Public debate in Serbia

Public debate in Serbia

Public debate was held in National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at Friday, 7th of March 2014.
Main topic of discussion was “Perspectives on Sustainability of funding support to children and vulnerable groups beneficiaries of social services”. The debate was organized by member of IRIS Network “Educational Center” Leskovac, “Society for the Development of Children and Youth – Open Club” in collaboration with the Government Office for Cooperation with Civil Society.

The aim of the conference was to encourage a consensus among decision-makers, experts and civil society around the needs of effective coordination and use of available local resources and future EU funds earmarked for social inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups.

Public debate was opened by National Assembly Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic, after which Mr Michel Saint-Lot, UNICEF Serbia Representative, greeted the present. Among the key speakers were: Gordan Velev, IRIS-regional networks of social service providers, Sasa Stojanovic – MODS Association for the Development of Children and Youth Outdoor Club, Brankica Jankovic, State Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ivana Cirkovic, Director of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, Marija Sijan, the Fund for the social inclusion of children, Zarko Šunderić, SIPRU Fund for Inclusion, Milena Banovic, Government Office for cooperation with Civil society organizations.

Hall of the National Assembly was filled with around one hundred representatives of NGOs that deal with social service provision and over 20 journalists from different media houses from Serbia.  Some of the most important and popular media informed public about the event, and we raised important questions about social services and child protection in wider public in Serbia.

CSO representatives from all around the Serbia had chance to emphasize their biggest problems and concerns and also to ask questions to government representatives. Owing to the huge interest for this event and important topic we discussed, many people didn’t have a chance to participate. Because of that we had had live stream of the debate and also live twitter chat in which people could ask questions and give comments to speakers in the debate.