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CELEBRATION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF SERBIA, FEBRUARY 15, 2021

 

 

The video on the occasion of the

National Day of Republic of Serbia

can be found here.

 

 

 

 

SPEECH OF
H.E. THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IN LISBON OLIVER ANTIĆ
ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF SERBIA,
FEBRUARY 15, 2021

 

Dear Representatives of Portuguese Official Entities,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Portugal,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends:


First of all, I would like to thank you for your presence here today, although not physical, when we celebrate the National Day of the Republic of Serbia.


Serbia is a very old State. About 800 years ago, it became a Kingdom when Stefan Nemanja, the first sovereign after many grand princes, was crowned King in 1217. It was Pope Honorius III who sent his legacy with the crown to be given to Stefan. Years later, his brother, St. Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia, crowned him again (according to the orthodox protocol).


Stefan I of Serbia was thus proclaimed King by papal bull, as D. Afonso Henriques was 38 years earlier, in 1179, by Pope Alexander III (out of curiosity, the one who was present in Paris when the angle stone of the Nôtre-Dame cathedral was laid).


Recently, on 27 January, in Belgrade, President Aleksandar Vučić inaugurated a magnificent monument to the father of Stefan I of Serbia, called also Stefan Nemanja, Grand Prince of Serbia, canonized by the Serbian Orthodox Church as Saint Simeon, the Blessed One or the Mirra Exhaler, a determined ruler, who is depicted holding a sword in his right hand and the Hilandar Charter in his left hand.


The first constitution of the Kingdom of Serbia and the highest code of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Nomocanon of Saint Sava, completed in 1219 (year of the independence of our Church from the Byzantine Patriarchate of Constantinople) was accepted in Bulgaria, Romania and Russia, as a source of law. It was printed and applied in Russia, even as early as the 17th century.


The Nomocanon was considered a divine law and was implemented together with the famous code of Emperor Dusan, in the 14th century, when Serbia became an Empire. Dusan’s Code foresaw, 400 years before Montesquieu, the separation of powers, constituting a unique case in the Middle Ages as judicial power was not in the hands of the Ruler.

But, our National Day commemorates the SRETENJE Constitution of 1835, approved on 14-15 February in a State Assembly, that remained in force for only two weeks and which, being too modern and liberal, had the opposition of the three most influential Balkan powers at that time - the Ottoman, the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian Empires. The SRETENJE Constitution was the first Serbian Constitution after the Ottoman wars and brought freedom not only to the Serbs.


Today, I very much welcome the very good bilateral relations between Serbia and Portugal, which celebrate its 139th jubilee this year. The Kingdom of Serbia established relations with the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves when there were all together 11 States in Europe. Proof of the good relations was the presidential state visit, the official visit to Portugal by the Serbian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the unofficial visit by the Prime Minister in recent years.


Long Live Serbia!
Long Live Portugal!

 

National Antem of the Republic of Serbia

 


Print version
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