18 December 2017

The initiators of Open Parliament draw public and media attention to continued downfall of the democratic procedures and the closure of the Parliament toward public. Misuse of parliamentary rules and procedures within the budget adoption process by the ruling majority puts party interests and daily politics before the interest of citizens.

The interruption of the longstanding cooperation between the National Assembly and Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability also testifies in support of these facts. This cooperation enabled realisation of “Open Parliament” project.

We remind the Speaker of the National Assembly as well as all members of Parliament that, in addition to the obligation to respect the Constitution, the laws and the Rules of Procedure, they are obliged to work in the best interests of all citizens of Serbia and they are responsible for them. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the citizens themselves are the source of state sovereignty, not institutions or political parties. The citizens have the right to express their opinion about Parliament work, and that’s why they need its transparency. If institutions don’t want to talk with the citizens, the citizens will talk about the institutions.

We welcome the public apology of the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, for failing to respond to the requests of the Media Freedom Group. We urge the National Assembly Speaker to follow the example of the leader of the executive and to publicly apologize to the citizens for failing to take responsible actions in his work, because the detriment of the closure of the debate is solely suffered by the citizens of Serbia.