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Kosovo and Serbia

Stopping the flow of asylum seekers from the Balkans – improving people’s economic and educational prospects at home


Visit of Federal Minister Müller to Kosovo and Serbia: Arrival at Pristina Airport
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Visit of Federal Minister Müller to Kosovo and Serbia: Arrival at Pristina Airport

A coal power station in Pristina. One of the priority areas of German-Kosovar cooperation is the modernisation of the energy supply infrastructure.

Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller in a meeting with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa

New houses on the outskirts of Pristina. Germany supports a programme for migrants returning to Kosovo.

Federal Minister Müller at a press conference with the Kosovar Minister of Finance, Avdullah Hoti

Sign in the vocational school Shtjefen Gjecovi in Pristina. Improving vocational training and creating employment are important issues in German-Kosovar cooperation.

In the vocational school Shtjefen Gjecovi future car mechanics are being trained with German support.

The BMZ supports small and medium-sized enterprises and practical vocational training to improve the chances of young people facing high rates of youth unemployment.

Minister Müller at a reception at the German embassy

A visit to KFOR in Pristina: Minister Müller in discussions with Lt Gen Hans-Werner Fritz, commander of the operations command of the German army.

Together with the Kosovar Minister of Labour, Arban Abrashi, Minister Müller opens a centre for migration and information in Pristina.

A member of staff of the German Information Centre on Migration, Vocational Training and Careers is giving advice to a young Kosovar in the newly opened centre in Pristina.

Federal Minister Gerd Müller is greeted by the German Ambassador to Serbia at his arrival in Belgrade.

Federal Minister Müller is welcomed by students of the vocational school in Pecinci, Serbia in the local branch of the Bosch Company.

Minister Müller visits a Roma camp in Belgrad and is shocked by the situation. "A slum settlement in the middle of Europe - circumstances worse than in an African refugee camp, that is not acceptable."

During a visit to a childrens' and youth centre Federal Minister Müller is briefed on the situation of the Roma in Serbia.

Together with the Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić Federal Minister Müller opens a conference on 15 years of German-Serbian development cooperation.

Minister for Development Gerd Müller speaking at a conference on 15 years of German-Serbian development cooperation and the initiative for sustainable growth and employment

At the end of his visit to Belgrade, Minister Müller meets Ružica Djindjić and alumni of the Zoran Djindjić Internship Programme of German Business in the West Balkans.

28.05.2015 |

Belgrade/Pristina: With the flow of asylum seekers from the Balkans showing no signs of abating, Federal Minister Gerd Müller has made it clear that efforts are needed to improve people’s economic and educational prospects at home.

On the second day of a visit to Kosovo and Serbia with a private-sector delegation, the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development said: "Each month thousands of people turn their backs on their home countries in pursuit of false promises. Yet more than 99 per cent of applications for asylum are rejected. The task for our economic and development cooperation with the Balkan states is to find ways of improving the situation in these countries so that the outlook is better, in particular for the many young people who are without work. That is why we are stepping up our efforts with regard to practical vocational training and support for small and medium-sized enterprises."

Minister Müller had talks in both Pristina and Belgrade with government heads and cabinet members, confirming that economic and development cooperation activities being supported by Germany with a funding volume of more than 100 million euros are to be continued.

"Official development funding is a good way of injecting new impetus,” Müller said. "Even more effective, however, are investments by the private sector in the Balkan countries." Müller called on the representatives from the German private sector accompanying him on his visit to step up their involvement in the region and to make use of the opportunities on offer in Kosovo and Serbia, which are just two hours away from Germany by air, for developing new production sites.

Together with the Kosovo Minister of Labour Arban Abrashi, Federal Minister for Development Müller opened a centre for migration and information in Pristina.

In the morning, Minister Müller officially opened a migration and information centre financed by Germany in the city centre of Pristina. Here local citizens can find out what kind of economic assistance is available, and get information about starting a business and about legal ways of going to Germany to seek work. Prior to that Minister Müller visited the KFOR headquarters. The Commander of the Kosovo Forces, Major General Figliuolo, and the Commander of the Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command, Lieutenant-General Hans-Werner Fritz, provided an update on the KFOR mission and the work being carried out by around 700 German soldiers deployed in the region. 

After visiting a site where about 450 employees are working for the German company Bosch, the Minister had a look around a vocational school that Germany is co-financing, where industrial mechanics are being trained. School lessons for Roma children, regularly numbering about 100, were the topic of discussion during a visit to a Roma settlement in the afternoon. Minister Müller will end his visit by opening a symposium together with Prime Minister Vučić marking 15 years of Serbian-German development cooperation, where they will present their joint initiative for sustainable growth and employment. Here the German delegation will also have talks with alumni of the Zoran Djindjic Internship Program of German Business, a scholarship programme for the Western Balkans.


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