Serbian Progressive Party

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Serbian Progressive Party

Српска напредна странка
Srpska napredna stranka
PresidentAleksandar Vučić
Deputy PresidentJorgovanka Tabaković
Vice PresidentsMarija Obradović
Marko Đurić
Miloš Vučević
Milenko Jovanov
Parliamentary leaderAleksandar Martinović
FoundersTomislav Nikolić
Aleksandar Vučić
Founded21 October 2008; 12 years ago (2008-10-21)
Split fromSerbian Radical Party
HeadquartersPalmira Toljatija 5, Belgrade
Membership (2020)750,000[1][2][3][4]
Political positionCentre-right[13][14][15]
to right-wing[16][17][18]
National affiliationFor Our Children
European affiliationEuropean People's Party (associate)
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
Colours  Blue
National Assembly
157 / 250
Assembly of Vojvodina
65 / 120
City Assembly of Belgrade
64 / 110
Party flag
Flag of the Serbian Progressive Party

The Serbian Progressive Party (Serbian: Српска напредна странка, romanizedSrpska napredna stranka; abbr. СНС or SNS) is a national-conservative[8][9] and populist political party in Serbia which has been the ruling party since 2012.

Founded in 2008 as a split from the far-right Serbian Radical Party (SRS), the culmination of a decade-long conflict within the SRS between the party's moderate and hard-line wings, the SNS managed to retain the former's national conservative outlook, while adopting distinct pro-European and economic liberal policies. Tomislav Nikolić served as the party president until he got elected as the President of Serbia in 2012. After his resignation, former Deputy President Aleksandar Vučić was elected as the new president of the party. After coming to power in 2012 they became the ruling party of Serbia. Having over 750,000 members as of 2020 places SNS as the biggest party in Europe (excluding United Russia) and they have adopted populist policies as well as becoming a major big tent party in the country.

They are the leading party in the current government coalition which includes left-leaning and right-leaning political parties that support the current President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and his party. As of November 2020, the party holds 157 seats in the National Assembly while the whole coalition holds 188 out of 250 seats which makes Serbia a dominant-party state in which the opposition in parliament only holds 7 seats.[19]


Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić at the SNS founding convention on 21 October 2008.

The Serbian Progressive Party was formed by a group of 21 former Serbian Radical Party (SRS) MPs led by Tomislav Nikolić. Disenchanted with the direction of the party, the pro-EU members[20] left and formed the Forward Serbia parliamentary group. The SNS was founded and held its first congressional meeting on 21 October 2008.[21]

Of the Serbian Radical Party's representatives elected in the 2008 parliamentary election, 21 moved to the Serbian Progressive Party, while 57 remained in the SRS.

In 2011, the SNS formed a pre-election coalition with New Serbia, the Strength of Serbia Movement and the Movement of Socialists to participate in the 2012 election.[22]

In the 2012 parliamentary election, the party led the "Let's Get Serbia Moving" coalition and gained 55 seats out of 73 won by the coalition in the National Assembly. Party leader Tomislav Nikolić defeated Boris Tadić of the Democratic Party in the second round of the 2012 presidential election.[23]

Following his election as President of Serbia, Nikolić stepped down as leader of the party on 24 May 2012, leaving deputy president Aleksandar Vučić in charge until a successor was elected.[24] Vučić was the only candidate who ran for the party leadership, and was elected on 29 September 2012, with Jorgovanka Tabaković as his deputy.[25]

In December 2012, the People's Party led by ex-Mayor of Novi Sad Maja Gojković, merged into the SNS.[26]

The Serbian Progressive Party maintains cooperation with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, Fidesz, Freedom Party of Austria[27] and United Russia party.[28] On 24 April 2013 the SNS' representatives in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe joined the Group of the European People's Party.[29]

On 18 March 2019 the Serbian Progressive Party in Belgrade signed a joint statement with the United Russia party to improve Russia-Serbia strategic partnership in the interests of both nations.[30]

On 2 April 2020, Twitter announced that they removed 8,558 reportedly fake accounts that promoted the ruling Serbian Progressive Party of Aleksandar Vučić and criticized the opposition.[31][32]

Allegations of crime and corruption[edit]

The SNS is widely allegated for connections with crime and corruption, and a significant role in eroding rule of law in Serbia, and a drift towards authoritarianism. [33][34][35]

