Serbia (GPS: 44 00 N, 21 00 E) is located in Southeastern Europe, between North Macedonia and Hungary. The country’s area measurements are total: 77,474 sq km; land: 77,474 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than South Carolina. The total irrigated land is 950 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Serbia: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Belgrade’s GPS coordinates are 44 50 N 20 30 E. Belgrade’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; Its name changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Communist Partisans resisted the Axis occupation and division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945 and fought nationalist opponents and collaborators. The military and political movement headed by Josip Broz “TITO” (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when their domestic rivals and the occupiers were defeated in 1945. Although communists, TITO and his successors (Tito died in 1980) managed to steer their path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades.
In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of Serbia’s Republic, and his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992. Under MILOSEVIC’s leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a “Greater Serbia.” These actions ultimately failed and, after international intervention, led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.
MILOSEVIC retained control over Serbia and eventually became president of the FRY in 1997. In 1998, an ethnic Albanian insurgency in the formerly autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo provoked a Serbian counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo. The MILOSEVIC government’s rejection of a proposed international settlement led to NATO’s bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999. Serbian military and police forces withdrew from Kosovo in June 1999, and the UN Security Council authorized an interim UN administration and a NATO-led security force in Kosovo. FRY elections in late 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC and the installation of a democratic government. In 2003, the FRY became the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, a loose federation of the two republics.
Widespread violence predominantly targeting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo in March 2004 led to more intense calls to address Kosovo’s status, and the UN began facilitating status talks in 2006. In June 2006, Montenegro seceded from the federation and declared itself an independent nation. Serbia subsequently gave notice that it was the successor state to the union of Serbia and Montenegro. In February 2008, after nearly two years of inconclusive negotiations, Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia – an action Serbia refuses to recognize.
At Serbia’s request, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in October 2008 sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on whether Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence was by international law. In a ruling considered unfavorable to Serbia, the ICJ issued an advisory opinion in July 2010 stating that international law did not prohibit declarations of independence. In late 2010, Serbia agreed to an EU-drafted UNGA Resolution acknowledging the ICJ’s decision and calling for a new round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo, this time on practical issues Kosovo’s status. Serbia and Kosovo signed the first agreement of principles governing the normalization of relations between the two countries in April 2013 and are implementing its provisions.
In 2015, Serbia and Kosovo reached four additional agreements within the EU-led Brussels Dialogue framework. These included deals on the Community of Serb-Majority Municipalities, Telecommunications, Energy production and distribution; And freedom of movement. President Aleksandar VUCIC has promoted an ambitious goal of Serbia joining the EU by 2025. Under his leadership as prime minister, in 2014, Serbia opened formal negotiations for accession.
Serbia’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Serbia, traditional short form: Serbia, local long form: Republika Srbija, local short state: Srbija, former: The people’s Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia, etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but seems to be related to the name of the West Slavic Sorbs who reside in the Lusatian region in present-day eastern Germany; by tradition, the Serbs migrated from that region to the Balkans in about the 6th century A.D.
Serbia’s terrain is typically extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills. The country’s mean elevation: 442 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Danube and Timok Rivers 35 m, highest point: Midzor 2,169 m.
In the north, the general climate in the country (continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well-distributed rainfall): in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns).
The total number of border countries is 8, Bosnia and Herzegovina 345 km, Bulgaria 344 km, Croatia 314 km, Hungary 164 km, Kosovo 366 km, North Macedonia 101 km, Montenegro 157 km, Romania 531 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Serbia’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: 587 km (primarily on the Danube and Sava rivers) (2009). Land use: agricultural land: 57.9%; arable land 37.7%; permanent crops 3.4%; permanent pasture 16.8%; forest: 31.6%; other: 10.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Serbia 7,078,110 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 55.6% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: BELGRADE (capital) 1.182 million (2015), while Serbia has a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations. Their spoken languages are Serbian (official language), 88.1%, Hungarian 3.4%, Bosnian 1.9%, Romany 1.4%, other 3.4%, undeclared or unknown 1.8%. Note: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, and Rusyn are the official language in Vojvodina (2011 estimate). Main religions in Serbia are Serbian Orthodox 84.6%, Catholic 5%, Muslim 3.1%, Protestant 1%, atheist 1.1%, other 0.8%, undeclared or unknown 4.5% (2011 estimate). The nation uses civil law system. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) National Day, 15 February (1835), the day the first constitution of the country was adopted.
Economic overview for the country: Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, mainly driven by foreign investment. MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia’s infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990. In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989.
After former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC was ousted in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. Serbia renewed its membership in the IMF in December 2000 and rejoined the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Serbia has made progress in trade liberalization and enterprise restructuring, and privatization. Many large enterprises – including power utilities, the telecommunications company, natural gas company, and others – remain state-owned. Serbia has made some progress towards EU membership, gaining candidate status in March 2012. In January 2014, Serbia’s EU accession talked officially opened, and, as of December 2017, Serbia had opened 12 negotiating chapters, including one on foreign trade.
Serbia’s negotiations with the WTO are advanced, with the country’s complete ban on the trade and cultivation of agricultural biotechnology products representing the primary remaining obstacle to accession. Serbia maintains a three-year Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF worth approximately $1.3 billion scheduled to end in February 2018. The government has shown progress in implementing economic reforms, such as fiscal consolidation, privatization, and reducing public spending. While relatively low (16% in 2017) compared with its Balkan neighbors, Serbia’s unemployment remains significantly above the European average. Serbia is slowly implementing structural economic reforms needed to ensure the country’s long-term prosperity. Serbia reduced its budget deficit to 1.7% of GDP and its public debt to 71% of GDP in 2017. Public debt had more than doubled between 2008 and 2015. Serbia’s concerns about inflation and exchange-rate stability preclude the use of the expansionary monetary policy.
Significant economic challenges ahead include stagnant household incomes; The need for private-sector job creation; structural reforms of state-owned companies, strategic public sector reforms; And the need for new foreign direct investment. Other serious longer-term challenges include an inefficient judicial system, high levels of corruption, and an aging population. Factors favorable to Serbia’s economic growth include the economic reforms it is undergoing as part of its EU accession process and IMF agreement, its strategic location, a relatively inexpensive and skilled labor force, and free trade agreements with the EU, Russia, Turkey, and countries that are members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement.
Main export partners for Serbia, Europe are Italy 16.2%, Germany 12.6%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.7%, Romania 5.6%, Russia 5.4% (2015) for iron and steel, rubber, clothes, wheat, fruit and vegetables, nonferrous metals, electric appliances, metal products, weapons and ammunition, automobiles, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 12.4%, Italy 10.6%, Russia 9.6%, China 8.5%, Hungary 4.8%, Poland 4.2% (2015) for machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Serbia: Destructive earthquakes. At the same time, infectious diseases risk intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea (2016). Also, note that Serbia faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities, water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava, which flows into the Danube, Inadequate management of domestic, industrial, and hazardous waste.