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Dr. Zoran Djindjic - In my opinion, eternal President
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I am a Democrat because:
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Translated by Senka
Text taken from the official presentation of the Democratic Party
- I believe that the strength and potentials of our country are within the people, and that every society must be founded on respect and protection of personal dignities, freedoms and rights to an unobstructed development of every individual.
- I believe in equal rights and opportunities for all, regardless of their gender, national, religious and other conformity.
- I believe that voluntarily organized citizens, united for the purpose of obtaining their common goals, can conquer even the hardest obstacles.
- I believe that the future in itself carries great opportunities for advancement of our people and our citizens.
- I believe that Serbia must constantly go back to its roots, which are based on freedom and democracy.
- I believe that the individual initiative represents the motor of advancement in all areas, and that every institution of our society needs to take care and support independence of individuals in their thinking and acting processes.
I believe that the government needs to serve all citizens and to be under their control during its constant process of improvement.
- I believe that the country needs to be more affordable, through savings and financial responsibility of budget institutions, so that more money remains for the citizens who earned it.
- I believe that the Democratic Party is the best organization for making these ideals into reality.
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- Our main principle is the faith in positive energy that
each individual brings with him to the world, faith in the strength of our
people and our citizens. Our primary political decision is basing the politics
of the state on the virtues and advantages of our citizens, and never on
weaknesses and prejudices. The great advantages of our country are the
geographic location between the East and the West, our central position in the
Balkans, good merits of our national mentality like cordiality,
openheartedness, curiosity, ambitiousness, aspiring towards success, and
affirmation. Despite the many differences in convictions and standpoints of our
citizens, we have a common direction towards the future and hope for a better
tomorrow. Every time the politics of the state have been guided by these
preferences, we have advanced as a state and as individuals. We, the Democrats, see
our obligation in tireless insisting on the positive direction of our people.
We are sure that the general consensus can always be achieved about what
the positive main goals should be.
- Democratic, powerful and internationally respected Serbian state that protects the rights of its citizens.
- Stable and successful economy that is constantly upgrading the living standard of citizens.
- Effective, affordable and unvenous government that's performing its duties and not attempting to impose its monopoly on the industry and the society.
- Serbia whose citizens feel safe in their homes and out in the streets of their cities.
- Serbia in whose schools the children are acquiring the knowledge which gives them the opportunity in life and values which make them responsible citizens.
- Serbia which cares about its weak and helpless and resists all the potentates and dictators.
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We, the Democrats, in this region have always advanced in the fight for the
democratic changes. The original Democratic Party was founded as the first
registered party of the newly founded Yugoslav state in 1919 with a concise
democratic, civil, and European preference and program.
Being all that, the
Democratic Party authoritatively participated in the political life up until
the violent cessation under the pressure of the postbellum communist
The Democratic Party is the first registered party of the
democratic nature in the new era as well, when it revived its operation after
the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Ever since then and to this day, the
Democratic Party has been a symbol of the democratic, civil, and European
politics in Serbia. Aside from that, we were always distinguished by our
active enrollment in the political life. There was not an opposition event
in which we didn't participate or a blow from the regime at the time that
bypassed us. While other opposition parties were taken off the "black lists"
for their closeness to the regime or because they were inactive and benign, we
Democrats were always a target. That by itself speaks of the righteousness of
our politics, but also of our courage and endurance of our activists.
organized the first anti-regime protests in Belgrade on June 13, 1990 and our
vice-president at the time, a great Democrat and a literary author Borislav
Pekic, was the first victim fallen to to the police brutality.
We were never
the most extreme ones, but were always the most strenuous ones.
In the first
elections in 1990 we won seven seats in the Parliament, and all of them in
Belgrade, because our organization was strong enough to monitor the election
process. Although a minority in the Serbian Parliament, we became a symbol
of new Serbia, which condemns primitivism and collective hypnosis and
Our standpoints and political experiences have been woven
into the democratic resistance, from the fact that the Democratic Party gave
rise to several other parties, to the fact that many ideas and resolutions,
which are today perceived as the common political welfare, came from our party.
We were always leading the way whether that was in regard to the modern manner
of operating a political party, organizing a campaign or administering the
economic and other political programs. Others learned from us, while we
learned from our own experiences, mistakes and democratic traditions of our
country and the world.
We were actively participating in the great March
protests of 1991 and we are mainly responsible for the spread of the democratic
rebellion among our youth and its metamorphosis into a strong civil movement,
for which the regime had no proper response.
During the national crises of
the time we were rational patriots, who weighed the responsibility of each side,
but who always insisted on the necessity of democratic changes in the society.
We were resolute against the collective guilt but also against the amnesty of
the individuals responsible for war crimes. Patriotism never for one moment
questioned out fierce criticism of the regime, which often put us in conflict
with the ruling public notion. We always did what we thought was right, and not
what was politically fashionable at the time.
We are the only major party
that had truly viable candidates in the party elections. We are the only major
party that always respected differing opinions. We are the only major party
that never banned differing opinions. We are the only major party that always
held a high regard to the broad autonomy of the local organizations. That was
by no means easy knowing the out-of-the-ordinary status the dictatorship regime
kept us in, but that only made us become more resilient and gave the chance of
survival despite the pressures imposed on us.
