Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Norfolk and Norwich Novi Sad Association

  Cooperation between the two cities started some 40 years ago with the encouragement of the British Council.

  A Declaration of Friendship was signed in October 1989.

  The Association was formed in 1985.

  The main commitment from the Norfolk Country Council was through student exchange. This was organised by the Education Department in close cooperation with the Association. Grants were obtained from the British Council to help subsidise these events. These exchanges have not taken place since 1990 because of the political situation and significant changes in educational administration in both countries.

  The Association is the prime mover in all initiatives relating to the twinning and is supported the Norwich City Council Twinning committee with occasional grants for specific projects, a small annual subsidy started in 2000 and significant encouragement.

  Since the crisis that started in 1991 the Association has been delivering Humanitarian Aid to the Red Cross of Vojvodina and the Red Cross of Novi Sad in support of their refugee programme. These visits have taken place an average of three times a year. The value of this effort exceeds 500,000DM and continues.

  During this time some cultural exchanges have been successfully accomplished.

  Contact between the two cities has been maintained throughout the difficult period of the last 10 years despite some considerable local opposition. The Twinning Committee unanimously backed the continuation of the contact and provided the Association with their support.

  In Novi Sad Norwich is seen as their primier twinning contact and at gatherings of the Mayors of twinned cities at the "Annual Celebration of the City of Novi Sad" the Lord Mayor of Norwich is given precedence over all others.

  There has never been any difficulty with the dialogue and cooperation between the two cities throughout all the changes of government. Novi Sad considers itself a "free" city in a Autonomous region. The Association has always experienced full and friendly relationships with all those in authority before Milosovic, during Milosovic, and after Milosovic.

  After some five years of effort the Association, The Norwich City Council, and the Novi Sad Council agreed a programme of Technical Cooperation and Assistance to be delivered by NCC. Financial Support for this was being sought from the "Know-how Fund" and was being successfully perused when funding for this became available from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office via the Local Government International Bureau. The Norwich programme was therefore ready and running when other initiatives for technical cooperation between towns was being investigated.

  Given the difficult period of the past 10 years all the initiatives organised have met with success.

  Those difficulties that have been experienced have been in this country when funding promised to support the continuation of Technical Assistance programs has been withdrawn or cut.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 27 March 2001