Ivica Dačić

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Ivica Dačić
Ivica Dačić (June 2010).jpg
First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
Incumbent
Assumed office
27 April 2014
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić
Preceded by Aleksandar Vučić
In office
7 July 2008 – 27 July 2012
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković
Preceded by Božidar Đelić
Succeeded by Aleksandar Vučić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
27 April 2014
President Tomislav Nikolić
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić
Preceded by Ivan Mrkić
10th Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
27 July 2012 – 27 April 2014
President Tomislav Nikolić
Deputy Aleksandar Vučić
Preceded by Mirko Cvetković
Succeeded by Aleksandar Vučić
Minister of Internal Affairs
In office
7 July 2008 – 27 April 2014
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković
Preceded by Mirjana Orašanin (Acting)
Succeeded by Nebojša Stefanović
Personal details
Born (1966-01-01) 1 January 1966 (age 48)
Prizren, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Political party Socialist
Spouse(s) Sanja Dačić
Children Luka
Andrea
Alma mater University of Belgrade
Religion Serbian Orthodoxy

Ivica Dačić (Serbian Cyrillic: Ивица Дачић, pronounced [îʋit͡sa dât͡ʃit͡ɕ]; born 1 January 1966) is a Serbian politician who has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia since April 2014. He is the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia. From 2008 to April 2012 he served as Minister of Internal Affairs then as Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Internal Affairs from July 2012 to April 2014.[1]

Dačić graduated from the University of Belgrade in 1989 and joined the Socialist Party in 1991. He quickly rose up the ranks of the party, becoming its spokesman in 1992, under his mentor, Slobodan Milošević, President of Serbia and FR Yugoslavia. Following the Bulldozer Revolution and ousting of Milošević (2000–2001), Dačić became a member of the main board, and became party leader in 2006. He has worked to reform the party and to change its former policies, and has proclaimed a pro-EU path.

Early life[edit]

Dačić was born in Prizren and was brought up in Žitorađa. His father, Desimir, was a police officer, and his mother, Jelisaveta ("Jela"), was a housewife.[2][3] His parents were both born in villages under the Jastrebac.[3] When Ivica was six months old, the family moved to Žitorađa.[3] He has a sister, Emica.[3] At the age of 5, he was featured in the newspapers in the article "Enciklopedija u kratkim pantalonama" (Encyclopaedia in shorts) as he had learnt to read and write himself, knew the names of many mountains, rivers and capitals, nearly all notable football players and results of matches.[3] His childhood nickname was Bucko ("chubby", a popular nickname in former Yugoslavia), and his classmates at secondary school in Žitorađa have described him as very intelligent for his age - he often managed to amaze the teachers with his knowledge and wit, and he played handball and football and associated with everyone at his school.[2] In the state-run history-contest named "Tito, revolucija, mir", which was held in all republics, Dačić won over 600 others.[2] The family was described as humble and not wealthy, and as they lived off one paycheck, the parents picked mushrooms and dog rose in order to send Ivica and his sister to school.[2] The parents sold the house in Žitorađa in 2010 and moved to Prokuplje, Desimir had until some years ago driven a 1977 Fiat 500.[2]

He went to high school in Niš, where he excelled with the highest grades (5), and graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Sciences, with a degree in journalism in 1989, with a highest medium grade of 10, and also won the award for the best student of scientific achievements.[2][4] His sister Emica has degrees in pedagogy and drama.[2] He was in the faculty organization Association of Communists, and in 1990 he was elected the first president of the Young Socialists of Belgrade.[3][4]

Political career[edit]

Early years[edit]

At the beginning of the 1990s, he was an editor for the short-lived newspapers of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), "Epoha".[4] He became a member of SPS in the middle of 1991.[4] He was the head of the Information and Propaganda staff of the SPS during the elections in 1992 and 1993, and then a minister of the Citizens' council in the first assembly of Yugoslavia, and member of the Executive Committee of the Main Board (IO GO) and Vice President of the Council for Information and Propaganda of the SPS.[4] He was appointed member of IO GO on the second congress of SPS on 26 October 1992, with the most won votes.[4]

