balkans / europe / pride / serbia

EU: Serbian pride ban a “missed opportunity”

EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle (of the Czech Republic) stated today that by banning Belgrade Pride for the third year in a row, the Serbian government had “missed an opportunity to show respect for fundamental rights.”

Fule, the principal EU official responsible for negotiations for Serbia’s accession to the European Union, went on to say that: “The march could have been the closing event of a successful week dedicated to LGBTI population rights.”

“As commissioner for the EU Enlargement policy, I am committed to seek from candidate countries that they fully embrace values such as freedom of assembly and freedom of expression that are amongst the core foundations on which the European Union project is built upon.”

Fule assured that “the European Commission will continue to support Serbia’s efforts in developing a climate of tolerance and respect conducive to every citizen being treated without discrimination on the basis of gender, racial or ethnic origins, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability and age, in line with the EU Treaties and Charter for Fundamental Rights, as well as the June 2013 Conclusions of the Council for LGBTI rights.”

In this respect, Fule continued, “the European Commission expects the government of Serbia to take all necessary steps to investigate threats of violence directed against the Parade and take necessary measures to ensure that the rights to freedom of assembly and expression are fully respected in the future.”

(Source: ILGA-Europe)

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