In the last elections in which
the Democratic Party ran independently, in 1993, we quadrupled our number of
seats in the Parliament. While our country was sinking deep in the catastrophic
national and international crisis, it became clear that only the joined
democratic effort, and not the individual party movements, could produce the
Being the bearer of a clear democratic idea from the very
first day of our founding, we became the main force behind the unification of
all opposition movements.
The first real opposition unification, coalition
Zajedno ("Together") was mainly the product of our work. After the annulled
election victory in the local elections of 1996, we were the first in line of
the soon followed civil protests that amazed the world. A representative of out
party became the first non-communist mayor of Belgrade after more than 50 years
Defending the democratic principles we had to sacrifice
the newly acquired power. We always longed for changes, but not privileges.
That led to the fallout of the coalition Zajedno.
Aware that the
participation in a political ritual of the non-democratic regime only extended
the national agony, we decisively boycotted the elections of 1997. Even the
kind-hearted political analysts anticipated our extinction from the political
scene, but our decision, although risky and bold, later turned out to be
correct. We strengthened out party organization and became a credible
alternative to the morally bankrupt regime.
Ultimately, the Democratic
Opposition of Serbia (DOS) toppled the last standing dictatorship regime in
Europe, thanks in large portion to our party infrastructure.
persuasively in the Parliamentary elections of 2000, and were strong-minded
and organized enough to defend that victory in city squares all over Serbia.
After twelve years of misery, wars and political agony, Serbia liberated
itself. The courage and energy of tens of thousands of the Democratic Party
activists is cemented deeply in the foundations of that freedom.
process of transition toward the democratic society we are the driving force
of reforms. We speed up events, suggest solutions, and take responsibility. That
is the true face of the Democratic Party, and that is being a promoter and a
leader, whether it is opposition or as a part of the ruling coalition.
the start of the new century we have a unique opportunity to, maybe for the
first time in our history, build our society in permanent peace, stability
and economic prosperity. We have a good chance of answering all those unanswered
questions once and for all, and taking the Balkans off the list of unstable
and risky regions of Europe and the world.
European integration is the key
solution to this problem.
After the fallout of the Turkish and
Austro-Hungarian empires, the Balkans remained visionary. It was impossible to
successfully integrate a multi-ethnic state without the required democratic
institutions and successful economy. On the other side, the instability of the
state hindered the formation of the democratic institutions and successful
economy. That is why the Balkans was the most tragic European region of the
20th century, and the people of Serbia one of the most tragic nations.
Hardships are behind us and our main goal is to learn from the mistakes and
not repeat them, so we can establish a fully functional state that makes a good
use of the opportunities of the new age placed in front of us.
and our actions in the last 12 years secure us the right to formulate the
vision of the future of our country. Because we, the Democrats, are the ones who
stood behind the idea of an enlightened, democratic and modern Serbia from the
very beginning; stood behind it not only when that was unpopular, but also when
it was dangerous and risky.
Our tenacity and consistence in driving and
realization of the vision of a modern Serbia represents the grounds on which we
build our program for Serbia in the new millennium.
Modern Serbia is our
primary program platform. Modern Serbia is our vision and our oath. We see
ourselves as the promoters of reforms, and not only as one of the parties in
the political sphere. This puts our responsibility on a higher level, as that
was the case in the last 12 years.
Serbia can fight for its place in the
21st century only if we build our society on our best virtues, if we create
social conditions in which each and every individual can accomplish the maximum
of their potential and if we avoid all traps of division, negativism and
We saw the end of the century that is behind us at the bottom
of the list of prosperous nations, with a second to non-existent infrastructure,
emigration of our most talented and educated generations, unsolved state and
In the first decade of the 21st century we must
become a growing nation, equal and accepted in Europe and the developed world.
We have to find a way to open up to the world and let the world open up to
us and use that as a starting point for radical changes of the social
organization, economic structure and even mentality of our people.
Democratic Party has for its task the formulation and political guidance of
this immense historical undertaking.
We, the Democrats, always based our actions on our main values, and never on the
ideology or the daily political interest. We are a party in Serbia that has,
ever since its revival in 1989, grown gradually, but in a healthy and natural
manner. This stability is the result of the fact that we are not a party of the
current political fashion, but a party of basic values, which we try to
accomplish in our own organization, as much as in the society in which we
Our principal values don't originate from a theory, but from the
most prominent traditions of our people. That is why they are alive and
effective. In all radical changes of a society the main questions are what not
to change, which are our primary national values and virtues, where are our
roots, which need to be cleaned from the influences of the past, and which need
to be freshened up and strengthened. On the other hand, should our
society and institutions should look like to give the maximum results and achieve the
maximum affirmation, ranks high on the list of priorities.
important to understand that without the constant evaluation of our main
qualities and without the persistent intellectual and public polemic about our
goals and priorities, the society cannot maintain a lively relationship and
connection with its tradition and its future and cannon develop and perfect
its collective spirit and identity.
