The Serbian Code of Conduct for councillors and officials was launched in December 2004 to address the issue of transparency and public accountability. The code has been adopted in more than 90 per cent of Serbian municipalities.
WFD has supported a monitoring project which builds on the momentum created by the adoption of the code. Serbia does not have such a body regulating the implementation of the code and municipalities will have to self-regulate, drawing on existing mechanisms and the involvement of NGOs and the media. The activities in this project seek to support and develop the capacity and skills of selected municipalities to integrate the code into municipal life.
Through this project, code monitoring boards were established in ten municipalities. In addition, a system was established to collect and investigate public complaints. Municipalities were trained and provided with supporting materials to help them implement the code and monitor it effectively. Public awareness-raising will also feature in the project to ensure that citizens understand the purpose of the code and what their expectations of local authorities can be.
The key challenge now is implementation and sustainability: to complete and maintain adoption and implementation and to ensure that the code leads to real improvement as perceived and experienced by citizens and stakeholders.
For more information on our work in Serbia, please contact Alex.Romaniuc@wfd.org