More than half of the world's democracies have regressed in the last decade, and Serbia is one of the ten nations that have experienced the worst declines in democracy, reads a report of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
For five consecutive years, the number of countries moving toward authoritarianism has been roughly three times the number of countries moving toward democracy. The absolute number of democracies is falling, and Serbia, Mali and the Cote d'Ivoire have not been democracies since 2020, reads the Global State of Democracy Report 2021.
"This report also highlights the democratic breakdown in Serbia, as the severe problems with the 2020 election mean it can no longer be considered a democracy. It puts in question the future membership of Serbia in the European Union," reads the foreword of the report's section on Europe, penned by Adam Bodnar, Dean of the Law Faculty of the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw.
The report underscores that this is the first time in 20 years that Serbia is not categorized as a democracy, but a hybrid regime. "Serbia, which has been backsliding since 2013, finally became a hybrid regime in 2020. Throughout this period, the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) had constrained and discredited civil society and enacted restrictions on free media," the report notes.