The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, confirmed that the new government of Serbia will be a government of continuity, i.e. continuing with the work done by the governments from 2014 and 2017.
In her expose in the Serbian Parliament, Brnabic said that the new government would have six objectives: to fight the coronavirus pandemic and boost the health care system, preserve the vital interests of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, fight organized crime, preserve Serbia’s independence, independent decision-making and the rule of law, accelerate reforms relating to the EU accession and strengthen the economic power of Serbia.
As pointed out, in addition to health, the government will face “enormous political challenges”.
“First of all, there are challenges with relations with Pristina, the continuation of the dialogue on the normalization of relations and problems in the constitution of the Union of Serbian Municipalities. The Serbian side keeps its word and the agreements it has signed (in Brussels), and expects the same from the other side, as well as for the other side to continue the talks in good faith,” Brnabic added.
She underlined that the state must prove that it is stronger than organized crime, and called on the security services to protect President Aleksandar Vučić “who has launched the war against the mafia”.
Another novelty will be that Serbia will form a single educational information system by April 2021 which will give a clear vision of the entire education system, and will ensure that decisions on strategic investments will be made.
“This overview will allow us to make clear decisions on strategic investments in order to adequately respond to the needs of our society and economy. For the first time, we will know exactly how much money we have invested as a state in the formal education of each of our citizens and where further investments should be directed, ” Brnabic added.
The PM also stated that the priority of the new Serbian government of Serbia will be protecting people’s health and support for the health system, and announced that Serbia will face a “difficult winter”.
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“The introduction of pay grades into the public administration system is the most serious reform awaiting Serbia,” Brnabic continued.
According to her, during the mandate of the previous government, important innovative infrastructure has already been built, while the new government plans to construct a building that will be given to the Biosens Institute from Novi Sad, an additional building for the Faculty of Engineering Electric in Belgrade, and to complete the Research and Development Institute in Kragujevac.
Brnabic underlined that telecommunication infrastructure had to be improved and that each village in Serbia should have Internet connection.
Speaking of the importance of agriculture, she mentioned that self-sustainability proved to be very important during the pandemic and that Serbia has never had food shortages, and was even able to export raw materials and products.
The PM then added that “another government’s priority will be supporting the use of artificial intelligence, together with the increase of environmental protection standards, mainly in the field of wastewater and solid waste, as well as the protection of citizens’ health, mainly through the improvement of air quality “.
Brnabic went on to say that Serbia is currently in a development phase when it comes to issues relating to the environment and environmental sustainability.
“At a time when unemployment is low, economic prospects are good and wages, although still low, are on the rise. The quality of the environment is becoming one of the burning issues when it comes to the general quality of life of citizens,” Brnabic said.
Wastewater treatment is one of the biggest tasks facing the current generation and waste management is the second most important priority in this sector.
“It is unacceptable that we have over 3,500 garbage dumps and unsanitary landfills that pollute the groundwater and soil. Solving this problem will be one of the priorities of our work,” she said.
According to her, in terms of air quality, in addition to the expansion of the air quality monitoring network, it will be necessary to create a new strategic and legal framework, as well as invest in the modernization of the heating system, replacing the outdated boilers and switching to alternative fuels, and reducing traffic pollution.
“With regard to the energy sector, the realization of planned investments in energy infrastructures, improving air quality and the reduction of harmful gas emissions and the greenhouse effect are objectives that have particular importance for our country,” the Prime Minister said.
Brnabic also added that, through the “green agenda”, the new government will seek to continuously increase the share of renewable energy sources in the production of electricity and heat, as well as to increase and stimulate energy efficiency in Serbia, taking into account the price of electricity for end users.
he future government will have 21 ministries and two ministers without portfolios, and will include representatives of the Serbian Progressive Party, the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Serbian Patriotic Alliance and representatives of national minority parties.
The executive director of the Open Society Foundation and an organizer of the talks between the government and the opposition before the elections, Milan Antonijevic, says that challenges are the key word of Brnabic’s expose. Antonijevic points out that one of the biggest challenges is not talked about much.
“Amendments to the Constitution are something we’ve been working on for a long time, but we haven’t seen the final text, i.e. if it’s satisfactory and will obtain a necessary majority in parliament and in the referendum,” says Antonijevic.
According to the PM, business community should play an important role in the government’s economic plan. The honorary president of the Association of Employers, Nebojsa Atanackovic, noted that the prime ministers gave a many promises in her speech.
“Listening to Brnabic’s expose was a waste of time because it’s the same stories that our President has been telling. Most of us have already heard about what will be done and how, while a lot of time (in the expose) was wasted describing what was done in the previous period ”.
(N1, Danas, 29.10.2020)
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