Gouillon: Serbs in the diaspora and the region are a very important resource for the state

22. Jul 2021.
The director of the Directorate for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, Arnaud Gouillon, pointed out today that Serbs living outside their homeland are a very important resource for the state and that projects related to preserving the cultural identity of Serbs are important because they strengthen ties between the diaspora and the homeland.

Gouillon said that on the occasion of the competition for projects related to the preservation of the cultural identity of Serbs in the region, to which Serbs living in other countries in Europe and the world can apply, and which is being announced today. He points out that for the first time we have an online competition for financing associations from the diaspora.

Gouillon stated for RTS that from now on, applying for the competition will be simplified, more efficient and that, instead of sending a pile of papers and the documentation by mail, which often used to get misplaced or late, and then manually processing those items, now everything can be completed with just a few clicks.

"Until now, a Serb from our region, from our diaspora, from Australia or Canada, had to fill out all the forms, send them all to us by mail, so that we could reply to him by mail, so that he could sign the contract, and it used to take up to several months", said Gouillon.

"One of the first tasks I gave myself when I became the director of the administration for cooperation with the diaspora and Serbs in the region, was to fully digitalize that process, and after six months of intensive work with our associates, we succeeded", says Gouillon.

As he says, every year, 100 million dinars are allocated for financing projects that contribute to the preservation of Serbian cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious identity, as well as the economic connection of the motherland with the diaspora and the region.

In addition to preserving cultural identity, he points out, the economic connection between the diaspora and the homeland is important, and that is why business forums will be organized for our businessmen from the diaspora, where specific investment projects would be presented.

"We want our people in the diaspora who are successful, who are businessmen, to have the opportunity to invest their money in specific projects in Serbia. A lot of projects are being developed at the moment, the business climate is good, much better than it was, and I think we should now use that opportunity to offer our people concrete projects", Gouillon explained.

He stated that therefore, in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, business forums will be organized, initially in three countries – Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and that, if they prove to be successful, the forums will be extended to other countries too.