• 2020-03-31

Center For Democracy Foundation – remote team work

Since 16 March, the Center for Democracy Foundation has been working remotely. Despite all our earlier efforts to stay on top of online teamwork platforms, like most of other organisations and individuals, we are still facing numerous challenges: we have to quickly update software on our computers, to increase internet speed at our homes, to install new software and gain new experience – remote team working.

At this moment, our work is focused on analysis and finding solutions for numerous problems aggravated by the ongoing epidemic and state of emergency, which affect our citizens, companies, unions, NGOs, local governments, healthcare and social protection systems: redundancies, violation of employment rights, reduction of incomes, frequent job losses of people who were employed ‘off the books’ and who consequently have lost their incomes, issues concerning safety and health protection in the workplace, increase in number of people without income and social protection, implications of the epidemic for women particularly in the areas of healthcare, trade and production, challenges of social distancing in specific social groups, primarily the elderly and persons with mental disability – these are burning issues. Through the system of prompt reaction, together with our associates and partners, we respond to violations of rights, appealing to social and intergenerational solidarity. Our analysis offers recommendations for resolving specific issues. We are currently organising legal support via previously set up portal www.crnonabelo.com. Our projects have been adjusted to the new circumstances, maintaining contact and cooperation with local organisations. Understanding donors enables us to commit to key challenges at this moment.

In this situation, we support all measures which aim to maintain people’s health and facilitate optimal healthcare system operations. Now, more than ever, our citizens need truthful and timely information and to be able to trust institutions. Therefore, we regularly appeal to government representatives to, first and foremost, respect the right to freedom of opinion and expression and to act responsibly when addressing the public.

Serbia needs all the help it can get, and both our country and its peoples’ gratitude is unquestionable. However, Serbia is a candidate for EU membership and as such, bears certain responsibilities – to cooperate with the EU, exchange information with EU institutions and bodies, but also, even in these circumstances, clearly and unambiguously remain focused on joining the European Union. Serbia must show its inclination towards EU every day – when regulations are issued and implemented, when people’s rights are limited only to the extent necessary, when journalists are guaranteed their freedom of speech and the right to protect their sources of information, when European solidarity is not mentioned in an insulting manner. Even though the EU, just like any other democratic entity, is slow in the decision-making process concerning authoritarian systems, EU support is enormous, continuous and substantial. Any alternate behaviour on our part would be considered irresponsible towards the future of our country and its citizens. For this particular reason, amidst the epidemic, the Center for Democracy Foundation and its representatives strive to promote European values, human rights culture and to support Serbia’s European future. At the same time, we will continue to alert government representatives when they act differently.

Center for Democracy Foundation’s team