Serbia is among the European countries with the highest risk of poverty and social exclusion, and among those with the highest social inequality. Global challenges in recent years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the rise in food and energy prices, have further hampered and slowed the reduction of poverty and social inequality in Serbia.
In this year’s Poverty Watch, the European Anti-Poverty Network – Serbia (EAPN Serbia) monitors poverty trends and advocates for more effective anti-poverty measures and policies in Serbia.
The report presents indicators of poverty and inequality in Serbia based on the latest EU-SILC data from 2021, the position of groups in vulnerable situations (children and youth, the elderly, and the Roma population), and the role of fiscal policy in reducing poverty. The focus of this report is the relationship between fiscal policy and poverty, that is, the relationship between tax policy and public expenditure policy on the one hand and social transfers aimed at reducing poverty and inequality on the other hand.
The importance of this topic is also reflected in the fact that social protection and social inclusion in Serbia are assessed as critical areas in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It is emphasized that the social protection system, while in some areas it supports inclusion, poverty reduction, and strengthening equality, proves to be unfair and reinforces inequality and exclusion.