4.2), Ministry of Education and Science
(M2.1, M2.2 and M2.3), and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (M3.1 and M3.2)
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publication, in compliance with the Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC external
actions, seeking ex ante approvals from the EU Delegation as appropriate;
•
Organising calls for proposals under grant schemes, from forecast, through calls for
proposal, receipt of applications, evaluation to selection and publication, in compliance with
the Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC external actions (PRAG), seeking ex ante
approvals from the EU Delegation as appropriate;
•
Publicising the selected contractors and grant beneficiaries, and sending award notices for
contracts to the EC for publication297297;
•
Preparing and signing contracts with service, supplies and works contractors and grant
beneficiaries, including approving or rejecting contract adjustments, within the framework
of any approved adjustments to the priority axis or measure;
•
Ensuring the smooth and timely flow of funds by: forecasting commitments and cash-flow;
providing information to the NAO and National Fund for expenditure declarations to the EC,
financial adjustments, corrections and re-use; requesting funds transfer from the National
Fund; and recovering irregular expenditure, or unused / overpaid funding from contractors
and beneficiaries;
•
Managing contracts and making payments, once checked and approved, to grant
beneficiaries and contractors, including expenditure verifications, and project / contract
monitoring; the verifications shall cover administrative, financial, technical and physical
aspects of the operations;
•
Ensuring that the National Fund and NAO receive all necessary information on the
procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure;
•
Maintaining a separate accounting system or codification covering all contractual and other
financial operations;
•
Participating in the SMC298298 and providing inputs to the annual and final Implementation
Reports for the OP301301, and for the whole of IPA, as required by the HOS, and providing
inputs to monitoring reports prepared by each Body Responsible for Measure if requested
and appropriate.
The internal audit units of the Ministries within the Operating Structure will be responsible for
conducting regular audits of the management and control system and reporting to senior
management on its effectiveness and efficiency, with recommendations for corrective action. Each
responsible body within the Operating Structure which is subject to internal audit will cooperate
fully with the internal audit department and follow-up its findings. The information on the audit
plans and their execution, the audit findings and the follow-up actions shall be made available to the
HOS, the NAO and the authorised external audit or control bodies
In addition, there are functions which apply to, and will be executed by, all bodies within the
Operating Structure, as follows:
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•
Ensuring clear planning of steps needed to deliver objectives, ensuring that the quantity and
quality of resources (staff, equipment, premises and other facilities) necessary for the
performance of tasks and responsibilities are secured in a timely fashion, ensuring assets
and data are kept secure from interference and damage, and ensuring that significant risks
to continuity are identified and contingency plans are put in place where possible;
•
Ensuring that all bodies and individuals have the full legal authority to fulfil their functions,
and managing human resources, including identifying sensitive posts, ensuring segregation
of duties 305, performing workload analysis and training needs analysis, developing training
plans, and providing training and performance appraisal;
•
Identifying and managing risk, and preventing, detecting, reporting and correcting
irregularities, corruption and conflicts of interest; cooperating fully with the activities of the
Ministry’s internal audit unit, and cooperating fully with all external audits and verifications;
•
Maintaining an adequate audit trail, establishing a filing and archiving system, ensuring all
documents are retained in line with the Financing Agreement and PRAG, ensuring that
significant risks to continuity (for example, concerning loss of data, absence of individuals
etc) are identified and contingency plans put in place where possible, and ensuring that
assets and data are kept secure from interference or physical damage;
•
Meeting the information and reporting requirements of the HOS, participating in regular
coordination meetings of the Operating Structure, and organising coordination meetings at
priority axis or measure level, as appropriate;
•
Carrying out verifications, active supervision and quality checks over the tasks delegated to
the subordinates;
•
Ensuring that the HOS, the National Fund and the National Authorising Officer receive all
necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out;
•
Ensuring exceptions and variations to normal practices are always recorded and logged and
reviewed at appropriate levels, and ensuring that the registration of any internal control
weakness identified from any source and that management responses are recorded and
followed-up;
•
Providing confirmations and annual statements of assurance/management declarations to
the HOS and NAO, based on the actual supervision of the management and control systems,
including:
 A confirmation of the effective functioning of the management and control system;
 A confirmation regarding the legality and regularity of underlying transactions;
 Information concerning any changes in systems and controls, and elements of
supporting accounting information;
305
See also section 5.1.2
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Ensuring the implementation of the recommendations by internal audit, the Audit Authority
and other authorised audit bodies.