Our society has been avoiding the
discussion on the key subjects for the last several decades and the most
important collective decisions haven't been made through the process of public
debate and argumentation. That has to change if we want individuals actively
participating in the public life, and if we want our collective goals received
as legitimate and of common interest.
The Democratic Party sees for its
obligation the initiation to hold open public debates about crucial matters of
our society and our future. Big decisions cannot be made in the cabinets, like
that was the case in the non-democratic and closed-natured societies. The nations
should be educated to discuss its problems in a factual and honest way,
without demagoguery and self-delusion. Intellectual and political courage are
needed to achieve that, which we showed to be in possession of.
In order for
our society to enter the reform era resolutely, we need to define clearly the
principles of our national being and character, and the most valuable and
distinctive virtues of our nation.
Many times in history we have been the
cause and the leading force of reforms in the region and as well as in the
wars brought upon us, but also in the economic maturation and intellectual
accomplishments. That position in which we are celebrated us, but also caused
countless victims and destruction.
Lately, we have been a prime example of
the latter. We need to advance once more, but this time without casualties.
We have been engaged in too many wars, we have suffered too many casualties
and we deserve a century of peace and restoration for our people. We owe that
to our ancestors, now that it has been 2 centuries since the First Serbian
Insurrection, and we owe it to our coming generations who expect to live in
their own country as equal citizens of the modern world.
To achieve this
ambitious objective, we must go back to our deepest values which kept this
nation floating in the most hardest of times and which provided a way out of the
darkest of crises.
We need to keep dreaming the big dreams and fulfill the
rational ambitions. Mission of the Democratic Party is to define a vision for a
future society, speed up the processes of implementation and institutions,
raise the criteria and not allow their halt. Our priority should be to look
after ourselves first and others afterwards. For Serbia to become a better
place, we have to become better.
we want a moral renovation of Serbia where
true qualities of honesty, reliability, solidarity and moderation are
Social, national and regional diversity of our
society postulates a radically democratic approach, in which every individual
deserves their chance and recognition.
Our obligation is to apply the highest
standards for the rights of the minority groups, political and religious
only that kind of approach facilitates the stamina and
integration of our society. We, the Democrats, are the connective tissue that
binds and unites the society. We are capable to connect the differences because
in them we see the strength and not the weakness.
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Our determination to defend all freedoms means confronting every form of
dictatorship and dependence, demand for the abolishment of
all forms of intimidation, threats and manipulation, so that every individual
has an indefeasible right to their own personal way and choice as long as they do not jeopardize those same rights of others.
We perceive ourselves as promoters of the great liberal tradition of our people, where free farming, local jurisdiction, private property and freedoms of speech and forming alliances put Serbia among the European elite more than 200 years ago.
Achieving the implementation of human freedoms requires social and material conditions which we advocate in our political actions: freedom from poverty, pressures, ignorance, prejudices, exploitation, and violence of all other sorts.
Achieving freedoms is not a short-term accomplishment for us, it is an everyday process. We see our duty to uncompromisingly act in every situation where any of our citizens' freedoms are potentially endangered, and to strive towards perfection of the institutions whose role is to broaden the field of free choices for our citizens.
Since for us freedom is the main human value expressed through the ability to choose, we believe that our permanent obligation must be our fight for all types of personal and political freedoms, especially the freedom and the right to acquire all the necessary information and arguments to make an independent choice, and fight especially against all types of manipulation, demagoguery and selective presentation of facts. Also, we fight for the indefeasible right of our citizens to choose freely who their representatives will be and supervise their work and replace them
with an ease if they are displeased with them.
For us, freedom is
also a right to choose a lifestyle which encompasses the economic
and financial freedom. That is why the economic advancement is our
long term priority, because that is the only way to a more quality and
well-paid job opportunities, the only was to start saving up for the
care-free retirement years and the only way for enough financial
means to provide our children with a proper education.
we believe in the individual initiative, we find that the pressures and
influences of the state on its economy should constantly decrease.
Having said that, we are the advocates of less state spending and tax
lowering. Our diligent citizens should get more of their well-earned
money back, because they are the ones who invested their time in
making it and they know the best who to spend it.
If the private
initiative can do certain tasks equally or better than the state
institutions, then those tasks should be left for the private initiative to
do. This asks for constant checks and balances of the efficiency of
the public service, as well as the principled tendency of the state to let
the market deal with businesses. The state should control the quality
of the public services and not have the monopoly of it.
strongly believe in freedom for all, and that includes our joint effort to
provide equal services to those who are in some way handicapped,
those who cannot take care of themselves. The state is responsible to
improve the mechanisms of social support and lend a hand to all of those who
need it and not encourage the passivism and letting the nature take its
course. We see Serbia as the society of free and active individuals, and the
social support needs to be an additive to a personal initiative to encourage
the disabled to actively participate and not observe from the margins.
