Newly-sworn in Prime Minister of the Serbian Government Ana Brnabić outlined the goals of her government during her speech at the National Assembly, setting out the six axes they will be working on.
Tackling the coronavirus pandemic and strengthening the health sector, safeguarding the vital interests of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, combating organized crime, maintaining Serbia’s independence and independent decision-making, the rule of law and the acceleration of European reforms, alongside further financially strengthening Serbia embody the government’s goals.
Combating COVID-19 and enhancing the health system
Priority: Construction of hospitals
In the previous period, investments in health infrastructure were extremely large, Brnabić pointed out, recalling that, since 2016, almost 80 primary health facilities have been renovated. She stressed that work is underway at six major health centers, the procurement of additional facilities has begun, more than 200 million euros have been invested in the renovation and construction of 20 general hospitals and health centers throughout Serbia, while more than 300 million have been directed towards the construction and renovation of clinics and specialized hospitals.
She also announced the digitization of healthcare in an effort to provide all citizens with a single electronic health card, in which data from all healthcare institutions will be available to citizens at any time, and to their doctors whenever they need it.
Preserving the vital interests of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
We do not abandon the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities
Brnabić stressed that one of the future government’s priority goals will be to preserve the vital interests of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, underlining that Serbia will not give up the dialogue on the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities. As she said, the government will continue to pursue a policy of peace and cooperation regarding Kosovo and Metohija, with the aim of protecting its people, the cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, but also peace and stability throughout region.
“Our priorities will be to continue negotiations with the interim administration in Pristina, to improve the economic development and living conditions of the Serb population in Kosovo and Metohija, and to support the return of internally displaced persons”, she stated.
Combating organized crime and war against the mafia
Zero tolerance for connections between civil servants and the mafia
The Prime Minister announced that one of the priorities concerned the elimination of the mafia, “which considers itself to be above than the state and believes it can rule this state”.
“Our job is to show that the state is always stronger, that there are no games when it comes to institutions, that relations between representatives of institutions and criminals will not be tolerated and that no one from them will remain unprotected. In this fight, the security services must pay special attention to the security of Vučić, who declared and started a war against this mafia. We are witnessing on a daily basis the most monstrous and reckless attacks against him and his family with only one goal: humiliation and criminalization to the extent that any attack against him, verbal or physical, becomes expected and understood.
Maintaining Serbia ‘s independence and independent decision – making
Friendly relations with Russia and China, better relations with the United States
Part of this is the implementation of the Mini-Schengen initiative, which aims to facilitate the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Brnabić stated that the government will certainly continue to show particular interest in the status of Serbs and the Serbian language in the countries of the region and will continue to insist on respect for their fundamental rights, language, identity, religion and cultural heritage. Serbs, as well as the rights of other peoples as ethnic minorities are consistently respected in the Republic of Serbia.
“We must lead and protect Serbia as an essentially free, independent and sovereign state on a European path, but which nonetheless maintains friendly relations with Russia, China and all other partners and builds better relations with the United States”, stressed Brnabić.
She recalled that Serbia is a member of all major international economic and financial organizations and will work for membership in the World Trade Organization. As for defense policy, she said that Serbia is determined, according to the decision for military neutrality, to strengthen defense capabilities and to develop the defense industry.
Rule of law and accelerating reforms in Europe
Acceleration of EU integration process
Brnabić stressed that the government is pro-European and that its task will be to accelerate the process of European integration. She announced the first step, changing Serbia’s constitution in the field of justice, which is a necessary step in further strengthening the rule of law and further alignment with the European acquis and European standards. Speaking about the media process, she recalled that the media strategy until 2025 was adopted, in cooperation with the media associations and journalists, whose representatives were half of the members of the working group for drafting the media strategy. She recalled that the same working group continued the work on the Action Plan for the implementation of the strategy, which, as she points out, will be one of the first items on the agenda of the new government.
Further financial support to Serbia
Agriculture, energy, ecology
Brnabić pointed out the “Serbia 2025” program, but also the sectors of agriculture, tourism, ecology, energy and mining also represent areas that are important for further economic development.
“Serbia 2025” is a program for specific areas and a list of specific projects worth about 14 billion euros, for which the government will work to achieve the set goal by the end of 2025: an average salary at 900 euros in Serbia and an average pension between 430 and 440 euros, said Brnabić, pointing to artificial intelligence as a particularly important area for the new government. /ibna