In the mid-1990s, Milošević's influential wife Mirjana Marković moved Dačić to a small office in a Belgrade suburb in order to curb his growing ambitions.[5]

Dačić was appointed member of IO GO again in the next congress in 1996, when there were major personnel changes in the party leadership, and of 27 members of IO GO, voted in 1992, only 5 remained, including Dačić.[4] He was the spokesman of SPS for 8 years, between 1992 and 2000.[4][6]

In 1996, Dačić was a minister in the Citizens' council of the assembly of Yugoslavia and President of the Committee on Public Information, and in 1997 he was member of the Committee on Foreign Relations.[4] In April 1999, the federal government appointed him a member of the Board of Tanjug, and in early May, as President of the Federal Council of the public institution RTV Yugoslavia.[4]

Overthrow of Slobodan Milošević, President of the SPS Main Board and 2004 elections[edit]

He was elected President of the Belgrade Socialists on 10 February 2000, and again on 5 December 2000 in the election conference of the City Board of SPS.[4] Following the Bulldozer Revolution on 5 October 2000, Milošević was arrested by Serbian police on 31 March 2001, and was eventually transferred to The Hague to be prosecuted by the ICTY. In the transitional government, from October 2000 to January 2001, Dačić was the co-minister of Information alongside Biserka Matić (DOS) and Bogoljub Pejčić (SPO).[4] On 24 September 2000 he was elected the minister of the Citizens' council of the assembly of Yugoslavia, and then member of the Committee on Security and Foreign Policy in both federal assemblies.[4] Dačić reformed the party with his assembling of a team of young moderates, while retaining some of the former figures to satisfy the elderly ex-communists.[5]

He was the President of the Main Board of the SPS and was the Vice President of the SPS from 2000 to 2003, and federal deputy in the Chamber of Citizens of the Federal Assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Assembly of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro from 1992 to 2004.[3] In the sixth congress of SPS, on 18 January 2003, Dačić was elected the President of the Main Board of SPS.[4] Since 2003, he was deputy in the parliament, and head of the parliamentary group of SPS.[4]

He was the party's presidential candidate in the 2004 election and placed fifth with 125,952 votes (4,04%).[4][7]

Party leadership[edit]

He was elected President of the Socialist Party on the seventh congress on 3 December 2006, winning over candidate Milorad Vučelić in the second round with 1287 points, versus 792 points, of the delegates votes.[4]

In 2007, he was the President of the Committee on Security of the Parliament.[4] On 7 July 2008, the government appointed Dačić the first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Police.[4] He became a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).[4]

In 2008, the Socialists were back in power as partners of the Democrats in the For a European Serbia-electoral alliance, led by Boris Tadić, after the 2008 Serbian parliamentary election; the Democrats were the main party that had helped oust Milošević.[5] Dačić supported Serbia's EU ambitions.[5]

In August 2010, his family was under police protection after threats by the mafia.[8] In 2012, the Security Information Agency (Serbia's intelligence agency) received information that drug boss Darko Šarić had offered 10 million € for the assassination of Tadić and Dačić.[9]

2012 elections, Prime Minister[edit]

The Socialist Party entered a coalition with the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS), and United Serbia. In the 2012 parliamentary election the Socialist Party's coalition had come third with 556.013 votes, 14.53%, 44 seats;[4] The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), led by Tomislav Nikolić, beat the Democratic Party of Tadić in both the parliamentary and 2012 presidential election.[5] Of the results, Dačić said "We have risen from the ashes" after the Party had doubled their results from the previous election.[5] After weeks of negotiations, the Socialist Party left the alliance with the Democrats in favour of the Serbian Progressive Party.[5][10] Nikolić offered the Prime Minister post to Dačić,[5] and on 28 June 2012, Dačić received a mandate to form a new Government of Serbia.[11][12] Dačić assumed office on 27 July.[13] He said at a reception: "In this chamber there are many who toppled us in 2000, and I thank them, for if they hadn't toppled us we wouldn't have changed, realised our mistakes and we wouldn't be standing here today.".[5]

