Further support to sustainable (re)integration of returnees in Serbia



Further support to sustainable (re)integration of returnees in Serbia

Seminar “Local social services development” – Reintegrate II

A seminar on “Local Social Services Development” was held in Pirot. The seminar was led by Mila Carovska, a former Minister of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy in North Macedonia and an expert in social policy development for various organizations and institutions, including UNICEF, UN Women, HERA, IOM, and more.

The event was attended by representatives of local governments and social welfare centers, as well as other interested parties from the cities of Pirot, Novi Pazar, Kruševac, and Dimitrovgrad. Also present were the project team members from “Reintegration II – Further Support for Sustainable (Re)integration of Returnees in Serbia.” The seminar’s goal was to exchange experiences and knowledge among participants and to support the development and strengthening of the local social service system in the regions covered by the project. Participants had the opportunity to attend the first seminar on this topic during a study visit to Novi Pazar.

We also had the privilege of hosting representatives from social welfare centers and local governments from Bela Palanka and Babušnica.

The seminar covered the following topics:

  1. The Importance of Strategic and Operational Planning of the Social Welfare System at the Local Level in Relation to Community Needs and the Ecosystem in which the Social Welfare System Operates in accordance with the Social Welfare Law.
  2. The System for Realizing the Right to Social Welfare Services Provided by Local Self-Government Units, as well as Models for Providing Social Welfare Services.
  3. The Development of Local Social Service Providers, Considering the Benefits of Diversification of Service Providers and the Potential Offered by the Social Entrepreneurship Law.
  4. Financing of Social Welfare Services (Local Government Budgets, Transfer Funds, Donor Funds, User Contributions, and the Potential for Commercial Service Provision by External Providers).
  5. Service Efficiency – Providing Services Based on Individual Assessments of the Conditions and Needs of Users, both in Terms of the Extent of Necessary Services and the User’s Contribution.
  6. Defining the Formal Framework for Establishing Such a System.

During the study visit, representatives from the cities visited beneficiaries in Pirot and the surrounding areas who were supported within the economic component of the project.

The main goal of the Reintegration II project is to contribute to the sustainable (re)integration of returnees under the readmission agreement and socially vulnerable populations in central and southern Serbia.

The project will support over 800 beneficiaries in Pirot to strengthen their economic and social status and enhance their integration into the community. Support is planned through subsidies for self-employment, various business training and retraining programs, subsidies to employers for creating new job positions and employing returnees under the readmission agreement and other harder-to-employ population categories, support for children and youth through inclusive workshops, and the development of institutional capacities in the field of social welfare at the local level.

The total project value for the city of Pirot is 400,000.00 euros, and the project will run until April 31, 2025. Information about project activities, open calls, and more will be available on the project’s website at www.reintegracija.net, as well as from the city of Pirot, partner organizations, and associations.

The project is led by the German organization ASB (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund), with the implementation partner being the Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC) from Belgrade, and the project beneficiary districts are Pirot, Rasina, and Raška. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the support and co-financing from the city of Pirot.