Ana Brnabić

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Ana Brnabić
Ана Брнабић
Brnabić in 2023
Prime Minister of Serbia
Assumed office
29 June 2017
PresidentAleksandar Vučić
Show list:
Preceded byAleksandar Vučić
Ivica Dačić (acting)
Additional ministries
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 October 2020 – 28 October 2020
Preceded byIvica Dačić
Succeeded byNikola Selaković
Minister of Finance
In office
16 May 2018 – 29 May 2018
Preceded byDušan Vujović
Succeeded bySiniša Mali
Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government
In office
11 August 2016 – 29 June 2017
Prime MinisterAleksandar Vučić
Ivica Dačić (acting)
Preceded byKori Udovički
Succeeded byBranko Ružić
Personal details
Born (1975-09-28) 28 September 1975 (age 48)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Political party
Domestic partnerMilica Đurđić
Alma materNorthwood University
University of Hull

Ana Brnabić (Serbian Cyrillic: Ана Брнабић, pronounced [âna bř̩nabitɕ]; born 28 September 1975) is a Serbian politician serving as the prime minister of Serbia since 2017. She is the first woman, first openly gay, and longest-serving person to hold the office.[1][2]

She entered government as the minister of public administration and local self-government[3] from 11 August 2016 until 29 June 2017, under prime minister Aleksandar Vučić and acting prime minister Ivica Dačić. In this role, Brnabić initiated reforms of central government services in Serbia.

After he was inaugurated as the president of Serbia on 31 May 2017, Vučić proposed Brnabić as his successor in June 2017.[4] Brnabić and her cabinet were voted into office on 29 June 2017 by a majority of 157 out of 250 members of the National Assembly of Serbia. Elected as a non-partisan politician, she joined the ruling Serbian Progressive Party in 2019, and was subsequently elected as vice president in 2021. The National Assembly re-elected her into office after the 2020 and 2022 elections.

In 2019, Brnabić was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 88th most powerful woman in the world and as the 19th most powerful female political and policy leader.[5][6] Some observers believe that she has no political power in line with the constitutional role of chief of the executive, arguing instead that Vučić wields power in his capacity as the president.

Early and personal life[edit]

Brnabić was born in Belgrade. Her father Zoran was born in Užice in 1950 and finished his studies in Belgrade, where the family lived. Her paternal grandfather Anton Brnabić, an ethnic Croat Yugoslav military officer, was born in Stara Baška on the Croatian island of Krk, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, (present-day Croatia). He fought with the Yugoslav Partisans during World War II and was ranked lieutenant colonel after the war. Her maternal grandparents are from Babušnica, southeastern Serbia. Brnabić declared herself a Serb.[7]

Brnabić is a lesbian, the second female LGBT head of government in the world following Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (Iceland 2009–13), and fifth openly LGBT head of government overall following Jóhanna, Elio Di Rupo (Belgium 2011–14), Xavier Bettel (Luxembourg 2013–2023), and Leo Varadkar (Ireland 2017–20, 2022–present). In 2017, she became the first head of government from the Balkan region to attend a gay pride march when she attended the Belgrade Pride.[8]

In 2019, her partner Milica Đurđić gave birth to a boy; Brnabić is the first openly gay prime minister whose partner gave birth while the prime minister was in office.[9]

Education and business career[edit]

Brnabić was raised in Belgrade, Serbia, where she attended the Belgrade Fifth Gymnasium. In addition to her Serbian education, Brnabić holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) diploma of Northwood University, Michigan, USA, and an MBA of the University of Hull, England, UK, and worked for over a decade with international organizations, foreign investors, local self-government units, and the public sector in Serbia.[10]

Prior to Brnabić's appointment to the Government of Serbia, she was director of Continental Wind Serbia,[11] where she worked on the implementation of the investment of €300 million into a windpark in Kovin.[12] She was a member of the managing board of the non-profit foundation Peksim.[13]

