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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...

Zdravko Veljanov Ph.D. Candidate, Doctoral School Of Political Science, Public Policy And International Relations, Central European University

Serbia Needs A Challenger

A united opposition, with significant external support and an increased turnout, appears to be the recipe that needs to be tested in Serbia. The first step in that would be a suitable challenger able to unify these three elements.

It’s been five years since power shifted in North Macedonia. The concerted efforts of the opposition parties, with strong support of external actors like the EU and the U.S., helped to thwart the increasingly authoritarian regime of Gruevski. A few years later, several countries in the region have followed suit. In Montenegro, the longstanding rule of PM/President Đukanović came to an end following more organised efforts (compared to 2016) among the opposition parties. The latest local elections in neighbouring Hungary showed that a strong opposition that also enjoys the support of Western democratic actors can mount a serious challenge. But Serbia is a country that (so far) seems immune to opposition challenges.

However, the most recent elections, which were organised during the pandemic and without the participation of the opposition and with a clearly skewed playing field, have left a dent in the incumbent’s regime. It was a process without a winner, where all parties lost, including the ruling ones, despite recording a landslide victory.

A united opposition seems to be the necessary condition to stand a chance against a dominant incumbent, but it is not sufficient on its own. As the recipe in budapest shows, it is also necessary to strike a compromise on important policies among major opposition parties

A new parliamentary composition without tangible opposition representatives will lack legitimacy, both domestically and externally. In fact, the situation is very much reminiscent of the one that followed the landslide victory of the North Macedonian counterpart to SNS, VMRO-DPMNE, in 2014, where the opposition refused to accept its mandates. The lack of a credible opposition, coupled with united opposition and strong support from foreign actors, seemed to be the recipe for that country in 2016.

A united opposition seems to be the necessary condition to stand a chance against a dominant incumbent, but it is not sufficient on its own. It is also necessary to strike a compromise among the major opposition parties on important policies, as was achieved by the wide-ranging coalition in Budapest’s 2019 mayoral elections. Although the opposition in North Macedonia and Croatia was led by traditional social democratic parties, the cases of Budapest and Montenegro showed that newcomers can also attract significant domestic and external support. The opposition was able to gather sufficient external legitimacy to pose a threat to the incumbent regime. The last ingredient is an increased turnout. Elections in North Macedonia and Montenegro, as well as the local elections in Hungary, particularly in Budapest, saw increased turnouts.

The combination of these three, with a united opposition that has significant external support and an increased turnout, appears to be the recipe that needs to be tested in Serbia. And the first step in that would be a suitable challenger able to unify these three elements.

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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