Starovic: I am convinced that the citizens will show responsibility and support the amendments to the Constitution

11. Jan 2022.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nemanja Starovic stated that he believed that citizens would show an adequate level of seriousness and responsibility and that they would support the amendments to the Constitution of Serbia in a referendum on Sunday.

Appearing on the Radio Television of Serbia - RTS, Starovic said that he believed that citizens had the opportunity in recent weeks to receive accurate and precise information on what is the subject of changes to the Constitution and that most citizens would not fall for numerous attempts at manipulation that were also present in our public.

"It is quite clear that these changes are solely related to the judiciary segment, that any changes in terms of the treatment of our southern province of Kosovo and Metohija are out of question, that not a single letter of the preamble will change and that it is important to adopt amendments at this time, which concern the changes regarding the election of the holders of judicial functions in order for our judiciary to achieve a higher degree of independence and thus accountability and efficiency", said Starovic.

The State Secretary expressed regret that we have seen attempts at manipulation and that some very irresponsible politicians in Serbia are calling for either a boycott of the referendum or a vote against.

According to him, these are people who are at the same time advocates of the European integration process, even in some way trying to monopolize the topic, which is not compatible and does not fit together.

He emphasized that the changes to the Constitution are certainly not dictated by the EU, but that they are part of our European agenda and that this is something we committed to ourselves in our action plans when we projected steps towards full EU membership.

"I am afraid that, if by some chance this referendum does not pass, and this will not happen, of course, that our EU accession process would be in a serious crisis, we would lose at least a few years and therefore no reasonable person should wish such an outcome", said Starovic and stated that he was sure that the citizens would support the constitutional amendments on Sunday because they understood that this was very important in order for our state and the judicial system to function in the proper way.

Regarding the visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic to Chicago, where he spent Christmas with members of the Serbian diaspora, Starovic said that it was a very important and successful visit and that the Serbian diaspora in that city was a huge resource both politically and economically, which could be put in the function of the development of Serbia and the protection of our political interests.

"The economic potentials are undoubtedly great, many members of our people are engaged in serious business operations, and they are very respectable. Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party, which is also something we can put in the function of protecting our political interests", Starovic said.

Asked about tomorrow's visit of President Aleksandar Vucic to Priboj, Starovic stated that by accepting the invitation to visit that city the President showed that he was not avoiding taking responsibility for all the situations that affect our social and political life and that he will directly give his personal contribution in order to lower the tensions and that everyone hears the proper messages that all our citizens enjoy equal rights and can consider Serbia their homeland.

"A group of off-duty police officers sang songs that are absolutely inappropriate, a serious insult to Bosniaks", Starovic said, stressing that police officers need to have a high degree of responsibility for the uniform they wear, even off-duty and must behave in a decent way wherever they are, in accordance with the authority they were assigned.

Asked about the negative comments from Sarajevo regarding the marking of the 30th anniversary of the Republic of Srpska, Starovic said that he was quite worried because such messages showed a serious amount of hatred not only towards the Republic of Srpska, but also towards the Serbian people, and that it would be much more useful if they calmed down and returned to dialogue.

Regarding the court proceedings against Novak Djokovic in Australia, Starovic stated that we were all pleased with the news from Melbourne that the court declared the Serbian tennis player's visa valid.

"We had faith that the Australian judiciary would be up to the task, that it would find that Djokovic's treatment by the Australian executive was inappropriate and discriminatory", Starovic said, adding that he also did not appreciate the unfair treatment that Djokovic had in the western media.