Almost a year after the public hearing on the Draft Law on Social Protection, the Ministry in charge has organized a consultation meeting with interested parties on the "updated harmonized Draft Law". If we leave behind the fact that the purpose of the meeting is not completely clear in regard to the regulations on the process of developing legal documents, the key problem is that the proponent did not conduct an analysis of the effects of the options considered on society, including effects on different categories of population, and especially on vulnerable groups, whose situation may be aggravated by the implementation of public policy measures.
The Autonomous Women's Center pointed out to an inappropriate report on the public hearing, especially regarding the proponents' explanations for rejecting proposals by civil society organizations, as well as inconsistent solutions regarding support and services for victims of violence. The inadequacy of the "solution" regarding the establishment of the National SOS Helpline was highlighted, given that as many as six providers had been licensed by 2018, including the provider established by the Ministry responsible for social policy from 25-28. December 2018 within the Public Sector.
Although the AWC did not comment on provisions beyond its expertise, it is clear that the solutions offered will not achieve the purpose of amending the Law on Social Protection, including a fairer allocation within budgetary options, increasing the participation of older beneficiaries of financial social assistance, effective social inclusion measures for working beneficiaries of financial social assistance and the like.
The conclusion of the AWC is that the submitted document may have been updated, but it was not harmonized, not only with the comments of civil society organizations, but above all with the commitments made by the Republic of Serbia in the EU accession process.
Comments of the Autonomous Women’s Centre can be seen here.