Sweden’s development cooperation with Serbia aims at enhancing the prospects of EU-membership through strengthening democratic governance and human rights, as well as promoting an environmentally sustainable development.
The Swedish development cooperation with Serbia started in the beginning of the 2000’s and the overall aim is to support Serbia on its way towards EU membership. The Swedish support focuses on democratic governance, human rights and equality, as well as environment and sustainable development.
The Swedish development cooperation is based on Serbia’s own priorities and requirement analysis. In 2015 the Swedish support amounted to 9 million euros. The new cooperation strategy covers the period from 2014 to 2020 and is divided in different result areas.
Strengthened democracy, increased respect for human rights and a more developed state under the rule of law.
Within this sector the ongoing work focuses on strengthening the capacity and effectiveness in public administration. Sweden supports administration reforms within several governmental ministries and the goal is to assist the development of a democratic, transparent and effective administration. Support is given for national statistics, capacity development for the use of EU’s pre-accession funds (IPA) and anti-corruption measures. Contributions are also directed to the police and the security sector. The cooperation takes place both on government level as well as with local authorities. Partners within this area are for example The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), Statistics Sweden and the Swedish National Police Board.
The Swedish support is used for improving the democratic dialogue between citizens and the state and the strengthening of civil society in Serbia. The promotion of human rights and non-discrimination is an important part of the Swedish strategy, and includes gender equality and the protection of rights for minorities such as Roma and LGBT persons. Civil society plays an important role in watching these rights, and both state institutions and civil society are therefore included in the work. The support to civil society organisations is channeled through Swedish organisations such as Kvinna till Kvinna, Civil Rights Defenders and Olof Palme International Center.
Improved environment, reduced climate impact and enhanced resilience to environmental impact and climate change
Environmental issues are an important part of the EU accession process and the Swedish support focuses on some of the most central issues in this process, such as infrastructure for waste management and water treatment. Sweden is one of the biggest donors in the environmental sector, and support is given both to ministries and state institutions. Also the environmental movement is given support to improve its dialogue with the state. Swedish Chemicals Agency and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency participate in the implementation of the Swedish support to the environmental sector.