Serbia. In January, a new parliamentary election was
announced in the autumn, after a party withdrew from the
government coalition. Most votes were given to the Serbian
Radical Party (SRS), but more moderate parties did not want
to co-operate with the ultranationalist party. After lengthy
negotiations, three parties formed government in May. The
coalition included President Boris Tadić's West-friendly
Democratic Party (DS), the moderate Nationalist Serbia
Democratic Party (DSS), and the reform-minded liberal G17
Plus. DSS leader Vojislav Koštunica retained the post of
CountryAAH, the new government was considered Europe-oriented and in
June the EU resumed negotiations on a cooperation agreement.
The talks had been put on ice a year earlier because Serbia
had not been considered to make enough efforts to arrest
Ratko Mladić, the commander of the Bosnian Serbs during the
war in Bosnia. Mladić was still on the loose, but a
contributing factor to the resumption of talks was that
Serbia helped to secure Zdravko Tolimir, a close associate
of Mladić. Tolimir, suspect among others. for the 1995
Bosnian Srebrenica massacre, was arrested at the border
between Bosnia and Serbia and handed over to the War
Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
Serbia had also been released by the International Court
of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) from charges of direct
participation in genocide in connection with the war in
Bosnia in the 1990s. Bosnia had sued Serbia for violating
the UN Genocide Convention. However, the court considered
that Serbia violated international law by not preventing the
genocide of Muslims in Srebrenica.
Twelve people were sentenced in March for the 2003 murder
of Serbia's then Prime Minister Zoran Đjinđjić, a murder
which shook the country in its foundations. The brain behind
the murder of Milorad Luković and Zvezdan Jovanović, who
fired the shots, both received 40 years in prison. All the
others also received long prison sentences, but five of them
were sentenced in their absence.
In November, the European Commission formally gave the
go-ahead to begin the work of signing a Stabilization and
Association Agreement with Serbia, which is considered the
first step towards EU membership.
Trial of Nationalist Party SRS leader Vojislav Šešelj
resumed in November at the War Criminal Tribunal in The
Hague. It had begun a year earlier but was immediately
interrupted when the accused hunger strike. Šešelj, who has
been detained since 2003, was charged with crimes against
humanity and for whipping up hatred of non-Serbs through
extreme nationalist propaganda during the 1990s war.
In March 2016, the war crimes tribunal for the former
Yugoslav slave (ICTY) acquitted the international
nationalist Vojislav Šešelj for, among other things. war
crimes. He chaired the Radical Party of Serbia and was
elected to parliament at the April elections.
In April 2016, Croatia decided to veto the EU
Commission's plans for accession negotiations with Serbia.
Thus, the country effectively blocked Serbia's entry. In
July, Croatia's Foreign Minister laid down 5 conditions for
the resumption of negotiations.
During US Vice President Joe Biden's official visit to
the country in August, he condoned those killed during the
1999 US and NATO bombings of the country. However,
regardless of conditions, Croatia's goal was to keep Serbia
Hundreds of police officers guarded the pride parade in
Belgrade in September. The result was that, unlike the
previous ones, the parade was not assaulted by right-wing
120,000 refugees came through Serbia in 2016. A drastic
reduction compared to the previous year. The reason was that
from the beginning of 2016, the Balkan countries began to
close their borders. In July, Serbia posted border patrols
at the border with Bulgaria. 12,000 applied for asylum in
the country, but by the end of the year, less than 20 had
been granted asylum.
Aleksandar Vučić of the Progressive Party was elected
55.1% of the new president in the first round of the April
2017 elections. In the second place, independent Saša
Janković got 16.4% of the vote. Up until the election, Vučić
and his party had totally dominated the media, and the
result sparked protests across the country. In 8
constituencies, the election was due to irregularities, but
it was unable to enrich the result. At his inauguration in
May, the newly elected president declared he would continue
the country's military neutrality and cooperation with both
NATO and Russia.