Friday, 5 November 2021

Key findings of the European Commission 2021 Report on Serbia Featured

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In the recently published Serbia 2021 Report, the European Commission highlights that Serbia is moderately prepared as regards the reform of its public administration and that limited progress was made overall during the reporting period.

The report highlights that local administrative capacity is still weak and significant disparities between municipalities persist. In June 2021, the government adopted for the first time the programme for local government system reform, which aims to address deficiencies in the functioning of local government. The new free legal aid law has been implemented since October 2019. However, only one-third of local municipalities and cities have established specialised units for free legal aid so far. There is a need for further awareness-raising of the existence of legal aid towards the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals.

Regarding Roma inclusion, a new strategy for the social inclusion of the Roma in Serbia, and the related action plan, have yet to be adopted. Report highlights that most Roma people in Serbia have civil documentation. The law on permanent and temporary residence needs to be consistently applied to allow Roma IDPs living in informal settlements to obtain registered residence and access to basic socio-economic rights. However, In the recently published Serbia 2021 Report, the European Commission reiterated that all births need to be registered immediately after children are born, regardless of their parents’ status.

Report points that Roma students in elementary and secondary education have continued to receive scholarships through affirmative measures. However, school drop-out rates remain high, especially for Roma girls. Under the COVID-19 pandemic, Roma children, mainly from informal settlements, have been struggling with access to the technical preconditions for participating in online education. Transition from education to the labour market is especially challenging for young Roma people. Informal employment continues to be high among the Roma population. In addition, Roma are still underrepresented in public administration.

In the field of non-discrimination in employment and social policy, Serbia adopted amendments to the law prohibiting discrimination in May 2021. The Equality Commissioner’s 2020 report underlined that out of 112 complaints on discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, 94 were filed by Roma, with the main issues being access to employment and sources of income. Among others, Roma women continue to experience intersecting forms of discrimination, which was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Although child marriage is not common in the general population in Serbia, early and child marriage remains an issue of concern among Roma girls living in settlements.

Praxis took part in the process of preparation of the EC Report 2021, both through consultations and by sending a written contribution to the Report precisely emphasising the above-stated problems.








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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action