Serbia on Hold
Since 3 April 2022, when elections at all levels were held, Serbia has been on hold. Two months after the elections, only the President of Serbia has begun to serve his regular mandate, while the official results of the parliamentary elections are yet to be proclaimed, the new composition of the National Assembly is yet to be convened, and the new government is yet to be formed. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which occurred at the beginning of the election campaign, added to the already tense political situation.Continue reading >>
On January 16, Serbian citizens voted in a referendum on constitutional changes concerning the guarantees of the judicial independence and organization of the judicial sector. According to preliminary results, 57, 4% of citizens voted for the reforms, while 41,6% voted against, with a turnout of not more than 30% of all registered voters. I would argue that constitutional amendments concerning the judiciary should have been postponed for two reasons.Continue reading >>
On illegal push-backs into the EU
On 29 December 2020, the Constitutional Court of Serbia (CCS) adopted a decision (Už-1823/2017) upholding the constitutional appeal filed on behalf of 17 Afghani migrants, who were expelled into Bulgaria although they had expressed the intention to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia (RS) in 2017. It found that the Ministry of the Interior (Police Directorate - Gradina Border Police Station (BPS)) violated the prohibition of expulsion and inhuman treatment – both guaranteed in the Serbian Constitution.Continue reading >>
Fight Against Covid-19 in Serbia: Saving the Nation or Securing the Re-Election?
The Covid-19 epidemic outbreak in Serbia coincided with the beginning of the election campaign for both parliamentary and municipal elections. Soon, it became clear that what was at stake in the fight against Covid-19 was not so much saving the nation as securing the majority re-election of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, headed by its populist leader and President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić.Continue reading >>
Serbia and Covid-19: State of Emergency in a State in Disarray
The reaction of the Serbian authorities to the Covid-19 crisis demonstrated a weakness of Serbian state institutions: The measures imposed by the Serbian Government as a response to the Covid crisis, as well as the reaction of the competent bodies, are problematic both from a procedural and a substantive perspective. To make things worse, the judiciary has not been a great help either.Continue reading >>
How likely – and dangerous – is a Kosovo/Serbia “Land Swap” ?
The presidents of Kosovo and Serbia have recently considered an exchange of territories (“land swap”) between their two countries which would lead to Serbia’s formal recognition of the independence of Kosovo. In view of legal and politcial hurdles, one can envisage at least three distinct scenarios of international response to a bilateral treaty between Serbia and Kosovo, concerning specific synchronized border changes.Continue reading >>
The Draft Amendments to the Serbian Constitution: Populism before Judicial Independence
Serbia is currently abuzz with draft constitutional amendments that should enhance judicial independence and move the country one step closer to EU accession. On 12 April 2018, the Serbian Government adopted the draft amendments and sent them to the Venice Commission. However, while at present the political influence on the judiciary comes from the political institutions, in the future this influence will come from the ruling majority.Continue reading >>