Elimination of Private Competition and Monopolisation of Funeral Services in Serbia
A press conference of Association of Private Funeral Service Providers (UPPS) was held in Belgrade, on April 12, 2016. The association used the opportunity to inform the public of the introduction of monopoly of public-communal enterprises in the field of funeral services.
An increased number of municipal governments is issuing decisions which prevent private funeral service providers from performing their economic activities, all based on the Law on Public Utility Services from 2011. Introduction of monopoly of public-communal enterprises in this sector threatens to close over 200 private funeral service provider companies that employ up to 3,000 people.
Also, the warning was given on the new Law on Public Utility Services, that is still being drafted, and brings even more unfavorable provisions and practically means the closing of all private funeral service companies.
This behavior also infringes on the rights of citizens as the consumers, and also violate a number of other laws, including the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. Churches and religious communities are also facing a problem, as they are unable to manage graveyards owned by them, since that becomes the exclusive competency of the public-communal enterprises.
In the last four years, UPPS attempted to protect their rights and cancel the monopoly in this sector through the institutions, however, Ministry in charge remained silent to their requests. Having that in mind, as well as the increased difficulty of their situation, their representatives stated on the press conference that, in case this policy continues, they will be forced to take more radical methods of protest.
Video of the conference, UNS Press Centar