We, the Social Democrats of the Republic of Serbia,
– Taking as a point of departure that all people are equal and have right to equal opportunities and dignified life,
– Emphasizing the timeless values of concern for man, solidarity and friendship among peoples and nations,
– Noting changes in the world caused by the global economic crisis,
– Recognizing the problems and needs that exist in the Republic of Serbia,
– Reaffirming our determination to build a more humane society of equal opportunities,
Declaration on Social Justice
A) The eternal truth is that no human community, including particularly states, can be stable and effective if featuring unfairness. To all men, justice is a value that brings them together and a power that inspires them. Therefore justice is the basis and the reason for the existence of a state, and a prerequisite for its subsistence.
B) The system of Justice that the state must ensure, brings to its citizens life in freedom, happiness and virtue. To every man freedom, equality, fair distribution of social wealth, respect, solidarity and equal opportunities, are core values and principles of justice. Therefore, we believe that there is no justice if it does not cover all segments of society, if not being social.
V) The state is not a metaphysical category. It is an assembly of ordinary people, employed in organized institutions with defined rules of conduct, elected by the society to protect the interests of that society as a whole – of all of its parts, all individuals. The goal of the state as the organized part of society, must be the general welfare. Since there is no other justice than social justice, that covers all segments of the society, social differences must be diminished and can be justified and accepted only if based on common benefits. Therefore, the proportional distribution of social wealth that the state can implement has the importance of ensuring equity in society and implies the right and opportunity of all, especially those who have not willingly taken their place at the bottom of the social ladder, to have food, clothing, residence, heat, healthcare and education.
G) Serbia as a state, must derive its power from the principle of fairness. Commitment to social justice and building of a more humane society of equal opportunities in our country requires the engagement of reasonable, fair and working people. A society of social justice can be created only by those who understand and respect the importance of this and who persist in working for the common good.
To all well-intentioned men, it is clear that social justice is achieved through accountability in public affairs and care for people. Therefore, in Serbia commitment to social justice means a commitment to a policy with a human face, or the struggle for workers’ rights, ensuring social security and taking care of the unemployed, respect for pensioners, dignity of the middle class, equal status of women and participation of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the decision-making process. Serbia needs a fundamental change, which involves understanding that public offices are necessarily temporary, that the government is not for the sake of itself, that a public office should not be considered a privilege or a reward, but a duty to be discharged by those to whom people are in the first place.
Responsible discharge of public duties creates conditions to support employment, the development of social protection measures which do not cover the idleness, the expansion of social security and guaranteeing fair wages in a healthy and safe working conditions.
We, the Social Democrats of Serbia, want to correct the injustice of a big gap between „having“ and „not having“. We are committed to such redistributive role of the state, which will ensure equal opportunities. Even a poor country like ours must find mechanisms to regulate that unprivileged people get their chance and help both to themselves and the society.
D) The foundations for achieving social justice in Serbia incorporate respect and compromise as the prerequisites for social dialogue. We regard that social dialogue of all social players is crucial to build a better and more humane society. Therefore, we invite all those with a responsible approach to public affairs, especially trade unions, to foster dialogue and respect as to reach compromise decisions that will be beneficial for workers, pensioners, women, the unemployed, socially underprivileged, members of vulnerable and marginalized groups, in order to jointly build a society where people come first.
We invite you to ensure that people come first!
Social Democratic Party of Serbia, respecting the principles on which it was founded – the principles of equality, freedom, solidarity and social justice, proclaims the day of this party – 20 February, the Day of Social Justice!