Freedom is the right to one's personal and physical integrity and we plead for
a decisive fight against all aspects of crime and violence. We ask for a
constant improvement of all institutions that are responsible for fighting the
crime (police, justice system and law making organs in particular), so we
can properly and uncompromisingly react to all aspects of violence against our
citizens and their property.
Because we believe that freedom is tightly
related to basic values, like the sense of responsibility, honor, dignity, and
because these values are learned at home and from family members, we are
assured that the prosperity of the family is an essential prerequisite for a
We are advocating the support for the families,
the economic security of mothers and housewives, the protection of
children and adolescents from bad influences that mat jeopardize their
integrity. We want Serbia to have stable and healthy families.
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Justice provides the application of equal rights for each individual and
that is primarily in regard to equal opportunity and conditions for
fulfilling their interests. We do not want blank equality that cancels
individual differences, or social fighting in which the strongest get to
satisfy their interests.
Justice for us represents the ability of each
member of our society to take part in splitting the social wealth according to
their contribution to that wealth.
As its long term goal, the Democratic
Party sees the establishment of institutions that will provide a fair partition
of wealth in our society.
Our duty is to advance and perfect all
institutions that protect the security and the rights of our citizens, starting
with the institutions of a lawful state, to regulating the working rights,
social security and retirement funds. We want Serbia to be a state of protected
citizens - equally protected from the crime and malversations as well as from
financial speculations, interest groups, monopoly and unnecessary social and
Our society will go through a process of transition in the
next several years, and overcoming that period will result in a concise plan
for everyone's role in the society.
The pricey cost of transition must be
paid by everyone, more by those who own more.
The state has to take on
itself its share of responsibility. We want an active government that will,
during the transition period, take responsibility for accoridingly burdening
all social classes and groups, which will provide a social stability in turn.
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All people are born with an equal right to accomplish and experience
the maximum in luck, success and satisfaction according to their
invested effort. No one must be left behind just because of their
gender, physical appearance, religion, convictions or place where
they live or come from. For the same reasons no one must be
Every human being is gifted with one thing or the other
and it is during their course life that they discover their potentials. We,
the Democrats, believe that all people have potentials, and that
makes them equal, although the nature of those potentials can be very
We ask people to activate and make the best out of
their talents and not lose their identity by conforming to something
unknown to them. It is time that as a nation we stop conforming to our
collective illusions and misunderstandings.
Lets us turn to what is
best in us and create a social standing in which our values and
potentials are recognized, respected and further developed. The
Democratic Party will, with their new constitution and behavior,
encourage citizens to turn to what is best about them and contribute
to the creation of a society that will give them back more.
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Achieving the freedom, justice and equality is improbable without solidarity.
Every society has powerless and helpless people, people that have been put in
that position by a misfortunate course of events or an individual affliction,
people whose chances of a successful professional and personal life aren't so
great. Some have been born into a poor family, some live in an economically
undeveloped region, some work in a company that is about to file for bankruptcy.
Our duty is to help all of those who are struck by misfortune and to build a
society founded on the principle of solidarity and not selfishness.
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Because we truly believe in freedom and equality of all people, we are
tolerant towards their differences and we do not attempt to force, assimilate
or confine anyone. We endeavor to build institutions and mechanisms that will
harmonize differences without diminishing them. That proves that we are the
original democrats, people who defiantly defend their beliefs while respecting
the beliefs of others.
In our multicultural society, national and religious
tolerance is high on the list. We believe that religious and ethnic communities
in Serbia need to be granted their own role and responsibility in educating
about ethnic principles of life and society. From that role and responsibility
arises the obligation to actively preach about religious tolerance.
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1. Changes as the main characteristic of the modern world
Informative and technological revolution from the last decade changed greatly
the character of all world processes, governing and economics in particular.
From those changes arise chances and opportunities for every society.
Countries that are capable of solving problems effectively and quickly and
countries that invest in the development and planning of thier future are the
coutries that have a chance to provide advancement for their citizens. This
results in a new way of governing the country, a new awareness and a new
approach to certain issues. This also results in a new way of party operation
and organization, directed more towards communication and education of people
than towards parties's fight for the ultimate power.
We want Serbia to be a
country in which the future is uninteruptedly present through plans for the
development, research projects that will provide new job opportunities in new
industrial and economic branches, thought public polemic on issues and problems
that our society is to face in the future period.
The Democratic Party
identifies its main aim in the development of the society. We are a party of
social changes and modernization.
Our insisting on constant learning and
active attitude towards problems is our program for Serbia in the 21st century.
To fulfil this program, a lot has to be changed in our country. Above all,
everybody has to see an ally in changes, and not an adversary. We see a chance
in every problem, while some segments of our society still see a problem in
every chance for a change. We have great understanding for them, because
pragmatic and hard-working people always paid the highest price of changes
throughout the history. This time, that must not happen.
memory must not determine our behavior in the future. We have to be ready for
the great acceleration of the world. As a soceity and as individuals, we have
to be equally fast, and even faster in reactions, solutions and ideas. We
mustn't let individuals decide on important systemic programs of the future.
We have to implant into our mentality, habits, behavior and institutions,
mechanisms for rapid reaction. That will result in effective and great changes.
