Sitemap

Support in Delicate Times

Switzerland is one of the top three bilateral donors to Serbia, and the only donor that has been continuously present in Serbia without interruption since 1991. During the times of COVID-19, Swiss support quickly found its way to those most in need

In times when health and wellness count more than ever, Switzerland provided 600,000 euros to Serbia to help those most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. This amount was channelled through local partners, which resonates will with the method of providing Swiss bilateral support to Serbia. It pays equal attention to Serbia’s national goals related to Agenda 2030 and the EU integration process, as well as to the needs of municipalities and their vulnerable groups – the elderly, as well as men and women who lost their sources of income.

The Swiss Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2018–2021, the document that lays the ground for Swiss support, demonstrates this approach clearly. For example, Swiss support was instrumental in improving the capacities and resilience of key national public finance institutions, which is an important feature in times when national fiscal policies are tremendously challenged by the impacts of pandemics. At the same time, Switzerland provides continuous support to various measures related to the improvement of the business climate in Serbia at the national and sub-national levels, thus promoting local economic development. Swiss support also contributes to making Serbian entrepreneurs more innovative and competitive, thus increasing their ability to become members of global trade and value chains, and creating more and better jobs.

Even though Serbia progressed in the EU integration process, there is a room for strong improvement in terms of the rule of law, freedom of press and the overall process of democratisation

Swiss support is focused increasingly on the employability of young people and dual education programmes, as well as on young entrepreneurs who benefit from the development of inclusive and improved market-orientated skills, which results in employment. Furthermore, Serbia benefits strongly from the Swiss backing of the opening of Science & Technology Park Belgrade, as well as similar new facilities in Niš and Čačak. Such opportunities create space for young IT experts to develop their innovative projects into start-ups and contribute to the prevention of the brain drain.

The full list of supported areas is, of course, much longer and contains interventions related to the enhanced capacities of local municipalities, CSOs and citizens for inclusive decision-making, as well as energy efficiency and the development of smart cities.

Over the past four years, the Swiss government has increased its support to Serbia to up to 24 million euros annually, making Switzerland one of the top three bilateral donors, and the only donor to maintain a continuous presence without interruption since 1991.

Yet not all of these initiatives proved to be equally successful. Building efficient and effective democratic institutions represents one of the key area of Swiss support to Serbia, but as the current state of affairs shows, much greater efforts are needed in that respect. As Swiss Ambassador Philippe Guex put it “no one has failed to see that the freedom of media is imperfectly fulfilled, as the ruling party could rely on disproportionate coverage among most major media outlets, including the TV channels with a national frequency.” Indeed, Serbia would benefit strongly from improved rule of law and increased freedom of press, both of which are key prerequisites for a society thar aims to secure unfettered democratic and economic development.

In that respect, Serbia clearly has to learn from Switzerland.

Related Articles

Ana Grujović, Execuive Director of SSCC

SSCC Has Adapted To The Challenges

So far, our webinars have been implemented in cooperation with member companies, but as of September 2020, we will provide new insights about the...

Logo d.o.o. (Ltd.)

Three Decades of Success

Logo has been among the region's leading companies in information and communication technologies for three decades. It offers customers the best combination of great...

Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce Activities

May/June 2020 SSCC/SMART POINT DIGITAL TUESDAYS The purpose of these webinars was to help member members to learn how to use digital marketing as a tool...

Economy

One of the World’s Wealthiest Countries

For centuries Switzerland has adhered to a policy of armed neutrality in global affairs, which has given it the access and political stability to...

Swiss Architecture

Europe’s Modern Architecture Mecca

The Alpine nation has quietly collected dozens of innovative, eye-popping buildings by internationally renowned architects Art Basel, the Alps, CERN, the Red Cross Museum, the...

Jean Tinguely, 1925 – 1991

The Master of Kinetic Art and Nouveau Réalisme

One of the most important artist in the development of Kinetic art as well as Nouveau réalisme, Jean Tinguely was a Swiss sculptor widely...

The Best Luxury Wellness Retreats In Switzerland

When you picture a holiday in Switzerland, chalets in the alps and cosy fireplaces tend to spring to mind. But the country’s wellness offerings go above...

More...

By Brajendra Navnit, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to WTO

Science Has Delivered, Will The WTO Deliver?

TRIPS waiver proposal from India, South Africa and other members A proposal by India, South Africa and eight other countries calls on the World Trade...

Comment

Giving Has Become Even More Precious

Both CSR practitioners and researchers expect companies to profoundly reconsider their CSR strategies in the post-pandemic era and to interlink their personal goals with...

Comment

Evolving Responsibility

How did we imagine 2020 would turn out at this time of 2019? First of all, as a far better year compared to the...

The Glass Is Half-full

The largest ever drop in output in the Western Balkans is obviously bad news. Yet the readiness of foreign investors to continue investing and...

News

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Why Are So Many Serbian Doctors Dying Of COVID-19?

Serbia’s total death toll from coronavirus is relatively low, around 3,600, but its rate of fatalities in the medical...

Serbia’s EMS Acquires 5% Of Shares Of Montenegrin Power Transmission System

Transmission system operator (TSO) Elektromreža Srbije acquired 5% of the shares of Montenegrin TSO Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem (CGES) for...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...