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
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