Municipality of Belgrade


The municipality of the city of Belgrade was established in 1839 by a Municipal Organization Act. Together with the city administration it made a united institution until 1841, when the Municipality and the District Court were separated, and the administration remained as the supervisory body. Following the new Municipal Organization Act from 1866, municipalities consisted of: the court, as the executive body; the Council, which made decisions relating to municipal activities with the right to supervise the court and financial arrangements, and the Assembly, which was elected by members of the Council. This Act, with its subsequent amendments, was effective until 1903, when a new law was adopted, according to which direct supervisory government for the municipality was the Ministry of Internal Affairs, whose minister could abolish any decision of the municipal government or propose the suspension of certain deputies to the State Council. On the basis of this Act the actual operation of the municipality of the capital became equal to any other municipality in the country. Pursuant to the Municipalities Act of 1903, a secret ballot was introduced. During the occupation of Belgrade between 1915 and 1918, the Austrians took over the municipal government, discharged the then acting members of the council and established a new council. In the new state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, municipal government retained all the attributes of the municipal government of the Kingdom of Serbia. The boundaries of the districts were not definitely established up to the Districts Act of the Belgrade Municipality of 1929 and 1934, which put an end to the disputes between the capital municipality and the neighboring municipalities close to the border. During this period Belgrade acquired its special status. The organizational structure of the municipality was officially established by a Statute from 1922 and the amended Statute from 1929. By introducing the January Sixth Dictatorship, the municipal organs were appointed by the King’s decree, and the municipality did not have a party but rather civil servant characteristics. By the new act from 1934 the principle of election was introduced, which meant that 2/3 of the delegates were elected by the citizens while 1/3 were appointed by the government body. The president had unlimited authority and power. The budget of the municipality obtained its funds from various taxes (surtax and tax, together with excise tax) from its commercial companies and its property. During World War II the town administrator also carried out the duties of president of the municipality, under strict control of the Germans. The executive National Liberation Council was appointed immediately after the city was liberated on October 26, 1944, on the basis of a decision of the Main National Liberation Council of Serbia. In April 1945 the administration was reorganized by abolishing national liberation councils and appointing Executive National Councils. The Act on the Territorial Division of the City was enacted by merging 14 thus far existing regions, the lower local government bodies into 7. The city of Zemun, which during World War II, in the administrative territorial sense was a part of the Independent State of Croatia was finally united with Belgrade as the 8th region. The separation of the regulatory functions of the government from the operational activities was carried out in 1950. The expansion of the representative basis of the national council was a novelty in 1952, when the national council became bicameral. The town council was the common and political representative body of all adult citizens, and the Council of Manufacturers was the representative body of workers and employees. The establishment of the councils brought about a socialization of state functions and a reduction of the number of executive administration bodies. The first bylaws of the national town council were adopted in 1954. Pursuant to the constitution from 1963, the national town council acquired the name of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, which became the highest governmental body and social self-management organ.

Centralization of the technical departments of the Municipality of the City of Belgrade was carried out in 1911, by appointing French engineer Eduard Leger to head those services. By the Statute of the Municipality from 1929 all technical services were grouped into two offices: the Street Cars and Lighting Office and the Technical Office. From 1926 significant municipal works were carried out in the area of Belgrade’s development and organization.

The social and health insurance department of the Municipality of the City of Belgrade originated from the Municipality’s Medical Department, which was founded in 1894. It managed the social and health protection of children, provided for the elderly and the poor, was in charge of cultural elevation and education of the citizens.

The main halls of the Town Assembly were situated in the building of the old court, which was constructed in 1881–1884, following a design of architect Aleksandar Bugarski.



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