The government included the SPS and SNS, along with several smaller parties, headed by Nikolić, a former nationalist.[12] The election has triggered some unease, as it marks the return of power of Milošević's allies.[12] Dačić has worked on transforming the party since taking over after Milošević, proclaiming a pro-EU path,[14] and abandoning Milošević's nationalist policies.[12] The stagnant economy[12] has resulted in Dačić set to forming a "economic recovery council" by the end of August.[15] The Serbian parliament elected Jorgovanka Tabaković (SNS) as new central bank governor.[16]

Position Portfolio Name Party
Prime Minister
Minister
General Affairs
Internal Affairs
Ivica Dačić SPS
First Deputy Prime Minister
Minister
Defence, Security and the Fight against Corruption and Crime
Defence
Aleksandar Vučić SNS
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister

Foreign and Home Trade and Telecommunications
Rasim Ljajić SDPS (SNS nominated)
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister

Labour, Employment and Social Policy
Jovan Krkobabić PUPS
Deputy Prime Minister European Integration Suzana Grubješić G17+
Secretary-General Veljko Odalović SPS
Minister Finance and Economy Mlađan Dinkić G17+
Minister Foreign Affairs Ivan Mrkić ind. (SNS nominated)
Minister Transport Milutin Mrkonjić SPS
Minister Construction and Urbanism Velimir Ilić NS
Minister Justice and Public Administration Nikola Selaković SNS
Minister Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Goran Knežević SNS
Minister Education, Science and Technological Development Žarko Obradović SPS
Minister Health Slavica Đukić-Dejanović SPS
Minister Energy, Development and Environmental Protection Zorana Mihajlović SNS
Minister Culture and Information Bratislav Petković SNS
Minister Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning Milan Bačević SNS
Minister Regional Development and Local Self-Government Verica Kalanović G17+
Minister Youth and Sport Alisa Marić ind. (SNS nominated)
Minister without portfolio Sustainable Development Sulejman Ugljanin SDAS

Policies[edit]

Upon becoming Prime Minister, faces the challenges of the declining Economy and Serbia's accession to the EU.[5] Speaking to the new parliament, he said the economic recovery was the state's main priorities, and also pledged to work on corruption and crime.[17]

Foreign relations[edit]

He has said that Serbia will "co-operate with all the countries of the world, advocate security, stability and good relations in the western Balkans and hold out its hand in reconciliation".[17]

EU membership[edit]

Serbia earned EU candidate status under Tadić's government, and Dačić has said that the new government will implement everything the previous government had accepted in the EU talks.[17]

His supporters point that his pro-EU stance is evident in the handover of Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić under his tenure as Interior Minister, and his role in the visa-free travel for Serbians in the EU.[5] Following the European Council’s confirmation on 28 June 2013 that formal negotiations for the accession of Serbia to the EU could begin, Dačić announced that the Serbian government would remain continuously in session with the aim of completing the talks as quickly as possible.[18] He emphasized that harmonisation with European laws is an integral part of the government’s plan for boosting investment and employment.[19]

Status of Kosovo[edit]

On 17 February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo declared independence.[20] It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-majority political institutions, the first having been proclaimed on 7 September 1990.[21] The legality of the declaration, and indeed whether it was an act of the Assembly, was disputed by the government of Serbia. Serbia sought international validation and support for its stance, and in October 2008 Serbia requested an advisory opinion on the matter from the International Court of Justice.[22] The Court determined that the declaration of independence was legal.[23] In 2006, upon being elected party leader, Dačić said that he had no problem fighting for Kosovo as he had done it before.[17] Although the recognition of Kosovo by Serbia might not be a requirement for Serbia's EU accession,[17] the EU opposes any partition of Kosovo into ethnic entities.[17] In May 2011, he said that partition of Kosovo would be the "only realistic solution".[24]

