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13. December 2013.

Vranje – According to the results of a survey conducted by the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID), more than half of the citizens of the Pcinj district believe that agriculture is the basis for the economic development of the district and that it is necessary to invest more funds from the budget to help farmers.  The survey was carried out with the financial support from the European Union and the Government of Switzerland, through the European Partnership with Municipalities Program - EU PROGRESS.

According to some of the results of the research on the satisfaction of citizens in 34 municipalities in the southern and southwestern Serbia, which were yesterday presented in Vranje, there are increasingly more people who see an opportunity in the development of tourism and light industry, as well as those who believe that the municipalities should support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.  

People in the southern and southwestern Serbia are mostly dogged by the low standard of living, because 43 percent of them claimed that they and their families lived bearably hard or unbearably hard, while 44 percent of the respondents didn’t have a steady job. Almost half of the population satisfied their monthly needs with less than 10, 000 dinars, while another quarter of the population had less than 20,000 dinars at their disposal. The survey showed that 60 percent of the respondents claimed they weren’t satisfied with their lives, while there were only 15 percent of those who felt satisfied.

The respondents believe that the giving of information by the municipalities isn’t well organized, while 48 percent of them believed that they had to ask for a piece of information several times, which causes a high percentage of those believing that the municipal procedures are complex.  Surdulica, Bosilegrad, Presevo, Bujanovac and Trgoviste were characterized as local self-governments with the least complicated procedures.  

The research has shown that people believe they aren’t sufficiently informed about the work of the municipal administration and their discontent is mostly pronounced in Presevo (62%) and Trgoviste (51%), while residents of Vranje (44%) believe that they are informed just as much as they need. The municipalities of Bosilegrad, Presevo, Targoviste, Bujanovac and Surdulica strive to meet the needs and preferences of their citizens, but as much as 44 percent of the respondents believe that the local authorities should care more about their needs.

Less than half of the respondents considered the issue of corruption in the local self-governments, but the suspicion about the bribing of municipal officials still exists.  Residents of Bujanovac and Bosilegrad trust their municipal officials the most, whereas the residents of Vladicin Han are the most skeptical about their work.

The aim of the research was to show how satisfied the citizens were with the services of local self-governments and their dealings with the public in order to solve the problems. The data from the research can serve as guidance to the local self-governments, so that they could meet the needs of the residents.

The survey was conducted on a representative sample of 8, 378 adult citizens, and it included, among other municipalities and cities, the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, too.

The European Union financially supports the European Partnership with Municipalities Program - EU PROGRESS, with 14.1 million euros, the Swiss government with 2.5 million, while the share of the Government of the Republic of Serbia is 1.5 million euros. EU PROGRESS aims to support the socio-economic development of 25 municipalities in the southern and southwestern Serbia.

Source: Jugpress and Coordination Body