Serbia has only partially implemented two of recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), according to ECRI’s press release published Tuesday (2 June). The two recommendations are linked to prohibiting the use of hate speech by government officials and MPs and to hiring a proportionate number of Roma in the public administration.
In the conclusions on the implementation of its priority recommendations addressed to Serbia in 2017, ECRI said it had been informed by Serbian authorities that the rights and obligations of MPs were defined by the Constitution, national laws and the Rules of Procedure, which prohibited the use of hate speech.
In its response to ECRI in October 2019, the Serbian Government said that the Rules of Procedure had been amended in 2017 to prevent MPs from resorting to hate speech when commenting on war crime trials and from denying such crimes.
ECRI stressed that it was necessary to further strengthen the rules which should contain “a coherent and adequate prohibition of the use of hate speech.”
“The Council of Europe commission regrets, however, that no progress has been made on the adoption of rules by the Serbian Government, and considers the recommendation only partially implemented,” it is said in the conclusions adopted on April 7, 2020.