On November 1st 2019, Belgrade Open School (BOS) and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of the Republic of Serbia organized a conference One step closer to citizens through dialogue which took place in Palace Serbia.

Within her opening speech, Vesna Djukic, General Director of BOS, emphasized the importance of participation of the civil society as an inevitable part in the process of creating public policies.

Important role in the opening speech also had the Director of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of the Republic of Serbia Zarko Stepanovic, Ivan Bosnjak, Secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration, Brankica Jankovic, Commissioner for Equality, Ekmel Çizmecioğlu, Program Manager for civil society and human rights in the Delegation of EU in Republic of Serbia and Shanley Pinchotti, the director of the Office for Democratic and Economic Development, within the USAID mission in Serbia.

After the opening speech, the conference had three different sessions in which participated around 120 representatives of civil society and public administration. They discussed various topics such as the current situation in the civil sector, since it has been 10 years since the Statute of associations has been changed. They also reconsidered the options and the challenges for the participation of citizens and civil society in the processes of decision making.

The realization of the conference was supported through the program of European Union “Europe for Citizens” and also by USAID through their support on the project “Active citizens - a better society: advocating for cooperation and democratic development”.