The Serbian Justice Ministry has published a draft of its revised Action plan for Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights – in the country’s pre-accession negotiations with the European Union. The draft was published on the ministry’s web site along with an invitation for comments. The deadline for comments is 8 February.
The first draft of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 23 was presented at the round table held on 6 February 2019 in Belgrade. Representatives of judicial institutions, civil society organizations and international institutions attended.
The round table was organized with the support of the European Union, which financed the project “EU Justice – Support for Chapter 23”.
The DPNSEE Executive Director participated in the round table. It was an opportunity to meet and exchange with colleagues, especially with those from the Office for Gender equality and Association of Judges and Prosecutors of Serbia.
A coalition of seven NGOs entitled prEUgovor, which monitors Serbia’s EU accession process, presented a new report that contains the coalition’s assessment of the political criteria for the EU accession process, as well as the fulfilment of criteria for chapters 23 and 24 which include the judiciary, fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security for the period April – September 2018.
The central finding of the report is that key reforms stagnate or even marks a downturn and that much of stagnation happens under the justification of accession process. During that period, the Serbian authorities adopted a series of laws “that are worse than the current ones”, said the NGO coalition made of ASTRA – Anti-Trafficking Action, the Autonomous Women’s Centre, the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, the Centre for Applied European Studies, the Centre for Investigative Journalism, Group 484 and Transparency Serbia. The report said that the democratic civil control over defence and security institutions is weak in practice.
Commenting at the presentation, DPNSEE Executive Director remarked that the report has no reference to the segment on drugs which is integral part of the Chapter 24 and presented some warning facts about the issue. DPNSEE and the coalition have working relations which both sides hope to be improved in the future.
The report is available following this link>>>>