The delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to the OSCE PA took part in the Winter Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, held online from 24 to 26 February.
The National Assembly delegation comprised MPs Vesna Markovic, Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic, Dusica Stojkovic and Predrag Rajic.
Head of the delegation Vesna Markovic addressed the participants at the Joint Session of the three OSCE PA committees. Vesna Markovic said that this very serious pandemic, which has changed the world in general and affected all segments of our lives, has taught us that we need solidarity and unity more than ever.
Vesna Markovic informed the participant of the OSCE PA Winter Session about the results achieved by the Republic of Serbia in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1.5 million people out of a total of 7.5 million have been vaccinated in Serbia, putting it in the first place in Europe and sixth in the world. Four different vaccines are available to the citizens of Serbia - Pfizer, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and AstraZeneca, she said, adding that the production of the vaccine in our country is expected some time during 2021.
According to Vesna Markovic, this will not be important only for Serbia, but for the entire region. She also informed the attending that the Republic of Serbia had donated vaccines for the vaccination of healthcare workers in North Macedonia, Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska.
In her address, Vesna Markovic proposed to open a debate in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on cyber security in the COVID-19 pandemic and the protection of human rights on the Internet.
Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic took part in the Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environmental Protection. Obradovic informed the attending that, in addition to treatment, Serbia continued to combat the new virus by vaccinating the population. Serbia has so far managed to procure more than 2 million doses of various vaccines. We are one of the few countries in the world, if not the only one, that uses four vaccines: the American-German Pfizer, Russian Sputnik V, Chinese Sinopharm and the British-Swedish AstraZaneka vaccine. In terms of the number of vaccinated citizens in relation to the total population, we are second in Europe and sixth in the world, and in the number of revaccinated citizens, we are now first in Europe, Obradovic concluded.
As he said, Serbia has also demonstrated its willingness to help other countries in the region in the fight against the coronavirus and donated several thousand vaccines to North Macedonia and Montenegro.
Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic said that during the pandemic and with the support measures adopted by the Government, numerous companies received appropriate financial assistance and other relief, as regards tax policy. These measures made it possible to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy, to maintain production and keep a large number of people employed. The inflow of foreign investments last year was 2.9 billion EUR. Thanks to all these elements, Serbia had a less than minus 1% decline in GDP. The data show that Serbia will have the highest GDP growth in the period to 2022, and that economic growth in 2021 will be 6%.
Taking part in the meeting of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Predrag Rajic said that in the last year we have all witnessed one of the biggest challenges that modern civilization has faced - the coronavirus pandemic. Rajic underlined that Serbia is fighting the disease with maximum efforts from its leadership headed by President Vucic. Rajic concluded that despite these challenges, Serbia has managed to preserve economic stability, continue to implement ambitious infrastructure projects, record outstanding results in the fight against organized crime and continue to improve the level of political culture, media freedom and human rights in all aspects, acting as example and following original European standards. Rajic proudly stressed that Serbia has become a source of stability and economic prosperity in South East Europe.