The republic of Serbia is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It borders Hungary on the north, Romania and Bulgaria on the east, Macedonia on the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro on the west. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is among Europe’s oldest cities and one of the largest in Southeast Europe. The population of Serbia is 7,186,862 (excluding Kosovo) and its area is a total of 88,361 km2.
From the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the Republic of Serbia
In 1989, Slobodan Milosevic rose to power in Serbia. He promised reduction of powers for the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, where his allies subsequently overtook the power, during the Anti-bureaucratic revolution. This ignited tensions with the communist leadership of the other republics, and awoke nationalism across the country, that eventually resulted in the Breakup of Yugoslavia, with Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia declaring independance. Serbia and Montenegra remained together as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In September 2000, opposition parties accused Milosevic of electoral fraud. A campaign of civil resistance followed, led by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, a broad coaltion of anti-Milosevic parties. This culminated on 5 October when half a million people from all over the country congregated in Belgrade, compelling Milosevic to concede defeat. The fall of Milosevic ended Yugoslavia’s international isolation. In 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia and Montenegro and the EU opened negotiations with the country for the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
On 21 May 2006, Montenegro held a referendum to determine whether to end its union with Serbia, which narrowly passed. On June 4 the federal president of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marovic, announced the dissolution of his office, and the following day Serbia acknowledged the end of the union. The EU and the United States recognized Montenegro on June 12.The province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008 but Serbia immediately condemned the declaration and continues to deny any statehood to Kosovo as the international community is divided. In April 2008 Serbia was invited to join the Intensified Dialogue programme with NATO despite the diplomatic rift with the alliance over Kosovo. Serbia officially applied for membership in the European Union on 22 December 2009,and received candidate status on 1 March 2012 while the EU accession negotiations commenced in January 2014.
New Prime Minister
The actual President of Serbia is the nationalist leader and former ally of Slobodan Milosevic, Tomislav Nikolic. He pulled off a surprise victory over Boris Tadic in the second round of presidential elections in May 2012.
In March 2014, parliamentary elections were held and the center-right conservative Serbian Progressive Party won a significant victory. The new Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, has promised to fight corruption, improve the nation’s struggling economy, and push for membership in the European Union.