As a member of the prEUgovor coalition, which regularly (since 2016) prepares independent half-yearly reports on Serbia's progress in accession negotiations with the European Union, the Autonomous Women's Center participated in the presentation of the new Alarm report for Cluster 1 (chapters 23 and 24).
The coalition concluded that the changed geopolitical circumstances increased the EU's attention and efforts in the region and gave new momentum to the enlargement policy. However, Serbia spent almost the entire reporting period with the Government in a technical mandate, which negatively affected the implementation of most reform activities. Key areas such as the judiciary and fundamental rights, combating corruption and organized crime remained even below the country's already poor average.
Tanja Ignjatović from the Autonomous Women's Center spoke about the state of basic rights in Serbia. She pointed out that fundamental rights were always in the shadow of more important issues from Chapter 23 where the situation was burning, but that the events after the ban on the Europride walk also pointed to the visible erosion of other rights that was taking place in the background.
"For the people who sit in the European Commission and the European Parliament, it is unthinkable that the Government should adopt a conclusion that allows the Minister to break two laws in order to fulfill some of his ideas." That's what happens in Serbia," noted Ignjatović.
In the section on fundamental rights, the Report offers a series of confusing snapshots from life that call into question the value system in society. Civil society organizations and activists cannot manage to glue the parts of the mosaic of rights that are constantly falling off, and the institutions are so ineffective that, for example, we have been waiting for the Constitutional Court's answer for eight years.
"The question is how long we will tolerate the violation of rights." It's typical to start with those who are on the margins, then the others say it's none of their business, but at some point it will come to everyone's business. Wherever basic human rights are encroached upon, it concerns all of us. Such an attitude should be produced, but we have nowhere to produce it, neither on national television, nor in the educational system," concluded Ignjatović.
The prEUgovor coalition Report (May-November 2022) can be downloaded HERE.