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Aleksandar Vučić


Politics & Diplomacy  I  Foreword



There is no greater honor, bigger obligation, nor bigger pride than the one given by a fact that you lead your country, nor a nicer duty of representing it proudly. I got all that- obligation, duty, honor and pride, from the citizens, in the elections. They are expression of a will and a convincing majority, which indebted me and most of us again to do our job not always in a way that majority wants, but to do everything that is in the best interest of Serbia.


I want to be a President of all and President for all; to be the first one when it comes to liabilities and the last one when it comes to privilege, to work more, and not ask anything for myself, but to ask everything, absolutely everything for our Serbia. The great Confucius said that one can make compromise on anything except on ideals, and this is something I intend to follow; and my ideal is Serbia and wellbeing of its citizens. At the same time, this also determines the priorities of my second tenure, the ones that, it seems to me, had been public and loud even before I took my oath, and which read as follows: peace, stability, independent decision-making, Serbia’s freedom, security, health, Europe, work, work and work.


Serbia is and it will be- to paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, the emperor, philosopher, precisely that, and only that, what we make of it. It is a product of our thoughts, our dreams and our deeds; our ideal, our goal, our consciousness, knowledge about where we both geographically and historically are and great care never to confuse- like it has happened to us so many times in history, history and reality, geography and reality, our wishes and reality. Today I have the honor, but also the paramount obligation to address you as the President whose second term begins at turning point of modern history. There is no more difficult, but neither more sublime duty than this one I take today, for the second time. And there are no more demanding goals, but nor more honorable than the goal of Serbia’s continuation on its path, a unique one, towards the future it had deserved long ago with its sacrifices and deprivations. I take presidential duty in times where the basic premise - throughout the entire world almost, is that rudeness and bad behavior are acts of courage, while calmness and patience are the reflection of fear. We live in times when everybody speaks out loud, while only a few listens, and even fewer hear. Voices of reason are getting quieter, and the vision of the future of the entire mankind is blurrier and more distant. 


Today, more than ever, the entire world is hungry for truth and justice. The same justice that is woven into the first lyrics of our beautiful national anthem that still stands as an imperative without which there is no progress either for a dignified man or the entire world. I will always fight for such a truth and such a justice, because there is no more difficult, but neither more honorable path than the respective one.The world may never be the same again, but I want to emphasize a fact that at least we will try to stay strong, self-confident and decisive in our observance of principles; as a country we will continue working for general good, while we take courageous steps forwards despite all the perils, just like we have done so far.


Therefore, there isn’t a word big enough for our Serbia, which has always stood on cross-roads of different civilizations, religions and cultures, which enriched it in the best possible way, which encourages us to look after that heritage today, even stronger, firmer and more decisive than ever before. Likewise, paths of interests and ambitions, conquering and withdrawal of the others have intertwined through us since ever, but also paths of our victories and defeats that left deep scars on the entire existence of Serbia. Many came to us without respect and consideration and left with hidden or open admiration for our small, but so great nation and our small, but so proud Serbia.


I am proud of Serbia today, which acts in accordance with the principles of international public law; which can condemn the breach of international public law, unambiguously and clearly. But I am also proud of Serbia with neither anti-western, nor anti-Russian sentiment. We welcome Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare, Goethe and Hemingway. This is something Serbia can be proud of; despite it may be the one of the few countries in the modern world to do so.


What I expect from the next Government, but what I will pay special attention to as the President is number one- our European path. And now, pardon me, since I know that this is something people would not applaud to, I would give the biggest room for the respective. 

When we speak about Europe, it serves us as a buzzword; it became some sort of a mandatory mentioning, but also something that we can easily criticize, attack every day, but yet again, when the afternoon or evening comes, we start thinking how much support and help we will be able to ask for tomorrow.


The European Union must not be a buzzword term; it must not be something that has become a part of vocabulary just like that, but it must be our commitment. Precisely because of the trade exchange, investment, but because of a fact that we want to belong to that type of society, we will have to do many things in the field of rule of law, further democratization of our society, media freedom and everything else.


This brings me to -what I swore on today, the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the key political issue for us and that is the issue of Kosovo and Metohija. Related to the Ukrainian crisis, the issue of Kosovo and Metohija will be even more visible and even more difficult for us to resolve it. No matter what you are being told, by anyone; no matter what anyone from the west tells you, Kosovo and Metohija will be bigger and more important topic and precisely because of what President Putin has spoken about recently.


I also know that nobody in Serbia wants to hear this, but we have to search for compromise. We have to fight for compromise. We have to keep safe our people in Kosovo and Metohija. We have to take care of the lives of our people, our elderly ones, their children and children of their children who still live in Kosovo and Metohija, who still love Serbian flag, who still speak Serbian language. That is why we have to search for compromise.


