Support to municipalities in Serbia during the COVID-19 crisis

28 May 2020
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Support to municipalities in Serbia during the COVID-19 crisis

Delivering good governance for the benefit of citizens is even more essential in times of crisis. In Serbia, new initiatives carried out under the joint Council of Europe-European Union programme "Human Resources Management in Local Self-Governments – phase 2" are helping local governments pinpoint their needs and find ways to continue their activities during the Covid-19 emergency.

The Council of Europe Programme Team carried out an online survey of cities and municipalities in Serbia to identify the challenges faced during the crisis and map potential areas of support for the coming period. More than 100 cities and municipalities participated, and an analysis of the responses has been providing useful insights on the way public administration is operating in times of crisis.

Inter alia, the survey indicated that: local governments were hit hard by the pandemic, but largely continued to carry out main functions; an institutional plan for working under special circumstances and for handling personnel during the crisis was lacking; investments in technology enabling online work, as well as related trainings for employees, should be considered. To see the full survey results, click here.

Furthermore, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, the implementing partner of the Council of Europe-European Union joint programme, provided expert support to interpret recommendations and decisions recently issued by the state administration, define the status of persons in isolation or self-isolation, and provide protective measures for employees in direct contact with citizens. In addition, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities prepared two template legal acts for use by municipalities: one on teleworking and another on weekly activity workplans during the state of emergency.

For more information, please consult the website of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade at this link.