MEPs call on EC to form expert group to publish reports on situation in Serbia’

MEPs call on EC to form expert group to publish reports on situation in Serbia’

MEPs call on EC to form expert group to publish reports on situation in Serbia’ Izvor: Frederick FLORIN / AFP

Three groups of MPs accepted Serbia’s opposition request to the European Union institutions to more actively engage in solving what the opponents of President Aleksandar Vucic’s ruling party see as a deep political crisis, according to a statement which the European Western Balkans (EWB) had access to.

Serbia's opposition wrote to the EU institutionson Thursday seeking help in resolving the crisis in the country.

On Friday, the three MPs asked the European Commission (EC) to form “a senior expert group to publish reports on state and media capture in Serbia.”

The aim of the group would be “to enable all relevant political parties and movements in Serbia to solve the crisis and this way enables revival of democratic development of Serbia for the interest of its citizens.”

The MEPs said that "despite the recent general elections, the ongoing demonstrations in the streets and their violent suppression, which are of great concern to us, are clear signs Serbia is facing grave challenges to its future."

They added that without the solid response, Serbia won't have a stable future and the EU membership perspective.

Without the solid response and solution to listed problems, Serbia has no stable future and unfortunately no real EU membership perspective,” the MPs said.

The EWB reported on the statementby Tanja Fajon, MEP, S&D, Klemen Groselj, MEP, Renew Europe and Viola von Cramon, MEP, Greens/EFA.

Here is their full statement.

“After receiving a request this week from the Serbian opposition to the EU institutions to further engage in the peaceful and politically sustainable resolution of the ongoing political crisis in Serbia and to facilitate creation of new instruments that would help achieve this goal, we, the undersigned MEP-s from 3 different political Groups, have decided to respond to this request.

Our ambition is to enable all relevant political parties and movements in Serbia to solve the crisis, and this way enable revival of democratic development of Serbia for the interest of its citizens.

We invite the European Commission to create a senior expert group to publish reports on state and media capture in Serbia. Serbian democracy is currently endangered by authoritarian tendencies of the government, unfair electoral conditions and lack of basic media freedom and the rule of law.

Despite the recent general elections, the ongoing demonstrations in the streets and their violent suppression, which are of great concern to us, are clear signs Serbia is facing grave challenges to its future. Without the solid response and solution to listed problems, Serbia has no stable future and unfortunately no real EU membership perspective.

Therefore, our commitment to helping Serbia become an EU member state requires from us to support initiatives that aim at increasing EU engagement in improving Serbian democracy and enable it to follow the path of prosperous future in the European family of democratic countries.

The creation and unbiased work of the senior expert group reports on state and media capture, as requested by the Serbian opposition, would help identify and assess some of the key problems currently plaguing Serbian democracy and would represent a good baseline for further engagement of EU institutions and a starting point for identified necessary changes in Serbia.

Coordinated efforts of the European Parliament and the European Commission have proven effective in solving the political crisis in other countries in the region and could prove effective in Serbia as well. To this end, the European Parliament should support cross-party dialogue on strengthening the democratic pillar of the new enlargement methodology as a means to implement the EU reform agenda, by ensuring the widest possible societal consensus through the engagement of all the main Serbian political parties in the continuation of the EP facilitated Inter-Party Dialogue.”

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