Strategic planning as foundation of sustainable development of towns and municipalities in Vojvodina

On 2 December 2019, fourteen towns and municipalities in Vojvodina were allocated the total of 9.3 million RSD from the provincial budget for the purpose of co-funding the projects expected to contribute to development of the efficient and modern local self-government, able to serve the citizens and economy.

The contracts were granted to beneficiaries of funds by Đorđe Milićević, Vice-President of the Provincial Government and Ognjen Bjelić, Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, Interregional Cooperation and Local Self-Government.

As the Vice-President Milićević emphasised, the municipalities would use the funds to develop the planning documents defining public and development policies in their local areas.  This primarily refers to the result analysis based on the existing planning documents applicable until 2020, as well as to the appropriate preparation for the creation of development plans at the local level for the period 2021 to 2027.

– The new Law on Planning System stipulates the preparation of development strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the period 2021-2027, along with the AP Vojvodina development plan and local level development plans. “This process is of high importance and there should be a planning approach to development in the field of economy, as well as other spheres of social life”, Milićeviće stated.

He also underlined it was crucial that the planning be coordinated, from the state, to provincial and local level, to produce complied planning documents, bearing in mind the rational use of resources.

“It is important to define development policies at the local level in line with the locally available resources, to ensure the best possible valorisation of local areas, i.e. their availability to citizens and economy. I believe we will successfully complete the tasks ahead of us by 2021, jointly and in a coordinated way, Milićević added.

Secretary Bjelić emphasised that all towns and municipalities in the territory of Serbia would have to adopt their development plans by 1/1/ 2021. These plans will cover the period 2021-2027 and will comply with the time frames defined in the European Union.

“In this way we are trying to place the overall administration in specific frameworks and provide appropriate conditions for further earmarking of EU funds”, Bjelić stated, adding that another goal was to clearly define development concepts in the territory of each local self-government unit.

He said that next year, the Provincial Government would provide 45 million RSD to co-fund the preparation of new planning documents and/or development plans in all 45 towns and municipalities in Vojvodina, pursuant to the new Law on Planning System, according to the clearly defined methodology.

“It is our goal to ensure that all municipalities have more or less unified development plans, to allow a better monitoring of the use and implementation of strategic plans, or development plans of towns and municipalities. In 2020 we will start preparing the AP Vojvodina development plan, and I believe that by 1/1/ 2021, all of us, all towns and municipalities, as well as regional authorities, will manage to observe the legal procedure and stipulated time frame – Bjelić underlined.

The Provincial Secretariat for Regional Development, Interregional Cooperation and Local Self-Government, for three years in a row, has allocated funds for modernisation of local self-governments. So far approximately 26 million RSD has been earmarked for his purpose.

Projects that were supported in this year’s call for proposals are those from Sečanj, Srbobran, Bač, Sremski Karlovci, Pančevo, Kula, Šid, Nova Crnja, Odžaci, Irig, Žitište, Kikinda, Sremska Mitrovica and Opovo.