Universiteit Leiden

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Serbian scholars visit Leiden University

A delegation from various Serbian universities and government institutions will visit the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 May. They will discuss the development of an educational programme in public policymaking and analysis in Serbia. An interview with Serbian project coordinator Jasna Atanasijević.

What will you discuss during your visit to Leiden?

‘The main purpose of our visit is to talk to colleagues from the Leiden Institute of Public Administration about their practices and methods of delivering courses in the area of policymaking and policy analysis.’

Why is it important to talk about the differences in public policymaking in the Netherlands and Serbia?

‘This is very important to us because we have a lot to learn from the Netherlands’ long-lasting experience in policy planning and its modern approach to policymaking. The Serbian public sector is undergoing reform in light of the EU accession process, and policymaking skills are critical to improving the capacity of its public administration, including its economic governance. The latter two are important if Serbia is to become an equal member of the EU family with a competitive economy.’

What can Serbian policymakers learn from the Dutch approach? And how could that affect current political issues in Serbia?

‘Serbian policymakers can learn to rely on data and an evidence-based approach. They can also learn how to establish a role for planning that is not only compatible with but beneficial to the market. If Serbian universities can develop policymaking programmes that are inspired by the Dutch experience, this will certainly contribute to better political decisions in the future because of a higher level of professional support for the administration and broader community involvement in public issues.’

And what can Dutch policymakers learn from Serbia?

‘As Serbia is used to facing many developmental challenges, its policymakers need to possess a great deal of creativity, flexibility and adaptability. These qualities should, however, come under a more appropriate structure and organisation. This would produce exceptional results and unleash the potential of the economy and society.’

This project is sponsored by Erasmus+. Why is that important?

‘Erasmus+ funding is crucial to this exchange of knowledge and practices as well as to the establishment of long-term professional networks across Europe. This is especially important for academics in the area of social science.’

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