The overall strategic goal of USAID in Serbia is to support the country in its vision to be democratic, prosperous and moving toward Euro-Atlantic Integration. USAID is currently working closely with its Serbian counterparts on major programs in two functional fields:
Strengthening Democracy and Governance
USAID supports a number of programs to help Serbia deepen its democratic culture and practices. USAID provides funding and technical assistance to NGOs across Serbia so that they can mobilize citizens to understand and support necessary reforms, while also serving as watchdogs of national and local government operations. Assistance to independent, local media outlets makes reliable news and information available to citizens and helps ensure their longer-term sustainability. Support provided to democratic political parties emphasizes the need for internal party democracy, policy development, and citizen communications. One program is helping the judiciary to manage its own financial affairs and to improve court efficiency, while also helping the parliament to develop a sophisticated budget and planning office. USAID also supports the participation of young politicians and women in parliament, while encouraging the better functioning of parliamentary committees, party caucuses, and cross-party forums.
Fueling Economic Growth
Serbia has made important progress in creating a legal and policy framework for economic growth, but important steps remain to ensure sustained stability. USAID works with Serbian government counterparts, non-governmental organizations and other U.S. Government departments to help deepen structural reforms and improve the legislative process; provide support on implementation and enforcement of new legislation and improve governance; including the exercise of authority of key institutions and their responsiveness to the public. Public education and outreach are integral elements of almost all areas of engagement to promote understanding and support for reforms. This work at the national level is expected to result in heightened investor confidence in the rules and behavior of key institutions affecting economic growth and investments in Serbia. A more cohesive, accountable and responsive government should also lead to more domestic confidence and stronger support for continued advancement of democratic governance and economic reform.
At the same time, as Serbia moves closer to EU and World Trade Organization accession, enterprises are encountering both new opportunities and competitive challenges. In order to benefit from the changes that trade liberalization will bring, Serbia’s businesses need to modernize and increase efficiency. USAID works with promising SMEs in agricultural, industrial, and service sectors to improve productivity, upgrade the quality of their products and to expand into new markets. Targeted USAID assistance contributes to improving business practices, developing the workforce, enhancing marketing, attaining international standards and introducing new technologies. Building a strong and competitive business environment offers the best promise for long-term, sustained economic growth and employment.
For more information on USAID’s activities in Serbia, please visit https://www.usaid.gov/where-we-work/europe-and-eurasia/serbia.