The President of the National Council of the Swiss Federal Assembly visits Swiss-supported projects in Central and South Serbia

Local news, 08.11.2020

The President of the National Council of the Swiss Federal Assembly and her delegation were in the Republic of Serbia from 7-10 November. In addition to official meetings with the President, Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, President Moret also used her stay in Serbia to pay a visit to the Swiss-supported projects in Paracin and Nis.

On 8th November President Moret and her associates visited the municipality of Paracin as part of their official visit to the Republic of Serbia. While in Paracin Ms. Moret said that Switzerland is supporting long-term projects in Serbia which symbolize the longstanding friendship between the two countries.

Ms. Moret viewed the reconstruction work on pedestrian and road bridges in Paracin which should be completed in 2022, underlining that the Swiss government is supporting Serbia in recovery and development, better management and environmental protection.  Switzerland was also present when heavy rainfall-driven floods hit 39 municipalities in Serbia in May 2014. Paracin was one of the municipalities that were badly affected by the floods and Switzerland allocated EUR 2.4 million of support for Disaster Risk Recovery (DRR) measures.

As a part of the Municipal Energy Efficiency and Management Project, Switzerland is also supporting Paracin to improve the energy efficiency and energy management of public buildings. The amount allocated for this purpose is EUR 1.1 million. President Moret visited the construction site of one of the project beneficiaries, the ''Branko Krsmanović" school in Sikirica, a suburb of Paracin.

On the second day of the visit, the President of the City Assembly of Nis, Mr. Boban Dzunic welcomed the Swiss Delegation headed by President Moret to the Assembly building. He thanked the Delegation for Swiss support in introducing the e-parliament, worth roughly EUR 127,000 in tablets, software and expertise and implemented in cooperation with the UNDP. The e-parliament is expected to bring more transparency to the work of the assembly with immediate publication of assembly decisions and respect for the rules of procedure, and significant savings through the paperless document management system. Ms. Moret stressed the importance of parliaments for the system of checks and balances in modern democracies.

After the visit to the e-parliament project, Ms. Moret used the opportunity to visit the Science and Technology Park (STP) in Nis that was developed in close collaboration with the STP Belgrade. The Swiss delegation was welcomed by managers of both STPs Belgrade and Nis. The establishment and development of both STPs is supported by the Swiss Government. The new "Technopark Serbia 2 – Boosting exports through technoparks" project aims to improve the competitiveness of the Serbian economy by increasing the exports of high-tech companies. The project supports the further improvement of the STP Belgrade services for establishment and development of export-oriented high-tech companies and building the capacities of STPs in Nis and Cacak. By supporting the first successful model of science technology parks in Serbia, Switzerland has positioned itself as a key donor for the export oriented high-tech sector with an overall contribution of EUR 5.4 million. Ms. Moret said she appreciated the fact that innovation is a strategic priority in Serbia and that it is a pleasure to contribute to this aspect through the projects within the framework of Swiss cooperation with Serbia.