NOVI SAD -- European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur Jelko Kacin has stated that Serbia should change its Constitution.

He pointed out that the Constitution should be changed after the Constitutional Court’s decision to revoke 23 regulations on Vojvodina’s authority.

“Serbia needs a modern Constitution that will allow decentralization, define Serbia as a civil country and allow local communities to take responsibility for a quicker development,” Kacin told Novi Sad-based daily Dnevnik.

Stressing that Serbia would have almost EUR 1.5bn from EU accession funds at its disposal from 2014 until 2020, he said that Vojvodina would use its share of the money and that it would be very hard for other Serbian regions to do so “as long as they are not ready for such challenges”.

Kacin added that the Vojvodina issue “has been open since the autonomy was revoked in 1989” and that it would remain open “until the adequate political, administrative and economic autonomy of Vojvodina is provided”.

“Things finally started to change by adopting Vojvodina’s Statute,” he said but noted that “a lot more needs to be done”.

Ahead of the upcoming visit of the EP delegation to Serbia, the rapporteur said that representatives of all political options from various EU member states would be a part of the delegation. According to him, combat against corruption and organized crime, economy and regional cooperation and structural help to Serbia will be discussed at the talks in Belgrade.

Kacin repeated that the EU demanded from Serbia to implement the agreements that had been reached with Priština and to continue the dialogue.

He added that he hoped that the gay Pride Parade would be held in Belgrade in October and that he expected European and Serbian officials to support and join the manifestation.