Role of the EU Delegation
The EU Delegation will execute ex ante control in all the areas to be laid down in the Commission
Decision on conferral of management powers, until the Commission allows for decentralised
management without ex ante controls, as referred to in Article 18 of the IPA Implementing
Regulation.
5.1.2 Separation of functions
In accordance with the Article 21.2 of the IPA Implementing Regulation and with Article 6, Paragraph
3 of the Law on Ratification of the Framework Agreement Between the Government of the Republic
of Serbia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation
Concerning EC-Financial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the
Implementation of the Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) [Official
Gazette of RS NO. 4046/07], as well as the DIS “Implementing Agreements” and “Operating
Agreements”, which are to be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and the
abovementioned Government decisions appointing functions and bodies, the appropriate
segregation of duties will be ensured between and within the designated bodies.
Separation of functions between the bodies
The separation of functions results from a division of tasks as described above.
This includes the following principles:
•
there shall be a clear separation between verifications, controls, and evaluations to be
carried out by the Operating Structures and by the National Fund;
•
there shall be clear separation between the audits carried out by the Audit Authority and the
implementation and payment procedures.
Separation of functions within the bodies
The organisational structure of the bodies and their internal management and control procedures
will take into account an adequate separation of functions. This includes the following principles:
•
before an operation is authorised, the operational and financial aspects shall be verified by
members of staff other than the one responsible for initiation or implementation of the
operation;
•
certificates of statement of expenditure shall be drawn up by a person or department within
the National Fund that is functionally independent from any services that approve claims;
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•
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the initiation, the ex-ante, and the ex-post controls are separate functions, to be carried out
by different persons, functionally independent from each other.
Division of duties is such that no individual will have responsibility for more than one of the three
functions of authorisation, execution and accounting of sums charged to IPA.
Please note, in executing its responsibilities for OP management, the CFCU will ensure that separate
units are tasked with first, the functions assigned to the Body Responsible for the OP, priority axis 4
and measures 4.1 and 4.2, and second, its functions as the Body Responsible for Contracting and
Implementation (Contracting Authority). This will ensure that there is a segregation of the CFCU’s
duties in programming and monitoring on the one side, and tendering, contracting and payment on
the other side. The principle of separation of functions will also apply, particularly in terms of the
sensitive posts involved in executing CFCU’s responsibilities as Contracting Authority, and the need
for double-checks of all steps in a transaction based on the ‘four-eyes’ principle. Where the CFCU is
a beneficiary under the OP (priority axis 4), it should be noted that the section responsible for
execution of the operations and the section responsible for their verification will be separate.
5.2 Monitoring and evaluation
5.2.1 Monitoring arrangements
Monitoring Committees
In order to ensure coherence and coordination in the implementation of the IPA components,
programmes and operations as well as to follow the progress in the implementation of IPA
assistance, the following monitoring committees should be established:
•
•
IPA Monitoring Committee;
Sectoral Monitoring Committees attached to components or programmes
IPA Monitoring Committee
The Republic of Serbia has established an IPA Monitoring Committee to ensure coherence and
coordination in the implementation of all five Components of IPA. The first meeting was held on 17
June 2009.
Sectoral Monitoring Committee
The Head of the Operating Structure for the OP for Human Resources Development will establish a
Sectoral Monitoring Committee within 6 months after the entry into force of the Financing
Agreement.