She has been engaged in different US consulting companies that implemented USAID-financed projects in Serbia. She was deputy manager of the Serbia Competitiveness Project, the expert on the Local Self-government Reform Program in Serbia and the senior coordinator of the Program of Economic Development of Municipalities.[10] She was active in the foundation of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) in 2006.[14] During that engagement, she participated in the introduction of the concept of local economic development in Serbia and building of potentials of municipalities to improve the business environment at the local level with active promotion of investments. She became a member, and thereafter the president, of the managing board of NALED.[14]


Brnabić alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, 16 June 2018

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

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

Brnabić with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev during his official state visit in Belgrade, 21 June 2018

In May 2018, Brnabić took over the Ministry of Finance until the new Minister was appointed, following the resignation of Dušan Vujović.[23] On 29 May 2018, she appointed Siniša Mali as Vujović's successor on that position.[24] On 26 July 2018, Brnabić hosted a ceremony at the United States Congress in Washington, which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of raising the Serbian flag in front of the White House.[25]

In October 2019, the Prime Minister confirmed she had joined the ruling Serbian Progressive Party.[26] On 25 October 2019, Brnabić signed a Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), extending the list of Serbian products that can be exported to the EAEU territory.[27]

Brnabić with Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels, on 4 July 2023

After the COVID-19 pandemic spread to Serbia in March 2020, Brnabić was appointed for the head of the Health Crisis Committee.[28] After president Vučić declared a state of emergency on 15 March, the government issued regulations on measures during a state of emergency with the aim of suppressing the consequences of the outbreak.[29] A curfew was introduced for the first time in Serbia since World War II.[30] Brnabić was elected as vice president of SNS in November 2021.[31] Her third cabinet was elected on 26 October 2022.[32]

Debate on constitutional roles[edit]

Brnabić with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Serbia, 19 October 2019

Political scientist Krzysztof Zuba listed Brnabić as an example of head of government with extensive political dependence on a leader of the governing party.[33] He defined a situation in which the Prime Minister does not have their own political position as the chief of the executive as a “surrogate government”, explaining that a distribution of power that is contrary to constitutional determinants is a characteristic of non-democratic systems.[33]

In February 2019, Freedom House reported that Serbia's status declined from Free to Partly Free due to deterioration in the conduct of elections, continued attempts by the government and allied media outlets to undermine independent journalists through legal harassment and smear campaigns, and Vučić's accumulation of executive powers that conflict with his constitutional role.[34] Opposition leaders and some observers describe her as a mere puppet of Vučić, whose presidency, according to the Constitution, is largely ceremonial with no significant executive power.[1][33][35][36] Brnabić never denied this, and even said that Vučić should act as a "mentor" of the prime minister.[37]


Brnabić with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, 28 September 2022

In December 2018, commenting on the announced transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into the Kosovo Armed Forces, Brnabić said: "I hope we won’t have to use our military, but at the moment, that’s one of the options on the table because one cannot witness a new ethnic cleansing of the Serbs and new Storms — although Edi Rama is calling for them. When someone knows you have a strong army, then they have to sit down and talk to you."[38][39]

In May 2019, Kosovo's Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, stated his refusal to permit the entry of Brnabić into Kosovo, citing her alleged adherence to a perceived racist ideology. Brnabić, during the handover of a European Commission 2019 progress report, said: "Haradinaj, Thaçi and Veseli are competing to see who the biggest nationalist and chauvinist is. What scares me most is that we are dealing with irrational people, the worst kind of populist, people who literally walked out of the woods."[40][41] This was met with strong criticism, particularly by Twitter users, who campaigned with the hashtag #literallyjustemergedfromthewoods in order to mock the Prime Minister.[42]

On 20 January 2020, the governments of Serbia and Kosovo agreed to restore flights between their capitals for the first time in more than two decades.[43][44] The deal came after months of diplomatic talks by Richard Grenell, the United States ambassador to Germany, who was named special envoy for Serbian-Kosovar relations by President Donald Trump the year before.[43]