The Democratic Party believes in the capability of our citiznes to intiate and
deal with such changes and to gain membership in the family of the most success
ful nations of Europe.
Our program is the program of this monumental
Our program's goal is: our country - an equal member of the
To prepare Serbia for the 21st century, thorough and radical
changes must occur. The primary developmental potencial in the most developed
countries of the world is knowledge, good organization, innovations. Modern
societies are effective only if the citizens are motived to actively
participate, constantly learn and gain new qualifications, and citizens are
ready to do that only if the government is their service, whose price and
quality they control and directly influence.
The task of the Democratic
Party is to demonstrate principles of an effective, responsible, competant,
and democratically controled action, in which every activity is well planned
and directed toward the benefits of the citizens as their sole beneficiaries.
This should be firstly applied on the Democratic Party's own organization, and
then on the functions of the public life in which it acts.
task of the Democratic Party is to advocate instituitional changes that will
speed up the processes in our society, activate our society's world integrations
and allow it to maximally and effectively use its potentials for the benefit
of its citizens.
Democratic Party, which was a motor of political changes in
the last decade, needs to become a motor of societal modernization. Inherited
and inefficient structures in all branches of the soceity must be replaced with
new and effective ones. All changes start with an different outlook on things
and with a different way of thinking. The old way of thinking is based on the
conviction that we are destined to be subjected to everlasting conspiracies and
atrocious intentions of the world centers of power, and that we can change very
little with acting upon these issues. We indeed became hostages, victims and
passive observers of this attitude and way of thinking. The new approach is
based on willingness and is directed toward solving concrete and specific
problems. Regardless of the unfavorable outside circumstances, good planning
skills and active regard can assist us in governing our own destiny and be the
subjects instead of objects of the history.
Democratic Party needs to reform
the current mentality and bring in the spirit of activism, determination toward
problem soving and positive thinking by its everyday effort to surpass its own
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2. Political Institutions for Serbia in the 21st century
a) Democratic Instalment
We are convinced that the praliamentary democracy is the best
political system for Serbia. That system implies that the best way to represent
the interests and political stand points of the people is through political
parties, which in their internal organizations have to be democratic and
succeptible to public control. Mandate to govern the system is limited to a
certain period of time and is received at fair and free elections.
election winners are granted power which they are to exercise according to
clearly defined rules and and under the strict control of the independent
judiciary branch and free media.
The state administration needs to be
professional and depoliticized, as do all public services. The Democratics
Party considers the modernization of the state directory on all levels and its
constant adaptation to ever increasing demands of modern societies its
Efficient and not corrupted public services and the key to a
modern country.Radical changes in Serbia are required in order to acquire a
modern state directory, and following that, constant improvement and
enhancement are needed. This task is a historic program result, because never
before this region has had those forms of institutions. Some of the Democratic
Party's main tasks are making the reform of the public service a national
priority, defining the course of those reforms and advocating the control and
the raising of the quaility of the service which our citizens receive from
There is a need for a mentality change, equally among
the citizens as service users and the public sevices as servise providers.
That change is reflected through the fact that the state treats its citizens
as service users and not inferior dependents or passive receivers. The service
user, who finances the service provider through his tax payments, has a right
to know what he's getting for that money, and a right to control, choose and
change the service provider. This equally applies to the construction of an
entire line of organizations specialized for representing and protecting the
rights and interests of all citizens with respect to public services. Their
reform is a process and not a short-term act. It is a never ending reform. The
first phase of this reform will take several years, and following its
successful conclusion it's crucial to continue the process and continuously
strive for perfection of the public services as well as the mechanisms of
The Democratic Party, as the party of modernization of
Serbian society considers one of its main program goals its everyday advocacy
for the efficient and close to citizens and by them controlled state directory
and public services. This applies to all levels: local, city, provintial, and
No personal or group privileges will come out from participating
in the government. Every malversation must be immediately uncovered and
strictly sanctioned. During the period of establishment of the democratic
institutions careful attention should be paid to the possibility of corruption
and influence of powerful financial groups and lobbies on political decision
making. One of the Democratic Party's permanent appropriations is to fight all
forms of power misuse by supporting, together with the intiatives of
non-governmental organizations and citizens, all kinds of social control,
efficiency evaluation and measurement of the justification of actions made by
the governing body.
| b) Decentralization
The more the structures that are involved in the decision-making
processes are closer to the citizens, the greater the possibility that those
decisions will be better representative of the citizens' interest. Having said
that, the decentralization of the government and the division of the duties of
its branches increases the motivation of people to take part in public affairs,
as does their responsibility to channel the decisions. The Democratic Party
emphasizes on the true decentralization of the power in Serbia, in the
funcitional as well as in the territorial sense.
The Democratic Party
stands for abolishing the administrative control over the economy, culture,
science and autonomy of all all social resources that are capable of dealing
with their own affairs.
