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Ursula Läubli, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia, Counsellor, Embassy Of Switzerland

Four More Years Of Cooperation

Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2018-2021

The Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia is part of the overall international agenda of the Swiss commitment to the international community. Serbia is in the focus of Swiss Cooperation Office presence in the Western Balkans. The Swiss Cooperation Office supports Serbia and its society in democratic and economic reform processes on the path to European integration.

Switzerland is one of Serbia’s four major bilateral cooperation partners. That partnership is rooted in mutual trust, respect, understanding and a sizeable Serbian diaspora living in Switzerland.

Ms Laubli, which areas or public policies in Serbia will be supported during the implementation of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy?

– In the next four years, Swiss bilateral support will focus on three fields that were also supported in the previous Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2014-2017. These are governance, economic development and employment, and sustainable energy and resilient cities. Through our interventions, we work actively at the national and local levels with public institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector for the benefit of all citizens in Serbia.

Switzerland’s overall international cooperation is based on efforts to reduce poverty, encourage sustainable development and contribute to global peace

Our long-standing commitment in these fields is based on the notion that continuous support in the area of good governance and economic development is crucial for overcoming the challenges that Serbia is facing in broad reform processes. Some of these challenges include the inclusiveness of vulnerable groups, public administration accountability and transparency, efficient public financial management, competitiveness, a strong civil society, youth employment and gender equality.

KRISTINA LANG, Deputy State Secretary at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs (left), URSULA LÄUBLI and H.E. PHILIPPE GUEX
KRISTINA LANG, Deputy State Secretary at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs (left), URSULA LÄUBLI and H.E. PHILIPPE GUEX

At the same time, Switzerland is contributing to the sustainable development of Serbia in the fields of sustainable energy, use of renewable energy sources, as well as improved management and targeted infrastructure measures to increase the resilience of cities.

The Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2018-2021 will foster expertise and knowledge transfer, promotion of the enduring Swiss tradition of democratic values and financial support amounting to 95 million euros, a 10% increase in comparison to the previous strategic period.

Why is the Western Balkan Region a subject of Swiss Cooperation?

– In the introduction of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2018-2021, it is highlighted that “the stability and prosperity of the Western Balkan countries constitute a fundamental aim for Swiss foreign and security policy“. Our commitment to global peace guides our bilateral cooperation. Therefore, for Switzerland, its peace and stability are interconnected with the peace and stability of other countries. The Western Balkans and Serbia, as one of the key stakeholders in this region, are both parts of Europe.

We share the same continent, common history and values. If you put things in that broader context, we are neighboring countries even though we do not share borders. Having a good neighbor is a privilege and an additional value in our everyday life

We share the same continent, common history and values. If you put things in that broader context, we are neighbouring countries even though we do not share borders. Having a good neighbour is a privilege and an additional value in our everyday life. If we live in a safe and developed neighbourhood with neighbours who share our values and principles, the quality of our life is better and our future is more optimistic. The Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2018- 2021 is built on this foundation.

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