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NDI

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Serbia

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Candidates debate on live television before 2012 parliamentary elections. NDI sponsored the debates, called “Reč na Reč” (Word on Word), adapting methods used by the U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates.

Serbia has now placed itself firmly on a path toward European Union (EU) membership. Citizens voted in the opposition Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) in 2012, and SNS leaders have since spearheaded Serbia’s strongest push yet to move on from its past and join Europe. The new government signed a normalization agreement with Kosovo in April 2013 that many view as tantamount to Belgrade’s relinquishment of claims on Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. The EU had conditioned Serbia’s immediate advancement in what will be a years-long process to win EU membership contingent on such an agreement. As the agreement takes hold, the government in Belgrade can turn needed attention to the weak economy and democracy issues such as election reform, judicial independence and government decentralization. 

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Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development since 1997, NDI has supported hundreds of political and civic activists across Serbia to foster an open and responsive political system.  NDI’s activities include nationally televised candidate debates, conducted in cooperation with the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID) and Radio Television Serbia (RTS) before 2012 elections; and reforming the electoral system to include stronger links between members of parliament (MPs) and their constituents. NDI helps political parties create responsive policy platforms and local government improve outreach to citizens using e-governance tools. NDI also supports women and young people engage with political parties and government. NDI assists the disenfranchised—the disabled, LGBT and Roma communities in particular—to claim their rights through the political process.

NDI’s accomplishments include:

  • Changes to electoral legislation, including the adoption of a 33 percent gender quota to ensure women’s representation in parliament and elimination of forced MP resignations;
  • Greater outreach of elected officials to their constituents through public hearings, municipal meetings and establishment of constituency offices;
  • A proposal to amend the existing electoral system in favor of multiple electoral districts to allow for direct election of MPs;
  • Adoption of local action plans and budgetary changes that focus on women’s issues, including employment and healthcare, through gender equality commissions in more than 20 municipalities;
  • Stronger advocacy by disability groups and the LGBT community for equal treatment and inclusion in the policy development process, such as recommendations to amend legislation governing disability rights and organization of Belgrade Pride Week; and
  • Creation of women’s and youth wings and education centers within ethnic and minority parties to train and recruit members, engage women and  youth, and compete in elections.

Contact Information

For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:

Belgrade
Tom Kelly, resident senior director
tkelly@ndi.org

Washington, D.C.
Nadia Mouzykina, program manager
nmouzykina@ndi.org

Our Perspective
08/22/2013 | Roma Rights Journal
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03/13/2004
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10/24/1999
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Published Publication Title Author
12/01/2008 NDI Reports: A Review of the Activities of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
05/08/2008 Serbia’s May 2008 Elections: A Pre-election View From Belgrade
Report
National Democratic Institute
06/19/2007 Parliamentary Standards, June 2007
Manual|Handbook
National Democratic Institute
01/22/2007 Post Election Report from NDI Serbia
Report
National Democratic Institute
12/01/2005 NDI 2005 Annual Report
Report
National Democratic Institute
09/03/2002 Serbia Presidential Election Watch 2002
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
06/30/2002 Serbia: Reform Constituency Shrinks, Results of the Nationwide Survey Conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Inc.
Report
National Democratic Institute
03/31/2002 Serbian Swing Voters are Patient, But Angry About Corruption and Fearful of Political Conflict
Report
National Democratic Institute
12/21/2001 NDI Commentary on CeSID’s Draft Law on the Election of Deputies, Councilors and the Presidento f the Republic of Serbia
Report
National Democratic Institute
06/30/2001 NDI Vesti: The Newsletter of NDI Serbia, 2001 - 2003
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
09/11/2000 Serbia 2000 Election Watch, September 11, 2000
Publication
National Democratic Institute
09/01/2000 Presentations on Tracking Poll Results, Serbia
Report
National Democratic Institute
10/24/1999 Serbia Issues Poll
Report
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates