Upon the request of the Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue of Serbia, Gordana Comic, the Council of Europe’s Directorate General for Democracy has prepared an expert opinion on the draft Law on same-sex unions. The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, Tobias Flessenkemper, presented the opinion to the Minister today in Belgrade.
“This Law is about changing lives of people for the better, and I firmly believe that this expert opinion will be useful in further work on the draft legislation”, said Tobias Flessenkemper. He added that “for a real change to happen, strong political will and commitment are needed that would translate into robust legislation adopted and implemented”.
Minister Gordana Comic said that the expert opinion proves very useful for the work of the Ministry and expects from the Council of Europe to continue its support, including under the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme Horizontal Facility II.
The opinion takes into consideration the Council of Europe legal standards in the field of combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on the protection of social rights. By adopting a specific legal framework for same-sex couples, Serbia would go a long way towards satisfying these standards, the opinion says. At the same time, the opinion makes a series of recommendations for improvement of the draft Law.
The opinion on the draft Law on same-sex unions, was prepared with the support of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit of the Council of Europe and of the joint European Union/Council of Europe action Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia under the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022 (II).
Previously, also under the Horizontal Facility programme, opinions on the amendments to the Law on Anti-discrimination and on the Law on Gender Equality were prepared and submitted to the Serbian government. The latter one was prepared within the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism, that is a part of the Horizontal Facility programme.