In the new prEUgovor publication lawyers from Group 484 have have highlighted key proposals for improvement of the working versions of the set of laws in the area of migration and asylum.

Comments on the Working Versions of Draft Laws Amending the Law on Foreigners, the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection and the Law on Employment of Foreigners

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social affairs initiated amendments to the strategic laws in the field of migration: the Law on Foreigners, the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection and the Law on Employment of Foreigners. Drafting of the proposed amendments to the relevant laws has been accompanied by the consultation process with the stakeholders and the invitation for presenting written comments and proposals. Group 484 assesses such a practice as a positive one, in particular having in mind that it shows a continuity in competent authorities’ approach, as the previous round of amendments to the laws was assessed as transparent and constructive by civil society organisations dealing with migration issues.

Comments on the working version of the drafts are a part of multiannual Group 484’s efforts to support, through its activities, the reform processes in the field of migration, in the Republic of Serbia. In this regard, besides the comments that directly correspond to proposals of amendments given by competent authorities, Group 484 has also offered proposals for improvement of legal solutions based on the challenges identified in practice. Group 484 supports an approach that entails gradual alignment with the standards applied in the EU, simultaneously complying with the Constitutional and legal order of the Republic of Serbia and bearing in mind the available capacities necessary to properly implement the adopted laws.

Besides the need to meet the conditions arising from the negotiations with the EU, it is particularly important to underline that strategic laws’ reform needs to be initiated also for the purpose of horizontal and vertical consistency of regulations, which is particularly important in the field of migration taking into account the nature of the phenomenon and the complexity of its management system.

Due to the limited volume of the document, only key Group 484’s proposals will be concisely presented as they have been sent for consideration to competent authorities in charge of drafting working versions of amendments to the Law on Foreigners, Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection and the Law on Employment of Foreigners. As for the working version of the draft amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners, only a comment in principle is presented below and it primarily refers to the need for a horizontal alignment with the Working Version of the Draft Law Amending the Law on Foreigners.

PrEUgovor member Group 484 has offered a total of 43 proposals and at the moment of drafting this document, it is not familiar whether and to what extent have these proposals been considered and/or adopted. The document follows the structure and the nomenclature of the texts of the working versions of draft laws, and for the proposals not referring to competent authorities’ amendments, articles of the applicable laws are cited.

The production of this publication was made possible by the Balkan Fund for Democracy, the program of the German Marshall Fund of the USA and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade within the project "PrEUgovor for the Rule of Law and EU Integration".