On 25 July 2011, the North Kosovo crisis began when the Kosovo Police crossed into the Serb-controlled municipalities of North Kosovo, in an attempt to control several border crossings without the consultation of either Serbia or KFOR/EULEX.[25][26] Though tensions between the two sides eased somewhat after the intervention of NATO's KFOR forces, they continued to remain high amid concern from the EU, who also blamed Kosovo for the unilateral provocation.[27]

On 24 November 2011, Dačić said that he saw the Republic of Kosovo's incident with Serbs in North Kosovo as an attack on Serbia.[28] The BBC claimed the "nationalist" leanings of Kosovo-born Dačić raise speculation on the policy towards the Kosovo issue, which may implicate on Serbia's EU application.[17]

Dačić's stance has since dramatically changed; in February 2013 he met Hashim Thaçi, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, in Brussels for the most important in a series of talks.[29] On 19 April 2013, Dačić and his government took another step towards normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia.[30] In March 2013, Dačić said that while his government would never recognise Kosovo's independence, "lies were told that Kosovo is ours" and that Serbia needed to define its "real borders".[31] He is considered a traitor by many Serbs in North Kosovo who say he works for Kosovan independence and for the Albanians.[32]

Economy[edit]

The Socialists controlled gas monopoly Srbijagas which entered partnership with Russian oil giant Gazprom in the coalition with the Democratic Party.[5]

Dačić has pledged to promote greater social justice and tackle the rise of unemployment and decline in industry, which he blamed on unrestrained capitalism.[5] With the euro zone crisis, Serbia, as other Balkan countries, sees high debt, creeping inflation and falling exports.[5]

On 12 July, he called the Serbian financial sector "the greatest enemy of the people".[17] The stagnant economy[12] has resulted in Dačić set to forming a "economic recovery council" by the end of August.[15] Dejan Šoškić was replaced as Governor of National Bank of Serbia by Jorgovanka Tabaković on 6 August 2012.[33]

Protege of Slobodan Milošević[edit]

Due to his spokesmanship to Milošević, sharp tongue and round person, he received the nickname "Little Sloba" after his mentor.[5][17] Dačić said that the Socialist Party he inherited from Milošević made mistakes, but he still revered Milošević.[5] He said, regarding his history with Milošević: "The past is of no interest to me because I cannot change it but we can do something to change our country's future."[17]

Nenad Sebek, executive director of the Centre for Reconciliation and Democracy think-tank said "Dačić is one of the most intelligent and cunning politicians in Serbia [...] Without ever saying sorry for what his party did during the 1990s under Milošević, Dačić single-handedly returned the Socialists to the political mainstream in Serbia."[5] Sebek continued: "He is extremely smart and likely to be very cooperative when negotiating with the international community, but he's still an eyesore for anyone who doesn't have the memory of a goldfish."[5]

The EU had earlier listed Dačić among persons in Slobodan Milošević's circle prohibited from entering the EU.[4][when?]

Personal life[edit]

Dačić's wife is named Sanja. He has two children, a son named Luka and a daughter named Andrea.[4] Apart from Serbian, Dačić speaks Russian and English.[4][17] Dačić was a licensed amateur radio operator.[citation needed]

Sports[edit]

