According to the Serbian Business Registry Office, as of November 2014, there were 23.948 citizens associations, and over 600 foundations and endowments registered in Serbia. Civic society activism in Serbia has been changing recently, with an improvement of the relationship between civil society organisations (CSOs) and state authorities, and the diminishing importance of grant-making programs of international donors and the emergence of the European Union as an important partner for Serbian civic activists.. The legal environment for Serbian CSOs has been improving recently, with noticed increase in cooperation with and support from the governmental Office for Cooperation with Civil Society and other independent governmental institutions. The governmental Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, established in 2010, remains a key communication point between national authorities and CSOs. In addition, the government adopted a decision that made CSOs eligible for co-funding from the state budget for projects financed by the EU and other funds.

The financial sustainability of CSOs in Serbia is somewhat improving, although diversification of revenue sources is limited, CSOs continue to rely mostly on international donors, and the economic crisis decreased the level of funding from the private and public sectors.

CSOs working at the local level are recognised as having a legitimate and meaningful role in providing social welfare and protection services in the community.

Financial management systems are slowly improving as part of the overall improvement in strategic planning efforts and the development of procedures, but CSOs in Serbia need more training in financial management, as well as more funding to publish annual reports, conduct organizational audits, and implement other key financial transparency activities.

Top Recommandations

  1. 1.

    Provide more fundings for projects that will last longer periods of time and therefore provide CSO staff with opportunities to stay longer in organisations using their experience more effectively.

  2. 2.

    CSOs in Serbia need more training in financial management, as well as more funding to publish annual reports, conduct organizational audits, and implement other key financial transparency activities.

  3. 3.

    Improve granting opportunities for smaller and newly formed organisations.

  4. 4.

    Continue with VAT exemption for donations from the EU and the US government.

  5. 5.

    Provide more training and financial support to CSOs on how to use online social networks in their work.

  6. 6 .

    Organize a series of trainings and meetings for journalists.

Top Findings

  1. 1.

    The lack of managerial skills of CSOs, unclear lines between governance and management, and a constant influx of new, inexperienced staff.

  2. 2.

    Financial management systems are slowly improving as part of the overall improvement in strategic planning efforts and the development of procedures.

  3. 3.

    Small grassroot organisations often relly on granting opportunities from local authorities that are generaly much smaller and can hardly get EU fundings or fundings from other international donors.

  4. 4.

    Tax treatment of CSOs in Serbia is unfavorable. During the second half of 2012, the state increased VAT from 18 percent to 20 percent, which increased the costs of all purchases.

  5. 5.

    The social network can be more used as an effective means of communications and for promoting CSO activism.

  6. 6.

    CSOs and the media recognize the need to build the sector’s public relations capacities.

1. Water Quality & Management
1. River Basin Management
Legislation:

Water Framework Directive - Directive 2000/60/EC Certain progress has been reported in transposition of this Directive due to the preparation of draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Water, which will provide further transposition of Directive’s requirements, as well as legal basis for adoption of the relevant subsidiary legislation.

Implementation:

Based on the results of legal gap assessment, amendments to the Law on Water is planned. They will enable transposition of Directive’s provisions and provide legal basis for adoption of by-laws of relevance for transposition of this and other Water Quality Directives.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

The implementation dates for the majority of obligations provided in previous reporting years have been postponed, due to delay in adoption of legislation which will enable the Directive’s implementation (Water Management Strategy, Water Pollution Protection Plan, Rulebook on the Designation of Water Protection Zones, Water Quality Management Plan).

2. Ground and Surface Water Management
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3. Ground and Surface Water Management
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4. Underground Waters
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5. Drinking Waters
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6. Industrial and Agriculture Waters
Legislation:

Main legal acts of relevance for transposition of the Directive’s provisions are Law on Water (Official Gazette of RS, No. 30/10) and the Rulebook on the Establishment of a Methodology for the Preparation of a Preliminary Flood Risk (Official Gazette of RS No. 1/2012). Additionaly, following legal acts are of relevance for transposition of this Directive: Law on ratification of the Framework agreement on the Sava River Basin, Protocol on the Navigation regime to the Framework agreement on the Sava River Basin and Agreement on the Amendments to the Framework agreement on the Sava River Basin and the Protocol on the Navigation regime to the framework agreement on the Sava River (OG CS – International Agreements, No. 12/2004, May 28, 2004).

