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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.1 General context

Last update: 28 November 2023

Main concepts 

The Law on Youth, in its Article 8 Active Youth Participation Principle contains he main concept related to youth participation which captures distinctive understanding and aspects of youth participation in Serbia:

"Everybody, in particular Youth Policy actors, shall ensure a stimulating  environment and offer active support in the implementation of young people’s youth activities, in their taking initiative and in their purposeful involvement in decision- making processes and processes of decision implementation, which decisions contribute to personal and social development, upon young people’s receiving complete information". 

Furthermore, Serbian Youth Strategy (2015-2025) in its vision statement says: the youth shall be active participants and participants with equal rights in all areas of social life; the ones that can fully develop their potential and contribute to their personal and social benefit. The youth small have support from the society to create better conditions of life and develop potential as well as to actively contribute to the overall social advancement.

Institutions of representative democracy 

The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (Ustav Republike Srbije) defines Serbia as a country of Serbian people and all citizens who live in it, based on the rule of law and social justice, principles of civil democracy, human and minority rights and freedoms, and commitment to European principles and values. 

By its constitutional structure the Republic of Serbia is a parliamentary democracy

Government system is based on the division of power into legislative, executive and judiciary.

National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia (Narodna skupština Republike Srbije) has the legislative power. 

The National Assembly:

  • adopts and amends the Constitution,
  • decides on changes concerning borders of the Republic of Serbia, 
  • calls for the Republic referendum,
  • ratifies international contracts when the obligation of their ratification is stipulated by the Law, 
  • decides on war and peace and declare state of war and emergency, 
  • supervises the work of security services, 
  • enacts laws and other general acts within the competence of the Republic of Serbia, 
  • gives previous approval for the Statute of the autonomous province, 
  • adopts defense strategy, development plan, spatial plan and the Budget and financial statement of the Republic of Serbia
  • grants amnesty for criminal offences. 

Within its election rights, the National Assembly:

  • elects the Government, supervises its work and decides on expiry of the term of office of the Government and ministers, 
  • appoints and dismisses judges of the Constitutional Court, 
  • appoints the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, presidents of courts, Republic Public Prosecutor, public prosecutors, judges and deputy public prosecutors,
  • appoints and dismisses the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and supervise his/her work, 
  • appoints and dismisses the Civic Defender and supervise his/her work, 6. appoint and dismiss other officials stipulated by the Law.

Executive power is divided between the President and the Government of the Republic of Serbia. 

The President of the Republic of Serbia:

  • represents the Republic of Serbia in the country and abroad,
  • promulgates laws upon his decree, in accordance with the Constitution,
  • proposes to the National Assembly a candidate for the Prime Minister, after considering views of representatives of elected lists of candidates,
  • proposes to the National Assembly holders of positions, in accordance with the Constitution and Law,
  • appoints and dismisses, upon his/her decree, ambassadors of the Republic of Serbia, upon the proposal of the Government,
  • receives letters of credit and revocable letters of credit of foreign diplomatic representatives,
  • grants amnesties and award honours,
  • administers other affairs stipulated by the Constitution.

The Government:

  • establishes and pursues policy,
  • executes laws and other general acts of the National Assembly,
  • adopts regulations and other general acts for the purpose of law enforcement,
  • proposes to the National Assembly laws and other general acts and gives its opinion on those laws and general acts, when another mover proposes them,
  • directs and adjust the work of public administration bodies and perform supervision of their work,
  • administers other affairs stipulated by the Constitution and Law.

The Government accounts to the National Assembly for the policy of the Republic of Serbia, for enforcement of laws and other general acts of the National Assembly, as well as for the work of the public administration bodies.

The Government consists of the Prime Minister, one or more Vice Presidents and ministers.

Judiciary power belongs to courts of general and special jurisdiction. The judiciary power is independent and unique on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Courts are separated and independent in their work.

The Supreme Court of Cassation is the Supreme Court in the Republic of Serbia with the seat in Belgrade. The hearing before the court is public and may be restricted only in accordance with the Constitution. Judges and jurors participate in a trial, in the manner stipulated by the Law.

However, state power is restricted by the right of citizens to provincial autonomy and local self¬government.

Serbia has 198 municipalities and local self-government is divided into municipal assembly, mayor, municipal council and administration. 

Main principles concerning elections

Every citizen of age and working ability of the Republic of Serbia has the right to vote and be elected.

Voting in Serbia is voluntary and is carried out by secret ballot in person.

Voting takes place at special polling stations. Voters receive a ballot paper listing the names of the parties and the candidates running for election and voters select the party or the candidate they vote for. Votes are than cast in polling booths. Additionally, there is a possibility to vote outside the district of permanent residence, as well as to vote from abroad.