Modernising municipal services in the Western Balkans

Project description

Title: Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Modernisation of Municipal Services
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Cofinanced by: Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Country: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia
Lead executing agency: Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)
Overall term: 2006 to 2024



Reforms that improve municipal services play a significant role in increasing the perspectives of the six Western Balkan countries (WB6) for EU accession. Living conditions for citizens must be improved with better employment opportunities and business competitiveness at local level, bringing municipal economies and administrations in the WB6 countries more in line with EU requirements. This means improving the ability of municipal administrations and organisations to master the huge administrative and financial challenges linked to sustainable local economic development and the modernisation of municipal services.


Cities and municipalities in the Western Balkan countries are improving conditions for local economic development in line with EU requirements.


The project consolidates regional cooperation and the knowledge transfer between governmental institutions, civil society and the private sector at local, national and regional level. It has three main pillars.

  • developing innovative approaches and applying best practices for municipal development and local economic growth. The knowledge transfer takes place through local sector-specific networks as well as strategic partnerships with German or EU institutions.
  • supporting reform processes in local economic development and intermunicipal cooperation. In addition to assessing municipal development needs and submitting concrete reform proposals, best practices such as an e-registration system for seasonal work will be transferred from Serbia to other WB6 countries.
  • local governments will be shown how to use instruments and tools for fostering local economic development and improving the business climate. This will include applying for third-party project funds, promotion of the digital transformation and more inclusiveness for vulnerable population groups following the principle “Leave no one behind”.

Last update: August 2021

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