Under the General EU Position for the accession negotiations with Serbia (the “Negotiation Framework”), the Commission is requested to keep the Council duly informed on the state of advancement of negotiations under the chapters “Judiciary and fundamental rights” (Chapter 23) and “Justice, freedom and security” (Chapter 24), and to report to the Council twice a year. Since the opening of accession negotiations in July 2016, and following the presentation of the annual report for Serbia in November 2016, this report is the second semi-annual stock taking moment.
The Initiative to Withdraw the Government’s Draft Bylaw Which Restricts Research in the Field of Defense
Nacionalni konvent o Evropskoj uniji i predstavnici i predstavnice naučne zajednice i građanskog društva pozivaju Ministarstvo odbrane Republike Srbije da povuče iz procedure usvajanja Predlog Uredbe o oblastima naučnih i drugih istraživanja značajnih za odbranu zemlje i o postupku i uslovima za izdavanje odobrenja za vršenje tih istraživanja zajedno sa stranim licima ili za potrebe stranih lica.
“There is a shrinking space for the debate about human rights and fundamental freedoms in Serbian society. Also, there is less and less public scrutiny of the Government that has a negative effect on the human rights situation in Serbia.”
The review of the Republic of Serbia at the United Nations Human Rights Committee is taking place in a tense political climate in Serbia, and after years of continued deterioration of rights to freedom of expression, in particular media rights, and restrictions to the possibility to participate to public life in general. Previous three years in Serbia have been marked by an evermore growing decay of institutions and the rule of law.
National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) in Serbia was founded by 17 eminent civil society organizations which are on the initiative and invitation of the European Movement in Serbia took over the coordination of the twenty-one Working group to follow the theme of all 35 negotiating chapters. Two years after the establishment of NCEU, more than 700 organizations (NGOs, coalitions, 19 faculties, 12 institutes, 24 professional associations, 11 trade unions, 3 business associations) actively participate in its work.
It was announced today during the meeting between civil sector and governmental Negotiating Group for Action plan for Chapter 24, which was established in the middle of last year, that in January Serbia will deliver to European Commission the first half-yearly report concerning realization of the Action Plan for Chapter 24, which encompasses justice, freedom and safety.
The president of Negotiating Group for Chapter 24 from Ministry of Internal Affairs Zoran Lazarov has said that last year was exceptionally successful for Chapter 24 – it has been opened, Action Plan and negotiating position have been accepted, we received the transition criteria as we expected.
Report from the Conference on the Implementation Activities Envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23 – 15 December 2016
Milan Antonijević, director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, opened the conference by expressing his satisfaction with the composition of discussion participants divided into two panels, both on very significant topics, that include national minorities and fundamental rights, as well as documents developed during the negotiation process with the EU within the scope of Chapter 23.
Mr. Antonijević reminded everyone that the National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) forwarded the invitation by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government to all members and organizations that deal with national minorities and expressed his hope that the discussion on the Report on the Implementation of the Action Plan for Implementing Chapter 23 will be fruitful.
The head of the negotiating team Tanja Miščević said that Serbia is interested in opening three more chapters by the end of the year concerning European Union membership negotiations. She has also stated that main challenge in realization of obligations provided by Chapter 23 rests in the rule of law.
At the conference “Implementation of the activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23,” Miščević said that at this point EU Council contains three chapters, Chapter 5 regarding public procurement, Chapter 25 and 26 concerning teachings, research, education and culture.