Pro-EU opposition warn EP official of risks to democracy in Serbia

Leaders of four pro-EU opposition parties on Thursday told EP rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister that democracy in Serbia is endangered, institutions do not function, there is no dialogue in parliament and there is no economic progress. They also said that citizens are been systematically misled about the achievements of the government. The politicians said that there were no talks about unification of the opposition and joint participation in any elections and rejected speculations that the issue could be on the agenda.

The EP rapporteur met with leaders of the Democratic Party (DS) Dragan Sutanovac, the Social Democratic Party (SDS) Boris Tadic, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Cedomir Jovanovic and the leader of the movement It’s Enough Sasa Radulovic. The leader of the newly-formed political movement Free Citizens of Serbia Sasa Jankovic and Vuk Jeremic, former foreign minister and former presidential candidate, did not attend the meeting, although they were invited. Jeremic was abroad, while Jankovic’s absence was explained with objective reasons. Media speculated that Jankovic (whose movement is ranked as the third largest political force) was not happy about the close cooperation between McAllister and President Aleksandar Vucic and the fact that the LDP leader was invited to the meeting.

Representatives of the nationalist opposition parties also did not get invited to the talks. McAllister met earlier in the day with President Aleksandar Vucic, PM Ana Brnabic, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and head of parliamentary EU integration committee Nenad Canak.

Ahead of the visit to Serbia, the EP rapporteur assessed that Serbia had made a visible progress on the path to EU integration but said the country should do more to improve the rule of law and the fight against corruption. He also highlighted that free media are essential for the functioning democracy. During his previous visit to Serbia on Aug 12 McAllister met only with President Vucic.

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