First year of project implementation: training sessions across Serbia and regional networking
During the first 11 months of implementation, the project Support to the Commission for State Aid Control has organized basic training sessions on state aid rules in 109 local self-government units across Serbia, as well as four conferences involving experts from EU Member States.
In January, project experts held trainings for employees of six local self-government units; in December 2019 they visited 24 municipalities, mainly in southern Serbia: Vrnjačka Banja, Aleksandrovac, Varvarin, Ćićevac, Aleksinac, Ražanj, Pirot, Dimitrovgrad, Babušnica, Crna Trava , Leskovac, Vlasotince, Doljevac, Gadžin Han, Surdulica, Bosilegrad, Bujanovac, Preševo, Vranje, Trgovište, Vladičin Han, Bojnik, Lebane and Medveđa. Thus, the total number of LSG units in which training sessions on state aid rules were organized and held increased to 109.
The project plan envisages that the training session will be organized in all 174 local self-government units in Serbia, in order to get acquainted their employees with the modernized state aid rules which are in force in the EU, as well as with the state aid rules most commonly used in practice – in the areas of environmental protection, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and regional development.
All training sessions have been organised according to the principle of “on-the-job training”.
In addition to basic training sessions, the project has organised two local conferences, in Subotica and Kragujevac, attended by representatives of the Commission for State Aid Control and the Department for State Aid Control of the Ministry of Finance. At the conference in Kragujevac, held on November 19 and 20, the new Law on State Aid Control, adopted in early autumn, was presented to participants.
With the support of the Commission for State Aid Control, the project has also organised the Regional conference State Aid and Western Balkans Economies, which brought together representatives of the state aid control bodies from the Western Balkans, representatives of European Commission and eminent European experts, in Belgrade on September 26-27. It was the first time that a regional gathering had been held on state aid control. In her opening address, the European Commission (Directorate-General for Competition) representative Ariana Podesta expressed her hope that such a gathering would become a tradition because it is “of great importance to the region”.