The Sectoral Monitoring Committee for Human Resources Development (SMC-HRD) will be cochaired by the Head of the Operating Structure for the Operational Programme for Human
Resources Development, and a representative of the Commission. Its member will include:
•
The National IPA Coordinator or his/her representative;
•
A representative of the Commission;
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•
A representative of the Strategic Coordinator for Components III and IV;
•
Representatives of each body of the operating structure for the programme - Ministry of
Education and Science, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Ministry of Finance;
•
The Sectoral Monitoring Committee includes representatives from the civil society and
socio-economic partners, regional or national organisations with an interest in and
contribution to make to the effective implementation of the programme 306;
•
The National Authorising Officer;
•
A representative of the National Fund.
The composition of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee can be reviewed and extended by the Head
of the Operating Structure in agreement with the Commission in order to guarantee sufficient
representation and membership.
The Sectoral Monitoring Committee will be assisted by a permanent secretariat provided by the
Operating Structure for the preparation of papers for discussion by the committee or for clearance
by written procedure. This secretariat will be located within the Sector for Employment in the
Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, as the Body Responsible for the OP.
The SMC-HRD will report to the IPA Monitoring Committee. Its tasks will include to:
(a) consider and approve the Communication Action Plan, and monitor its implementation;
(b) consider and approve the general criteria for selecting the operations and approve any
revision of those criteria in accordance with programming needs;
(c) receive information on operations under the OP, which have been or will be submitted to
the Commission for approval, and the decision of the Commission;
(d) review at each meeting progress towards achieving the specific targets of the Operational
Programme on the basis of documents submitted by the Operating Structure;
(e) examine at each meeting the results of implementation, particularly the achievement of the
targets set for each priority axis and measures and interim evaluations, carrying out this
monitoring by reference to the indicators agreed;
(f) oversee the effectiveness and quality of the programme implementation, and monitor the
financial absorption capacity of the different interventions;
(g) examine the sectoral annual and final reports on implementation, including OP summary
tables;
(h) be informed of the annual audit activity report or of the part of the report referring to the
operational programme;
306
A mechanism for cooperation with civil society organisations will be developed during the coming months and will be
used also as the basis for identifying members of SMCs.
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(i) receive the final report from the interim evaluation and consider its findings and
recommendations;
(j) examine any proposal to amend the financing agreement of the programme and propose to
the operating structure any revision or examination of the programme likely to make
possible the attainment of the programme's objectives or to improve its management,
including its financial management, as well as to oversee the cross cutting themes and
publicity measures.
The Sectoral Monitoring Committee shall confirm or make proposals to the Head of the Operating
Structure, the Commission, the Strategic Coordinator and the National IPA Coordinator to revise the
programme following where relevant an evaluation, including the results, output and financial
indicators to be used to monitor the assistance.
The Sectoral Monitoring Committee will set up its rules of procedure in agreement with the
Operating Structure and the IPA Monitoring Committee. It will meet at least twice a year and upon
request by the Commission. Intermediate meetings may also be convened as required.
In order to better perform its role, the SMC may appoint working groups, particularly for monitoring
activities of horizontal issues and seek opinions of independent experts.
As a principle, the Sectoral Monitoring Committee will aim to take decisions by reaching consensus.
5.2.2
Management Information System
The Head of the Operating Structure is responsible for the efficiency and correctness of
management and implementation and in particular for setting up, maintaining and updating
regularly a reporting and information system to gather reliable financial and statistical information
on implementation, for the monitoring indicators and for evaluation and for forwarding this data in
accordance with arrangements agreed between the NIPAC and the Commission.
This system will be developed into one or several computerised system(s), in a form chosen by the
Operating Structure, which will enable it to:
•
monitor and manage the implementation of operations and projects, from the moment of
tendering and call for proposal to the closure of the OP, in particular results whenever
feasible and outputs;
•
carry out and monitor financial transactions; and
•
ensure the reporting requirements on the implementation of the OP.
The Operating Structure and all other bodies involved in the implementation of the OP shall if
possible have access to this system. There are preliminary plans to develop the MIS. Until this
system becomes operational, reporting and collection of date will be done manually.
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5.2.3 Monitoring system and indicators
The quantitative and qualitative progress made in implementing the programme as well as its
efficiency and effectiveness in relation to its objectives will be measured by the use of monitoring
indicators related to the results and outputs of the individual measures.