Freedom House's annual Nations in Transit report in the beginning of 2020 reported that, due to democratic backsliding, Serbia was no longer a democracy (as they had been classified since 2003) but had instead become a hybrid regime (in the "gray zone" between "democracies and pure autocracies"). The report cited "years of increasing state capture, abuse of power, and strongman tactics employed" by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. "Although the current SNS-led government came to power in 2012 promising to battle Serbia’s widespread corruption, the problem appears to have worsened, not improved, in the years since." [36]

University of Gothenburg's V-DEM institute Deputy Director Anna Luhmann said that "the indexes of liberal democracy" have drastically deteriorated in Serbia, from 0.53 in 2009 to 0.25 in 2019 becoming the lowest in Western Balkans, putting it on 139th place of 179 countries ranked, therefore labeling it an "electoral autocracy", “mainly due to media censorship, the government’s attempt to influence the work of the media,” but also “a reduced space for the work of civil societies and academic institutions,” as well as “the concern over the quality of the election system.” [37]

Various media owned by people linked to be close to the party have been sold to the state-owned Telekom, for prices tenth-fold higher than their estimated worth, effectively transferring public money into hands of several individuals, while capturing them into government control. One of the largest examples is the purchase of "Kopernikus Corporation", which has been sold for staggering 195.5 million euros, which experts estimate that it is several scales lower. [38][39], of "Radijus Vektor", sold for 108 million euros, of "Wireless Media", sold for 38 million euros, and various acquisitions of minor cable television and internet providers (such as Avcom d.o.o, Belgrade, Radijus Vektor d.o.o, Belgrade, Masko d.o.o, Belgrade BPP Ing d.o.o and Grocka) [40]. The aforementioned acquisitions led to the worsening of financial situation for Telekom, leading the company to issue bonds of value of 23.5 billion dinars[41], to refinance debts. The Serbian Anti-Corruption Council, however, remained silent.[42] President Vučić, in 2017, labeled N1, the Serbian main independent media, a "Luxembourg TV with American capital" and a "CIA controlled TV".

Presidents of the Serbian Progressive Party (2008–present)[edit]

No. President Birth–Death Term start Term end
1 Tomislav Nikolić Tomislav Nikolić 2012.jpg 1952– 21 October 2008 24 May 2012
2 Aleksandar Vučić[nb 1] Aleksandar Vučić 2019 (cropped).jpg 1970– 24 May 2012 Incumbent

Electoral performance[edit]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

National Assembly of Serbia
Year Leader Popular vote % of popular vote # of seats Seat change Coalition Status
2008 Tomislav Nikolić Split from Serbian Radical Party
21 / 250
Increase 21 opposition
2012 940,659 24.05%
58 / 250
Increase 37 PS government
2014 Aleksandar Vučić 1,736,920 48.35%
128 / 250
Increase 70 BKV government
2016 1,823,147 48.25%
93 / 250
Decrease 35 SP government
2020 1,953,998 60.65%
157 / 250
Increase 64 ZND government

Years in government (2012–)[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

President of Serbia
Year Candidate 1st round popular vote % of popular vote 2nd round popular vote % of popular vote
2012 Tomislav Nikolić 2nd 979,216 25.05% 1st 1,552,063 49.54%
2017 Aleksandar Vučić 1st 2,012,788 56.01% N/A

Positions held[edit]

Major positions held by Serbian Progressive Party members:

President of Serbia Years
Tomislav Nikolić 2012–2017
Aleksandar Vučić 2017–
Prime Minister of Serbia Years
Aleksandar Vučić 2014–2017
Ana Brnabić 2017–
President of the National Assembly of Serbia Years
Nebojša Stefanović 2012–2014
Maja Gojković 2014–2020
Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Years
Jorgovanka Tabaković 2012–
President of the Government of Vojvodina Years
Igor Mirović 2016–
Mayor of Belgrade Years
Siniša Mali 2014–2018
Zoran Radojičić 2018–

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acting party leader until 29 September 2012


