25 October 2018, Belgrade
The PrEUgovor Coalition presented the latest Alarm - an independent report on Serbia's progress in implementing policies in the areas of Chapter 23 and 24 of the accession negotiations with the European Union.
It is expected that, by the end of this year, the Serbian Government will adopt revised versions of the action plans for both chapters, which is a moment for these strategic documents to be fundamentally changed in order to achieve better reform results. Bobana Macanovic spoke at the press conference on behalf of the Autonomous Women's Center.
She pointed out that the year 2018 marked the collapse of the achieved rights of women by the proposals of new laws, primarily in the areas of social and free legal protection, as well as gender equality. The Draft Law on Free Legal Aid, which the Government adopted, makes discrimination on the part of providers of legal aid by the place of work, which will prevent the provision of specialized legal assistance within non-governmental organizations, such as AWC, which provides about 2500 legal services annually.
She also pointed out that the text of the Draft Law on Gender Equality after the intervention of the Minister of Social Policy is in a disastrous situation, repeating the request of women's organizations to return the draft proposed by the Gender Equality Coordination Body. She also mentioned three public calls of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs for the establishment of a National SOS Helpline, all three outside the "legal norms" and standards for this type of service.
In the end, she pointed out that the report contains a number of recommendations on what should be done, and that it is up to the European Commission to decide whether they will only "tickle" that Serbia has formally fulfilled the obligations from the Action plan or will also deal with the substance, i.e. are the adopted laws better than the existing ones.
The Report of the PrEUgovor Coalition is available here.