” Budućnost Srbije “, literally translated as “the future of Serbia” is the newest campaign of the current president of Serbia, mr. Aleksander Vučić. As a “srpski zet” (=Serbian son in law) I can of course only wish the best for Serbia and support the president.

As a European citizen, and a citizen of the Netherlands, I simply can ‘t understand why the president is holding a campaign, while there are no elections foreseen (or will there be soon?). Normally elections are hold every 4 years and politicians who won the mandate of the people should do their jobs during these 4 years, which is not the case it seems in Serbia:  in 2012 Vučić’s SNS party won the majority in the parliament, but in 2014 and 2016 there were parliamentary elections again. In 2017 there was a presidential election and mr Vučić became president instead of prime minister. In a normal society elections are of course not a tool to strengthen your power, but they are instead a tool of the democratic will of the people. This is of course in the most ideal theoretical situation, an ideal democracy doesn’t exist unfortunately I will admit.

When I started to live in Serbia 4.5 years ago, I had hope that Serbia, as a candidate member state of the European Union, would move forward. That Serbia’s economy would become stronger (and thus the citizens of Serbia would profit), that the laws would be enforced better (yes rule of law), that he hospitals and schools would be better equipped and that the infrastructure would be improved.

As I am very well familiar with the railways (I am coming from a railway family) so I started to measure my thoughts about the politics of this country according to the state of the railways. I thought this would be the most neutral stance of view on my new country without judging it too hard.

So in December 2014 the minister of transport, Zorana Mihajlović, announced that the railway between Belgrade and Budapest would be upgraded for a speed of 200 km p/h in 2 to 2.5 years ( see link here). A year later, in december 2015 the prime minister, yes mr. Vučić, announced that the track would be open in 2018 (see link here) . Nothing happened of course… They started to dismantle (?) one track halfway 2018 between Belgrade and Novi Sad.

Železnička stanica (Railway station) Tošin bunar, 13/11/2018

On 01/09/2018 mr Vučić ( now president), together with EU dignitaries, opened with a lot of festivities and media coverage the new bridge in Novi Sad , which is now out of service since 01/02/2019…. And when Budapest-Belgrade will be ready for 200 km p/h ? For sure not the next 5 years, I can make a bet on it!

Unfortunately this is just one small example of how things are going in Serbia these days:  there are so many more sad examples, I can start writing a book, but I will not (now). I just want to finish by writing: stop having campaigns and start working on the Budućnost Srbije…..

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