In identifying appropriate monitoring indicators, account has been taken of the methodologies,
guidelines and lists of examples of indicators issued by the Commission, in particular the "Indicative
guidelines on evaluation methods: Monitoring and evaluation indicators" (August 2006, working
document No. 2 for the programming period 2007-2013).
The Head of the Operating Structure is responsible for programme monitoring. In this context, the
Operating Structure will collect performance data (outputs, results and expenditure) from
operations and projects. It will establish, maintain and update the reporting and information system
by taking this project-level data and aggregate it to measure, priority axis and whole OP levels. Data
on individuals who are the ultimate beneficiaries must be collected for each project and used for
aggregation at measure and priority level. On this basis the Operating Structure will assess the
progress of the OP at each level against objectives and targets, prepare reports to the Sectoral
Monitoring Committee, draft the sectoral annual and final reports on implementation and to launch
interim evaluations if required.
In the context of monitoring and for the purpose of using indicators, the role of the Operating
Structure will also be to ensure that:
a)
monitoring requirements are built into the calls for tender and proposals documents
(application forms and guidelines for applicants);
b)
project applications (when appraised and selected) include proposed outputs and
results, as well as data on individuals, that are consistent with the OP indicators for
the appropriate measure;
c)
provision of data is built into the contract with beneficiaries as an obligation, and that
performance data is provided systematically and in a timely manner by beneficiaries
alongside the project reimbursement claim.
5.2.4 Selection of operations
All service, supply, works and grant contracts shall be awarded and implemented in accordance with
the rules for external aid contained in the Financial Regulation and in accordance with the "Practical
Guide to contract procedures for EC external actions" (Practical Guide) as published on the
EuropeAid website at the date of the initiation of the procurement or grant award procedure. The
standard templates and models provided for in the Practical Guide shall be used in order to facilitate
the application of the applicable rules.
All operations which are implemented by final beneficiaries other than national public bodies shall
be selected through calls for proposals, in accordance with Articles 49-51 of the Financing
Agreement.
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For operations which are identified and prepared in parallel with the programming of the OP, and do
not require calls for proposals, the relevant OP Working Group 307 will ensure that the
documentation is fully and properly prepared before submission to the Commission for approval,
and that it has been selected in accordance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Financing Agreement. It
will review Operation Identification Sheets (OIS) to check that the project documentation is both
complete and accurate (to minimise rejection and re-work), and that the OIS is fully in line with
eligible activities and expenditure, measure-level selection criteria, the financial limits of the priority
axis, the implications of the ‘N+3’ rule relating to automatic de-commitment, and the results targets
at measure level.
Procurement and calls for proposals for grant schemes shall also follow the above mentioned
contract award procedures. Tender selection committees 308 will be established for the evaluation of
service, works and supply tenders, and grant applications will also be assessed on a transparent and
competitive basis, using the PRAG.
5.2.5 Sectoral annual and final reports on implementation
Sectoral annual and final reports on implementation will be prepared by the Operating Structure in
accordance with article 169 of the IPA Implementing Regulation. These reports will assess the
implementation progress covering the attainment of set objectives, the problems encountered in
managing the programme and the measures taken, the financial execution as well as monitoring and
evaluation activities carried out. They will include specific progress reports on each major project, in
accordance with the format to be agreed with the Commission. They will be discussed at the spring
meeting of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee meeting of each year, in order to ensure the
operating structure meets the deadline of 30 June for submission of the report to the Commission,
the NIPAC and the NAO.
5.2.6 Evaluation arrangements
Evaluations are a tool for assessing the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial
assistance, as well as the impact and sustainability of the expected results. An ex ante evaluation and
one interim evaluation will be carried out under the responsibility of the Head of the Operating
Structure, in accordance with the principles laid down in the IPA Implementing Regulation and
guidance provided by the Commission.
The evaluation arrangements and activities of each programme will fully respect the principle of
proportionality.
