School for Regional Policy Development: Policies on Equal Opportunities

The School for Regional Policy Development is an advanced political education program, targeting decision-makers in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia.

This project compares the socio-economic situation in all countries of the region, identifying not only current and common regional problems, but also specific issues each country is dealing with respectively.

The goal of the project is to familiarize the participants with the social and political contexts in which policies are being developed, implemented and advocated for by both formal and informal stakeholders in a long-term process. The project engages in the social democratic aspects of institutional arrangements in social policy, whilst focusing on issues such as the fight against poverty and directly impacting the life quality and living standards of citizens.

Policies may differ in type, as they depend on the behavior of authorities, i.e. what instruments of power and methods are used to formulate and implement them. Redistributive policy is particularly important, since social policies are interconnected with issues of redistribution.

The final outcome is reflected in five policy papers, one for each country, which identify particular problems in society. They are analyzing options through which the problems can be addressed, while also proposing optimal solutions. All the papers contain the necessary elements, such as, an assessment of a joint socio-economic regional impact, definition of the problem as well as the identification of relevant stakeholders and target groups while proposing recommendations on how to best solve the issues.

The project has achieved its goal because its outcome is well-argued, expert work on policy development through comparative overviews of poverty as a regional problem from the perspective of the five countries concerned. As the project progressed, the policy papers gradually showed that the participants worked critically on the issues while formulating the recommendations in a very concise manner. This was reflected in the social democratic value-oriented approach that the participants were able to master through this project.

Finally, participants in this project will be building both individual and organizational capacities in their respective countries in the forthcoming period through social democratic solutions and ideas within their policies that cherish the values and ideas of social democracy, while paving the way towards implementation of adequately set and harmonized socio-economic policies.

The policy papers will be made available shortly, once the final editing is done.

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