The Democratic Party is for a broad territorial
Local municipalities needs to have the ability to regulate all of
those affairs which they can deal with in the manner as good as or better than
that of the central government, respecting the norms of the modern European
The province of Vojvodina should enjoy the true autonomy and
perform all the duties that are not in conflict with the modernly defined
Democracy is based on the possibility of being controlled and
the idea of the public is the main condition for the most effective form of
control. It is not enough only to have the free media. All government actions,
and particularily those that concern the distribution of the finances and
power, must be crystal clear and under control. The Democratic Party advocates
the absolute budget transparency, where all incomes and expanditures of the
government are clearly recorded and where the Parliament and the public experts
make up the system of checks and balances.
The Democratic Party wants to inclued as many citizens as
possible in the direct process of decision-making, as well as in the control
and judgement of the achieved results. Civic participation is a two way street
for us. The institutions and organizations are responsible to open up the space
for the citizens' active role in political and public life, but the citizens
themselves need to express their keen interest in participating in thise kind
of processes that are crucial for their own lives.
The Democratic Party is
determined to constantly reform its own governing bodies so that the members
and the activists of the Democratic Party are providedwith the opportunity for
active participation and political decision-making, both on the local and
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3. Our vision of a successful economy
The Democratic Party sees in the initiative of an individual the main motor of
successful economy. The main task of the government is to set certain clear
rules of the economic and industrial life, adapted to national interests and
international economic relations. The government needs to incourage and support
the economic activities of individuals, to remove the obstacles of their
initiation and ease their participation in the international competition.
The Democratic Party sees Serbia in the 21st century as a country whose
citizens fall mainly in the middle class category, who are active and willing
to take on the initiative, who have good qualifications, occupy quaility work
places, have enough income to secure a decent life, provide good education for
their children and be sure to have a carefree oldage.
The spirit of freedom
has always been in the social foundations of an independent farmer, who availed
with basic means for a normal life, who paid taxes, served the army and went to
war whenever state called him, and still had been in the posession of his own
life. That gave young democracy of the 19th century power and that needs to
strengthen the democracy of the 21st century.
We permanently advocate all
means of instigation of small and middle size businesses, family businesses and
local economy. The experience of successful countries demonstrates that this
particular segment of the economy employs most people, and it is the most vital
one because it lies on the premises of diligence and team spirit, which result
in initiatives and innovations.
The key is - quality education and good
profession, as well as stable institutions that guarantee property, savings and
Along with the traditional industrial sectors, the future of
Serbia is in the new economy, that is based on the sector of public services,
informatic technologies and knowledge. Democratic Party considers that the
longterm priority of the economic politics is investing in the transportational,
energetic and telecommunicational infrastructure, along with theeducation of
the work force.
Our economic vision is Serbia as a country of stable
economic institutions, good infrastructure and qualified work force. Also, our
vision of Serbia is that it should be a country of numerous private initiatives,
small and middle size businesses that are flexible enough to quick adaptation
to changes in thw world market.
Our invariable and incessant goal is:
increased number of work places, better work places and a life standard that
allows every family and individual a free and untamed choice of their own life
To accomplish this immense ambition, the entire social system needs
to be reorganized, directed toward quality and results, responsibility of
individuals, constant learning and improvement, modifying the makret to fit
new norms, toward active relationship with changes in the world.
needs to become a dynamic society of fast reactions to changes of global
instances, top notch qualifications in the governing segment of economics and
industry, big social permiability toward new ideas and new people. All this
means that Serbia needs to change radically, in order to remain true to its
foundamental values and principles, but also to meet its objective, and be
among the best.
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4. Our vision of Serbian society - dynamic and open soceity, integrated in the world
We are convinced that our country and its citizens have potentials whose
actualization would earn us an auspicous position in the international
competition. That is why we believe that any kind of internal or external
isolation is deterimental. Therefore, our vision of Serbian society in the 21st
century is - dynamic and open society, integrated in Europe and the world.
To accomplish our potentials we need a different societal organization. We need
more efficient institutions in all ares of life, from education, health, social
security, to pension insurance and care for socially endangered citizens. And
above all, we need a different socail climate, based on realism, problem
analysis and constant search for their solutions.
The mission of the
Democratic Party is to constantly point our the necessity to prioritize society
and turn it toward the solution to problems that we face now and we will face
in the future, but also to work on the active reform of institutions, in order
for them to become the true service of all citizens in their everyday life.
Opening up our country and integrations in the international relations put us
before challenges of the contemporary world. We will never be able to
internaly measure ourselves anymore, only to compare us to others. That will,
from now on, require a much greater ability to change and adapt to varying
circumstances of the world. Not only did Serbia go back to the world, the world
came back to Serbia. But that is not a static and known world anymore, that is
a world that is changing on daily bases, a world that daily gives new chances,
but also brings new risks. The biggest risk of all is to miss your chance.
The basic wealth in the 21st century is knowledge, and that is very obvious at
the beginning of this century. The principle source of global inequality will
be the unequal chance of some countries and their people to acquire and apply
knowledge and information. The main feature and importance of knowledge is
changing, and hence the social institutions that need to provide access to
It is not about learning a lot anymore, it is about learning
where the knowledge is and how to access it easily and how to use it in the
best way possible.
