The wood industry in Serbia has great potential for development. The country has a plentiful supply of high quality raw base materials and a pool of workers skilled in processing wood to form finished wood products, furniture and paper. In recent years, however, this sector of the country’s economy has been hampered by outdated equipment, scattered resources and a lack of expertise in the latest sector-specific skills, such as computer-aided design and manufacturing and coating.
Serbian prisons suffer from serious overcrowding. According to 2011 data from the country’s Administration for Execution of Penitentiary Sanctions (AEPS), its prisons house approximately 11,000 detainees, nearly 5,000 more inmates that they can officially collectively accommodate. The prison population has been growing steadily since the 1990s and this growth looks unlikely to abate in the near future. The overcrowding has meant that many educational programmes for prisoners have been cut and their prospects for finding work upon release significantly reduced. This leads to increased re-offending among detainees, and the continued over-population of prisons.
Got a great business idea? If so, you might be in need of support and networking opportunities to help get it off the ground. In Serbia, female entrepreneurs, who still form a minority in the business world, often turn to the Belgrade-based Association of Business Women in Serbia (ABW) for such assistance. Established in 1998, this women-run organisation promotes female entrepreneurship within the community and among policy-makers, and also helps its members find the technical support they might need to make their business a success.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever gone to school as our mother didn’t allow us to go to school. She was always afraid that someone would kidnap us and each time the school year started, she would take us somewhere else. The police and social workers would come to our door, but she would hide us away each time. She died three years ago, and we got our second chance at an education.”
Serbia’s position within the Balkans, at the crossroads of European and Asian trading routes, brings it many social and economic benefits. It has also brought problems, most of them stemming from the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. During these difficult years, a breakdown in the rule of law, political instability, high unemployment, corruption and porous borders all created the ideal environment in which organised crime groups could operate.
Prior to beginning of accession talks with the European Union, some 200 Serbian public and civil servants from central and local administrations have been trained in best European practices, so to share with their colleagues and be ready to adjust in the country’s integration process.
The European Union’s Nobel Peace prize money will fund four projects under the EU Children of Peace initiative and details of the projects were announced today by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission.
It is important to open the debate on the Nobel Peace Prize not only in the European Union but in Serbia too, as it is very important country for the EU, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, ambassador Vincent Degert said on December 10th, opening the debate “EU as (un)finished project: Nobel Peace Award – Prize or Consolation”.
On the occasion of the ceremony of 2012 Nobel Peace prize awarded to the European Union, the EU Info Centre with the support of the EU Delegation to Republic of Serbia and in cooperation with the European Movement in Serbia’s (EMINS) Novi Sad branch, organises a debate on whether the European Union is an (un) finished project and whether the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU is really a prize or more like a consolation.