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The Autonomous Women’s Center held a meeting with representatives of women’s organizations from the Women against Violence Network, titled Rights of women and marginalized groups in the process of the European integration of Serbia – perspectives and strategies of women’s organizations.  At a meeting in Belgrade, on June 7-8, 2019, organized in cooperation with the prEUgovor coalition, and with the support of Kvinna till Kvinna and the EU, the representatives of women’s organizations had the opportunity to learn about the current situation concerning three negation chapters relevant for women’s rights and the functioning of women’s organizations.

On the first day of the meeting, participants learnt about the Negotiation chapters 24– Justice, Freedom and Security, about the situation in this field, revision of the Action plan, assessment of the European Commission about the progress of Serbia, as well as about women’s rights. Speakers on these topics were Marija Andjelkovic from ASTRA – Action against Human Trafficking and Bojan Elek from the Belgrade Center for Security Policy. The Negotiation chapter 19 – Social policy and Employment, preparations for opening of the chapter, implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social And Cultural Rights and new elements in the draft National Social Protection Strategy 2019-2025, were presented by Sarita Bradas from the Center for Democracy Foundation. The negotiation chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, situation in this field, revision of the Action Plan, assessment of the European Commission in the progress of Serbia, the link between these issues with women’s rights, were presented by Vanja Macanovic and Tanja Ignjatovic from the Autonomous Women’s Center.

On the second day, representatives of women’s organizations discussed the situation of women in Serbia in the current context, with focus on concluding observations of the CEDAW Committee, as well as the situation after the establishment of the national SOS helpline, processes concerning EU integrations at local level and strategic issues concerning women’s organizations in Serbia.

During the lively, critically oriented, yet not (completely) pessimistic discussion, it was concluded that women’s organizations should not participate in the abuse of the consultative process concerning public policies at national and local level. Possible joint solutions and possibilities about translating key processes to familiar issues were discusses, information exchanged and decisions made about future joint action.