Implementation:

The transposition of remaining Directive’s provisions is linked to the adoption of draft Rulebook on the Establishment of a Methodology for the Preparation of Flood Hazard Maps and Flood Risk Maps.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

The deadlines set for the previous year have been revised. The estimated year for implementation of obligations related to the establishment of appropriate objectives for the flood risk management is 2016; for establishment of measures for its achievement (Art.7) is and the implementation of obligations related to Article 9 (establishment of steps for coordinating application of this Directive and Water Framework Directive) is 2017; while the implementation of Article 5 (preparation of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps); and Article 10 (publishing of preliminary risk assessment, flood hazardous maps and flood risk management plans) is planned for 2021.

7. Flood Risk Management
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8. Waste Water Treatment
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9. Sea Waters
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10. Water Pollution
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11. Sea Waters
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2. Climate Change
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1. Green House Gas Emissions
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2. Paris Agreement & Adhering Conventions
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3. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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4. Mitigation and Adaption Measures
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3. Horizontal Legislation
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1. Public Access to Environmental Inform.
Legislation:

It has been estimated that national procedures related to the practical arrangements under which environmental information is made available to the public (Article 3); procedures related to the refusal of request for environmental information/exceptions (Article 4); procedures related to the availability and dissemination of environmental information (Article 7), as well definitions of environmental information and public authority are assessed as not fully transposed into national legislation.

Implementation:

The full transposition of these provisions will be achieved through the adoption draft Law on amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Due to the reassessment of transposition status, performed on the basis of assessment of effectiveness and compliance of national mechanisms and procedures with Directive’s objectives, the assessment of implementation stratus of several individual requirements changed. Namely, the procedures related to establishment of procedures to ensure the availability of environmental information (Art. 3.1); establishment of the applicable exceptions (Art. 4), and establishment of the practical arrangements under which environmental information is made available to the public (Art. 3) have been assessed as not fully compliant to the Directive’s requirement. The implementation of these requirements is directly linked to the transposition of Directive’s provisions.

2. Public Participation
Legislation:

The Public Participation Directive is considered fully transposed into Serbian national legal system. Main legal acts which transposed Directive’s provisions are: Law on Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of RS, No. 135/2004, 36/09) Law on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of RS, No. 135/2004, 88/10) Law on Planning and Construction (Official Gazette of RS, No. 47/2003¬, 34/2006) Full transposition of the Public Participation Directive (2003/35/EC) was achieved in 2009, upon ratification of the Aarhus Convention.

Implementation:

Although the Public Participation Directive is considered fully transposed into Serbian national legal system, as of 2004, a detailed examination of applicable legislation with a focus on effective, substantial transposition (compliance of provisions with objectives of Directive) was performed, and resulted in assessment that majority of national procedures is not fully compliant with Directive’s requirements. In order to address these gaps and ensure full transposition, the Ministry initiated amendments to the applicable Law on Environmental Protection.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

However, with a recent reassessment the majority of obligations related to public participation procedures and mechanisms are assessed as noncompliant to the Directive’s requirements. The full implementation is linked to the amendments to the adoption of amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection, which is scheduled for 2016.

3. Environmental Impact Assessment
Legislation:

The EIA Directive has been amended in 2014, and the ToC for EIA Directive have been amended accordingly, raising total number of provisions to which country has to comply in order to achieve the full transposition. The old EIA Directive (87/337/EC) was assessed as fully transposed, the codified version (2011/92/EU) as largely transposed trough the following legislation: • The Law on EIA (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No.135/2004, 36/2009); • The Law on Ratification of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Official Gazette of RS, No.102/07); • Regulation on the list (I) of projects for which an impact assessment is mandatory and list (II) of projects for which an impact assessment may be required (Official Gazette of RS, No. 114/2008); • Regulation on the content of application to determine whether an EIA is required and of application to determine the scope and content of EIA studies (Official Gazette of RS, No.69/2005); • Regulation on the procedure of public participation, presentation and public consultation regarding the EIA study (Official Gazette of RS, No.69/2005); • - Regulation on the technical commission for assessment of EIA studies (Official Gazette of RS, No.69/2005)

