Nataša Vučković, Executive Director at the Center for Democracy Foundation pointed out at the regional conference Podgorica Plenum Quo Vadis Balkan? that social democratic parties should have answers to key issues and be advocates of pro-European ideas in Western Balkan countries.
“Do current social democratic parties have political projects and are they able to answer the crucial questions?” asked Nataša Vučković during the panel discussion entitled What happened to the social democratic ideas and practices of the region?
In our part of the world, social democracy stands for regional cooperation, reconciliation and the type of influence which turns a nationalist narrative into a narrative of collaboration, prosperity and working together in the public interest. Social democratic parties in the Balkans, in Serbia, in particular, had advocated for pro-European ideas for many years. Today, a narrative of this kind has been pushed aside and it’s as though it is no longer desirable for us to identify as Europeans; we see that this has become acceptable even with the opposition. The social democratic opposition should instil essentially European issues, such as rule of law, separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary.
It is important to empower political parties, yet at this time, we have to rely on the civil sector and their support in this context; to count on a civil sector that is social democratic in its values; to create authentic ties and forms of cooperation. These are the things that are in our interest. And of course, education for democracy, I think that we gave up on it too early on, that it was declared too early in the game as a conquered field, concluded Executive Director of the CDF, Nataša Vučković.
Podgorica Plenum Quo vadis Balkan? was held from 10 to 12 February 2022 in Podgorica (Montenegro), organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Center for Civic Education (CCE) and the Academy for Democratic Development (ADD).
The goal of the Plenum is to strengthen progressive forces in the region through gatherings and discussions concerning a joint response to increasing right-wing extremism in the region.
Center for Democracy Foundation