Serbia

Switzerland is assisting Serbia along the path to regional and European integration by facilitating Serbia’s transition to efficient and effective democratic institutions and processes and by promoting sustainable economic growth for all.  Swiss cooperation with Serbia focuses on supporting local government, economic development, job creation, as well as sustainable energy management and urban development.

© FDFA

The collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s severely affected Serbia’s economy and infrastructure. The country has made considerable progress since then, however. In 2014, negotiations on membership with the EU began, many promising reforms for public administration and the economy were decided, and unemployment began to fall. Nevertheless, major challenges remain to ensure prosperity for all. Many people are living in poverty, and unemployment is high, especially in rural areas. The economy is growing only slowly and the EU accession negotiations are also only advancing at a slow pace.

Democratic governance

Switzerland is supporting Serbia in the process of decentralisation. It is helping to make local administrations and governments transparent and efficient to enable them to provide high-quality services in line with the needs of the population as a whole and those of the private sector. Citizens, municipalities and civil society organisations are being helped to ensure that the interests and needs of all are taken into account at both local and national levels and that government is made accountable.

State and Economic Reforms

Economic development and employment

Switzerland is working in Serbia to promote sustainable economic growth. To achieve this, the framework conditions for Serbian companies are being improved to give them easier access to foreign markets and financing opportunities.  In addition, Switzerland is promoting increased innovation and entrepreneurship to increase their competitiveness.  It is facilitating the development of an efficient and effective finance administration that is both transparent and accountable.   In order to reduce the high level of unemployment, market-oriented vocational training is being expanded, especially for young people and disadvantaged groups

Private Sector Development and financial services

Sustainable energy management and urban development

Improved energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources not only contribute to lower CO2 emissions but also help meet the conditions for EU membership. Switzerland is supporting Serbia with innovative projects to further promote renewable energies, such as biomass and geothermal sources, thus reducing CO2 emissions. More efficient energy use is being achieved through rehabilitating district heating systems and renovating public buildings. Long-term energy planning and improvements to the administration of urban infrastructure is also expected to enable cities and municipalities to be better prepared for possible threats.

Energy supply

Migration

The aim of the migration partnership concluded between Switzerland and Serbia in 2009 is to address together the challenges of migration and exploit the economic and social potential to their mutual advantage. Various measures to achieve this are being supported, such as the reintegration of returnees and the prevention of irregular migration

Migration

Approaches and partners

Switzerland is coordinating its transition cooperation closely with local authorities, other donor countries and international organisations such as the EU, UN and the international financial institutions. All programmes of the SDC and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) integrate the principles of good governance and gender equality.

Important partners for Switzerland in Serbia:

  • Ministries, city and municipal authorities, national-level local authority associations
  • Swiss and local NGOs.
  • Bilateral and multilateral partners: the EU, Germany, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), UNDP, UNICEF, the UN Office for  Project Services (UNOPS), KfW Group (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau).

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 91

Capacity building for Serbian municipalities

Around 50 parliamentarians in session at the Serbian parliament.

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland is supporting the Serbian government’s public administration reform, which aims to make it more effective and accessible to both citizens and the private sector. SwissPRO project is being run in 99 municipalities (two-thirds of Serbia) to improve good governance, social inclusion and gender equality.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Human rights
Gender
Decentralisation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Women’s equality organisations and institutions

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021


CHF 7'000'000



Private and public actors working together: pilot education project in Serbia

In a large room, five women sit one behind the other at sewing machines and sew.

01.10.2014 - 30.09.2018

 

The economic crisis weakened Serbia's competitiveness. Youth unemployment is relatively high and a large number of  young Serbians are looking for work but employers cannot find qualified workers. An SDC project is taking an integrative approach to address both problems.

 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Employment & economic development
SME development
Employment creation

01.10.2014 - 30.09.2018


CHF 5'530'000



The social integration of Roma children requires education

A group of Roma children in a classroom taking part in arts and crafts.

15.06.2013 - 31.12.2018

As in other Eastern European countries, not all children in Serbia have the same possibility of attending school. Since 2004 the SDC has been actively involved in promoting the integration of Roma children and children with disabilities in kindergartens and primary schools. The sooner efforts are made to combat the marginalisation of the most vulnerable groups, the greater the chance of their integration in society in the long term.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Education
Education policy

15.06.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 8'460'000



Private Sector Development in Serbia - Creating employment in tourism and the traditional products sector

Harvesting raspberries in Serbia.

