Social & Economic rights

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Request for Establishing Responsibility and Rectifying Failures in the Competition of the Ministry of Labour

More than 80 associations of citizens signed the Request for establishing responsibility and rectifying failures in the competition of the Ministry of Labour. The Request can still be signed by writing a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of Labour) announced a competition for grants for citizen associations in order to improve the social protection system. The competition was marked by numerous irregularities, including decisions on granting funds to a large number of newly registered associations (many of them just a month or less than a month before the competition), associations led by related persons (family members), associations led by local officials (primarily those from the Youth Office), associations that have identical statutes, including typographical errors and the like.

After the public has justifiably pointed out the irregularity of the competition and the obvious attempt of the embezzlement of taxpayers' money, the Minister of Labour Aleksandar Vulin attacked the entire civil sector, threatening with inspections and controls of the operations performed in the last 10 years and finally, completely illegally and without authorisation, stated that he had decided to direct the money earmarked for social protection services to the Fund for Treatment of Children with Rare Diseases.

The associations of citizens, signatories to this request, urge the competent authorities to do the following:

  1. Cancel the irregular competition and announce new one, in accordance with the budget of the Republic of Serbia and the planned policy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The beneficiaries of social protection services cannot be deprived of the funds that have already been earmarked in the budget for that purpose. As regards the Fund for Treatment of Children with Rare Diseases, the Government of the Republic of Serbia needs to find a systemic solution and resources from the budget lines designated for this purpose instead of usurping arbitrarily the funds intended for social protection beneficiaries.

  2. Initiate ex officio investigations and prosecute effectively all those who are responsible for the attempted misuse of taxpayers' money. The Prosecutor’s Office is obliged to act ex officio in this case and to examine reasonable suspicion that this was a well-organised group that attempted to appropriate money from the budget and whose members are from the relevant state and local institutions and newly established associations of citizens.

  3. Urgently dismiss Minister Aleksandar Vulin. The Government of the Republic of Serbia must initiate a procedure for the replacement of the Minister of Labour because of his undoubted political responsibility in this case. Not only did Minister Vulin fail to respond adequately to the irregularities in the competition, but attacked the civil sector and announced unlawful decisions, such as redirection of these funds to the Fund for Treatment of Children. The amendments of budget are the responsibility of the Assembly of Serbia and Mr. Vulin cannot dispose at his discretion with the money of the citizens of Serbia in any case or make decisions about its reallocation.

The associations of citizens, signatories to the request, warn the Government of the Republic of Serbia that such behaviour is detrimental, both to Serbia’s finances and the rule of law, and to the development of civil sector, but also to the system of support to young people in Serbia through local youth offices and to the development of the whole society. The responsibility lies with the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Prosecutor's Office, which must take the measures prescribed by law. Associations of citizens will not give up their demands and will use all legal means available to defend the rule of law and freedom of association in Serbia.

The list of signatory organisations and more detailed information can be found on the website of Policy Center.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action