Press releases, 04.05.2023

FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu held political consultations with Serbian State Secretary Goran Aleksić in Bern on 4 May 2023. The talks focused on security in the Western Balkans and current relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Switzerland actively supports the EU’s normalisation process between Serbia and Kosovo. Serbia is Switzerland's most important economic partner in the Western Balkans. Other key elements of Swiss-Serbian bilateral relations include migration cooperation and activities undertaken by the SDC and SECO.

Switzerland and Serbia hold regular political consultations which serve to reaffirm the importance of the two countries' ties and provide the opportunity to address topical issues in depth.

This month’s talks focused on the current security situation in the Western Balkans and the consequences of Russia's attack on Ukraine. Both sides also expressed their views on the latest developments in the normalisation process between Serbia and Kosovo. Ms Leu stressed the hope that both countries implement the provisions as set out in the agreement of 27 February 2023. In addition, she recalled Switzerland's contribution to the normalisation process – accompanying meetings between Serbian and Kosovan representatives in an environment of trust and cooperation. The Serbian side reiterated its appreciation for Switzerland's commitment to KFOR.

The two secretaries went on to underscore the wide-ranging nature of Swiss-Serbian relations in international cooperation, trade and migration. Through the Swiss cooperation programme 2022-25 implemented by the SDC, SECO and the SEM, Switzerland has provided CHF 103 million to Serbia to support democratic governance and civil society, economic development and employment, as well as climate change and sustainable urban development.

Migration dialogues are held regularly between the two countries, with Switzerland lending its support to Serbia, which is highly affected by irregular migration.
Switzerland is a key investor in the Serbian economy, and the bilateral trade in services is also growing in importance. Switzerland works closely with Serbia as part of the voting group at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the European Bank for Development (EBRD).

Switzerland has a great interest in the stability and prosperity of the entire Western Balkans. To this end, its wide-ranging cooperation with countries such as Serbia aims to improve prospects in the region and advance closer integration with Europe. This makes Serbia a strategically important partner in the Western Balkans.

Further information:

Switzerland is committed to normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo
"It is not so long ago that the Balkan countries were at war"
FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu holds bilateral talks in Serbia and Kosovo (Press release 28.06.2022)
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Serbia
Swiss cooperation programme in Serbia 2022-25

Factsheet: Swiss Cooperation in the Western Balkans (en)(pdf, 536kb)
Swiss cooperation programme in Serbia 2022-25 (en)(pdf, 2550kb)

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

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FDFA Communication

Federal Palace West
3003 Bern

Phone (for journalists only):
+41 58 460 55 55

Phone (for all other requests):
+41 58 462 31 53

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