We have stable public finances thanks to the entire Government, the Ministry of Finance, the National Bank of Serbia, thanks to good work, stability, which we have maintained all the time. It is of great importance for us to preserve that stability.

Food. We have enough and we will have enough. All attempts to destabilize the Serbian market will fail because we are never deceiving. We never lie when we say that we have enough sugar, oil, wheat, sunflower, corn and everything else that is necessary for a normal and decent life.


There are big and key, essential, reform tasks in front of Serbia, which will be painful for many - from the new and much more serious and responsible energy policy, to education and science, which needs be the essence, the pillar of Serbia's progress in the future. I would especially like to ask the Government not to be afraid of the reactions regarding the wider, more comprehensive and convincing, more convincing introduction of dual education in our educational system, because everyone was running away from this. 


We will continue, because the state must continue to invest in health care, because health care is becoming one of the pillars of both the development and survival of our nation. Further digitalization, development of robotics, artificial intelligence, but also care for climate change and environmental protection. We have many partners, from Norwegians to the EU and the United States, with whom we have entered into significant projects in the field of energy security, safety and environmental protection, which need to be deepened. As for the issue of our army, as the supreme commander, I will try to make our army, through my authority, stronger, to be the guarantor of security, peace, safety and stability.


What is also important is that salaries and pensions will grow, and inflation must not eat this away. Imported inflation, mostly imported inflation, must not eat away their incomes, because we fought for a better standard of living for the citizens, and the Government will have to work hard on that issue and ensure that pensions keep up with salaries.


What we have achieved in the previous period is very important to us. We have the closest and best possible relations with our Hungarian friends, I mean with the Hungarian state, the closest, historically closest relations, and that is something we must preserve and foster. We also have very good relations with Romania and Bulgaria, in the wider region and with Greece and Turkey. Owing to the Open Balkan initiative, which I will advocate and fight for with all my heart, we probably have the best relations in history with North Macedonia and Albania.


I would especially like to thank the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije for the very wise decisions he made and thus further contributed to the friendship and brotherhood we have with the Macedonian people. It is something that history, Your Holiness, will judge, not a daily report.


Thanks to you and thanks to the policy we pursued, today Serbia is the most popular country in North Macedonia, among their population, today we feel them as brothers and we do not have any problems in those relations and that is a great thing we managed to do.


Our relations with Albania have been ever better, stronger, and firmer. What we will have to pay a lot of attention to are our relations with Zagreb, with Croatia, and to try to change a lot of things, to finally agree that we do not see anything from the past in the same way, that our views of the past are not the same, that they are different, but that we should try to find the same glasses and the same binoculars to look at the future through, and see what we can do together. The doors of Belgrade and the gates, and the doors of the Presidency, will always be open for a good dialogue and conversation with Zagreb. 


I expect the same with political Sarajevo, but they need to know that we will always protect the interests of public international law, those are the interests of Serbia, adherence to the Dayton Agreement, adherence to the Constitution of BiH, respect for the integrity of BiH, but that we will always demand that there is no change in the Dayton Agreement without the consent of all three peoples and that we will, understandably, stand side by side with the Republika Srpska, further develop our relations, whenever we can and if we can help the Republika Srpska, we are not ashamed of that, and we do not endanger anyone because of that, because we will try to lend everyone a hand of support, a hand of unity and a hand of help.



What is important for us is that we build good, friendly and close relations with Bosniaks, despite all the political differences, despite the fact that sometimes someone does not want to accept an extended hand. We also have to do that because of the large number of Bosniaks living in our country. The events from Priboj must never happen again.


I will tell you just one thing from which you can best see how much these people love their country. After 37 years, as we managed to build networks of highways, railways, hospitals, factories after many decades, after 37 years we managed to bring two gold medals from the European Boxing Championship, but one medal we did not manage to bring.


We cannot change the whole world, we can only accept it as it is and seek our place in it. What we can do, what we want to continue, is to change ourselves, to build our country, in every sense to build it, in every field of science, education, health, economy, infrastructure, sports, culture. We will also raise buildings, because, according to Ivo Andrić, they not only change the appearance and significance of the area in which they are located, but also have deep biological ties with the people who use them. 


That is the key goal to which I will dedicate this mandate, my last one, so that when I leave this place, I know that Serbia is a better country than it was when I got here. There is no sacrifice that I will not make for the sake of that goal, and there are no things that I will not do, an effort that I will not be ready for. Because there is no compromise with ideals and that is the only thing with which there can be no compromise. Everything else is subject to compromises and compromise is one beautiful, not ugly word. In the end, this is precisely because my only ideal is Serbia.

This story has been revised and shortened for better comprehension, drawing from a speech delivered at the National Assembly on the occasion of his inauguration for a second term.

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