The EMinS Network:
The European Movement in Serbia (EMinS) has encouraged a policy of decentralisation and horizontal networking since its inception. This has led to the creation of Local Councils in various cities and municipalities across Serbia, thus creating one of the most developed networks in the Serbian NGO sector.
EMinS Local Councils were created as a result of the interest and citizen initiatives of EMinS’ members in certain areas. This is a realisation of the ‘bottom-up’ democratic process. The EMinS began founding LCs back in 1996, based on the belief that local associations are the most suitable framework as citizens themselves have the best insight into the local community and thus the best ideas for improving the socio-economic situation and increasing the quality of life in their environment.
Only EMinS members may set up a local council, pursuant to the EMinS Statute, for the purpose of implementing EMinS’ goals in a specific local community – city or municipality. They are autonomous legal entities, free in planning their activities in their respective communities, cities or municipalities while following the fundamental values of EMinS.
The local councils are located in 14 cities and municipalities nationwide – in Bor, Ćuprija, Inđija, Kikinda, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Kruševac, Lazarevac, Leskovac, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica, and Valjevo.
Today the EMinS network comprises 14 local councils, which in 2012 forged a formal alliance with the EMinS – the Network of the European Movement in Serbia (NEMinS).
NEMinS has its own management structure (president, secretary general and Managing Board), which consists of 7 members.
NEMinS was founded for the purpose of harmonising, coordinating and initiating joint programmes and activities aimed at building a democratic Serbia within a united Europe. These activities include the promotion of decentralisation, a market economy and a society based on democratic principles. This refers to such European values as the rule of law, human rights and liberties, understanding, tolerance, equality, and solidarity.
The EMinS is responsible for the coordination of NEMinS and communication with its members. It provides all possible technical and logistical support while sustaining an inclusive project policy towards all LCs. When implementing projects, local councils are the first partners the EMinS turns to.
Together with its local councils the EMinS works towards the fulfilment of its mission, the promotion of European values and heritage and contributing to the European integration process in Serbia. This is done in the hope of meeting the political and other (pre)conditions required for Serbia’s accession to the European Union (EU).
The LCs aim to assist the European integration process in their respective communities by implementing initiatives that focus on local development and reforming the institutions of local government towards greater accountability and transparency so as to ensure the rule of law is the predominant focus of their work. In addition, LCs advocate the socio-economic empowerment and inclusion of local communities through the development of social entrepreneurship, SMEs, public-private partnerships and regional cross-border cooperation.