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Flag of Serbia
Map of Serbia
Introduction Serbia
Background:
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941 was resisted by various paramilitary bands that fought each other as well as the invaders. The group headed by Josip TITO took full control of Yugoslavia upon German expulsion in 1945. Although Communist, his new government and its successors (he died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In the early 1990s, post-TITO Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were recognized as independent states in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992 and, under President Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Serbia led various military intervention efforts to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." These actions led to Yugoslavia being ousted from the UN in 1992, but Serbia continued its campaign until signing the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. In 1998-99, massive expulsions by FRY forces and Serb paramilitaries of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo provoked an international response, including the NATO bombing of Belgrade and the stationing of a NATO-led force (KFOR), in Kosovo. Federal elections in the fall of 2000, brought about the ouster of MILOSEVIC and installed Vojislav KOSTUNICA as president. The arrest of MILOSEVIC in 2001 allowed for his subsequent transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity. In 2001, the country's suspension from the UN was lifted, and it was once more accepted into UN organizations under the name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Kosovo has been governed by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) since June 1999, under the authority of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, pending a determination by the international community of its future status. In 2002, the Serbian and Montenegrin components of Yugoslavia began negotiations to forge a looser relationship. In February 2003 lawmakers restructured the country into a loose federation of two republics called Serbia and Montenegro. The Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro included a provision that allowed either republic to hold a referendum after three years that would allow for their independence from the state union. In the spring of 2006, Montenegro took advantage of the provision to undertake a successful independence vote enabling it to secede on 3 June. Two days later, Serbia declared that it was the successor state to the union of Serbia and Montenegro.
Geography Serbia
Location:
Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
Geographic coordinates:
44 00 N, 21 00 E
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 88,361 sq km
land: 88,361 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 2,027 km
border countries: Albania 115 km, Bosnia and Herzegovina 302 km, Bulgaria 318 km, Croatia 241 km, Hungary 151 km, Macedonia 221 km, Montenegro 203 km, Romania 476 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
in the north, continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall); in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall)
Terrain:
extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: NA
highest point: Daravica 2,656 m
Natural resources:
oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, antimony, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
Land use:
arable land: NA
permanent crops: NA
other: NA
Irrigated land:
NA
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities; water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava which flows into the Danube
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East
People Serbia
Population:
9,396,411 (2002 census)
Median age:
total: 40.4 years
male: 39.1 years
female: 41.7 years
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74 years
male: 71 years
female: 76 years
Total fertility rate:
1.78 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Serb(s)
adjective: Serbian
Ethnic groups:
Serb 66%, Albanian 17%, Hungarian 3.5%, other 13.5% (1991)
Religions:
Serbian Orthodox, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Languages:
Serbian (official nationwide); Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Croatian (all official in Vojvodina); Albanian (official in Kosovo)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.9%
female: 94.1% (2002 est.)
Government Serbia
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Serbia
conventional short form: Serbia
local long form: Republika Srbija
local short form: Srbija
former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Belgrade
geographic coordinates: 44 50 N, 20 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
31 districts (okrugov; singular - okrug), 1 capital city*
Central Serbia: Belgrad*, Bor, Branicevo, Jablanica, Kolubara, Macva, Moaravica, Nisava, Pcinja, Pirot, Podunavlje, Pomoravlje, Rasina, Raska, Sumadija, Toplica, Zajecar, Zlatibor
Vojvodina: Central Banat, North Backa, North Banat, South Backa, South Banat, Srem, West Backa
Kosovo and Metohia: Dakovica, Gnjilane, Kosovska Mitrovica, Pec, Pristina, Prizren, Urosevac
Independence:
5 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
National holiday:
National Day, 27 April
Constitution:
28 September 1990; note - new constitution being written
Legal system:
based on civil law system
Suffrage:
18 universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Boris TADIC (since 11 July 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Vojislav KOSTUNICA (since 3 March 2004)
cabinet: Federal Ministries act as cabinet
elections: president elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 27 June 2004 (next to be held June 2009); prime minister elected by the Assembly
election results: Boris TADIC elected president in the second round of voting; Boris TADIC received 53% of the vote
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (250 deputies elected by direct vote for a four-year term)
elections: last held 28 December 2003 (next to be held December 2007)
election results: SRS 83, DSS 53, DS 37, G17 Plus 34, SPO-NS 22, SPS 22
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court (nine justices with life tenure)
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Vojislav KOSTUNICA]; Democratic Party or DS [Boris TADIC]; G17 Plus [Mladjan DINKIC is acting leader]; Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ, but Tomislav NIKOLIC is acting leader]; Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [vacant, but Ivica DACIC is head of the SPS Main Board]; New Serbia or NS [Velimir ILIC]; Serbian Renewal Movement or SPO [Vuk DRASKOVIC]
International organization participation:
ABEDA, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, EBRD, FAO, G-9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), ONUB, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ivan VUJACIC
chancery: 2134 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
consulate(s) general: Chicago
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael C. POLT
embassy: Kneza Milosa 50, 11000 Belgrade
mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
telephone: [381] (11) 361-9344
FAX: [381] (11) 361-8230
note: there is a branch office in Pristina at 30 Nazim Hikmet 38000 Prstina, Kososvo; telephone: [381] (38) 549-516; FAX:[381] (38) 549-890
Flag description:
three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), blue, and white; charged with the coat of arms of Serbia shifted slightly to the hoist side
Economy Serbia
Economy - overview:
MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of economic sanctions, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy only half the size it was in 1990. After the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC in October 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. After renewing its membership in the IMF in December 2000, a down-sized Yugoslavia continued to reintegrate into the international community by rejoining the World Bank (IBRD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A World Bank-European Commission sponsored Donors' Conference held in June 2001 raised $1.3 billion for economic restructuring. In November 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reschedule the country's $4.5 billion public debt and wrote off 66% of the debt. In July 2004, the London Club of private creditors forgave $1.7 billion of debt, just over half the total owed. Belgrade has made only minimal progress in restructuring and privatizing its holdings in major sectors of the economy, including energy and telecommunications. It has made halting progress towards EU membership and is currently pursuing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels. Serbia is also pursuing membership in the World Trade Organization. Unemployment remains an ongoing political and economic problem. The Republic of Montenegro severed its economy from Serbia during the MILOSEVIC era; therefore, the formal separation of Serbia and Montenegro in June 2006 had little real impact on either economy. Kosovo's economy continues to transition to a market-based system and is largely dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. The euro and the Yugoslav dinar are both accepted currencies in Kosovo. While maintaining ultimate oversight, UNMIK continues to work with the EU and Kosovo's local provisional government to accelerate economic growth, lower unemployment, and attract foreign investment to help Kosovo integrate into regional economic structures. The complexity of Serbia and Kosovo's political and legal relationships has created uncertainty over property rights and hindered the privatization of state-owned assets in Kosovo. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the largest city, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common.
