A study visit of civil servants from Serbia: experience of cross-border co-operation


Civil servants from Serbia were on a study visit in Poland in late January/early February as part of the Visegrad Group’s initiative Civil Servants Mobility Program. OSW in co-operation with the Polish Institute of International Affairs and in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared a weekly programme of the visit oriented towards exchanging experience in the area of cross-border co-operation.

The visit was paid by experts from the Serbian Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government: Dušanka Jovanović and  Vera Veljanovski as well as Marija Ašković Matić, the head of the Project Management Centre at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The guests from Serbia focused their attention on the functioning of the model Euroregions on the Polish-Czech frontier and other institutional forms of co-operation, legal issues and issues linked to supporting entrepreneurship. A number of instruments, mechanisms and good practices were presented the knowledge of which might prove useful in developing cross-border co-operation between Serbia and EU member states and between Western Balkan countries. Another topic of discussions were the perspectives of development of Polish-Serbian interregional co-operation.

In Warsaw, in addition to meetings at OSW and the Polish Institute of International Affairs, the guests from Serbia visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration and the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development. In Katowice, the visit’s programme included meetings devoted to Polish-Czech and Polish-Slovak cross-border co-operation at the Marshal’s Office of Silesian Province and at the Regional Chamber of Commerce. In Racibórz, they took part in discussions at the City Hall and the office of the Polish part of Euroregion Silesia (Association of Municipalities of the Upper Oder Basin). The programme of the visit in Cieszyn and Český Tĕšín covered meetings with representatives of the government of Cieszyn, the District Job Centre (the topic of the meetings was the Polish-Czech-Slovak partnership EURES-T Beskydy) and meetings with the leaders of the Polish and Czech section of Euroregion Cieszyn Silesia. The guests also visited the Joint Secretariat of Interreg V-A Czech Republic – Poland in Olomouc and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Ostrava.

Since 2014, OSW has co-organised study visits for foreign civil servants as part of the initiative Civil Servants Mobility Program. This is a co-operation instrument financed by the International Visegrad Fund. Previously, visits of civil servants and local government officials from countries covered by Eastern Partnership (mainly Ukraine) used to be organised, while at the present stage study visits for civil servants from Serbia are also organised for the first time. We would like to express our profound gratitude to all individuals and institutions who supported OSW in the process of implementation of this programme.