Serbia experienced a cultural boom during the
heyday of the Serbian kingdom in the 13th-13th
centuries. During the long Turkish occupation
thereafter, the culture was mainly maintained as songs
and stories of Serbian heroes in the fight against the
Turks. The Serbian theater was founded in Vojvodina,
where many people escaped from the Turks.
In the 19th century, Vuk Karadžić became important
for Serbian culture and national feeling with his
linguistic, historical and folkloric works. Great spread
got Mountains Rosary, the Serbian national epic
that Montenegrin prince bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš
wrote in the mid-1800s.
Latest population statistics of Serbia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić, who portrays Ottoman
Bosnia, among others in the novel Bron over Drina,
lived in Belgrade for the latter part of his life.
Andrić's home became a museum after his death in 1975.
Other well-known twentieth-century writers are Danilo
Kiš, Mirko Kovač and Dobrica Ćosić, who was the
president of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1993 and active in
the democratization process in the early 1980s, when the
authors raised previously banned topics for discussion.
In the only one of his novels so far translated into
Swedish, On the Lower Deck (1995), Vladimir
Arsenijević depicts life during the 1990s war. The
well-known Roman poet Rajko Đurić became politically
involved for a period and later founded a Roman Academy
of Arts and Sciences in Belgrade. His texts can be read
in Swedish in the anthology Without House, without
The Eurovision Song Contest is very popular in
Serbia, not least since the country won the competition
in 2007 by singer Marija Serifović.
Serbian film's most well-known interpreter is Emir
Kusturica (Gypsy's Time, Black Cat, White
Cat). With Underground, about the war in
ex-Yugoslavia, he won the Gold Palm at the Cannes film
festival in 1995. At the Balkan festival, which was
organized in several parts of Sweden in early 2013, you
could see, among other things, the Serbian film
Professor Kosta Vujić's hat from 2012. It is made
by Zdravko Šotra, one of the most successful Serbian
film and TV directors, and is based on a bestseller by
Milovan Vitezović about an eccentric teacher in the 19th
century. For Serbia public policy, please check
Russian gas project is shut down
On a visit to Turkey, Russian President Putin announces that the major gas
pipeline project South Stream will be scrapped. The project would transport
Russian natural gas in pipelines in the Black Sea, via the Balkans (including
Serbia) and Hungary to connect to the gas network in Western Europe. Gas
deliveries would have started at the end of 2015. For Serbia, the stoppage means
losing about two billion euros in investment, a large number of jobs for people
and domestic companies, as well as income from tax on gas transit through the
country. Serbia began work on its part of the gas pipeline at the end of 2013
and has so far invested around EUR 30 million on the project.
Agreement with the IMF
An agreement is entered into with the International Monetary Fund IMF on a
three-year credit program. This will ease the pressure on the Serbian economy
but at the same time place tough demands on Serbia to take measures to reduce
the budget deficit (from 8 to 4.25 percent in three years) and the € 22 billion
government debt. One part of this is the cuts in salaries for government
employees, but also in pensions and contributions to debt-burdened government
Historic Albanian visit to Belgrade
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama comes on a historically official visit to
Serbia. The hope is that the countries' relations will improve through the
visit, which has come at the invitation of the EU, where both Serbia and Albania
want to become members. However, Rama manages to tease his Serbian host, Prime
Minister Aleksandar Vučić, by referring to Kosovo as an irrevocably independent
A war criminal may travel home for health reasons
The War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague allows Vojislav Šešelj to travel to
Serbia for health reasons: he has cancer that has spread. Šešelj, who
voluntarily surrendered to the court as early as 2003 after allegations of war
crimes during the 1990s Balkan war, is still formally the leader of the
ultranationalist party SRS. The verdict against him has dragged on since one of
the judges in the case turned out to be disastrous and is not expected until
2015. Upon his arrival in Belgrade, Šešelj is met by hundreds of followers and
he seizes the opportunity to hold an ethnically upbeat speech.
Reduced salaries for government employees
The 10 percent pay cuts for government employees come into force, which the
government has decided as part of cuts to deal with the poor economy. The
teachers' union starts a "strike" in protest: they shorten all lessons by 15
minutes. One teacher in Serbia earns an average of € 342 a month, while the
state average salary is € 585.
