With a view to monitoring the measurable effects of the reforms in the European integration process of the Republic of Serbia, the members of coalition prEUgovor have selected five institutions whose competencies fall under Chapter 23 and Chapter 24.
A methodology has been devised to measure the effectiveness of the following institutions:
- the Anticorruption Agency
- the Internal Control Department of the Ministry of the Interior
- the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations
- the Centre for Human Trafficking Victims Protection
- the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection.
From the day the EU opened accession negotiations with Serbia, it was obvious that Chapters 23 and 24 would be key chapters in the negotiation process: they were opened at the very start of negotiations and will be closed at the end of negotiations. Opening, interim and closing benchmarks were laid down for each chapter. The benchmarks are based on screening reports and the EU’s common positions. They are given in the form of recommendations and de facto transposed into action plans adopted by the Serbian Government. Although action plans have an array of different planned measures and activities, the assessment of progress is still made solely on the basis of the number of fulfilled concrete measures and activities and therefore does not adequately reflect the quality, extent, and degree of implemented reforms.
The prEUgovor coalition has sent in detailed criticisms and comments on action plans as well as their revised versions for the areas in which the coalition members possess expert knowledge and have been active for many years. One of the biggest objections to the existing action plans had to do with the inadequate assignment of result indicators, as well as the lack of adequate sources of information for the purposes of checking the progress in the implementation of specific measures and the achieved results.
The formulations in the initial AP23 and AP24, as well as those from the presented revised APs, do not allow an actual analysis of progress made, as the measures reveal very little of the intended or achieved impact, reducing the reporting to either the sheer assessment of adherence to the timeline or to yes/no answers. Furthermore, a certain number of measures relates to the legislative and institutional design, and not its functioning, which opens the assessment of the quality of the implementation to various arbitrary interpretations, with few specific, precise data that the assessment is based on.
With the aim of monitoring concrete progress, we have developed indicators that include the operation of institutions tasked with conducting specific activities or measures envisaged in the action plans, whose impact can be an indicator of progress in the sense of testifying clearly to the progress made in specific areas. In addition, we firmly believe that the ongoing and all future revisions of the action plans can and should include some of the developed indicators as impact indicators for specific measures.
The Institutional Barometer 3.0 represents the continuation of the persistent work of the prEUgovor Coalition, fuelled by the desire to contribute, as much as possible, to reforms and concrete changes in the field with its findings. To that end, in the meantime, we improved certain indicators and formulated new ones in order to be able to analyse the current state of the institutional arrangement and its functioning as completely as possible.
We invite you to use the continuation of this report to familiarise yourselves with things that have changed in the area of institutional effectiveness during the period from our first pioneer edition until today and to find out what we have learned, where we currently are, and what we can hope for in the future.
The Action is supported by the European Union through the program “Civil Society Facility” under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The contents of the Report are the sole responsibility of the publisher and the views expressed in this document are not necessarily those of the European Union.