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Cooperation Strategy
  • Cooperation Strategy Serbia 2010 - 2013
    Download (PDF, 4166 KB) [en]  


Website of the Cooperation Office (SDC) Serbia: www.swiss-cooperation.admin.ch/serbia/

The SDC ’s support for Serbia’s transition focuses on economic development and employment, while promoting the rule of law, democracy and the social integration of disadvantaged groups.

As a candidate for European Union membership, Serbia is clearly moving towards a Western orientation. Switzerland is supporting Serbia’s integration into Europe. Over the last years, Serbia has been severely lagging behind in economic development. Modernization of the justice system and the decentralization of State structures have been developing at a pace slower than had been expected. The biggest challenges include the fight against corruption, the promotion of human rights, and the social integration of disadvantaged groups - areas in which the SDC is providing support in the context of Serbia’s transition.
Swiss International Cooperation 2011
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
Cooperation with Eastern Europe and CIS 8.01 7.30 9.24
Humanitarian aid
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Economic Cooperation and Development 4.67 6.26 5.98
Total SDC/SECO 12.68 13.56 15.22
Other Federal Offices
FDFA Human Security Division and Directorate of International Law 0.11 0.23 0.54
Federal Office for Migration (FOM) 0.44 0.98 0.05
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) 0.10 0.20 0.18
Total other Federal Offices 0.65 1.41 0.77
Cantons and municipalities 0.03 4.12 ..
Total 13.36 19.09 15.99
SDC figures excluding program contributions to Swiss NGOs
.. = figures not available | – = nil or amount < 5'000 CHF

Employment and income
Investment creates jobs
The SDC is helping small and medium -sized enterprises (SMEs) in the south and southwest of Serbia to become more competitive, as is supporting market development by means of the inclusion of disadvantaged groups. A special effort is being made in collaboration with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to create jobs by improving framework conditions for the private sector, together with measures to improve productivity. The emerging timber and forestry sectors, both supported by the SDC, are even providing jobs for older workers.

Rule of law and democracy
Legislation revised to allow women access to subsidies
In this context , the SDC is assisting the Serbian government in the process of decentralisation. Consultation and training are being provided to help local authorities meet their obligations and effectively defend their interests in dealings with the central government. Democratic and rule of law principles enshrined in EU law serve as guidelines.

A new ordinance of importance to women, in that it allows a landowner’s dependents to apply for subsidies, came into force in 2011. Previously only landowners could apply for subsidies and, in the traditional law of succession, this right was reserved exclusively for males.

Education and social integration
Children of Roma communities and other disadvantaged groups should have equal access to primary education
Efforts are being made to bring the Serbian educational system into line with EU standards. Particular attention is given in this context to the retraining of teaching staff and to improving the access of minorities to the public education system. It has already been possible to integrate about 15,000 children from Roma and other disadvantaged population groups in 60 townships.

Repatriation assistance and reducing pressure to migrate
In addition to the three priority areas already mentioned, the SDC works closely with the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) to implement the 2012
–15 strategy for international migration partnerships. The aim is to improve the living conditions of Roma and other socially disadvantaged groups. Through projects focusing on education and the quality of life Switzerland tries to reduce the pressure to migrate. Assistance is also provided to facilitate the social re-integration of migrants returning to their country of origin.

History of Swiss cooperation
From humanitarian aid to support for transition
The SDC has been active in Serbia since 1991 in furtherance of the foreign policy aim of strengthening peace and stability in South-eastern Europe. SDC cooperation efforts initially, and until the end of the conflict in 2000, focused on humanitarian aid. Since 2001, the SDC and SECO have implemented four long-term programmes in support of Serbia’s transition.

Background information Serbia

Facts and figures

Surface area


Annual population growth rate (since 1990)

Life expectancy at birth women / men

Adult illiteracy rate: women / men

Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita

Percentage of population with less than 2 USD per day
77.3 / 72.0
3.3 / 0.8
Source: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2013

Background information provided by the BBC

Local SDC contact address:

Serbia (Belgrad)

Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia
Francuska 6 / II
11000 Belgrade - Serbia

Phone +381 11 728 70 21
+381 11 728 70 22
Email belgrade@eda.admin.ch
Website www.swiss-cooperation.admin.ch/serbia/

Additional Information and Documents

Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this country.