Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Serbia is a unitary state composed of municipalities (opština), cities (grad), the city of Belgrade and autonomous provinces (autonomne pokrajine).
Local level: 174 municipalities (opština) and cities (grad), including the city of Belgrade
The municipality is the basic territorial unit established by the Law on Local Self-Government, from which it derives its right to independently exercise and perform all powers and duties falling within its competences. Municipalities must meet a minimum threshold of 10,000 inhabitants. Exceptionally, a municipality with a smaller population can be established for economic, geographical or historical reasons.

The city is a territorial unit determined by law, which represents the economic, administrative, geographical and cultural centre of a broader area and has more than 100,000 inhabitants. In exceptional cases, a city with fewer inhabitants can be established.

The City of Belgrade, as the country’s capital and administrative centre, qualifies as a special territorial unit. The status, competencies, and bodies of the City of Belgrade are regulated by a special administrative law.

The municipal or city assembly (skupština opštine or skupština grada) is composed of councillors elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term. The assembly enacts municipal or city statutes, rules of procedure, development programmes, the municipal budget, urban planning and other municipal regulations. It also appoints and dismisses the mayor, the deputy mayor, the members of the municipal or city council and the president of the assembly.

The municipal or city council (opštinsko or gradsko veće) is the executive body, composed of members elected by the municipal or city assembly by secret ballot for a period of four years. It monitors the work of the municipal administration and is chaired by the mayor. The Council has a legally defined role to propose draft decisions (including draft budget proposal) to the assembly, to take decisions on appeal relating to administrative procedures and to assist the mayor in his/her work.

The mayor (predsednik opštine in municipalities or gradonačelnik in cities) is the executive head of the city or municipality and is elected by the assembly for a period of four years. The mayor represents the city or municipality, chairs the city or municipal council, implements city or municipal assembly decisions, and dictates the work of the local administration. He/she proposes the deputy-mayor as well as the members of the city or municipal council to the assembly.

The capital city of Belgrade and 28 other local authorities hold the status of city. The City of Belgrade, with its capital city status, has 23 additional competences including water, fire protection, and road construction.

  • Public transport (including waterway line transport) and taxi services
  • Urban planning and residential buildings (shared competence with central authorities, with local governments in charge of investment and the maintenance of buildings)
  • Preschool education, Primary education and primary healthcare (pharmacies), sport
  • Social services and protection
  • Municipal services (waste, energy efficiency, water, public lighting, transport, markets, parks, green public spaces, public parking, cemeteries, spatial planning)
  • Environment
  • Local and non-categorised roads and streets
  • Local economic development and tourism
  • Municipal police
  • Voluntary fire protection and natural disasters
  • Agricultural land, pastoral land and cooperatives and rural development
  • Legal assistance to citizens
  • Local public property and construction land
  • Protection and development of culture
  • Assistance to people with disabilities and vulnerable groups, child protection
  • Human and minority rights
Regional level: 2 autonomous provinces (Autonomna Pokrajina Vojvodina and Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo-Metohija)
The assembly of the autonomous province of Vojvodina (skupstina autonomne pokrajine) is composed of deputies elected by direct universal suffrage and is chaired by the president, who represents the assembly at the national tier and abroad. It also appoints one or more vice-presidents. This deliberative body implements programmes relating to economic, regional and social development and adopts the provincial budget.

The provincial government of Vojvodina (pokrajinska vlada) is the province’s executive body. It is composed of a president, vice-presidents and members, and is accountable to the autonomous province’s assembly.

The autonomous province of Vojvodina generates its own revenue and thus provides its municipalities with the financial resources customarily allocated by a national government.

Kosovo* is an autonomous province within the Republic of Serbia and, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, adopted on 10 June 1999, it is under the interim civilian and military administration of the UN. Serbia’s state policy has resolved that the Republic of Serbia will never recognise the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo* and asserts that the future status of the southern Serbian province can only be defined within the framework of adequate principles and norms of the United Nations and other international organisations, and with respect for the constitutional order of the Republic of Serbia. Given this specific situation, further data on the Autonomous Province of Kosovo* cannot be provided.

  • Spatial planning, regional development and construction of facilities
  • Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fisheries, veterinary services
  • Environment
  • Water
  • Tourism, hotels and restaurants, spas and health resorts
  • Industry and handcraft
  • Road, water and railway transport maintenance
  • Social welfare
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Science and technology
  • Economy and privatisation
  • Mining and energy
  • Culture
  • Human and minority rights, support for religious communities
  • The autonomous province of Vojvodina generates its own revenue and thus provides its municipalities with the financial resources customarily allocated by a national government.

CEMR in Serbia

Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia
Secretary General: Nikola Tarbuk
Stalna Konferencija Gradova I Opština
22 Makedonska, 11000 Belgrade
Tel.: +381 11 3223 446
Fax: +381 11 3221 215
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