European Progress (IPA 2013)

The European Union funded the European Progress programme, in cooperation with the Government of the Swiss Confederation, from the IPA Programme for 2013, in the total amount of EUR 24.46 million. The main goal of this Programme was to help the sustainable development of 34 local self-governments in the south-east and south-west of Serbia. 

The following activities are in focus of the European PROGRES: strengthening governance at the local level through the development of urban planning documentation (financing of preparation of spatial planning documentation) and digitalization of geo-spatial data (procurement and development of IT solutions), introduction of capital investment planning and programme budgeting and more efficient collection of taxes (improving the taxpayer's records).

The Programme also contributes to greater competitiveness of the local economy through better cooperation and introduction of new standards and technologies in agricultural production and organization of SMEs (support to clusters and cooperatives), support to female entrepreneurship (providing grants to women entrepreneurs), development of technical documentation (main projects) necessary for building social and economic infrastructure, and the financing of infrastructure works, such as the institutions of higher education in Bujanovac or enhancing hospital capacities in Vranje and Novi Pazar.

The Programme specifically focuses on the field of social protection and inclusion, through activities aimed at achieving the following goals: improving the position of marginalized and vulnerable groups, creating new jobs and creating equal opportunities for employment of women and men, better integration of social protection and employment services, as well as supporting projects that strengthen interethnic cooperation and promote bilingual skills for school-age children.

The overall responsibility for the implementation of the project lies with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

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