News archive - News from Swiss Programme to support Social Sciences in WBC

After its inception phase, the Swiss RRPP has signed Memoranda of Understanding in its first partner counties: Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR of Macedonia.

The ceremonies of signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were held in Skopje on October 20 and in Sarajevo on October 22, 2008. This was to formally mark the commencement of the RRPP and the establishment of first partnerships between the University of Fribourg and organisations and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR of Macedonia.

Nicolas Hayoz, the Programme Director, signed the MoU with the partners in both countries and emphasised the importance of the Programme for the University of Fribourg and its partners. Jasmina Opardija, the Programme Manager, presented the overall RRPP implementation strategy 2008-2011 and stressed that the Programme remains open for additional partners.

More support needed for social research projects in FYR of Macedonia

In FYR of Macedonia, the University of Fribourg signed MoU with the following partners:

  •   Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia - FOSIM (RRPP Local Coordination Unit)
  •   Gender Studies Institute, Faculty of Philosophy, Ss. Cyril and Methodius, University, Skopje
  •   South-Eastern European University, Tetovo
  •   Studies of Political Sciences, Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus”, Ss. Cyril and Methodius, University, Skopje
  •   Euro-Balkan Institute, Skopje
  •   CSID “Forum”, Skopje

At the signing ceremony, Romain Darbellay (Head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in FYR of Macedonia), Vladimir Milcin (FOSIM Director) and Nicolas Hayoz underscored the need for supporting research activities in the field of social sciences, given its significance for strengthening democracy, public policy making and development of FYR of Macedonia and the Western Balkans in general. In this context, the research projects to be implemented under the umbrella topic “Knowledge, Power and Social Change” in FYR of Macedonia should positively contribute to the process of change.

Ana Mickovska (Centre for Research and Policy Making CRPM) presented both the main findings and associated recommendations based on the recent assessment of social research capacities in FYR of Macedonia; they generally suggest an evident need to support building up and strengthening the country’s research capacities.

On behalf of the nucleus partners, Slobodanka Markovska (Gender Studies Institute of the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje) expressed her satisfaction for being involved in the Programme that, besides the financing of the research projects, will also provide numerous opportunities for regional and international networking and capacity building.

Researchers in Bosnia and Herzegovina will investigate different aspects of the topic “State and Nation Building”

The MoU in Bosnia and Herzegovina were signed with representatives of the following institutions:

  •   Human Rights Centre (HRC), University of Sarajevo (RRPP Local Coordination Unit)
  •   Mediacentar, Sarajevo
  •   Faculty of Philosophy, University of Tuzla
  •   Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo
  •   Faculty of Philosophy, University of Banja Luka
  •   Centre for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies (CIPS) University of Sarajevo

Sasa Madacki (HRC Director) presented the main findings of the assessment on research capacities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following his introduction, Thomas Rüegg (Head of the SDC in Bosnia and Herzegovina), confirmed the commitment of the SDC in support of creative and innovative social research projects developed by domestic researchers in cooperation and with support from other partners involved in the RRPP.

Nerzuk Curak (Dean for Scientific Research at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo), expressed his satisfaction about the commencement of the RRPP, while also highlighting the importance of knowledge production and cooperation at the regional level. He further noted that the Programme was of a great importance for those interested in researching the social phenomena, as social research had been largely neglected in the past.

The implementation of research projects submitted by nucleus partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR of Macedonia during the first round should start by the end of 2008.


Source:, RRPP

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Entry created by Elke Dall on November 9, 2008
Modified on November 10, 2008