German festival in Kragujevac marked a significant jubilee

September 16 2023 | Kragujevac

German festival in Kragujevac marked a significant jubilee

This Saturday in Kragujevac, the celebration of the jubilee of more than 20 years of German–Serbian development cooperation took place in an extraordinary atmosphere. This unique event was organised by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Development Bank (KfW), with the support of the City of Kragujevac. 

The organisers of the event made a special effort to prepare a diverse, innovative, educational and cultural entertainment programme for all generations. Those present were welcomed by Her Excellency, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Serbia Mrs. Anke Konrad, as well as Minister of European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Serbia Tanja Miščević and Mayor of the City of Kragujevac Nikola Dašić. 

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia Mrs. Anke Konrad pointed out that within the framework of development cooperation, the German side had allocated more than EUR 2.5 billion for Serbia, which made Germany Serbia’s most important bilateral partner. 

“Our three focal points are “economy and employment”, “climate and energy”, as well as “good governance” – according to us, all three areas pave the way towards a successful Serbia that can respond to the challenges of the 21st century, become part of the EU community and gradually improve the living conditions of its citizens,” emphasised Ambassador Konrad.  

Minister of European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Serbia Tanja Miščević pointed out in her address that the Republic of Serbia was extremely grateful to Germany for its help thus far and that it was ready to contribute to European standards and values in the future through that cooperation.

“Twenty years of successful development cooperation have really contributed a lot to Serbia, but also to Germany: an important partnership and extensive cooperation in all segments of economy and society. Due to the sum of around EUR 2.3 billion in aid so far, more than two million Serbian citizens have a better supply of water and electricity and better heating in winter; thousands of jobs were opened, especially in rural areas, and those that enabled the employment of Roma people; secondary vocational schools were reformed in such a way that 60 per cent of students got a job in the profession six months after obtaining their diploma. The result is the faster development of economy in Serbia and our progress in the European integration process, and thus we contribute to the goal of the European Union reaching the ideal of a united, safe and developed Europe,” emphasised Minister Miščević.

Mayor of Kragujevac Nikola Dašić said that the City of Kragujevac, in cooperation with GIZ, had thus far implemented various projects. One of the projects is a dual education programme at the Secondary Technical School that helps train students for the needs of the local economy. In addition, a project focused on energy efficiency in public buildings, including schools, was implemented. Kragujevac is also working on the implementation of the National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma and has developed a series of integrated measures to support the social and economic inclusion of this minority group. 

“Kragujevac can serve as a model for other local governments in Serbia, and I believe that this is precisely why we were chosen to host the event celebrating 20-plus years of German–Serbian development cooperation,” concluded Mayor Dašić.

On the central stage, dance and music groups took turns, and visitors visited the stands with interest, where they could learn about the key achievements and projects of the German–Serbian development cooperation implemented in Kragujevac and in Serbia, but also participate in many interesting activities on the topic of ecology and sustainability. The guests especially enjoyed the German culinary specialities, as well as the numerous gifts that were distributed on the occasion. 

The entire event was marked by sustainability and environmental protection, and during the manifestation an insect hotel was built in the Children’s Corner, which was then ceremoniously installed in Veliki park as a gift to the City of Kragujevac from the German partners, but also as a symbolic beginning of the upcoming Climate Week manifestation organised by Germany in Serbia. Good music, delicious food and drinks, workshops for children, a prize raffle in which 10 bicycles were given to the lucky winners and numerous other types of content contributed to making this event in honour of the friendly relations between the two countries, Germany and Serbia, an unforgettable memory for all visitors.  

Source: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany