Two day Migration Dialogue held between Switzerland and Serbia

Local news, 27.11.2019

The 9th Migration Dialogue was held between the Republic of Serbia and the Swiss Confederation from 27th to 28th November, in Belgrade. The aim of the Dialogue is to exchange good practice in migration management between the two countries, and both positive and critical aspects of migration were discussed.

Migration Dialogue between Switzerland and Serbia
Migration Dialogue between Switzerland and Serbia ©KIRS

The Serbian delegation was headed by Vladimir Cucic, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration and Switzerland was led by Ambassador Vincenzo Mascioli, Director for International Cooperation of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration.

On behalf of the Republic of Serbia, the meeting was attended by Zoran Lazarov, Assistant Minister of the Interior, Miljan Stanojevic, Head of the Border Police Directorate, and Bojana Stanic and Svetozar Aleksov, state secretaries in the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs. On behalf of Switzerland, the Dialogue was attended by Philippe Guex, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of Serbia, Priska Depnering, a.i. Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office and Boris Mesaric, Head of the Specialised Unit for Combatting Trafficking in Human beings and Smuggling of Migrants.

Commissioner Vladimir Cucic highlighted that Switzerland has been supporting the institutions of the Republic of Serbia in continuity for almost three decades, initially as part of the humanitarian response and for ten years now, specifically within the Migration Partnership Program. The Commissioner thanked the Government of Switzerland for all the support provided and expressed his confidence that Serbia and Switzerland will continue to cooperate on projects of mutual interest.

Ambassador Mascioli emphasized that the current situation in the migration field calls for an international response, which Switzerland has already introduced with its partner countries such as Serbia. Migration partnerships are valuable cooperation instruments and could be used as role models. Mr. Mascioli announced the new Swiss Migration Strategic Framework 2020-2023 for the Western Balkans and expressed his conviction that Serbia and Switzerland will continue to cooperate in a good spirit.

During this year’s two-day Migration Dialogue, the two delegations exchanged experiences on the current situation in the field of migration in their respective countries and neighbouring regions, but also spoke about future project topics. Experiences were shared in the areas of migration management, asylum policy, receipt, integration, the fight against human trafficking, the role of social welfare in migrant protection, and readmission. The issues of security and regional cooperation were also discussed, as important elements in successful migration management.

Since the establishment of the Migration Partnership, the Swiss Confederation has supported Serbia with more than 10 million EUR through close to 30 projects aimed at building the capacities of the country for efficient migration management in partnership with the UN family and civil society.

A Memorandum of Understanding on establishing a Migration Partnership between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of the Republic of Serbia was signed on 30 June 2009, and introduced regular dialogue between the two countries in the field of migration.

Media coverage:

Tanjug Article

The Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia