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Milan Marković, General Manager, Smurfit Kappa Belgrade

Returning Treated Water to the Danube

Here Milan Marković, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Belgrade, shares his insights about the company’s legacy and innovative strides in environmental protection Founded in 1921...

Bogdan Gavrilović, Managing Director, WTO Serbia

Transport and Logistics Without Borders

World Transport Overseas is one of the fastest-growing logistics companies in Eastern Europe, with branches in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia,...

Vesna Jovanović, Director, EurologSystem

Connecting Italy and Serbia by Rail

EurologSystem, which is set to commemorate two decades of successful operations in 2025, transports an average of 500,000 tons of goods annually, primarily agricultural...

Branko Milikić, Business Development Director at Halcom Serbia

Innovations in Digital Banking

Halcom is a leader in the domain of digital banking and banking solutions. This company has spent 30 years enabling the safe and efficient...

Dragana Ašić Ratkovac, Business Manager Consulting & Tax Advisor at Unija Consulting d.o.o. Beograd

Our View of the Tax World and What’s Important

The success of companies in today’s world depends, among other things, on the ability to adapt to constant amendments to tax laws. My experience...

Professor Nebojša Vladisavljević, Faculty Of Political Science

Not Quite There Yet

The democratic push is similar across the region, but political contexts differ. It remains to be seen whether democratic opposition parties, movements and civil society groups in Serbia can join forces and hold their nerve in the difficult and risky political finale that awaits us in the coming years.

Political change is often a regional phenomenon. In the early 1990s, a partial democratisation of communist authoritarianism in our region left behind hybrid regimes. In the early 2000s, most of these regimes became democracies, with the exceptions of Montenegro and Albania. In the following decade, the demise of democracy in North Macedonia and Serbia represented only the most visible outcomes of the global democratic recession; authoritarian practises abound across the region, such as major violations of media freedoms and minority rights.

The latest shift of the regional political pendulum has fostered democracy. Democratic forces toppled Gruevski in North Macedonia and decisively undermined Đukanović in Montenegro; new governments represent major but unsteady steps towards democracy. More recently, insurgent social movements won election victories in major Croatian cities, by fighting for ‘green’ causes, but also against corruption and widespread authoritarian practises. The question is whether the latest regional swing will influence Serbian politics, and if so how.

The obstacles confronting democratic forces in serbia seem to be greater than those in neighbouring countries. The question is whether the latest regional swing will influence Serbian politics, and if so how

To an extent, political change is already underway. After several years lost in the wilderness, democratic forces are on the rise again. A large wave of weekly protests against authoritarian rule unfolded across the country in 2018-2019. These events emboldened the democratic opposition to boycott unfair elections, which left the legitimacy of the national assembly in tatters. Various local movements and coalitions have fought, with some success, against shady business deals between government and its cronies, which damaged the environment and fostered corruption at a major cost to the public purse.

And yet, the obstacles confronting democratic forces in Serbia seem to be greater than those in neighbouring countries. The push for democracy is similar across the region, but political contexts remain different. Opposition parties in North Macedonia and Montenegro took several years to organise and confront their authoritarian rulers successfully; our opposition parties have only just started rebuilding their organisation beyond large cities. Green and other movements in Croatia exploited a considerably more open political context and conflicts between, and public discontent with, the two largest parties.

Serbia’s authoritarianism has become progressively more closed and repressive, characterised by a personalist and arbitrary rule that undermines all public institutions. It remains to be seen whether democratic opposition parties, movements and civil society groups can join forces and hold their nerve in the difficult and risky political finale that awaits us in the coming years.

By Emmanuel B. Nyirinkindi, IFC's Vice President of Cross-Cutting Solutions

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants into the Danube. The landfill,...

Comment by Zoran Panovic

Growth Plan

Late April saw the European Parliament give the green light to the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, with the Council of the European...

Dr Aleksandar Mitić, Institute for International Politics and Economy

Cooperation with China Raised to the Highest Level in Europe

Both Germany and France desire close cooperation with China, so any criticism of Serbia’s close relations with China is an example of double standards I...

Slobodan Zečević Ph.D, Institute for European Studies

Delicate Seesaw

France and Germany have contrasting views on cooperation with China, but the internal reasons for such views don’t automatically relate to their stance regarding...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

French Firms Suez and Vinci to Oversee Wastewater Treatment in Belgrade

The Serbian government has enlisted French companies Suez International SAS and Vinci Construction Grands Projets for the design, construction,...

Dušan Živković Named New CEO of Elektroprivreda Srbije

Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) has announced the appointment of Dušan Živković as its new Chief Executive Officer, following a decision...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...

German Voters Dominate, Malta Least Represented in Upcoming European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections draw near, set to take place from 6 to 9 June, Eurostat has...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...

German Voters Dominate, Malta Least Represented in Upcoming European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections draw near, set to take place from 6 to 9 June, Eurostat has...
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