Implementation:

With the exception of Article 7.5 (establishment of detailed arrangements for Directive’s implementation with neighboring states), which will be transposed through the adoption of amendments to the Agreement among countries of Southeast Europe for the implementation of the Convention on EIA in a transboundary context (amendments to the ESPOO Convention), the adoption of which is scheduled for 2015, the transposition of remaining provisions will be achieved through adoption of amendments to the applicable Law on EIA (Article 2.3- joint procedures and links between EIA, Birds and Habitats Directive) and Law on planning and construction (art. 8, 9.1 and 9.2- public consent and development consent procedures).

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

The implementation of Article 7 (establishment of arrangements with neighboring countries), linked to the ratification of amendments to ESPOO Convention, have been postponed from 2015 to 2016, in line with changes of dates for adoption of ratification Law (end of 2015). The implementation of remaining provisions (namely, Article 8, 9 and 10) is linked to the establishment of national procedures (transposition), which will be achieved through the adoption of amendments to the Law on planning and construction.

4. Strategic Environmental Assessment
Legislation:

The transposition of the SEA Directive is in an advanced stage. A majority of the Directive’s provisions have been transposed through the Law on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of RS, No. 135/2004 and 88/10).

Implementation:

The provisions of national legislation pertaining to the procedures for avoiding duplications (Art. 4.3); environmental reports (Art. 5.2 and 5.4); transboundary consultations (art. 7.2 and 7.3) and informing public (Art. 9.1 and 9.2) are considered as not fully compliant to the Directive’s requirements. The full alignment will be achieved through the amendments to the applicable Law on SEA. In addition to this, the Directive’s provisions related to the procedures for consultation of authorities are assessed as not transposed, and its transposition is linked to the general alignment with public participation procedures, by the end of 2018.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

The procedures related to the informing the public and public consultation procedure (Art. 6), consultation with neighbouring countries (Art. 7), procedures related to the environmental reports (Art. 9) and, establishment of the monitoring system (Art.10) are assessed as non-compliant to the Directive’s requirements.

5. Environmental Liability
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6. Environmental Protection / Mitigation
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4. Air Quality
1. Ambient and Urban Air Quality Framework
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2. Emissions form Waste
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3. Emissions from Transport Sector
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4. Emissions from Industry and Agriculture
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5. Emissions from Housing Sector
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5. Waste Management
1. Waste Framework
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2. Sewage and Sludge
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3. Hazardous Waste
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4. Industrial Waste
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5. Inert Waste
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6. Electronic Waste
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Waste Treatment (Incineration, Landfill)
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6. Noise & Light Pollution
1. Assessment and Management of Noise
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2. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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3. Assessment and Management of Lighting Standards
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4. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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7. Chemicals and GMO's
1. REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation Authorizations and Restriction of Chemicals
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2. Plant protection products
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3. Biocides
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4. Import and Exports of Chemicals
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5. Persistent Organic Pollutants
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6. Genetically Modified Organisms
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7. Food Safety
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8. Civil and Animal Protection
1. Control of Major Accident Hazards
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2. Information about pollution
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3. Risk and Emergency Management
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4. Animal Rights
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9. Circular Economy
1. Sustainable Resource Management
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2. Business Operations
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3. Societal Behavior
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10. Energy
1. Renewable Energy Directive
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2. Energy Efficiency Directive
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3. Energy Classification / Performance
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4. Energy Performance of Buildings
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5. Shift from Fossil to Renewables
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6. Energy in Mobility and Public Services Sector
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11. Wildlife and Nature Protection
1. Habitat Directives
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2. Marine Strategy Framework
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3. Endangered Species
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4. Protected Areas
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5. Biodiversity
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