Ana Brnabić

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Ana Brnabić
Ana Brnabic, July 3, 2018.jpg
12th Prime Minister of Serbia
Assumed office
29 June 2017
PresidentAleksandar Vučić
DeputyIvica Dačić (First)
Rasim Ljajić
Zorana Mihajlović
Nebojša Stefanović
Preceded byAleksandar Vučić Ivica Dačić (Acting)
Minister of Finance
Acting
In office
16 May 2018 – 29 May 2018
Prime MinisterHerself
Preceded byDušan Vujović
Succeeded bySiniša Mali
Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government
In office
11 August 2016 – 29 June 2017
Prime MinisterAleksandar Vučić
Ivica Dačić (Acting)
Preceded byKori Udovički
Succeeded byBranko Ružić
Personal details
Born (1975-09-28) 28 September 1975 (age 44)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian
Political partySerbian Progressive Party
Domestic partnerMilica Đurđić
Alma materNorthwood University
University of Hull

Ana Brnabić (Serbian Cyrillic: Ана Брнабић, pronounced [âna bř̩nabit͜ɕ]; born 28 September 1975) is a Serbian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Serbia since 29 June 2017. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to hold the office.[1]

She entered government as the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia[2] from 11 August 2016 until 29 June 2017, under Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and Acting Prime Minister Ivica Dačić. In this role, Brnabić initiated reforms of central government services in Serbia.

After Vučić was inaugurated as the President of Serbia on 31 May 2017, he proposed Brnabić as his successor in June 2017.[3] Prime Minister Brnabić and her Cabinet were voted into office on 29 June 2017 by a majority of 157 out of 250 Members of the National Assembly of Serbia.

In 2018, Brnabić was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 91st most powerful woman in the world and as the 21st most powerful female political and policy leader.[4][5] Opposition leaders and independent commentators describe her as a mere puppet of president Vučić.[6][7] Brnabić never denied this, and even said that Vučić should act as a "mentor" of prime minister.[8]

Early and personal life[edit]

Brnabić was born in Belgrade. Her paternal grandfather Anton Brnabić, an ethnic Croat Yugoslav military officer, was born in Stara Baška on Croatian island of Krk, in the present-day Republic of Croatia. He fought with the Yugoslav Partisans during World War II and was ranked lieutenant colonel after the war. Her paternal grandmother Mica was born in Gorobilje near Požega (in Serbia). Her maternal grandparents are from Babušnica, southeastern Serbia. Her father Zoran was born in Užice in 1950 and finished his studies in Belgrade, where the family lived.[9]

Brnabić is a lesbian, the second female LGBT head of government in the world following following Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (Iceland 2009–13), and fifth openly LGBT head of government overall following Jóhanna, Elio Di Rupo (Belgium 2011–14), Xavier Bettel (Luxembourg 2013–present), and Leo Varadkar (Ireland 2017–present). In 2017, she became the first head of government of any Balkan country to attend a gay pride march when she attended one in Belgrade.[10]

In 2019 her partner Milica Đurđić gave birth to a boy; Brnabić is the first openly gay prime minister whose partner gave birth while the prime minister was in office.[11]

Education and business career[edit]

Brnabić holds an MBA diploma of the University of Hull and worked for over a decade with international organizations, foreign investors, local self-government units, and the public sector in Serbia.

Prior to Brnabić's appointment to the Government of Serbia, she was director of Continental Wind Serbia,[12] where she worked on the implementation of the investment of €300 million into a windpark in Kovin.[13] She was a member of the managing board of the non-profit foundation Peksim.[14]

She has been engaged in different US consulting companies that implemented USAID-financed projects in Serbia. She was deputy manager of the Serbia's Competitiveness Project, the expert on the Local self-government Reform Program in Serbia and the senior coordinator of the Program of Economic Development of Municipalities.[citation needed] She actively participated in the foundation of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) in 2006.

She made great efforts to build capacities of NALED for representation of interests of the business sector, local self-government units and the civil society in Serbia. During that engagement, she participated in the introduction of the concept of local economic development in Serbia and building of potentials of municipalities to improve the business environment at the local level with active promotion of investments. She became a member, and thereafter the President of the Managing Board of NALED.

Politics[edit]

Brnabić with Petro Poroshenko in 2018
Brnabić with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev during his official state visit in Belgrade

In August 2016, she was appointed as the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government. In addition, she is the president of the Council for Innovative Entrepreneurship and Information Technologies of the Government of Serbia, as well as of the Republic Council for National Minorities and the vice president of the Republic Council for Public Administration Reform.

Brnabić described herself as a pro-European and technocratic prime minister.[15][16] She explained that the priorities for her government are modernization, education reform and digitization.[17][18] On the other hand, she has been criticised because she is the head of a conservative and nationalist government which also includes openly anti-Western and pro-Russian ministers.[19][20][21][22]

In May 2018, Brnabić took over the Ministry of Finance until the new Minister was appointed, following the resignation of Dušan Vujović.[23] On 29 May 2018, she appointed Siniša Mali as Vujović's successor on that position.[24]

In June 2019, the Prime Minister confirmed she is considering joining the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) saying: "The SNS is a party which is not afraid to change, to learn, to give people a chance even if they aren’t members as long as that makes sense for Serbia’s progress. The SNS supported me and trusted me when many others would not have. I can say today that I love and respect this party and that I hope they will accept me as a part of them." [25]

Srebrenica genocide remarks[edit]

