Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
Theodore Isaac Rubin, American psychiatrist and writer
CEVES is an independent think-and-do-tank devoted to advancing Serbia’s economic recovery, democratic consolidation, and convergence with the European Union through evidence-based policy advocacy, and by mobilizing stakeholders and the public to engage in institution-building, and civic or concrete project initiatives.
CEVES was founded in 2004 by a group of Serbia’s top-ranked economists. Since then, it set new standards in Serbia for macroeconomic and policy analysis with the publication of Quarterly Monitor of Economic Trends and Policies in Serbia, and together with the Economics Faculty of the University of Belgrade, with the founding of the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN), which has become Serbia’s go-to think-tank for macroeconomic, social inclusion and employment research. After a period of low activity due to the engagement of several key staff in positions of high public responsibility, and with Ms. Kori Udovicki’s return from a tour of duty as Assistant Secretary General in UNDP, CEVES has restructured and re-launched its activities. The cooperation between CEVES and domestic and foreign partners and donors, such as FREN, USAID, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung was successfully established. Thanks to the expertize and experience of Ms. Udovicki, CEVES has successfully realized various projects, whose results were presented to public. Nowadays, Ms. Udovicki is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government. Even though, she is not Director of CEVES, Ms. Udovicki has managed to pass her knowledge and experience to her team, so the idea and mission of CEVES could live on.
CEVES’s new focus is on developing areas of research relevant to inclusive and sustainable economic growth filling a key gap in knowledge — such as industrial organization, key sector economics (e.g. agribusiness, energy and knowledge economy), and corporate governance. Once developed, CEVES will use this knowledge to promote change in line with European standards and values through advocacy, capacity-building and stakeholder mobilization. The mobilization of stakeholders, or the broader public, is an important goal and tool for CEVES. Decentralized market forces anywhere need to be complemented with collective action, be it by the government, or through the self-organization of professional, business and civil society organizations. To the extent that Serbian government can be spurred into action, CEVES is committed to advocate and partner with it for adoption of such policies, and where it is not, it is committed to building the necessary constituencies for action outside the public sector. However, mobilization is only conceivable if a society can be rallied behind positive goals, within the context of a shared vision. Therefore, CEVES aims to devote its resources to:
- identification of economic & employment growth opportunities, and
- formulation of national & sectorial development strategies.
CEVES will strive to build a network of partnership relations, working closely with Serbia’s business associations and non-government organizations, as well as government institutions, local communities and other stakeholders. In its effort to advance knowledge not presently available in Serbia, CEVES will rely on top international experts, organizations and institutions.