Srebrenica genocide remarks[edit]

In an interview on 14 November 2018 with the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Brnabić denied that the July 1995 massacres of Bosniaks by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica had been an act of genocide.[45] Two weeks later, the European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that the parliament regretted the continuing denial of the Srebrenica genocide by parts of the Serbian authorities and recalled that full cooperation with the ICTY and its successor mechanism included accepting its judgements.[46] The Hague Court criticised Brnabić for denial of the Srebrenica genocide.[45][47]

LGBT rights[edit]

Brnabić confronted at the 2019 Belgrade Pride parade by a participant holding a sign that says: "Prime Minister, what is it like to live with all the privileges?"

After she was appointed prime minister, Brnabić said that she did not want to be branded Serbia's gay prime minister and that she did not plan "to push LGBT legal reforms at this stage" because she wanted to prioritise other policy reforms.[48] In September 2017, Brnabić took part in the pride parade in Belgrade and became the first Serbian prime minister to attend a pride parade. At the event, Brnabić said: "The government is here for all citizens and will secure the respect of rights for all citizens."[49]

Brnabić says that she advocates inheritance rights of same-sex couples.[50] In February 2019, Milica Đurđić, Brnabić's partner, gave birth to a son named Igor, but same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned and LGBT parenting is not regulated in Serbia. Some journalists and LGBT activists have concluded that Brnabić has failed to advocate for LGBT equality in Serbia.[51][52]


