Serbia to start using EUR80m EU funds for public administration reform

Serbia to start withdrawing EUR80m from the EU pre-accession assistance for public administration reform approved in 2016, the minister of state administration and local government Ana Brnabic said on Wednesday.

The funds will be used partly to finance a new salary scheme for local government employees which will start functioning from 2018. The reform will also include a decision on the maximum number of employees in the public administration to be completed in April. In May-June, the government should catalogue the required positions in the public administration and start negotiations with trade unions on salary terms. According to her, the hardest part will be to find the optimal way of managing human resources, primarily evaluating success and work in the public administration and in local governments at the national level. The minister promised to finish the whole system by the end of the year for it to become operational in Jan 2018.

In Dec 2016, the Serbian government and the EC signed the first contract worth EUR80m for the financing of public administration reform in Serbia through direct budget support. Brnabic said that so far efforts to streamline the public administration has created EUR140m savings.

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