Supporting young people in rural areas of Serbia

Prospects for Young People in Rural Areas in Serbia

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2024

  • Products and expertise

    Economic Development and Employment

Five young people at a table holding hands.


In Serbia’s rural regions, young people are unable to reach their full potential in society. They have few opportunities to help shape their political, social, economic and cultural environment. Young people are often not interested in socio-political processes, or even distrust them. Two thirds of young Serbs do not believe that their conditions in society will improve. It is estimated that around half of young people in employment only have part-time or short-term jobs that that do not reflect their level of education and training. There is thus little prospect for them to improve their income. In addition, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises often lack the expertise needed to identify new business areas and tap into markets as well as the capabilities to improve young people’s skills in these areas.

These conditions cause many young people to migrate to the large cities and other countries. Various factors affect the subsequent reintegration prospects of those returning from abroad. Roma face particularly significant challenges when it comes to their economic and social reintegration.


The economic and socio-cultural prospects of young people – including returnees from abroad and the cities – have been improved in the pilot regions in rural areas.


The programme contributes to improving the conditions for young people to actively shape their environment.

A young peoples’ fund has been set up for this purpose. It promotes the inclusive participation of young people in society in the pilot communities. One of the partners that helped set up the youth fund is the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation.

The programme also advises young people, including returnees, on diversifying their income opportunities in rural areas building networks among themselves. It also puts participation formats in place that make it easier for young people to get involved in and shape local politics.

A young person in a beekeeper’s suit holds honeycombs.

Last update: April 2023