Serbia. According to
Countryaah, Serbia, which was granted candidate status in the EU in 2012, was hard pressed to find a compromise on the
breakaway republic of Kosovo to have a chance to start
membership negotiations. The Serbian leadership refused to
explicitly approve Kosovo's independence. After ten rounds
of negotiations under EU mediation, Prime Minister Ivica
Dači ┤c and his colleague Hashim Thaši reached an agreement
in April that gave the Serb-dominated northern Kosovo
With the Kosovo settlement in June, the EU was able to
clear Serbia for membership negotiations, no later than the
end of the year.
Former Yugoslav Army commander Momčilo Perišić was
released in February by the Appellate Chamber of the United
Nations Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague. In 2011,
Perišić was sentenced to 27 years in prison for, among other
things. crimes against humanity, but now the court found
that Perišić could not be held responsible for crimes
committed by Serbian forces in Bosnia and Croatia during the
In May, ICTY found that two former intelligence chiefs,
Franko Simatović and Jovica Stanišić, could not be held
responsible for war crimes committed by Serbian militia
groups. The liberating sentence meant that no one who
belonged to the Serbian regime during the war was convicted
of war crimes. Leader Slobodan Milošević died in the
Tribunal's detention in 2006, before the trial against him
Finance Minister Lazar Krstić warned in October that
Serbia could face bankruptcy within two years if no action
was taken. An austerity package was presented with tax
increases, reduced subsidies for loss-making companies and a
reduction in public employee wages by as much as a quarter.
In March, an ati discrimination law was passed. It had
previously been withdrawn following pressure from the
Orthodox Church, which advocated discrimination against
homosexuals. In September, however, the Belgrade Pride march
had to be canceled because authorities at the last minute
refused to protect the march from the warnings from
right-wing radical groups.
In April, 128 Roma were removed by police from their
slums in New Belgrade. In this case, it was a group of Roma
displaced from Kosova. Authorities and Serbs continue to
persecute the country's Roma. The displacement of Roma
continued in 2010.
Throughout 2009, the EU and the United States pressed
Serbia for extradition of Ratko Mladic to the war crimes
court in The Hague. Mladic was not extradited, but in
December the court ruled that Serbia was cooperating anyway.
The EU therefore removed its block on Serbia's application
for EU membership and the country formally applied for
admission that month.
After several years of high growth, Serbia was hit by the
global economic crisis, which hit in earnest in 2008. The
country's GDP fell by 4% in 2009 and unemployment reached
17.4% in March 2010.
In November 2010, the president visited the Croatian city
of Vukovar, apologizing for the 1991 massacre of the Serbian
forces of 260 civilians.
Authorities arrested former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko
Mladic in May 2011 and extradited him to the war crimes
court in The Hague.
In October 2011, the EU recommends that Serbia be granted
candidate status, but that accession negotiations can only
begin once it has normalized relations with Kosova.
In the first round of the May 2012 presidential election,
Tadić got 25.3% of the vote, while conservative SNS Tomislav
Nikolić got 25.1%. In the second round, however, Nikolić got
49.5%, while Tadić had to settle for 47.3%. It was the 4th
time the two candidates were facing each other, and this
time Nikolić succeeded in the presidential post in June.
Most countries - with the exception of the EU - boycotted
the deployment of the president because of his denial of the
1995 Srebrenica massacre.
The May 2012 parliamentary election gave a landslide
victory to the conservative coalition SNS, which went 64
seats to 73. Tadić's Social Democracy went back 3 seats to
67, and Ivica Dačić's Socialist Party SPS went 24 seats to
44. The reason for the major reshuffle of the mandates was
that Šešelj's right-wing nationalist SRS had been split in
2008 and now with 4.6% of the vote, he completely left the
parliament. It had 77 seats that were now distributed over
the rest. Most to the conservative SNS. After the election,
SPS and SNS formed a coalition government with Dačićs as
prime minister. SNS's Nikolić was the same month became