note: economic data for Serbia currently reflects information for the former Serbia and Montenegro, unless otherwise noted; data for Serbia alone will be added when available
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$41.15 billion for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$19.19 billion for Serbia alone (excluding Kosovo) (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.9% for Serbia alone (excluding Kosovo) (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,400 for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2005)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 16.6%
industry: 25.5%
services: 57.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
2.961 million for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2002)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 46%
services: 24%
note: excluding Kosovo and Montenegro (2002)
Unemployment rate:
31.6%
note: unemployment is approximately 50% in Kosovo (2005)
Population below poverty line:
30%
note: data covers the former Serbia and Montenegro (1999 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
15.5% (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
14.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $11.45 billion
expenditures: $11.12 billion; including capital expenditures $NA; note - figures are for Serbia and Montenegro; Serbian Statistical Office indicates that for 2006 budget, Serbia will have revenues of $7.08 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
53.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, maize, sugar beets, sunflower, beef, pork, milk
Industries:
sugar, agricultural machinery, electrical and communication equipment, paper and pulp, lead, transportation equipment
Industrial production growth rate:
1.4% (2006)
Electricity - production:
33.87 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
NA
Electricity - exports:
12.05 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo; exported to Montenegro) (2004)
Electricity - imports:
11.23 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo; imports from Montenegro) (2004)
Oil - production:
14,660 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
85,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
38.75 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
650 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.55 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-2.451 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$4.553 billion (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
manufactured goods, food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment
Imports:
$10.58 billion (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2005)
Debt - external:
$15.43 billion (including Montenegro) (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2 billion pledged in 2001 to Serbia and Montenegro (disbursements to follow over several years; aid pledged by EU and US has been placed on hold because of lack of cooperation by Serbia in handing over General Ratco MLADIC to the criminal court in The Hague)
Currency (code):
new Yugoslav dinar (YUM); note - in Kosovo both the euro and the Yugoslav dinar are legal
Exchange rates:
new Yugoslav dinars per US dollar - 58.6925 (2005)
Communications Serbia
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,685,400 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4,729,600 (2004)
Telephone system:
modernization of the telecommunications network has been slow as a result of damage stemming from the 1999 war and transition to a competitive market-based system; network was only 65% digitalized in 2005; teledensity remains below the average for neighboring states; GSM wireless service, available through two providers with national coverage, is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications service limited to urban centers
Radio broadcast stations:
153 (2001)
Internet country code:
.yu
Internet hosts:
NA
Internet users:
1.4 million (2006)
Transportation Serbia
Airports:
39 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 23
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 12 (2006)
Heliports:
4 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 3,177 km; oil 393 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 4,135 km
standard guage: 4,135 km 1.435-m guage (electrified 1,195 km) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 37,887 km
paved: 23,937 km
unpaved: 13,950 km (2002)
Waterways:
587 km - primarily on Danube and Sava rivers (2005)
Merchant marine:
note: see entry for Montenegro
Military Serbia
Military service age and obligation:
peacetime service obligation begins at age 17 and lasts until age 60 for men and 50 for women; under a state of war or impending war, the obligation can begin at age 16 and be extended beyond 60 (2006)
Transnational Issues Serbia
Disputes - international:
the final status of the Serbian province of Kosovo remains unresolved and several thousand peacekeepers from the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) have administered the region since 1999, with Kosovar Albanians overwhelmingly supporting and Serbian officials opposing Kosovo independence; the international community had agreed to begin a process to determine final status but contingency of solidifying multi-ethnic democracy in Kosovo has not been satisfied; ethnic Albanians in Kosovo refuse demarcation of the boundary with Macedonia in accordance with the 2000 Macedonia-Serbia and Montenegro delimitation agreement; Serbia and Montenegro delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections with Serbia along the Drina River remain in dispute
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 180,117 (Croatia); 95,297 (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
IDPs: 225,000 - 251,000 (mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route; economy vulnerable to money laundering

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006