Dačić has been the President of KK Partizan, Sport Association of Serbia, and Vice President of the Olympic Committee of FR Yugoslavia.[4] He was appointed President of RK Partizan on 23 June 2007.[4]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Potpredsednici i ministri", Government of the Republic of Serbia, 2012 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mitić, Lj. (28 July 2012). "Školski drugovi o Ivici Dačiću: Prasko je bio izuzetno dete". Blic online (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Petković, J. L (2011-05-22). "Ivica Dačić - Odlikaš u politici". Vesti online. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Beta (28 June 2012). "Karijera i dostignuća Ivice Dačića". 24 sata (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r ""We've changed": New Serb PM is ex-aide to Milosevic", Chicago Tribune, 27 July 2012 
  6. ^ Socialist party of Serbia. "President". 
  7. ^ "DOCUMENTS OF THE REPUBLIC ELECTORAL COMMISSION - REGULATIONS", Republic of Serbia 
  8. ^ IM’s family under protection from mafia threats, B92, 2010-08-01, 68816 
  9. ^ "Crime boss offers money reward for murder of officials", B92, 16 July 2012, 81289 
  10. ^ "New guard, old guard". Economist. 4 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "SPS leader gets mandate to form Government", B92 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Ex-Milosevic ally to become Serbia's PM". 26 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Serbia Prime Minister Ivica Dacic elected", The San Francisco Chronicle, 27 July 2012 
  14. ^ "Dačić: EU entry is Serbia's strategic goal", B92, 18 July 2012, 81326 
  15. ^ a b "PM Dačić to form "economic recovery council"". 6 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Serbian parliament elects new central bank governor". 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Profile: Prime Minister Ivica Dacic of Serbia". BBC. 27 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "EU Talks Could Be Completed In Four To Five Years – Ivica Dačić". InSerbia. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Government’s Next Goal – Unemployment – PM Dačić". InSerbia. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Kosovo MPs proclaim independence", BBC News, 17 February 2008
  21. ^ Howard Clark (August 2000). Civil Resistance in Kosovo. Pluto Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7453-1569-0. 
  22. ^ "Serbian president visits Kosovo". BBC News. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Press Release: Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo: Advisory Opinion". International Court of Justice. 22 July 2010. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "Partition of Kosovo only solution, minister says". B92. 15 April 2011. 
  25. ^ Mark Lowen (27 July 2011). "Kosovo tense after deadly clash on Serbian border". BBC. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  26. ^ "Nato Steps In Amid Kosovo-Serbia Border Row". Sky News. July 2011. 
  27. ^ "EU criticises Kosovo police operation". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Ivica Dačić: Zbog Kosova ako treba i rat". Press Online. 24 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "Kosovo's recent past: The Kosovo memory book". The Economist. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "EU brokers historic Kosovo deal, door opens to Serbia accession". Reuters. 19 April 2013. 
  31. ^ Serbs lied to that "Kosovo is ours:" Serbian PM, Reuters, 2013-03-07
  32. ^ "Feeling betrayed in north Kosovo". BBC News. 14 May 2013. 
  33. ^ "Serbia: Jorgovanka Tabakovic new National Bank governor". Ansa. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  34. ^ http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/125/Dru%C5%A1tvo/852424/Da%C4%8Di%C4%87u+nagrada+%22Bambini%22.html
  35. ^ http://sport.blic.rs/Tenis/207278/Djokovicu-i-Dacicu-nagrade-za-izuzetan-doprinos-sportu Đokoviću i Dačiću nagrade za izuzetan doprinos sportu
  36. ^ Дачићу златна значка Полиције Српске (in Serbian). Радио-телевизија Републике Српске. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
Party political offices
New office Spokesman of the Socialist Party
1992–2000
Succeeded by
Branko Ružić
Preceded by
Slobodan Milošević
President of the Socialist Party
2006–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Božidar Đelić
First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
2008–2012
Succeeded by
Aleksandar Vučić
Preceded by
Mirjana Orašanin
Acting
Minister of Internal Affairs
2008–2014
Succeeded by
Nebojša Stefanović
Preceded by
Mirko Cvetković
Prime Minister of Serbia
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Aleksandar Vučić
Preceded by
Aleksandar Vučić
First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
2014–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ivan Mrkić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2014–present