Types of evaluations
Ex ante evaluation
Under the responsibility of the Operating Structure, an ex ante evaluation of the OP for Human
Resources Development will be carried out under a Framework Contract, which is (currently) being
tendered by the EU Delegation under IPA component I, and will be annexed to the programme. A
307
See section 1.3
In the terminology of the European Commission’s Practical Guide to Contract procedures for EU external actions
(PRAG), these are known as “Evaluation Committees”
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summary of the results of the ex ante evaluation, and the way the evaluation was conducted, will be
set out in section 1.4.
Interim evaluation
During the implementation of the OP-HRD, the interim evaluation to complement the monitoring of
the programme will be carried out and to provide data on any indicators agreed upon in the OP that
cannot be obtained through the monitoring system. In addition, strategic evaluations or thematic
evaluations can be carried out under the responsibility of the operating structure. The results will be
sent to the ad hoc committee on evaluations, to the Sectoral Monitoring Committee and to the
Commission.
Evaluation function
The Head of the Operating Structure is responsible for ensuring that adequate evaluations of the
Operational Programme are carried out. The evaluations will be carried out by external experts or
bodies, functionally independent from the management and control systems, due to the lack of
necessary capacity within the Operating Structure.
In order to ensure that evaluation requirements from the IPA Implementing Regulation are followed,
an officer will be designated with responsibility for preparations for the interim evaluation and
acting as the lead beneficiary and counterpart for the external evaluators, once selected. In order to
ensure the capacity of the evaluation officer, training related to evaluation principles and methods
will be provided under priority axis 4.
The evaluation officer’s objective will be to ensure the successful planning and implementation of
the interim evaluation(s) of the OP-HRD. He/she will also ensure that the findings and
recommendations are communicated to the HOS, the Sectoral Monitoring Committee and other
interested parties, and that the outputs become inputs for future programming cycles.
Evaluation activities and timing
It is intended that there will be only one interim evaluation during the 2011-2013 programming
period, at the mid-point of the programme under the ‘N+3’ rule. The evaluation activities will be
designed in accordance with Commission guidelines.
5.3 Information and publicity
5.3.1 Introduction
Information and publicity are important aspects of pre-accession assistance and in particular to the
successful design and delivery of the operational programmes, given the partnership basis on which
they are undertaken. Communicating for a successful management and implementation of the
operational programmes can be broken down into a series of information and publicity activities.
Accordingly, article 62 of the IPA Implementing Regulation sets out certain requirements regarding
the information to be provided and publicity of programmes and operations financed by the EU,
addressed to citizens and beneficiaries with the aim of highlighting the role of EU funding and
ensuring transparency.
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The information to be provided by the operating structures should include inter alia the publication
of the list of final beneficiaries, the names of the operations and the amount of EU funding allocated
to operations. The Commission must also ensure the publication of the relevant information on
tenders and contracts in the official Journal of the European Union and other relevant media and
websites.
Article 63 of the IPA Implementing Regulation provides further that the Commission and the relevant
authorities of the beneficiary country shall agree on a coherent set of activities, to be funded from
the TA priority of the Operational Programme, to make available and publicise information about IPA
assistance.
In accordance with the above provisions, the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, as the
Body Responsible for the OP, shall be responsible for the information and publicity activities under
the programme, within the context of the EU communications strategy and the strategy for IPA as a
whole, prepared by the NIPAC. The information shall be addressed to the citizens of Serbia and to
European citizens in general, and to the (potential) beneficiaries. It shall aim to highlight the role of
the EU and ensure that IPA assistance is transparent.
5.3.2 Partnership and networking
Bodies that can act as relays for the programme and disseminate the information concerning the
general public are the following:
•
Professional and trade associations and organisations;
•
Economic and social partners;
•
Non-governmental organisations;
•
Educational institutions;
•
Organisations representing business;
•
Operators;
•
Information centres on Europe and Commission representations in Serbia;
•
Other main stakeholders of each priority.
The Operating Structure will work in close cooperation with the above-mentioned bodies for the
dissemination of information regarding the programme and IPA pre-accession assistance strategy.
5.3.3 Internet
The ISDACON website will host information on the operational programme (also for IPA component
IV) and will be linked to the websites of DEU, and the Directorate-Generals for Regional Policy,
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Enlargement.
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