Sweden's support to Serbia aims to prepare the country for future membership in the EU, which requires further comprehensive reforms. Strengthening democratic governance and human rights and promoting an environmentally sustainable development are the basis of our development cooperation. In accordance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, aims and objectives of development cooperation are agreed upon in consultation with Serbia's own priorities and needs.
Relationships of trust and long-term support
In the 1960s, many people from former Yugoslavia came to Sweden to work. Long-standing trade and business contacts characterise the relationship between these two countries. During the wars of the 1990s Serbia received humanitarian aid from Sweden.
In the early 2000s, a long-term development cooperation was initiated in order to contribute to Serbia's EU integration process. With clearly defined goals and values, as well as openness and emphasis on Serbia's ownership, a trusting working relationship has been built. At present, Sweden is preparing for a continued cooperation within the framework of a seven-year strategy.
Citizens and Democratic Governance
Within the framework of democratic governance, we support democratic dialogue between the government and the citizens, and increased citizen participation in the government. Additionally, we provide capacity-building support for the use of EU pre-accession assistance (IPA), as well as support for anti-corruption efforts.
Major support is also provided for administrative reforms in a number of governmental departments, support for national statistics, as well as work with local authorities - mainly in southern Serbia. The aim is to foster development of a democratic, transparent and efficient administration.
The role of women and minorities in development
Sweden supports the rights of minorities and women’s right to equal opportunities, as well as civil society's role to monitor these and other fundamental human rights. This particularly applies for vulnerable groups such as Roma and LGBT people. Sweden is the leading donor and coordinator of international development cooperation within the areas of gender equality and integration of the Roma population.
Support in this area is done through cooperation with both governmental institutions and the civil society. For civil society, aid is channelled through a number of Swedish organisations such as Kvinna till Kvinna, which works to strengthen women's movement in the country and combat gender-based violence and discrimination, particularly against Roma women but also against LGBT.
Environmental protection and waste management
In the area of environment, Sida supports development of environmental infrastructure for waste management, water treatment and energy efficiency. One of the environmental projects aims to introduce waste management that is in accordance with EU standards in Serbia.
Aid is given to both the government, to public institutions and to civil society in order to support dialogue between these parties. Sweden is the leading donor within the environmental sector, and works closely with the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection.
Read more about the developments in Serbia.