Serbia has European standards in the protection of citizens from discrimination, but it also faces challenges that are similar to those in developed European countries, such is increasing of hate speech, said Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic at the first meeting with new Head of Council of Europe Office in Serbia, Tobias Flessenkemper.
She emphasized that freedom of speech must not insult someone and be an alibi for the hate speech and we can together contribute to stop it. It can be achieved if we learn to recognize it and timely react, with a help of education and measures of prevention. In that sense, she appraised the project “Don’t judge book by its covers – Live Library”, which has been conducted by the institution of Commissioner for seven years already, with support of this European institution, as very important, which is confirmed by increasing number of institutions and organizations that are taking part it all over Serbia.
Commissioner and new Head of CE Office Tobias Flessenkemper discussed also the new joint projects, while Flessenkemper estimated that the cooperation so far was excellent and that it will be extended through project “Horizontal facility”, whose activities will be aimed to suppress hate speech and expose its potential harmful consequences.
Council of Europe, that celebrates 70 years of existence this year, will continue to provide support to Serbia and its institutions in order to reach the highest standards of democracy, rule of law and human rights. Another body of the Council of Europe will mark a significant jubilee, 20 years of work – European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, whose general recommendations are of the outmost importance for the work of independent equality institutions, as said Commissioner Jankovic.