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Nations in Transit 2020 report – Freedom house

According to the latest Nation in Transit 2020 report by Freedom house, the most Western Balkans countries face mostly negative assessments related to the level of respect for human rights, rule of law or the promotion of democracy. This is especially regard to Montenegro and Serbs, who are classified as “hybrid regimes” for the first time since 2003.

In addition to a number of reasons listed for each country individually, which relate to: court independence, work of government institutions, political situation, media freedom, level of corruption, etc., especially important are those that can have a regional character:

  • The report also included the basic conclusions of the research “Perceptions and attitudes of young people about politics in Montenegro” from 2019, conducted by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. According to the survey, 70.3% of young people think about leaving the country, 55.3% think that personal rights and freedoms are generally not respected, while 48.6% of them think that politicians do not take them into account at all.
  • According to a study prepared by the Fiscal Council of Serbia, Serbia’s economic growth was about 1% lower than possible due to weak rule of law and high corruption, while the lack of expected investments (public, private and foreign) represented about 0.7% growth. The need for domestic private investors was especially emphasized.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, trade union action is guaranteed by law, but workers face a number of obstacles and often have limited bargaining power in practice. Although the right to strike is legally protected, the Federation Labor law contains significant obstacles to the exercise of this right.
  • The report stated that there is a high level of “informal economy” in Northern Macedonia, which endangering the business of numerous micro and small enterprises, as well as the position of workers who in such a condition facing with many abuses by employers.

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