Four authors of the best essays, winners of the essay contest on topic of the future Serbia’s defence and security arrangements, visited Slovakia on March 24 – 28, 2014. The winner’s trip has been organized within the project “Partnership for Serbia”, which is implemented by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC) in cooperation with the Slovak Embassy in Serbia (current NATO Contact Point Embassy) and with the financial support of the SlovakAid. The essay contest was launched at Serbian universities at the beginning of the year 2014 and the authors of the best essays were awarded with a study trip to Slovakia.

The topics of the study trip were – Slovakia 10 years in NATO and EU; Serbia’s military neutrality; views of young generations on international politico-military organizations and participation in peacekeeping operations and missions abroad.

During the trip Serbian students met with the ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Serbia H.E. Ján Varšo in Belgrade. Then they moved to Slovakia, where they had number of meetings: at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic with director of the security policy department Mr. Manuel Korček and director of the South-Eastern Europe department Mr. Roman Hlobeň; Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic – meeting with Mr. Dalibor Pavolka, director of the International Relations department and Mr. Ivo Samson, director of the Institute for Security and Defence Studies of the MoD. The participants met also with Mr. Jaroslav Baška, chairman of the committee for defence and security of the National Council of the Slovak Republic as well as with Mr. František Šebej, chairman of the foreign affairs committee. Apart from that, they had discussion with representatives of Slovak NGOs and visited the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, where they met with vice-dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations – Dr. Branislav Kováčik PhD. The Serbian delegation visited also the Slovak Military Academy of gen. M.R. Štefánik in Liptovský Mikuláš, where they could see the Slovak military education and preparation of young military officers first hand. The delegation was welcomed by two vice-rectors of the military Academy prof. Jozef Puttera and prof. Marcel Harakal PhD. The official programme finished with the meeting at the Serbian Embassy in Slovakia and meeting the Serbian Ambassador H.E. Šani Dermaku.

Winners of the “Partnership for Serbia” essay contest are: Ms. Tijana JakišićMs. Sandra Jelisavčić, Mr. Iztok Suša and Mr. Bogdan Basara. We congratulate them.