Serbia became a stand-alone country in 2006, after years of ethnic conflict and the brutal break-up of Yugoslavia. Since then the country has made radical budget cuts, has carried out economic and political reforms and is pursuing a bid to join the European Union.
With the EU raising questions about freedom of expression and demanding constitutional reform from President Vucic’s government, how much does Serbia want to change? Historical ties and decades of communism created close affinities between Serbia and Russia. How strong is that Russian influence now? And what about the breakaway region of Kosovo and calls to recognise it as independent?
Chairing the debate at the Bitef Theatre, the BBC’s Jonathan Dimbleby will be joined by a panel of leading politicians and thinkers who will be taking questions from the audience. The panel will include:
- Nebojša Stefanović, Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
- Marija Janjušević of Dveri, Member of the National Assembly
- Miloš Ćirić, Human Rights activist and writer
- Gordana Čomić of the Democratic Party, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly
Mary Hockaday, Controller, BBC World Service English, says: “BBC World Service is the home of international debate and we’re bringing our flagship debate programme to Belgrade at a fascinating time in its political history. We’re keen to hear what questions the audience will want to raise in a discussion that will then be heard around the world.”
Clare Sears, Country Director British Council Serbia, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BBC in bringing World Questions to Belgrade. This programme generates space for open and independent debates on current affairs, which supports the British Council’s objective of promoting cultural relations among people worldwide. We believe that connecting people both in Serbia and globally makes a powerful and lasting contribution to a more open and connected world.”
BBC World Questions is an English language event, created in partnership with the British Council and will be recorded for radio broadcast worldwide (the BBC will launch a digital service in Serbian later this year).
BBC World Questions will be recorded in English on 6 March at the Bitef Theatre from 18.00. To join in the debate and be part of the audience please apply for FREE tickets HERE.
BBC World Questions: Belgrade will air on BBC World Service English on March 10th at 20:00 CET and available online after that www.bbc.com/worldserviceradio .