Population ageing is the most significant demographic trend in Serbia, with 17.3 per cent of its citizens being 65 years or over and highest median age of population among South East European neighbors. In the last fifty years the share of younger populations aged 0 to 14 years have almost halved in Serbia, while the share of older populations have doubled. On the other hand, population projections produced by Statistical Office of the republic of Serbia indicate that in thirty years, according to the low variant, more than every fourth person in Serbia would be over 65.
Policy framework for ageing in the Republic of Serbia
The main goal of the National Strategy on Ageing (2006-2015) was creation of the integral and coordinated policy to be based upon contemporary scientific facts and obligations taken over from the afore mentioned documents – which will bring the society and economy of the Republic of Serbia health and social protection, labour market and education into harmony with demographic changes so as to create a society for all ages tending particularly to meet the needs of and loose free unused potentials of elder people. In addition to achieving the main objective of National Strategy on Ageing, which is identical with the objectives of the European strategy and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) (society for all ages) in the national document are the goals and the fulfilment of ten obligations from European Strategy also set as goals.
While the Strategy was coming to the end, UNFPA Serbia CO in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), supported Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and Republic Institute for Social Protection to evaluate the achievements and lessons learned in the previous nine years and prepare for the next policy planning cycle.
Round table discussions with key stakeholders took place across Serbia. Ms. Marija Rakovic, during one of the round tables pointed out that “the evaluation of National Strategy is a good way to identify what has been done well through this nine years and what were the gaps that should be improved and covered in the next document”.
“Kragujevac can be seen as leading examples of good practice in the field of social protection, because it encouraged and fostered development of NGOs and humanitarian organizations”, added Ms. Lidija Kozarcanin from the Republic Institute for Social Protection.
The final result of the work and conclusions discussions at round tables indicated that all the participants from all regions in Serbia agreed that achievement were made in all 10 strategic directions however the whole process was slower than it was planned and expected. The total range of achievement varied by regions of the Republic – from South and Southeast Serbia (Niš), where were somewhat more modest, through central Serbia (Kragujevac), to the north Serbia (Novi Sad) and Belgrade, where it was the most obvious.