Resources for Local Democracy

Project completed

At the request of the Serbian Government, SDC will support three reforms on Serbia’s path towards European integration: 1) the enforcement of a municipal finance law that awards good performance of local governments and ensures the necessary resources for democratic decisions; 2) the development of regional development policies for reducing regional disparities, including mechanisms for disaster risk prevention; and 3) high quality municipal audits aiming to achieve a rational use of public resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Employment & economic development

Disaster risk reduction DRR
Public sector policy
Rural development
01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020
CHF 9'000'000

Support municipalities to access resources to enable discretionary and democratic decision taking on development priorities and quality of service provision.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The central government introduces a set of laws leading to municipal finance reforms and implements a merit based system for local civil servants, thereby assuring quality work in local administrations;

Outcome 2: Regional and rural development policies of Serbia meet criteria to access EU funding timely. They are owned by Serbian local and central level stakeholders and inspired by good European examples. Practices applied successfully in Switzerland and Poland will be taken into account.

Outcome 3: Improved public finance management allows for higher allocation of municipal finances, thus enabling municipalities to fulfil their mandate. Internal and external of high quality audits of municipal finances an incentive to advance in municipal resource management and increase the legitimacy of municipalities.

In the first component (Outcome 1) SDC will make requested expertise available to the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self Government with the aim of supporting legislative changes favourable for municipalities. In the second component (Outcome 2) a multi-stakeholder platform will be launched to support regional and rural development initiatives and policy-making. The professionally facilitated platform, besides relying on relevant Swiss and Polish experience, shall debate on area-based priorities. The example of Poland is exceptionally reputed as the country was able to make best use of EU structural funds for rural and regional development. SDC will also support municipal capacity development for disaster risk reduction. In the third component (Outcome 3) SDC will provide a contribution to the on-going program of UNDP to expand the scope and diversity of activities with the State Auditor, to strengthen the capacities for internal municipal audits and to promote the dissemination of good practices in public finance management.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector North
  • World Bank - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   9'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   8'995'644
Project phases

Phase 1 01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)