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Supporting Lagging Regions by Delivering on Economic Potential and Equality of Opportunity in Serbia (Inglês)

This note begins with a broad assessment of lagging regions in Serbia, identifying those that are significantly trailing behind in terms of income per capita (‘low income’) and those that, while not poor, are stagnant and diverging from the national average (‘low growth’ lagging regions). The note describes characteristics of lagging regions in terms of poverty levels, human capital outcomes, delivery of social services as well as institutional capacity. It also showcases a spatially informed policy framework, guided by ‘3Cs’ (Concentrate, Connect, Capacitate) that can be applied to address lagging regions challenges. The arguments on lagging regions are illustrated by focusing on the case study of Central Banat (Srednjobanatski), including an emphasis on the city of Zrenjanin, as a case example of a ‘low growth’ lagging region in Serbia, as well as the district of Raska as an example of a peripherally located, low income lagging region. The analysis draws on and hopes to complement regional and local strategies of the districts and local self-governments.

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