An inauguration ceremony for Serbia’s new president, Aleksandar Vucic, was held on June 23, 2017, in Belgrade at the Palace of Serbia. An estimated 5,000 guests were invited.
In addition to many high officials and heads of state from around the world, REC Serbia staff and the REC’s Head of the Business Development Unit, Ruza Radovic, were in attendance. Other attendees included: Hoyt Brian Yee, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs; Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister; Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary; Gerhard Schroeder, former German Chancellor; Ji Bingxuan, Vice President of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress; and the presidents of five neighbouring countries—Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia.
Vucic began serving as President of Serbia on May 31, 2017, succeeding Tomislav Nikolic, after sweeping to a first-round victory with nearly 55 percent of the vote in the April 2 presidential election, securing a five-year term. The 47-year old, who is also chairman of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), served as Prime Minister of Serbia from 2014 to 2017, and has held several other key government posts in the past, including Minister of Information (1998–2000), Minister of Defence (2012–2013), and First Deputy Prime Minister (2012–2014).
The new president is fully committed to Serbia’s drive towards European Union membership, implementation of tighter control over public spending, fighting against corruption, strengthening the judicial system, and promoting the country as a promising business opportunity.
During a speech given in August 2016, the then-Prime Minister Vucic said that the dynamics of the EU integration process would influence the pace of investment in Serbia, and that the country will continue to work on opening EU negotiating chapters as quickly as possible. Efforts to fulfil the criteria of the EU’s Chapter 27 on Environment, required for EU membership, will be one important indicator in the coming months and years of the new president’s intentions and influence.