“The absence of pro-European parliamentary parties in the opposition block must not undermine the pro-European determination of Serbia and its aspirations to join the European Union.”
Joint Statement Tanja Fajon (S&D, SI) and Vladimir Bilčík (EPP, SK), facilitators of the Inter-Party Dialogue on improving election conditions in Serbia, on the outcome of Serbia’s elections held on 21 June 2020.
“On 21 June, Serbian citizens had the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights by voting in parliamentary, provincial and local elections. The parliamentary elections were among the first in Europe that took place during the pandemic.
Whilst there has been substantial effort to improve the electoral conditions through the European Parliament’s facilitated Inter-Party Dialogue, we regret that some opposition parties maintained their position in boycott of the parliamentary elections. The lowest turnout since 2000 and the dramatic change in the political landscape in the composition of the new Parliament, where a two-thirds majority will be held by one political list, will present the future Serbian Government an important challenge. We look forward to OSCE/ODIHR’s final report and recommendations including on the need to address long-standing electoral shortcomings.
The absence of pro-European parliamentary parties in the opposition block must not undermine the pro-European determination of Serbia and its aspirations to join the European Union. The Parliament has a key role in delivering on the consistent and overwhelming aspirations of Serbian citizens for a future in the European Union.
This is even more important in the context of the revised enlargement methodology which puts emphasis on enhancing political engagement and dialogue, along with the fundamental reforms (rule of law, democratic institutions, economy). A more political enlargement process also requires an enhanced role for parliaments and all political forces who play a crucial role in implementing reforms and in building an active societal consensus on the European future of the countries of the region.
The European Parliament, including through the second phase of the Inter-Party Dialogue, will remain committed to work with the Serbian Parliament and all political forces in order to support crucial reforms in the areas of democracy, rule of law and accountability.”
In March 2012, EU has granted candidate status to Serbia and since 2014, the country is negotiating for full membership. In October 2019, European Parliament established an Inter-Party Dialogue with the Serbian Parliament in order to improve the electoral conditions, to address the outstanding issues that motivated part of the opposition to declare boycott. The COVID-19 crisis has raised concerns about increased disinformation designed to undermine the EU's support to Serbia during the pandemic.