“The programme’s uniqueness was a key factor that drew me to enrol”

Tadija Mitić works for the National Coalition for Decentralisation in Serbia. In April 2023, he joined the Swedish Institute Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) to enhance his skills in decentralisation and gain new perspectives. Are you interested in the programme? The SAYP call for applications has just opened.
Tadija Mitić

Growing up, Tadija witnessed Serbia’s challenging political and human rights landscape.

– I always felt like a European Union citizen stuck in a non-member country. Instead of taking the easier path of moving abroad, I’m committed to instilling EU values locally, aiming to leave my son a better environment and advocating for a society where the rule of law is intrinsic, not just a requirement for EU entry.

This motivation influenced his choice of work, ultimately leading to his decision to apply to SAYP.

– With a background in law, I find myself merging my education with activism — it’s the driving force behind my pursuits and one of the reasons why I applied to SAYP.

Tadija struggled to find any programme that offered the synergy present in SAYP.

– Finding SAYP was particularly special for me, as I had actively searched for a programme with a similar focus. Working for the National Coalition for Decentralisation, an organisation engaged in projects spanning various governance levels, decentralisation, and human rights, made SAYP the ideal fit. The programme’s uniqueness was a key factor that drew me to enrol.

The programme had a significant impact on how he views decentralisation now.

– What made the program unique was its holistic approach; it aligns with a human-centric perspective that resonated with me. Initially, I approached decentralised multi-level governance solely through the lens of norms and public law, but the programme encouraged us to reconsider decentralisation, urging us to examine it from the vantage point of human rights, extending beyond the confines of legal norms.

The programme proved to be eye-opening for Tadija.

– The humane aspects of Sweden had a significant impact on me. Consequently, I began examining decentralisation and human rights with a more human-centric or humane approach, departing from the purely legal. This shift represents a substantial change in my perspective on these subjects

The insights gained from SAYP have already had an impact on Tadijas work today.

– One significant learning point was our discussion on the Human Development Index (HDI), inspiring the idea for the project currently implemented in Serbia.

Do you want to know more about how to apply to SAYP? Here is more information about the programme