That implies the change in the way we think, from
students and scientists to a clerk at cash registar or housewife in the kitchen.
Everybody's performance at work will be more quality and efficient if they are
all part of the global network. The change and constant improvement of the way
we communicate in our society is a given. We need modern terchnology. And
together with that, in order for our citizens to be able use it, we need a
speedy improvement of their living standard and education level.
this implies the radical changes of our society that are rarely seen in history.
But, there is no alternative. Successful countries have already gone through
that revolution, and we cannot bypass it if we want to join them.
revolution requires an idea bearer. The role of the Democratic Party, as a
motor of social modernization, is to plan, organize and encourage this
integration in the world development.
Knowledge, information, communication
as new sources of social power, carry with themselves new sources of social
inequality. Even now, the least developed coutries are those that have missed
the link to the informatics revolution. But, the inequality exists within
societies themselves. Not all have the equal chance to participate and share
the fruits of the world advancement.
Task of the Democratic Party is to
fight for the modernization of our society as a whole, but also to pursue an
equal internal development. The inherited inequality in either material
possessions or education must not present the bases for a new inequality. The
Democratic Party will demand to make national priority out of education,
suplementary qualification,and investement in people and their knowledge, as
far as its influence can reach.
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5. Serbia of social solidarity
We, the Democrats, do not belive that all relations in the society are regulated
mechanically, based on the law of the state and the law of the market. We
believe that we need to provide an equal opportunity for all, for the sake of
the complete happiness of the society, and therefore the individual. Nobody is
guaranteed success, but everybody has to have a chance of achieving it. Those
who miss on the chance, for subjective or objective reasons, deserve a certain
degree of solidarity - from provding them with minimum social security, to
giving them another chance. This is particularly important in the case of
children and youth. Nobody in Serbia is to be disadvantaged just for being born
into a poor family. The government must constantly fix injustices made because
some people's starting positions were worsened without them being in control of
At the same time, the Democratic Party wants to encourage initiative and
activism. If social worries are an excuse for someone to give up on putting in
personal effort, then that person loses as much as the society. Therefore, our
social politics is an encouragement for an individual action: those individuals
that dropped out of the race need to be recuperated and put back in, and not
left on the side as passive observers and dependents on social security.
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6. Our vision for citizens of Serbia in the 21st century
We want the citizens of Serbia to have an active relationship toward
their lives and society in which they live. We want Serbia of vigilant
citizens, always ready to participate. We gather among ourselves those
who tend to strive for something better and more successful, those who
are not accepting failures, those who shape and change things, those
who aren't afraid of the future, but see in it a challenge and a
Regardless of the position at which the person is
spreading its influence, every person can change the circumstances
with its active attitude. And if joined with others, they will be even more
successful and capable of acomplishing even greater goals.
Democratic Party wants Serbia to be a country whose citizens will join
each other around common goals and interests, whether those were
personal, occupational, local, or politicalm who will actively participate
in planning, chanelling and controlling the executed. We want our
citizens to be not vassals or followers, but sovereign and
We support the sindical and all other civic
organizations. We demand from our members to be active in such
organizations. All those actions need to independent and free, because
that it is the only way to secure and maintain confidence in the eyes of
We want a democratic linkage between the society
and the state, so that the initiatives of citizens, parties, sindicates and
other organizations become a subject of a discussion in the general
and expert public, while the legitimately elected services make
decisions in coherence with the law and public and clear rules.
are a party of action and initiative, a party that supports and stands for
all people with ideas and ambitions, but also a party that takes care of
all who are behind in the social competition. Our political philosophy is
reflected in a positive and active relation to life. We want to build our
society on dynamic potentials of our people, aware that sometimes we
need to face and fight passivisim. We build our politics on beliefs and
opinions that we consider to be right, and not on beliefs and opinions
that are popular and widely supported at the present time. The point is
to build our future on what is positive, and not on what is readily
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We need different priorities nowadays, but a different approach to problems as
well. Those priorities are concerned with enabling people and institutions to
better coordinate themselves in the ever increasing world dynamic, while a
different approach relates to a positive attitude towards problems, realism,
innovations and active attitude towards life.
Efficient and Strong Serbian State
We want to capacitate Serbia to function flawlessly, regardless of whether it
is completely independent or in a federation or some other future union
(European Union). Institutions and services of our state need to be able to
satislfy all the foundamental interests of our citizens, and to achieve that,
they need to be radically reogranized. Serbia is not the remaining part of
Yugoslavia. Serbia is a state with its clearly defined identity and
institutions, which needs to be reformed and advanced in order to meet the
challenges and chances of the 21st century.
Serbia needs to be a state that
is ready to enforce efficiently all kinds of different alternatives, whether
they were in regard to future relations with Montenegro, status of Kosovo and
Metohija, some new form of regional integration. Events must not catch us
unprepared. The future is open, and we have to be maximally ready , in order
to achieve our interest. That requires efficient institutions, successful
economy, international credibility, stable political life. The Democratic Party
will work on accomplishing these conditions for a successful Serbian state.
