Tuesday, 29 December 2015

14th Sitting of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region

At the sitting held on 29 December, the members of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region were briefed on the coming activities of the Serbian diaspora in Switzerland and France.


Dragan Momcilovic, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the Ministry is hard at work on the foreign policy promotion of Serbia’s image. He reminded the Committee members that in the past six months it had completed several actions the most important among them being the UNESCO triumph, OSCE Ministerial Conference and the opening of negotiations with the EU. He also announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be continuing its efforts on the promotion of Serbia in the next year, especially those concerning cooperation with the Serbian diaspora in Switzerland and France.

Zvonimir Jovanovic, President of the Serb Cultural Alliance of Switzerland, said that in the last quarter of the year, they had days of Serbian culture in Switzerland, after 100 years, the bust of Dr Archibald Reiss was uncovered, and three associations were formed – Dr Archibald Reiss, Mileva Maric Einstein and assembly of entrepreneurs. In the coming year, the Mileva Maric Einstein association will work on having her remains transferred from Zurich to Serbia, and the assembly of entrepreneurs on activating a business fair, to be held in June in Zurich, stressed Jovanovic. Next year also marks the centenary of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Switzerland, and the alliance will be working on organising five academies and establishing cooperation with the Swiss Police Academy, added Jovanovic.

Milan Jovanovic, President of the Assembly of the Serb Diaspora of Southern France, spoke about next year’s activities such as the 766th anniversary of the first marriage between a French woman and a Serb man, realisation of the days of Francophonie, the eight-day visit of Serbs to Lyon where they will be promoting Serbian culture, and the presentation of the Serbian economy in France co-organised with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Dr Vladimir Rekovic, physicist working in CERN, spoke about fostering ties of the scientific community with economic community and the diaspora. He also stressed that Serbia, as a CERN associate member, can take part in tenders worth millions, which is an excellent opportunity for the Serbian economy. He added that the association Dr Archibald Reiss is working on establishing political and scientific cooperation with the University of Lausanne.

On the behalf of the association of Serbian entrepreneurs of Switzerland, Stojan Stevanovic said that the 200,000 strong Serb diaspora in Switzerland has its umbrella organisation – the Serb Alliance. The association of Serb entrepreneurs has been operational for 30 years now and it works on building a connection between the Serbian entrepreneurial diaspora and the motherland. He announced that there will be a Serb economic forum that is to gather entrepreneurs from the diaspora and the motherland around the idea of investing into Serbia and the Republic of Srpska.

The Committee was also addressed by Jasna Radojcic on the behalf of the women’s association Mileva Maric Einstein, and Ljiljana Niksic on the behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who spoke about networking with the diaspora and the need to preserve the national identity of Serbs in the diaspora. Vukman Krivokuca of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region spoke about the funds used on projects in the region and the diaspora.

The Committee members were then informed about the networking of the business and academic diaspora and the Report of the Serbian Association of Publishers and Booksellers of on the realisation of project expanding the book repository of the libraries of Serb associations in the diaspora and the region.

The Committee members also discussed the participation of a Committee delegation in the celebration of 27 January, St. Sava’s Day, in Macedonia, and decided that the Committee should be represented by Committee Chairman Goran Bogdanovic and Committee members Aleksandar Cotric and Branko Djurovic.

The sitting was attended by Committee members and deputy members Branko Djurovic, Sinisa Maksimovic, Nenad Nikolic, Aleksandar Peranovic, Aleksandar Markovic, Aleksandar Cotric, Miodrag Linta, Marjana Maras, Dusan Stupar, Marko Atlagic and Milan Stevanovic.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Goran Bogdanovic.


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