An item that caught the IPKat's imagination, from the pages of the Petosevic IP newsletter, was this report, entitled "Switzerland Helps Serbia Improve System of Protection of Geographical Indications". According to the Kat's informant:
"On February 22, 2010, the Serbian and Swiss officials signed a Memorandum of understanding with an aim to improve the Serbian system of protection of geographical indications through the Project of technical assistance to Serbia, which the Swiss government financed with USD 740,000 (EUR 538,000).The IPKat thinks this is lovely. Serbia and Switzerland have so much in common: they both begin with 'S', have mountains, enjoy chocolates and -- this is probably the least-known fact about the two nations -- each won the European Song Contest on the first occasion in which it competed. There are some differences, it should be conceded (the Kat would sooner have a Swiss timepiece and watch the Serbs play football than the other way round), but this is obviously an alliance upon which the new Europe will be solidly founded.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration and Minister of Science and Technological Development Bozidar Djelic underlined that this project will help Serbia’s European integration and promote it as a country that produces not only raw materials but also finished products.
State Secretary of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michael Ambuhl explained that the cooperation will not only help place Serbian traditional specialties on the European market, but also contribute to Serbia’s quicker accession into the World Trade Organization.
The implementation of the project will last for three years".
Merpel however has lots of questions about this project and wonders if his readers can answer them for him: (i) Why was Serbia signing up for this three year project to improve its system for GI protection less than six weeks before its new GI protection legislation came into force? (ii) Why is this project due to cost so much? What will the cash be spent on? (iii) How does this cooperation with Switzerland accelerate accession to the World Trade Organization? (iv) Why is the project going to last for three years? That's a long time, given that Serbia is not unfamiliar with principles of IP protection or of entrepreneurialism. (v) What is Switzerland getting out of the cooperation, or is this a little bit of welcome altruism? (vi) Why Switzerland, whose contribution to European integration includes avoiding membership of the European Union and backing away from the European Economic Area?
"Das alte Karussell" here and (on YouTube) here
"Molitva" here and (on YouTube) here