The democratic Serbian state takes over the responsibility of being an
inspiration and support to out citizens beyond the borders of our country, in
our neighborhood. Fortunately, all of those states, just like Serbia, are
gradually establishing their democratic institutions, so that the Serbian
support to Serbs outside Serbia has for its goal to maintain the national and
cultural identitiy. Serbs outside Serbia have a chance to establish bridges of
communication with other countries and nations.
The program goal of the Democratic Party is to involve Serbia actively in the
European Union at the soonest time possible.
We want the european
structures and standards to become an integrated part of our society, and out
state an equal memeber of the European Union of states.
everywhere we act, is to affirm the european values and prepare out country for
a true european integration.
Role in the Region
Our country needs to become a stablizing factor in the region. Not only that we
must not allow ourselves to act destructively anymore, we have to take over the
active role of integration. We need to encourage our neighbors to a
cooperation, to offer them concrete concepts and plans, and act together in the
protection of regional interests.
Security and Rights of Citizens
Our obligation is to advance all the institutions that protect the safety and
rights of all citizens, from the institutions of a lawful state, to the
regulation of the working rights, social security and pension security fund. We
want Serbia to be a state of protected citizens - equally protected from the
criminal and from the malversations of the government, as well as from the
financial speculations, interest groups, monopolies and unnecessary social and
Priorities of the social development comprise a quailified working force, good
trafic and communicational infrastructure and stable institutions which
determine the rules of business and behavior.
Education and training of the
worl force, on all levels of the economy, represents a national task of the
first order. Well-trained and capable people are our greatest economic
potential. Their advancement of the worlk force is a common task of the state
and economic organizations, schools and public.
It is necessary to creat
conditions for an efficient flow of goods and services, which requires a speedy
reconstruction and building of the trafic and communicational infrastructure.
It is understood that all of these are achievable only with the strong and
stable law regulations, as well as the strickt and lawful conduct of all social
The enforcement of this plan makes our conutry attractive and
desirable for investments. Thanks to our geographical location, if we advance
the performances of our economy, we have a chance to become a motor of the
This is the program goal of the Democratic Party.
We are going to stand for strickt enforcement of all developmental priorities
in all of our political actions, and we will be against ever populism and bad
compromises that would detour us from the road toward a great goal for the sake
of the daily popularity.
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Officials and members of the Democratic Party are active in the
institutions (municlipal, city and provintial, republic and federal),
active in their civic initiatives in non-governmental organizations,
active in their living and working enviroment.
activity is the main characteristic of the membership of the
Democratic Party. In their actions the members of the Democratic
Party spread the positive energy, look for solutions to problems,
encourage initiatives of their fellow citizens and associates, spread
the atmosphere of tolerance and compromise.
We are the
determined proponents of the parliamentary democracy, but at the
same time we support all forms of the immediate democracy as a
representation of local interests. All that wish to join in acquiring a
legitimate goal we offer the Democratic Party as their instrument in
achieveing that. That does not downgrade the power of the
parliamentarism, but on the contrary, allows a more complete and
thorough action of citizens in political processes. This is due to the
fact that the social life morphed partially into traditional ways of
representation, such as parties, sindicates, and other stationary
organizations. It is crucial that citizens constantly fight for the
improvement and humanizing of their conditions, and that is a
refreshment even for a parliamentary democracy.
Party is an open and a pluralist party. The officials and activists of
the Democratic Party have a broad autonomy within the
organization. They are obligated to obey and respect the principles
stated in the program of the party and the basic decisions made by
the party administration, but they are not obligated to have the
same opinion on every issue. Argumented polemic, competition
and challenging of standpoints shape the character of the
Democratic Party, which we wish to preserve and encourage.
The broad autonomy within the organization requires individual
initiative and leadership qualities on every level of action in the
Democratic Party. That brings upon a certain responsibility and a
necessity for constant improvement. There are no pre-made
recipes and directives from the top of the party administration. We
ask for creativity, initiative and responsibility of individuals. Every
member of the Democratic Party is expected to deal with problems
on his/her level of responsibility. Mistakes are a normal part of
every job, and democrats are expected to accept the analysis and
the critique and accordingly corect and adjust their actions and
Therefore, our politics is not dogmatic, it is
pragmatic, directed towards problem solution and not enforcement
of dogmas. However, out action is not a form of a blind activism,
but it is carefully guided and coordinated by our foundamental
values and principles. We are a party of principles, and not
ideology. We are interested in resluts and not ideological
enforcement. That is why we are tolerant and flexible. That is why
we are a modern party that is capable of modernizing
We, the Democrats, always have to be a party of the
next, future step, of what is coming and what is predicted for the
future. We have to be a party of new ideas and experiments, which
prepare our society for future challenges, a party that swims up the
stream and resists prejudices, in the name of what will become
widely accepted in the future, but what we will test tomorrow in the
name of what is new and fresh. We constantly think about what kind
of Serbia we want in five and ten years, and not how to acomplish
and secure our party or personal status in Serbia from today or
We are a party of the realistic optimism, positive
energy and vision.
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