Serbia's PM to Freedom House: Belgrade is not leader in collapse of democracy

Serbia's PM to Freedom House: Belgrade is not leader in collapse of democracy

Serbia's PM to Freedom House: Belgrade is not leader in collapse of democracy Izvor: Tanjug/Zoran Žestić

Serbia is not a leader in the destruction of democracy in the Western Balkans, but according to the report on Countries in Transition in 2020, the state with the highest level of democracy in the region, Ana Brnabic, Serbia's Prime Minister says in a response to the Freedom House (FH) President Michael J. Abramowitz, the Belgrade independent Danas daily reports on Thursday.

In the reply titled 'Rejection of Claims on Democratic Setback in Serbia', Brnabic said her cabinet tried to critically examine the validity and relevance of the conclusions, respecting the FH right to use own methods in measuring the developments in some areas of democracy in society and institutions.

She added that FH reportdescribed Serbia as the country with the most dramatic fall in democracy in the Balkans, "although FH evaluated it as the state with the highest level of democracy in the Western Balkans."

The description of Serbia, which has the smallest fall of the results, as the one "leading in the deterioration of democracy" in Europe, is just a wrong, ill-intended and incorrect reading of the quantitative data in the report itself, Brnabic's reply has said.

She adds it seems that the authors have reduced the objectivity to impressions, personal views and a limited number of sources and data.

The views in the report, she said, were entirely based on media interpretation, and not on measurable, objective parameters.

Brnabic recalled that the report key conclusion was that Serbia had been downgraded from democratic to the hybrid regime for the first time since 2003.

She said that no other relevant report or democracy index did not record or hint such deterioration of democracy in Serbia in 2020.

Neither EIU Democracy Index nor BPT Index detected such transformation of the country, Brnabic added.

"Recognising the prestigious international image of Freedom House and its impact on the domestic and international players, this analysis is written in the spirit of an open democratic dialogue. And with the belief that we can contribute to a more objective view of democratic institutions and democracy in Serbia which the Government is deeply committed to," Brnabic wrote.  

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