01.06.2013 - 31.05.2017

In Serbia, the unemployment rate remains high. The SDC is supporting a project that aims to increase income and job opportunities for people living in the south and south-west of the country, focusing in particular on young people and women. Improving the performance of the tourist sector and traditional products sector is key to achieving this goal.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Employment & economic development
SME development

01.06.2013 - 31.05.2017


CHF 3'200'000



Roma Take an Active Role in Improving their Living Conditions

A Roma family building the walls of their house.

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017

Roma in Serbia live in difficult social and economic conditions. Some 60% of them are categorised as "very poor". In many Roma settlements the people live in cramped conditions with poor infrastructure and inadequate levels of hygiene. The project's objectives are to improve living conditions for Roma in the areas of housing, employment and income, and to guarantee and strengthen their rights.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Education
Health
Decentralisation
Education policy
Health systems strengthening

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 4'538'000



Education Fund for Roma

01.10.2012 - 31.12.2014

Roma minorities, numbering approximately 10 million people, still suffer from widespread poverty and marginalisation in Eastern European countries. A low educational level is both the cause and consequence of poverty, as well as an obstacle to social integration.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Western Balkans
Education
Other
Education policy

01.10.2012 - 31.12.2014


CHF 2'273'000



Strengthening the oversight function and transparency of the Serbian National Assembly

View of the outside of the National Assembly of Serbia

15.08.2012 - 15.11.2015

The SDC, together with the United Nations Development Programme, is helping the Serbian National Assembly to exercise greater scrutiny over public expenditure and to improve the institution's outreach to citizens. Additional consultation mechanisms are urgently needed to better represent citizen's interests in the National Assembly.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Legal and judicial development
Public finance management
Decentralisation

15.08.2012 - 15.11.2015


CHF 1'000'000



Strengthening local and regional economies with the help of improved framework conditions

Financial support is being provided to promote the local and regional economies.

15.06.2012 - 31.03.2017

Switzerland is helping Serbia with the development of municipalities in structurally weak eastern Serbia. Municipalities are to be strengthened and the economic framework conditions improved with respect for the principles of good governance. Thanks to Switzerland‘s contribution municipalities now dispose of additional financial resources for the introduction and improvement of public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Decentralisation
Public finance management

15.06.2012 - 31.03.2017


CHF 3'565'000



A platform for the diaspora

The albinfo.ch homepage

01.05.2010 - 31.05.2013

Albinfo.ch connects members of the Albanian-speaking diaspora in Switzerland and with their countries of origin. Networking and exchange allow them to take part in social, economic and cultural developments in their countries of origin. Switzerland helps to fund this platform.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Western Balkans
Migration
Governance
Diaspora for development
Information and communication technology (ICT)

01.05.2010 - 31.05.2013


CHF 470'000



Strengthening regional cooperation on migration in the Western Balkans

01.11.2023 - 31.12.2027

In light of diversifying migration patterns and challenges with increasing regional dimensions, the migration policy priorities of Western Balkan governments are changing and the relevance of regional dialogue, coordination and cooperation is growing. This proposal seeks to promote coherent and effective regional governance of migration in all its multifaceted dimensions contributing to greater social cohesion and regional integration in the Western Balkans.


Planned project

For an Active Civil Society -Together (ACT)

01.10.2023 - 30.09.2027

The programme supports higher participation of civil society and all citizens (men and women) in decision-making, particularly at the local level. Civil society organizations (CSOs) are strengthened to rebuild the links with citizens and increase their capacities in order to better reflect citizens’ needs. Civil society organizations will better cooperate with each other and establish partnerships with local authorities to address communities’ needs and improve public services to citizens.


Coordination and society-wide dialogue on implementing the 2030 Agenda in Serbia - SDGs for all

01.03.2019 - 31.07.2022

The project is a contribution to support an innovative society-wide dialogue on the priorities of Agenda 2030, which leads to citizen-oriented and inclusive policies that contribute to sustainable development. Civil society is supported to influence development priorities through multi-stakeholder platforms, the Government is strengthened to better coordinate and finance Agenda 2030 implementation and the quality and availability of data for Agenda 2030 implementation is improved.

Object 1 – 12 of 91