The International Republican Institute (IRI), along with the People’s Office of the President of Serbia, led a five-day advanced training seminar as part of the office’s 1,000 Young Serbian Leaders program. The seminar, which focused on political leadership, was the sixth in a series of intensive trainings aimed at developing the leadership capacities of young people in Serbia to overcome critical problems facing the country. The seminar brought together young leaders from an array of Serbian political parties, and members of the Serbian republican parliament, the Vojvodina regional parliament and local assemblies.

Through practical exercises and presentations, participants learned strategies and techniques for leading issue-based coalitions in parliament, using public opinion research to enhance political messages, and defining political party principles and platforms to communicate more effectively as leaders. Volunteer trainers included Anthony O’Donnell, House Minority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates; Mike Madrid, political leadership and public affairs consultant; and James Fisfis, public opinion research expert.

In addition to the training sessions, participants engaged current Serbian leaders on the key issues facing the country. Vuk Jeremic, Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, answered questions on Serbia’s role in the international community. Radovan Jelasic, Governor of the Serbian National Bank, addressed the global economic crisis and its effect on Serbia.

The 1,000 Young Serbian Leaders program was initiated by the late Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic to promote the development of a network of young leaders in Serbia. Since 2006, IRI has assisted the People’s Office in developing the leadership trainings. Each seminar is dedicated to a specific topic related to advancing Serbia’s democratic, economic and cultural development. Previous trainings have focused on agriculture, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and local government and have resulted in the development of successful policy proposals adopted by the government.

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