izvestaj o klasteru 1Serbia spent the reporting period – from May to October 2023 – in a somewhat extraordinary state. Two mass murders among minors and young people at the beginning of May traumatised Serbian society and prompted the Government to take a series of reactive measures that marginalised the planned reform activities. These tragic events exposed systemic failures in the country presented the most terrible consequences of fostering a culture of verbal and physical violence in public space, and initiated protests and demands for accountability, which the Government partly ignored and partly attacked. The end of October, on the other hand, also marked the anniversary of the work of the Government, which then entered its technical mandate by announcing snap parliamentary elections on 17 December 2023.

The Coalition welcomes the renewed interest in the enlargement policy within the European Union (EU). It appeals to the next government of Serbia to use this opportunity to intensify reform efforts based on the repeated recommendations. It is essential that the citizens of Serbia, whose support for their country’s membership in the EU is much lower compared to the population of other countries in the accession process, see the Union primarily as a partner in improving living standards and the rule of law. The incident in Banjska in the north of Kosovo in late September shows the fragility of peace in the Western Balkans. It emphasises even more the importance of European integration of the entire region.

On the other hand, a credible prospect of membership implies an internal adjustment of the Union, especially considering that the number of candidates and potential candidates has increased to ten countries. The Coalition emphasises the importance of including future members in discussions on the internal reform of the EU. It welcomes the bright example set by the European Economic and Social Committee in September when it announced that by the end of 2023, it will elect members from the candidate countries, including Serbia's civil society representatives.

Alarm Report is available HERE.