The FSRP project in Serbia was launched with a major kick-off event on the modernisation of land consolidation in Serbia. The conference, under the auspices of the Director of Agricultural Lands of the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, took place in April 2017 in Belgrade. The aim was to sensitise and motivate relevant persons and institutions in Serbia for the reform process. Approximately 80 invited guests from authorities in Belgrade and the regions, organisations and (agricultural) companies took part in the event. The inaugural event was attended by high-ranking guests on both the German and the Serbian side. It was opened by the Serbian State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Velimir Stanojevic, and by German Ambassador Axel Dittmann. German experts from relevant authorities and associations underlined the need for land consolidation, introduced examples and experiences from Germany and discussed these on the podium with their Serb counterparts.
The bottom line of the event was the need for land consolidation in Serbia. This must be well thought out and involve all necessary players. German experts should support the reform process. Whether these will be the same experts who also sat on the podium of the inaugural event will become apparent in the course of the reform process. Appropriate German experts matched to specific topics will be involved in discussions and round tables for the design of the reforms.
In the spring of 2017 there were presidential elections in Serbia. The resulting restructuring of parliament took until July 2017. Only then could the Serbian FSRP project be continued.