Serbia Recent History and Politics

The second Yugoslavia

According to a2zgov, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed under the leader of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) and later President of Yugoslavia Tito. In addition to Serbia, the republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia belonged to it. The state became a one-party dictatorship modeled on the policies of Stalin. The two autonomous regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina were assigned to the Republic of Serbia.

Trouble with the Soviet Union

In Yugoslavia the long-fought independence had finally been achieved, even without the support of the Soviet Union. That is why they did not want to join the Soviet Eastern Bloc states, but also want to maintain their independence. Stalin and the Yugoslav Prime Minister Tito quarreled about it and grew further and further apart.

Stalin excluded Yugoslavia from his plans for the worldwide spread of communism and ended all economic relations between the Eastern bloc states and Yugoslavia. As a result, Yugoslavia came closer and closer to the West and NATO. From the 1960s onwards, increasing liberalization (there was more freedom in business and politics) improved the country’s economic and political situation.

Problems in the second Yugoslavia

Despite the general improvements, problems persisted in Yugoslavia. The progressive liberalization in the republics of Yugoslavia, which were moving ever further apart, were suppressed by Tito. As part of the Republic of Serbia, Kosovo expressed aspirations for independence. When President Tito died in 1980, Yugoslavia began to fall apart for good.

The final breakup of Yugoslavia

In 1987 the communist Slobodan Milošević became President of the Republic of Serbia. Milošević did not just want to rule over Serbia, but sought power over all of Yugoslavia. He soon gained control of Montenegro, Vojvodina and Kosovo and began to mess with the Slovenian and Croatian governments. But soon there was not much left of the desired Yugoslavia, because in new elections in 1990 it was only given power in Serbia and Montenegro, while new governments were democratically elected in the other republics of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslav Wars

Bloody wars broke out between the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia. These so-called Yugoslav Wars can be divided into three main conflicts. During a ten day long war in Slovenia, Slovenia gained its independence in 1991. At the beginning of 1992 the Croatian War broke out and in April the three-year-long Bosnian War.

Serbia carried out “ethnic cleansing” during these wars, which degenerated into mass war crimes. People were murdered because of their ethnicity. The genocide in Srebrenica, in which more than 7,000 Muslims were murdered by Serbian troops, was particularly bad.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992-2003)

In May 1992 the states of Montenegro and Serbia jointly founded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However, the extremist, nationalist and anti-communist Serbs in the country were very much against the continuation of socialist Yugoslavia. This resulted in tensions in the Serbian-dominated state structure.

The ruler Milošević had to give in to the economic punishment of Serbia by the UN and began to draw up peace treaties, for example with Bosnia. A rapprochement with Croatia was also forced. In this way the isolation of Serbia initiated by the UN could be ended, but there were also increasing conflicts with the opposition within the country.

The Kosovo War

In the Kosovo area, Muslims in particular were massively oppressed and mistreated, which led to an armed uprising in the late 1990s. The so-called Kosovo Liberation Front UÇK took action against the Serbian oppressors, but was brutally pushed back by the Serbian military.

In 1999 NATO started an air war against Serbia, the Kosovo War. As a result, almost a million Albanians had to flee Kosovo from the Serbian troops. Soon, however, the ruler Milošević was defeated and the Kosovo area became a UN protectorate.

The end of the Milošević regime

The voices against the ruler Milošević became louder and louder in Yugoslavia. On October 5, 2000, he was overthrown and the Republic of Serbia received its first democratically elected President Zoran Djindjic. Montenegro, the other part of what was then Yugoslavia, increasingly demanded independence from Serbia. The country had also largely stayed out of the previous Serbian war crimes and distanced itself from the Serbian government.

In 2003, Yugoslavia was renamed “Serbia and Montenegro” as a compromise. The two states ruled themselves mostly independently. In 2006, Montenegro decided to leave the confederation in a referendum, and Serbia automatically became independent.


The constitution, which came into force in November 2006, provides for a five-year electoral term for a head of state. This means that a new president is elected every five years. There are different parties in Serbia. The international legal status of the Kosovo area is still very controversial today.

The Serbian head of state is the president

Aleksandar Vučić is currently the President of Serbia. He was elected head of state of the country in April 2017. In 2020 there were again elections in Serbia, which were originally planned for April 2020, but were then postponed to June due to the corona crisis. This election was partially boycotted by the opposition. The Serbian Progress Party, whose chairman is Aleksandar Vučić, received the most votes. A total of 7 parties sit in the Serbian parliament and Aleksandar Vučić is still the president.

Serbia Recent History