Beginning of the drafting of the Social Welfare Strategy 2019-2025

On Friday, April 20, 2018, a conference was held in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade, marking the beginning of the process of drafting the new Strategy for Social Welfare in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2019-2025. In front of over one hundred experts in the field of social policy, representatives of associations of service providers and users of social protection services, as well as representatives of local self-governments and competent ministries, three panels, and three individual presentations were held that systematically presented the situation and the position of social policy in Serbia.

Mr. Nenad Nerić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, expressed his hope that the Strategy will be adopted as soon as possible and emphasized that this process is proof of the strategic orientation of Serbia towards the European Union. He also pointed out that our main goal is to work for those who, without our help, could not live with dignity.

Mr. Nicolas Bizel, Head of Justice, Internal Affairs and Social Inclusion Unit of the EU Delegation to Serbia, addressed the opening, who pointed out that the inclusion of all citizens must be the core of every policy. He recalled that at the end of 2017, the European Union adopted the Pillar of Social Rights, which is slowly being transposed into legal acts. Bizel stressed that he hopes that in 2018, chapter 19 will be opened in negotiations with Serbia, which focuses on social policy.

In the name of the UN system, Mr. Michel Saint-Lot, representative of UNICEF in Serbia, addressed the conference. He praised the efforts of the Republic of Serbia so far but also pointed out that numerous problems still exist, especially in the field of child protection. He emphasized that it is necessary to create a platform that will be able to face the greatest social challenges of our society. In addition to the panel with representatives and representatives of civil society, local self-governments and institutions, Mr. Božidar Dakić, Director of the Republic Institute for Social Welfare, Ms. Aleksandra Jović in front of UNICEF, and Mr. Žarko Šunderić, social policy expert, delivered presentations and proposed guidelines for further discussion and work on the future Strategy.

Ms. Andreja Tonč, team leader of the EU Support to Social Welfare project in Serbia, presented the project in which the European Union invested over 5.5 million euros for the development of innovative services in the area of social protection at the local level, for the promotion of social entrepreneurship and for preventing the dropout children from the school system in Serbia. The project also aims to increase the capacities of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs in the management of the grant scheme, as well as to guide and modernize the process of drafting the Strategy for Social Welfare and other innovative regulatory mechanisms in the field of social policy. the process of developing of the Social Welfare Strategy in the Republic of Serbia