On 29 June, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia elected the new Government of the Republic of Serbia. The new Government, chaired by the Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, consists of 18 ministries and three ministers without portfolio. The Government was selected with the support of 157 members of the National Assembly; this was preceded by a two-day debate in the National Assembly during which Ana Brnabić delivered her keynote address and introduced the candidates for the cabinet.
During her keynote address, Ana Brnabić put social development, and social inclusion at the very top of priorities of the new Government and invited members of the National Assembly to join her and her team in building a better life and future for all citizens. Ms. Brnabić identified inclusive economic growth as one of the drivers of development and added that it required a combination of economical social protection, quality education which provides equal opportunity for all, and proper functioning of the labour market. According to Ana Brnabić, the Employment and Social Policy Reform Programme represents a clear roadmap for the implementation of necessary reforms in our society in order to achieve prosperity for all – from encouraging social entrepreneurship to increasing the accessibility of health care.
The newly elected Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, stated that particular attention would be given to the improvement of the status of the most vulnerable groups in society, to the adoption of the Strategy for Improvement of the Position of Persons with Disabilities, and also to addressing issues related to maternity benefits for self-employed mothers and providing better services to mothers who should exercise the right to maternity leave for the purpose of special care for a child. Furthermore, she was added that there were measures prepared for higher rates of leaves by fathers on the grounds of childbirth and care; these measures were developed on the basis of the model used in the Scandinavian countries.
During her presentation, Ana Brnabić stated that Serbia was the first country outside of the European Union which introduced the Gender Equality Index. The data shows that Serbia is behind European standards in all domains of gender equality, except in the domain of power, with a large gap in the domain of labour and money. This is why the Government of the Republic of Serbia introduced gender responsive budgeting and objectives such as achieving 30% of management positions to be filled by women by the year 2020.
In the area of population policy, the Government has already taken a number of measures – a Population Policy Council chaired by the Prime Minister was established and a revision of the Birth Promotion Strategy has been initiated.
“We will continue to act responsibly. During the first 100 days of Government work, we will establish which measures of the population policy are the most urgent and can give results. This will include increasing financial transfers directed towards families with children, through amendments to the Law on Financial Support for Families with Children, and also through establishing a balance between family and work, which will be done by amending the Labour Law” – said Ana Brnabić.