The monitoring report which follows covers developments from September 2013 to April 2014 and its main aim is to draw attention to major concerns related to the areas covered by chapters 23 and 24.
The coalition prEUgovor gathering seven expert organizations has been monitoring areas related to obligations contained in political criteria and chapters 23 and 24. This report contains findings and recommendations which are a result of scrupulous monitoring of the progress made in these areas, both in terms of legislative changes and the implementation of adopted legislation.
Political dynamics and reforms in Serbia in this reporting period were marked by elections and formation of new Government. Proclaimed political will to tackle the key issues needs to be followed by a strong impetus to build and strengthen institutions.
A number of newly introduced laws and strategies (Strategy for Reform of Judiciary, Anti-Corruption Strategy, Public Administration Strategy Reform, etc.) are just at the beginning of being implemented, and need to be followed by numerous laws and bylaws and significant capacity building measures for institutions in charge of implementation and their true effects remain to be seen. Drafting of Action plans for chapters 23 and 24 of the negotiation with the EU is going to be particularly important.
This report covers specific issues in areas falling into the Political criteria, chapters 23 and 24, as well as related chapters dealing with Public Procurement (5) and Freedom of Movement of Workers (2). Report contains specific findings and recommendations in these areas.
Main cross-cutting recommendations of the prEUgovor:
- Government should completely abandon practice of introducing exceptions to the laws which have been adopted and practice of circumventions of the laws. Such practice is still wide spread, particularly in the most sensitive areas such as security sector and public procurement.
- Accountability of the executive branch needs further strengthening. Significantly more effort needs to be put into effective curbing of politicization and misuse of public powers across the sectors, particularly public enterprises.
- Protection of human rights should remain high on the Government agenda. It is worrying that little or no progress has been made in either improvement of legal framework or its implementation in the previous period.
- Strengthening independence, efficiency and accountability of judiciary is of paramount importance for the overall implementation of the laws. Efficiency of judicial network remains serious problem.