Fight Against Covid-19 in Serbia: Saving the Nation or Securing the Re-Election?

The Covid-19 epidemic outbreak in Serbia coincided with the beginning of the election campaign for both parliamentary and municipal elections. Soon, it became clear that what was at stake in the fight against Covid-19 was not so much saving the nation as securing the majority re-election of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, headed by its populist leader and President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić.

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Serbia and Covid-19: State of Emergency in a State in Disarray

The reaction of the Serbian authorities to the Covid-19 crisis demonstrated a weakness of Serbian state institutions: The measures imposed by the Serbian Government as a response to the Covid crisis, as well as the reaction of the competent bodies, are problematic both from a procedural and a substantive perspective. To make things worse, the judiciary has not been a great help either.

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How likely – and dangerous – is a Kosovo/Serbia “Land Swap” ?

The presidents of Kosovo and Serbia have recently considered an exchange of territories (“land swap”) between their two countries which would lead to Serbia’s formal recognition of the independence of Kosovo. In view of legal and politcial hurdles, one can envisage at least three distinct scenarios of international response to a bilateral treaty between Serbia and Kosovo, concerning specific synchronized border changes.

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The Draft Amendments to the Serbian Constitution: Populism before Judicial Independence

Serbia is currently abuzz with draft constitutional amendments that should enhance judicial independence and move the country one step closer to EU accession. On 12 April 2018, the Serbian Government adopted the draft amendments and sent them to the Venice Commission. However, while at present the political influence on the judiciary comes from the political institutions, in the future this influence will come from the ruling majority.

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