Population: 7,2 million
Area: 77 474 km2
GDP (PPP): 97,27 billion dollar (estimate 2015)
GDP per capita (PPP): 13 600 dollar (estimate 2015)
Rate of growth: 0,5 percent (estimate 2015)
Head of state: Tomislav Nikolic
Head of government: Aleksandar Vucic
As Yugoslavia dissolved, Serbia and Montenegro formed a confederation. In 1999, Serbian paramilitary forces drove a big group of ethnic Albanians from their homes. This precipitated an international intervention conducted by NATO-forces.
After the war, Kosovo has since 1999 been ruled by a temporary UN administration. In February 2008, Kosovo’s parliament proclaimed the country independent. The confederation with Montenegro was dissolved after a referendum in 2006.
In 2005, EU accession negotiations were initiated but soon came to a standstill. Serbia was not perceived as doing enough in order to catch Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. In 2008, Karadzic was caught and extradited to The Hague on suspicion of genocide. This naturally improved the Serbian bid for EU-membership, which was realized after Ratko Mladic in February 2011 was caught and extradited. Today Serbia has candidate status to become member of the EU.
As part of the negotiation process talks with Kosovo under the aegis of the EU are ongoing since April 2013. The aim of these talks is to normalising relations between the two countries. This has led to EU membership negotiations have been initiated with Serbia during 2014.
In Serbia, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has been cooperating with the United Regions of Serbia (URS), which is a small liberal-conservative party founded in 2002 by a group of scientists under the name of G17 Plus. After the election in March 2014 the URS lost all its seats in parliament and thereafter ceased its activities.
The Foundation’s goal in Serbia is to increase the number of youths and women, European integration and to improve the co-operation between center-right parties in the region. In the Balkan, it is particularly important for the political parties to start defining themselves in terms of political ideas instead of ethnicity.