S&D MEPs and opposition parties in Serbia call for renewal of EP-mediated dialogue

EP building in Brussels; Photo: European Parliament

BELGRADE – MEPs from the S&D group, together with the representatives of the Serbian Freedom and Justice Party, the Democratic Party and Together for Serbia, urged for the resumption of the inter-party dialogue under the mediation of the European Parliament as soon as possible.

Our portal learned that the president of the Party of European Socialists, Sergei Stanishev, the Chair of the EP delegation for Serbia, Tanja Fajon, as well as MEPs Kati Piri, Tonino Picula, Demetris Papadakis and Andreas Schieder participated in today’s meeting. Dragan Đilas and Ljuban Panić from the Freedom and Justice Party, President of Together for Serbia Nebojša Zelenović and the Vice President of the Democratic Party Dejan Nikolić were also present.

“With reference to the upcoming Belgrade elections and next parliamentary elections, we fully support European Parliament’s dedication to re-establish the Inter-Party dialogue with the Serbian Parliament and political parties in Serbia, as well as Commissioner Várhelyi’s position that the European Parliament should engage in an inter-party dialogue between the government and the opposition”, reads the statement seen by the European Western Balkans.

In a letter to the opposition last week, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Várhelyi emphasised that all parties should continue the dialogue under the mediation of the European Parliament and stressed the crucial role that the opposition should play.

According to the statement, previous engagement of the European Parliament was set to produce some progress, but due to the fact that it happened too close to the elections and that the government was solely responsible for implementing its results, the electoral conditions were still not sufficient for the opposition to participate.

“European Parliament showed its devotion to help establish a functional democracy, rule of law and media freedom in Serbia as a precondition for the country’s successful integration into the European Union, currently endangered by Serbia’s status as a “hybrid regime”, elections that resulted with there being no parliamentary opposition, and no new chapters opened due to lack of progress in key Chapters 23 and 24″, the statement reads.

It stresses that the inter-party dialogue should start as soon as possible.

“The current state of democracy in Serbia requires a thorough and open process with credible results and insurance mechanisms in order to have all political parties participating in the next elections,” it concludes.