Training of civil servants in Serbia on the EU

Ministry of European Integration is in charge of the Program of Specific Training from the scope of its competencies (according to the latest Amendments to the Law on Civil Servants), which is a continuity of the previous central role in organizing the training of civil servants in the field of European integration, that European Integration Office previously had since 2004, when it was established, until 2016. The Ministry is responsible for specialized topics in accession negotiations, especially intended for members of Negotiating Groups and the Negotiating Team and other relevant groups in the EU accession negotiating process;  for determining the needs on the basis of which this program is being prepared and implemented, and also for cooperation with the National Academy in the programming of the thematic field of the European Union and development of a methodology and standard instruments for determining the needs for professional development in state institutions. All the training programs that the Ministry implements are specifically developed according to the needs of target groups and accession process and cover a vast number of various topics chosen on the basis of training needs analysis, which is carried out through a questionnaire sent to the members of negotiation groups (35) and EU departments in all ministries, after which the Ministry analyzes the answers and selects the priorities in accordance with the NPAA and the Progress report of the European Commission for Serbia.

The training is developed in accordance with the evolution of relations between Serbia and the European Union, wherefore that there has been a change in topics, from topics related to the priorities of the European Partnership (the functioning of the European Union, institutions, law and procedures), techniques of negotiation and lobbying to topics related to the SAA and sectoral policies and the exchange of experiences with "old" and especially "younger" countries - members of the European Union; particular support in capacity building was extended to the Department for the Coordination of Translation with the Ministry of European Integration. The focus of the last period of training was on the strengthening of the public administration for negotiation process and preparation of the Negotiation Groups for screening process, drafting negotiation position and action plans.

In addition to regular trainings, the Ministry also has implemented Internship Programmes that had been attended by 75 civil servants until now.

During the entire period of training, data were stored in a record database and regularly updated. According to statistical data referring to the period from 2005 to 2016, inclusive, the Office has organized 590 training courses (seminars, workshops, round-tables, conferences, study visits...), in 2254 days of training, with 19 566 participants in total (mainly civil servants, as well as employees in local self-governments, but also from the public and private sector, because the success of the accession process depends not only on the adoption of the acquis but above all on its implementation).

The success and quality of training organized by the Ministry of European Integration is regularly assessed and monitored. The organization of training improved the building of strong inter-administrative networks, increased awareness of the necessity and relevance of training, enhanced communication and cooperation between various state institutions, as well as cooperation with institutions of the European Union and member states and other national and international partners, which is additionally confirmed by the role of the Ministry in promoting European ideas and increasing interest among Serbian citizens for European integration. It is of great relevance to point out the need for strengthening EU units under the auspices of the ministries. Having regard to the fact that EU units are formed in all ministries and that their employees possess horizontal, as well as specific knowledge on the EU, the EU units have a central role not only in training, but also in the general process of strengthening administrative capacities.

Brochure "The Training of Civil Servants on the EU Matters 2001 - 2016" can be downloaded here.