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Human resource management at local level in Serbia

A modern and well-functioning human resource management system at local level is essential to ensure good governance and efficient service delivery to citizens, and this aspect is also enshrined in the 12 principles of good democratic governance.

On September 21, 2021, a conference on “Personnel Management in Local Self-Government” was held in Belgrade, organized by the Joint Program of the European Union – Council of Europe “Personnel Management in Local Self-Government – Phase 2”, carried out by the Competence Center for Good Governance.

The aim of the conference was to present the most important results and recommendations from the analyzes of the program after the implementation of the municipal support packages (MSP) in 50 municipal self-governments as well as the upcoming reform measures in the area of ​​personnel management.

Jasmina Benmansur, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, said that great success has been achieved in introducing modern tools for human resource management, capacity building and professional development in all cities and towns. “Professional development requires a strategic approach, and we will stick to this goal in line with the strategy for administrative reform 2021-2030.”

“It is necessary to have the right people in the right place at the right time, people who are motivated, ready and qualified for their job. Without these conditions we cannot have an efficient public administration. That is why professionalization and performance-oriented recruitment are at the center of our activities ”, so Martin Klaucke, Head of Operation II at the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Serbia.

orđe Staničić, General Secretary of the Standing Conference of Cities and Towns, indicated that local government staff are ready to develop their skills in this area and to understand the importance of professional development and good human resource management.

“We are experiencing enormous energy that has been invested in the establishment and expansion of personnel management systems at the local level, and this type of support can be exemplary for some other support areas,” emphasized Staničić. He also said that the management of the local self-government must be able to assess the improvement of the administration, ie the level of knowledge and competence of the employees.

Nadia uk, Deputy Head of Mission of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, stressed that local self-government is the engine of the development of every country and one of the most important indicators of the decentralization of public administrations. “That is why strong, competent and efficient local self-government is indispensable, this is the goal we want to achieve within the framework of the reform of the human resource management system for local employees in Serbia,” she added in her introductory speech.

The conference also provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of this program: The performance index in the field of human resource management in 50 local governments rose by 20 percent compared to the period before the program began. All participants agreed that given the complexities of modernizing the local civil service system as part of public administration reform, these types of support initiatives need to be continued.

The conference was attended by representatives from 22 local governments, who received online communication kits with a microphone, camera and headphones. The program team will distribute these communication kits to all local self-governments in the Republic of Serbia.

The program “Human Resource Management in Local Self-Government – Phase 2” is jointly funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Competence Center for Good Governance of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and the Permanent Conference of cities and municipalities.

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