In an interview on November 14, 2018 with the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Brnabić denied that the July 1995 massacres of Bosniaks by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica had been an act of genocide.[26] Two weeks later, the European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that the parliament regretted the continuing denial of the Srebrenica genocide by parts of the Serbian authorities and recalled that full cooperation with the ICTY and its successor mechanism included accepting its judgements.[27]

Kosovo[edit]

In December 2018, Commenting on the announced transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into the Kosovo Armed Forces, Brnabić said: “I hope we won’t have to use our military, but at the moment, that’s one of the options on the table because one cannot witness a new ethnic cleansing of the Serbs and new Storms - although Edi Rama is calling for them. When someone knows you have a strong army, then they have to sit down and talk to you.”[28][29]

In addition, in May 2019, Foreign Minister of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli said that he would not allow Brnabić to enter Kosovo because of, what he said is, her racist ideology. Brnabić, during the handover of a European Commission 2019 progress report, said: “Haradinaj, Thaçi and Veseli are competing to see who the biggest nationalist and chauvinist is. What scares me most is that we are dealing with irrational people, the worst kind of populist, people who literally walked out of the woods.”[30][31] This was met with strong criticism, particularly by Twitter users, who campaigned with the hashtag #literallyjustemergedfromthewoods in order to mock the Prime Minister.[32]

Awards[edit]

She has been awarded numerous plaudits for the development projects on which she worked, for the promotion of socially accountable business operation and tolerance.[33]

Award or decoration Country Date Place
Order of the Republika Srpska[34]  Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Republika Srpska) 9 January 2019 Banja Luka

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Surk, Barbara (28 June 2017). "Serbia Gets Its First Female, and First Openly Gay, Premier". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Потпредседници и министри". www.srbija.gov.rs. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Ana Brnabić mandatarka za sastav nove Vlade". N1. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  4. ^ "The World's Most Powerful Women in 2018". forbes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Women Who Rule The World: The 22 Most Powerful Female Political and Policy Leaders 2018". forbes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  6. ^ Gouveia, José Fialho (7 July 2017). "Serbia chooses first woman to lead government and please EU" (in Spanish). Diario de Noticias. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  7. ^ Karabeg, Omer (15 April 2018). "Ana Brnabić: Premijerka ili Vučićeva marioneta" (in Serbo-Croatian). Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Brnabić: Vučić da ima ulogu mentora nad premijerom" (in Serbian). Danas. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  9. ^ ""MOJ DEDA JE HRVAT, JA SAM SRPKINJA" Ovo je porodični "rodoslov" Ane Brnabić" (in Serbian). Blic. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Serbia's gay PM is first in region to attend pride parade". bbc.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  11. ^ Peter Stubley (2019). "Gay partner of Serbian PM Ana Brnabic gives birth in first for a world leader". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  12. ^ Danas Conference Center (8 October 2014), Ana Brnabić, generalni direktor Continental Wind Srbija, retrieved 7 November 2018
  13. ^ "Construction of Cibuk wind farm in Kovin begins late 2013". Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Brnabic Named Serbia's New PM-Designate". Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  15. ^ Anastasijevic, Dejan (19 June 2017). "Hard days ahead for Serbia's gay PM". EUobserver. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Brnabic: Everyone forgets i'm a technocrat Prime Minister". N1. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  17. ^ Gec, Jovana (28 June 2017). "Serbia's next premier: EU membership, modernization priority". Associated Press. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Digitalization, education reform are priorities, Serbian PM". N1. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  19. ^ {{cite journa l|last1=Swimelar |first1=Safia |title=The Journey of LGBT Rights: Norm Diffusion and its Challenges in EU Seeking States: Bosnia and Serbia |journal=Human Rights Quarterly |date=November 2017 |volume=39 |issue=4 |pages=910-42 |doi=10.1353/hrq.2017.0054 }}
  20. ^ "Aleksić: Brnabić, simbolična figura u konzervativnoj vladi". Radio Free Europe (in Serbian). 5 May 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Serbia lawmakers elect 1st female and 1st openly gay premier". Associated Press. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  22. ^ Thompson, Wayne (2018). Nordic, Central, and Southeastern Europe 2018-2019. Rowman & Littlefield.
  23. ^ "Brnabićeva ministar finansija, do imenovanja novog". b92.net (in Serbian). Tanjug. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Mali izabran za ministra finansija". b92.net (in Serbian). Beta. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  25. ^ Bjelotomic, Snezana (25 June 2019). "Ana Brnabic to become a member of the Serbian Progressive Party". Serbian Monitor. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Hague Court Chief Criticises Serbian PM's Genocide Denial". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  27. ^ "European Parliament notes reform progress in Serbia". Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  28. ^ "I hope Serbia won't have to use army - but it's an option". B92. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Serbian premier: Armed intervention in Kosovo an option". The Washington Post. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Incensed By 'Racist' Comments, Kosovo Says It Is Banning Serbian PM". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Kosovo FM Pacolli calls Serbian PM Brnabic racist". N1. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  32. ^ "Is Serbia's prime minister racist?". TRT World. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Министар". www.mduls.gov.rs. Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  34. ^ "Ani Brnabić u Banjaluci uručuju najviši orden RS". Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kori Udovički
Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government
2016–2017
Succeeded by
Branko Ružić
Preceded by
Ivica Dačić
(Acting)
Prime Minister of Serbia
2017–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Dušan Vujović
Minister of Finance (Acting)
2018
Succeeded by
Siniša Mali