As part of the “Raising the level of understanding of citizens about their rights and obligations in executive procedures at the local level” project implemented by the European Policy Centre with the support of USAID’s Rule of Law Project, three round tables were held in three Serbian cities, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, and Pančevo, in June and July. Representatives from the USAID Rule of Law Project and CEP spoke with representatives from public utility companies, city administrations, public executors, as well as representatives from consumer and other civil society organisations based in Kragujevac, Kraljevo, and Pančevo. The meeting in Kragujevac was held at the premises of the City Administration for Joint Affairs of the City of Kragujevac on 25 June 2020. Meetings in Kraljevo (July 14) and Pančevo (July 22) were held online due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic
At the round tables, participants gave recommendations for improving business models and the functioning of public utility companies and for better measures aimed at end users and consumers, and discussed changes and amendments to decisions on the manner and conditions of providing utility services and decisions regarding the operation of public utility companies.
Discussions, experiences, comments, and suggestions from all relevant key actors at these events provided CEP with extremely valuable information for research on the current situation regarding the forced collection of utility bills and experiences in the work of public executors, which is also addressed within this project.
The objectives of this project are to spread knowledge and good practices in enforcement proceedings in communal cases, to raise citizens’ awareness of their rights and obligations in enforcement proceedings on these issues, as well as to improve communication and mutual cooperation between key actors (including local self-government units, utility companies, public executors, and citizens).