  1. ^ "SNS je najveća partija u Evropi po broju članova!".
  2. ^ "SNS: Više članova nego sve stranke zajedno u dvadesetjednoj od 28 država EU". N1.
  3. ^ "SNS IMA 175.000 ČLANOVA VIŠE NEGO VLADAJUĆE STRANKE U BRITANIJI I NEMAČKOJ: A ove dve zemlje imaju 140 miliona stanovnika više od Srbije!".
  4. ^ "Naprednjaci stižu komuniste - svaki deveti građanin Srbije član SNS". N1. 19 September 2020.
  5. ^ Marko Stojić, ed. (2017). Party Responses to the EU in the Western Balkans: Transformation, Opposition or Defiance?. Springer. p. 80.
  6. ^ Adam Fagan, Petr Kopecký, ed. (2017). The Routledge Handbook of East European Politics. Routledge. ISBN 9781317418870. ... Similar patterns could be found in Republika Srpska, where Milorad Dodik and his Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) has been dominant since 2006, and in Serbia, where the populist Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of ...
  7. ^ "Serbian Compliance Patterns towards EU Integration under the Progressive Party: An Exercise in Statecraft" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b Zulianello, Mattia (April 2020). "Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to the Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries". Government and Opposition. Cambridge University Press. 55 (2): 327–347. doi:10.1017/gov.2019.21.
  9. ^ a b Zurnić, Marija (2018). Corruption and Democratic Transition in Eastern Europe: The Role of Political Scandals in Post-Milošević Serbia. Springer. p. 48. ISBN 978-3-319-90101-5.
  10. ^ Stojic, Marko (2017). Party Responses to the EU in the Western Balkans. Springer. p. 138.
  11. ^ "Key Parties in Serbia". 27 September 2010.
  12. ^ Byrne, Andrew (25 April 2018). "Ruling Progressive party claims Serbia election victory". The Financial Times.
  13. ^ "Serbia election: Pro-EU Prime Minister Vucic claims victory". BBC. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  14. ^ Marko Stojić, ed. (2017). Party Responses to the EU in the Western Balkans: Transformation, Opposition or Defiance?. Springer. p. 77. ISBN 9783319595634.
  15. ^ "Serbia's ruling conservatives claim landslide win in boycott-tainted vote". France 24. 21 June 2020. With some 63 percent of the vote, according to Vucic, the centre-right Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) was set to dramatically expand its dominance in the 250-member parliament.
  16. ^ "Deutsche Welle: Expansion of right wing in Europe and its effects on Serbia". Serbian monitor. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Serbia's opposition-boycotted general election set for April". The Associated Press. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Serbia's opposition to boycott April election". Al Jazeera. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  19. ^ "National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia - Political Parties".
  20. ^ "Poll: Progressive Party is pro-EU, but its voters are not". B92. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Nikolić party to be called "Serb Progressive"". B92. 24 September 2008. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008.
  22. ^ "Press Green". Press Online.
  23. ^ "Tomislav Nikolić wins in presidential runoff". B92. 20 May 2012. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  24. ^ "Serbia's new president quits as party leader". B92. 24 May 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Progressives elect new leader, deputy leader". B92. 29 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  26. ^ "Maja Gojković: Narodna partija kolektivno prešla u SNS" (in Serbian). Blic. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  27. ^ Marcus Schneider (July 2011). "Tomislav Nikolic positioniert sich in Europa - Bündnis mit Österreichs Rechtspopulisten" (PDF) (in German). Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
  28. ^ "Agreement for cooperation between SNS and United Russia". SNS website. September 2011.
  29. ^ "SNS becomes member of European People's Party". B92. 24 April 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  30. ^ "POTPISANA ZAJEDNIČKA IZJAVA: Produbiti strateško partnerstvo Srpske napredne stranke i Jedinstvene Rusije" (in Serbian). Kurir. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  31. ^ Twitter Safety (2 April 2020). "Toward the end of last year, we identified clusters of accounts engaged in inauthentic coordinated activity which led to the removal of 8,558 accounts working to promote Serbia's ruling party and its leader".
  32. ^ The Guardian (2 April 2020). "Twitter deletes 20,000 fake accounts linked to Saudi, Serbian and Egyptian governments".
  33. ^ Voltmer, Katrin (2019). Media, Communication and the Struggle for Democratic Change: Case Studies on Contested Transitions. Springer Nature. p. 6. ISBN 978-3-030-16747-9.
  34. ^ Bieber, Florian (July 2018). "Patterns of competitive authoritarianism in the Western Balkans". East European Politics. 38 (3): 337–54. doi:10.1080/21599165.2018.1490272.
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External links[edit]