Russian state visit
Russian President Vladimir Putin is received with military honors when he
arrives in Belgrade to take part in the 70th anniversary of the capital's
liberation from the Nazis, in which the Soviet Red Army played a large part.
Putin also has talks with President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister
Aleksandar Vučić on, among other things, increased Serbian exports to Russia.
Several agreements are also signed concerning such things as military and
technical cooperation, railways and energy issues. Despite the fact that Serbia
has been negotiating with the EU for membership since the beginning of the year,
it has refused to participate in the sanctions against Russia due to the Ukraine
crisis introduced by the Union.
Riot at a football match against Albania
An EM qualifier match between Serbia and Albania, the first football match
between the two countries since 1976, is interrupted after a riot erupted after
a drone with a flag depicting a Great Banana (Albania + Kosovo and parts of
Macedonia and Montenegro) was sent over the football field. As a Serbian player
pulls down the flag, Albanian players try to stop him, after which Serbian fans
storm into the pitch and surrender to the Albanians. In the Albanian capital
Tirana, as well as in Kosovo and several Albanian-dominated places in Macedonia
and Montenegro, a week later the Albanian football players are hailed as heroes.
In July 2015, the Geneva Special Court for Arbitration in Sports Albania granted
the victory in the match.
Pride parade in Belgrade
For the first time since 2010, a Pride Parade is being held in Belgrade.
Unlike 2010, there are no major incidents, but the approximately 1,000
participants are protected by several thousand riot police. The main reason why
the parade, which includes Belgrade's mayor and a number of foreign ambassadors,
is held, is to show that Serbia is a modern country that stands for human
rights. Serbia is also praised by the EU, with which it negotiates membership.
In conservative Serbia, however, many are against the gay movement and the day
before the parade, right-wing extremists and supporters of the Orthodox Church
New information and media law
The government adopts a new information and media law, which means that all
state media should be privatized until 15 July 2015 (later extended to 31
October 2015). Media that is not privatized until then should be offered to
Serbia, together with Bosnia-Herzegovina, is hit by the most difficult floods
in a century, since several months of rain fall in only a few days and the water
rises over all banks of rivers such as Sava. The worst hit in Serbia is the city
of Obrenovac southwest of the capital Belgrade, where large sections of the
population are forced to leave their water-soaked homes. Tens of thousands of
people are evacuated and relief comes from the EU (one billion euros to Serbia),
neighboring countries and Russia, among others. In Serbia, around 50 people are
killed as a result of the disaster.
Nationalist leaders form government
President Tomislav Nikolić formally assigns the leader of SNS Aleksandar
Vučić to form new Serbian government. The government consists of the SNS, the
Socialist Party and the Vojvodina Hungarian Alliance (SVM).
Nationalist success in the recent election
In the recent election, the SNS is moving forward strongly and receiving
almost half of the votes, giving the party 158 of the 250 seats in Parliament.
The Socialist Party (SPS), which together with the SNS is part of the outgoing
government, gets 13 percent and receives 44 seats. Only two opposition parties
can pass the five-percent block to Parliament: the Democratic Party (DS) gets 19
seats and the New Democratic Party (NDS) 18 seats. The NDS was formed before the
election of the former president and party leader of the DS, Boris Tadić. In
addition, eleven places go to three parties among the country's minorities. The
turnout is just over 53 percent.
New elections are announced
President Tomislav Nikolić dissolves Parliament and announces new elections.
The initiative, which has long been rumored, comes from the largest government
party, the moderately conservative and nationalist Serbian Progress Party (SNS).
Party leader Aleksandar Vučić, who is also Deputy Prime Minister (and by many
considered the government's strong man), believes that a new mandate from the
Serbs is needed for the government to speed up reforms.
Membership negotiations start with the EU
Official negotiations between Serbia and the EU on Serbian EU membership
start in Brussels. Important demands on Serbia in the negotiations, which are
expected to last for several years, are reforms in the judiciary and public
administration, the fight against corruption and organized crime and, not least,
the establishment of normal relations with Kosovo.