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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.7 Funding youth policy

Youth Policy is mainly funded through:

  • State budget (through public calls of line ministries)
  • Budget of local self-governments (through local public calls)
  • EU funds
  • Other- membership fee, donations, provided services, etc.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia annually drafts a proposal of the Law on Budget for the next year. The National Assembly adopts the Law on Budget, together with the budget lines allocated for the youth sector and for the Ministry of Youth and Sport. In the Law on Budget 2021, Article 4 one budget line is allocated for the youth sector: IPA 2014 – Youth Employability and Social Inclusion. Additionally, the budget line 481 is intended for appropriations for non-governmental associations.

What is funded?

The Ministry of Youth and Sport annually allocates government funding to the other governmental institutions, non-governmental organisations (youth organisations, organisations for youth and their associations), for municipal youth work, and other actors doing youth work. The Ministry uses the funds for activities addressing youth employability and social inclusion, Survey on Needs and Position of Youth, implementing and monitoring of the National Youth Strategy, etc. 

Eligible organisations and activities for funding are defined in the Bylaw on Financing and Co-financing Progammes and Projects of Public Interest in the Field of the Youth Sector (Pravilnik o finansiranju i sufinansiranju programa i projekata od javnog značaja u oblastima omladinskog sektora).  See more in the following section.

Financial accountability

The Bylaw on Financing and Co-financing specifies the method of approving programmes and projects of public interest in the field of the youth sector. It further specifies the manner of allocating funds for their implementation and the manner of reporting on the results that have been achieved by the implementation of the approved programme/project. 

Articles 10, 13 and 14 of the Rulebook, define the financial accountability of recipients of public funding. Briefly:

  • The beneficiaries are obligated to use the funds exclusively for the implementation of the approved programme/project;
  • The signed contract regulates the mutual rights, obligations and responsibilities of the contracting parties (most importantly: the name of the approved programme/project; the time of its implementation; the amount of approved funds; the monitoring, evaluating and reporting activities);
  • The beneficiaries are obligated to submit final narrative and financial report within 20 days after the end of the programme/project;
  • The beneficiaries are obliged to allow the Ministry of Youth and Sport to monitor the implementation of the programme/project, to be present in the realization of the activities, as well as to have the insight into the overall programme/project documentation.

Use of EU funds

The Republic of Serbia, as a pre-accession country, is not eligible for the use of ESF, Development and Cohesion Fund, and other sources of funding available to the EU member states. 

However, since the Republic of Serbia is a candidate for EU membership, it has limited access to EU funds. The Republic of Serbia is currently the beneficiary of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance 2014-2020 (IPA II), from which approximately EUR 1.5 billion is earmarked for action programmes. About 36% of the funds are earmarked for reforms in the field of rule of law, democracy and public administration, 50% for socio-economic development and investment in human resources and 14% for agriculture and rural development. Serbia is also a beneficiary of the Multi-beneficiary IPA - an instrument that supports initiatives of regional importance for the Western Balkans. The funds earmarked for this regional instrument for the period 2014-2020 amount to almost EUR 3 billion. In addition, the Republic of Serbia participates in seven cross-border cooperation programs and two transnational cooperation programs. The EU provided EUR 260 million to cross-border co-operation in Serbia.

Each of these funds is available for youth-related issues/activities. In terms of that, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance 2014-2020 (IPA II) largely supports projects and initiatives aimed at improving youth education, employment and youth social inclusion. In addition, cross-border cooperation projects fund initiatives in various fields, innovative solutions, investment in human resources and the promotion of young people's mobility.

For example, a budget line in the Law on Budget 2021 (Article 4) is allocated for the youth sector: IPA 2014 – Youth Employability and Social Inclusion in the amount of RSD 4,275 million covered by the state budget, and RSD 30,105 million covered by EU funds. These funds are allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. 

Youth in Action – Serbia

In the period of 7 years (2007-2013), 316 projects with Serbian organisations as coordinators were implemented. The total amount of the approved projects was over EUR 5,6 million.

 Erasmus+ programme – Serbia

The Republic of Serbia became a full member country of the Erasmus + program in 2019, before that, from 2016 to 2019 Serbia only had access to some parts of the programme.

In the period 2016-2020 Serbian organisations participated in 16 Key Action 1 Mobility Projects for Young People and Youth Workers. Through these projects total grant of 240 147 EUR was deployed among 124 contracted organisations to support 399 participants.

Ten Strategic partnerships projects were funded, in total with EUR 395 000. These projects were an opportunity for 30 organisations to cooperate (Figure 1.7.1). 


Figure 1.7.1: Organisation participation in KA2 projects by role

Source: Erasmus + Dashboard

In addition to decentralized actions, by the end of 2020 Serbian organisations participated in 120 Key Action 2 Capacity building projects in the Field of Youth, with a total value of over EUR 7,8 million.

In the period 2019-2021 since RS has become a program country, organisations from Serbia coordinated 59 projects with a total value of over EUR 2,3 million in the field of youth. In addition, youth organisations were partners in 923 projects worth a total of over EUR 27,9 million.

Evaluations of the youth-related initiatives/activities/programmes receiving EU funds have not been done so far and the trends in the amount or in the type of activities supported through EU funds are not being monitored, apart from the activities that are done for all Erasmus participating countries.