BRUSSELS – “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”, stated MEPs Vladimir Bilčik and Tanja Fajon following the elections in Serbia on Sunday.
Elections were won in a landslide by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). The largest opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia boycotted the election, with the only two other lists crossing the threshold being junior coalition partner Socialist Party of Serbia and SPAS party of a local mayor, who has so far been ambiguous about his position towards SNS.
“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 final report and recommendations including on the need to address long-standing electoral shortcomings”, stated Bilčik, EP Rapporteur for Serbia, and Fajon, Chair of the EP Delegation for the country.
According to the statement, 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”, they stated.
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, MEPs stated.