Four new laws to be discussed by the Serbian Parliament

Following the appointment of the new parliament speaker, the Serbian Parliament can now go back to doing its everyday job which is debating and passing laws and regulations. Drafts of four laws will soon be presented to Serbian MPs and will undergo a parliamentary debate.

  1. A total ban on smoking

Minister of Health, Danica Grujičić, has made no secret of her efforts to introduce a complete ban on smoking in restaurants and other indoor facilities, as well as in many public outdoor places. According to her, the draft law is ready and has been forwarded to other government ministries for their approval or amendment. Relevant surveys have shown 75 percent of the population supports such a legal ban on smoking, while statistics show that around 32 percent of adult Serbian citizens smoke.

  1. Conscription

For years, there have been talks in Serbia about reinstalling mandatory military service for men over the age of 18, but in recent months, the initiative has gone a step further since the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces officially launched that initiative in January.

By May 1, this institution, together with the Ministry of Defence, should submit to President Aleksandar Vučić all conscription proposals, after which they will jointly make a final decision. As things stand now, conscription is supposed to consist of two parts – theoretical and practical – and last for three months.

  1. Gender-sensitive language

The Law on Gender equality should enter into force in its entirety on June 1, 2024, although it was adopted three years earlier. The most interesting and intriguing part for the public is the one about the use of gender-sensitive language. As stated in the Law, gender-sensitive language should be used in school textbooks, teaching materials, certificates, diplomas, and licenses, but also in the media, which as a means of public information are obliged to start using it. For disobeying provisions 37 and 44 of the law, public authorities will be fined between 5,000 to 150,000 dinars, while the media will not be held liable.

The Protector of Citizens announced at the end of February that he would start the procedure for assessing the constitutionality of provisions related to the use of gender-sensitive language, while there are more and more people who believe that the Serbian government should withdraw the provisions of the law that prescribe gender-sensitive language.  

Matica Srpska, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Serbian Orthodox Church, certain right-wing parties, but also the Council for the Serbian Language, an independent body, all recommend that linguistic provisions from the Law on Gender Equality should be erased because they were written without consulting the relevant institutions.

  1. Banning the import of cars with Euro 3 and Euro 4 engines

Despite announcements that the ban on the import of used cars with Euro 3 and Euro 4 engines would come into force on January 1, 2024, this did not happen. The regulation that covers this issue has not yet been passed. According to data published by the Serbian Association of Importers of Vehicles and Vehicle Parts, more than half of imported used cars in 2023 had a Euro 3 or Euro 4 engine. More precisely, of the total number of imported vehicles, 55.4 percent are those with engines that meet Euro 3 or Euro 4 environmental standards, a total of 73,051 vehicles.

(Blic, 22.03.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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