Serbia Country Report
In April 2017, former prime minister Aleksandar Vučić won the presidential election by a significant margin. Following his victory, Vučić appointed Ana Brnabić as his successor. The new prime minister, a political neophyte, is unlikely to challenge Vučić's position as the country's leading politician. This move therefore represents the continued concentration of power in the hands of Vučić, threatening growing authoritarianism. Vučić's insistence on taking the front stage in the political scene presents for him a missed opportunity to usher in structural reform through his successor without taking the political blame. Continued protests against growing authoritarianism will likely continue, spearheaded by the protest movement NeDa(vi)mo Beograd. However, these protests are unlikely to challenge Vučić's hold on power or prevent the continued infringement of freedom of press.
The quality of the infrastructure and the workforce is generally adequate. One of the chief hurdles to conducting business in Serbia is the country's oversized bureaucracy, which remains as a rule inefficient. Nonetheless, significant progress has been made in simplifying procedures for issuing construction permits and adopting business-friendly changes to the labour law. However, corruption and organised crime remain a persistent problem in business circles and across nearly all sectors of the public administration.
Security incidents are likely to be concentrated along Serbia's border with Kosovo, although they are primarily likely to involve illegal logging rather than political terrorism. In Sandžak, there is a moderate risk of local Islamist extremists attacking assets or officials affiliated with rival Islamic communities or state assets or personnel.
Serbia has improved its relations with neighbouring states, most of which are members or candidates for membership of NATO, reducing therefore inter-state war risks. The primary potential source of armed conflict is related to Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. However, EU-facilitated "status-neutral" negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo have opened the way for a normalisation of bilateral relations. The risk of interstate war would increase if Serbia's prospects for EU membership diminish significantly as a result of enlargement fatigue.
The election of former prime minister Aleksandar Vučić as President in April 2017 sparked anti-government protests organised by Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd, a protest movement originally formed to oppose the construction of the notorious Belgrade Waterfront complex. Participants were protesting what they view as the erosion of Serbian democracy. As Vučić continues to consolidate power around the presidency more protests are likely to materialise in the one-year outlook.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Serbia has a continental climate. Winters are cold (0°C) and dry. Summers are hot, humid, and often rainy.
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