According to Statistical Office of Republic of Serbia some 24.6 percent of Serbian citizens are exposed to the risk of becoming poor.
For the population of the South East and South West Serbia this risk is as high as 31.0 percent. Combined with the official report of over 40 percent of the working age population being unemployed the result is a rampant economic migration - 37 inhabitants are leaving South Serbia each day.
Unemployment is particularly registered within vulnerable groups, including Roma, persons with disabilities and women.
European PROGRES aims to address these issues by improving access to employment for both men and women while also assisting local self-governments (LSG) to develop and implement local policies for social inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups.
One of the activities towards reaching this goal is to develop training programmes for unemployed which will respond to the needs of the local labour markets.
Similarly the Citizens’ Involvement Fund (CIF) supports small social inclusion, short-term projects implemented by civil society organisations in partnership with the local self-governments and in line with the municipalities’ local development priorities.
European PROGRES also aims to establish mechanisms to improve integration of national minorities by supporting learning of the official language while, at the same time, assisting local communities to develop and promote their own cultural heritage and priorities through intercultural dialogue.