She has been awarded a number of plaudits for the development projects on which she worked, for the promotion of socially accountable business operation and tolerance.[53] She has been awarded the Order of the Republika Srpska.[54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Surk, Barbara (28 June 2017). "Serbia Gets Its First Female, and First Openly Gay, Premier". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Ana Brnabić najduže na funkciji premijera u istoriji Srbije, pretekla i Marjanovića i Pašića - Politika - Dnevni list Danas" (in Serbian). 6 February 2024. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Потпредседници и министри". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Ana Brnabić mandatarka za sastav nove Vlade". N1. 15 June 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  5. ^ "The World's Most Powerful Women in 2019". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  6. ^ "The Most Powerful Women In Politics 2019: Merkel, Pelosi And The Women Running The World". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  7. ^ ""MOJ DEDA JE HRVAT, JA SAM SRPKINJA" Ovo je porodični "rodoslov" Ane Brnabić" (in Serbian). Blic. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Serbia's gay PM is first in region to attend pride parade". BBC News. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  9. ^ Peter Stubley (2019). "Gay partner of Serbian PM Ana Brnabic gives birth in first for a world leader". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister". East Wesy Bridge. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  11. ^ Danas Conference Center (8 October 2014), Ana Brnabić, generalni direktor Continental Wind Srbija, retrieved 7 November 2018
  12. ^ "Construction of Cibuk wind farm in Kovin begins late 2013". Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Brnabic Named Serbia's New PM-Designate". Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Biografija Ane Brnabić". Radio Television of Serbia. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  15. ^ Anastasijevic, Dejan (19 June 2017). "Hard days ahead for Serbia's gay PM". EUobserver. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Brnabic: Everyone forgets i'm a technocrat Prime Minister". N1. 27 May 2018. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  17. ^ Gec, Jovana (28 June 2017). "Serbia's next premier: EU membership, modernization priority". Associated Press. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Digitalization, education reform are priorities, Serbian PM". N1. 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  19. ^ Swimelar, Safia (November 2017). "The Journey of LGBT Rights: Norm Diffusion and its Challenges in EU Seeking States: Bosnia and Serbia". Human Rights Quarterly. 39 (4): 910–42. doi:10.1353/hrq.2017.0054. S2CID 148794866.
  20. ^ "Aleksić: Brnabić, simbolična figura u konzervativnoj vladi". Radio Free Europe (in Serbian). 5 May 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Serbia lawmakers elect 1st female and 1st openly gay premier". Associated Press. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  22. ^ Thompson, Wayne (2018). Nordic, Central, and Southeastern Europe 2018-2019. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781475841527.
  23. ^ "Brnabićeva ministar finansija, do imenovanja novog". (in Serbian). Tanjug. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Mali izabran za ministra finansija". (in Serbian). Beta. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Strong historical links between Serbia, United States". B92. 26 January 2018.
  26. ^ "PM Brnabic joins Vucic's ruling Serbian Progressive Party". N1. 10 October 2019. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  27. ^ "Brnabic signs Free Trade Agreement with EAEU". Government of Serbia. 25 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Nove mere Vlade Srbije: Formirana dva krizna štaba, zabrana ulaska iz Rumunije". N1. 13 March 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Proglašeno vanredno stanje na teritoriji čitave Srbije". Government of Serbia. 15 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Prvi put policijski čas od Drugog svetskog rata, građani uglavnom poslušni". N1. 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 November 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  31. ^ "SNS obeležava 13 godina postojanja: Vučić predsednik SNS-a do izbora, izabrani novi potpresednici stranke". B92 (in Serbian). 27 November 2021. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  32. ^ "Poslanici izglasali novu Vladu Srbije". N1 (in Serbian). 26 October 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  33. ^ a b c Zuba, Krzysztof (2019). "Leaders without Leadership: Surrogate Governments in Poland". Europe-Asia Studies. 72: 33–54. doi:10.1080/09668136.2019.1673321. S2CID 211437470.
  34. ^ "Freedom in the World 2019" (PDF). Freedom House. 5 January 2019.
  35. ^ Gouveia, José Fialho (7 July 2017). "Serbia chooses first woman to lead government and please EU". Diário de Notícias (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  36. ^ Karabeg, Omer (15 April 2018). "Ana Brnabić: Premijerka ili Vučićeva marioneta". Radio Slobodna Evropa (in Serbo-Croatian). Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Brnabić: Vučić da ima ulogu mentora nad premijerom" (in Serbian). Danas. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  38. ^ "I hope Serbia won't have to use army - but it's an option". B92. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Serbian premier: Armed intervention in Kosovo an option". The Washington Post. 5 December 2018. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Incensed By 'Racist' Comments, Kosovo Says It Is Banning Serbian PM". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  41. ^ "Kosovo FM Pacolli calls Serbian PM Brnabic racist". N1. 30 May 2019. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  42. ^ "Is Serbia's prime minister racist?". TRT World. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  43. ^ a b Eddy, Melissa (20 January 2020). "Serbia-Kosovo Flights to Resume Under U.S.-Brokered Deal". The New York Times.
  44. ^ "Kosovo-Serbia flights to restart after two decades". Euronews. 25 January 2020.
  45. ^ a b Rudic, Filip (20 November 2018). "Hague Court Chief Criticises Serbian PM's Genocide Denial". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  46. ^ "European Parliament notes reform progress in Serbia". Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  47. ^ Rudic, Filip (12 December 2018). "Hague Prosecutor Condemns Srebrenica Genocide Denial". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  48. ^ "Ana Brnabić: 'I do not want to be branded Serbia's gay PM'". The Guardian. 28 July 2017.
  49. ^ Radovanovic, Radul (17 September 2017). "Serbia's first openly-gay Prime Minister Ana Brnabic joins hundreds of marchers at LGBT pride event". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017.
  50. ^ "Brnabićeva o pravima LGBT populacije: Nerazumljivo mi je". B92 (in Serbian). 7 September 2018.
  51. ^ "Šta je Ana Brnabić uradila za LGBT+ prava u Srbiji?". (in Serbian). 5 February 2019.
  52. ^ "Away from the media's gaze, Ana Brnabić is failing to advocate for LGBT equality in Serbia". Euronews. 23 September 2019.
  53. ^ "Министар". Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  54. ^ "Ani Brnabić u Banjaluci uručuju najviši orden RS". 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Serbia
Preceded by Minister of Finance (Acting)
Succeeded by