“Polygraph”: Which media spread unsubstantiated statements of Brnabic regarding the EC report on Serbia?

After the publication of the European Commission’s reports on the countries in the region, several media spread unsubstantiated statements of the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic regarding the EC’s Report on Serbia.

On the “Deneshen” portal, the title was published: “BRNABIC ON THE EU REPORT: The EC recognized Serbia’s progress in all areas.”

But in the text of the EC report on Serbia, the rating “no progress” occurs over 20 times, including when chapters 4, 13, 29, 30 and 31 are evaluated.

The text of “Deneshen” reports a broader statement by Brnabic in which she claims that “the EC has recognized Serbia’s clear progress in all key areas and that there is no setback in reforms in any area”.

However, in the EC report on Serbia, there is also the assessment of “backsliding”, or rather “serious regression”: “The withdrawal of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo institutions in November 2022 and the boycott of local elections in the north of Kosovo in April 2023 violate Serbia’s obligations under the dialogue and they represent a serious setback in Serbia’s adherence to the ‘First Agreement on Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations’ and a direct violation of the 2015 Justice Agreement.”

Also in the report, “Serbia is urged to encourage Kosovo Serbs to return to institutions immediately, and Kosovo to enable this return to happen.”

That is why the political statements reported in the Macedonian media “Brnabić: There is no area in which Serbia’s backwardness was noted in the EC report”, do not pass the fact check, because the report also has one rating for “serious backwardness”. And this case shows that the media should not only report politicians’ statements, but also verify them, especially when the verification is easy, as in the case of the available EC reports.