Terry Reintke MEP told N1 on Tuesday that she is very worried by President Aleksandar Vucic’s statement that EuroPride will not go ahead, adding that this could negatively affect Serbia’s European integration process.
The MEP said that EuroPride is an event planned years ahead of time. We are very worried by the Serbian president’s statement not just because of its effect on the LGBT community but also because there will be thousands of people from across Europe who will come to various events in Belgrade, she said.
Reintke and fellow MEP Viol von Cramon came to Belgrade on Sunday to discuss EuroPride and the decision to cancel it with Prime Minister designate Ana Brnabic. She said that they met Brnabic to convey how important the event is. We are hoping for a solution and believe that the Serbian authorities are capable of protecting the marchers and that it will be held, she added.
According to Von Cramon and Reintke, a number of MEPS and officials from European Union member states will come to Belgrade for EuroPride.
The EuroPride march should be held from a political viewpoint. Freedom of association is a basic human right guaranteed by a Council of Europe document and Serbia is a member of that body. I hope that we will see the Serbian government show readiness to offer support and that the march will go ahead, she said.
She said the event is about a basic human right, adding that there has been some progress in terms of the state of democracy in Serbia but that there have been some complications with human rights and media freedoms.
The MEP said that she wants Serbia to be an EU member with its citizens enjoying all the rights and liberties that EU citizens do but warned that conditions have to be met.