The seventeenth EPRC webinar of 2021, and the fifth of this Autumn/Winter semester, was held December 8th (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom. Dr. Ratka Čolić, Assistant Professor at the University of Belgrade, presented on the topic “Territorial Governance in Serbia: Challenges and Responses”.
Čolić delved on the challenges and responses for establishing territorial governance practices in a post-socialist country planning context. Existing cross-comparative studies at the EU scale have not include data about urban governance practices in Serbia. Ratka discussed some of the general challenges Serbia is going through: the EU integration process, dealing with the changes of the regulatory framework and national policies, institutional framework, and strengthening of capacities.
Central government institutions have been encouraged to gradually adjust their development policies with respect to the EU financing schemes This encompasses the mutual synergy of areas defined through the Action Plan for Chapter 22 – Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, namely developing a planning and programming framework, as well as capacity building with respect to the absorption of EU funds.
Čolić argues that there has been a shift toward territorial governance in Serbia evolved through the sustainable and integrated urban development framework, in line with the above-mentioned stimuli. The introduction of territorial governance practices in Serbia has been enhanced through the adoption of integrated and sustainable urban development policies at national and local levels.
Ratka Čolić, PhD, is assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. Her field of research is sustainable and integrated territorial development, citizen participation and stakeholder involvement, capacity development, international influences on planning policies, and integrating sustainability in higher planning education. She has been engaged as a national expert and project manager of capacity development in international projects being implemented in Serbia (UN-Habitat, GIZ, UNOPS European Progres, EU PRO, EU PRO Plus), and as an international expert on projects implemented by the Council of Europe.
Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of sustainability, regional policy and development. The series will come back in February 2022.