Accession negotiations are the final stage of the integration process of candidate country to the European Union. It negotiates about the terms under what conditions candidate country accesses the EU, which are basically related to the harmonization of domestic legislation with the EU acquis. The new the European Commission’s approach to negotiations with the future Member States requires that negotiations about Chapters 23 and 24 need to be open first, which cover the area of judiciary and fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security.
Chapter Judiciary and Fundamental Rights is new, it was introduced after the sixth wave of the EU enlargement. Policies of the judiciary and fundamental rights aim at preserving and enhancing the European Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. Meeting the requirements of this chapter, Serbia needs to implement a number of reforms and activities that have a direct impact on the daily life of citizens. In terms of content, Chapter 23 is divided into four thematic areas, which include: judicial reform, anti-corruption policy, fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens. Independent judiciary, with necessary capacities to maintain and protect the rule of law is the cornerstone of these policies. In the European Union, perceiving the importance of the existence of independent and efficient judiciary, it is defined a series of recommendations for achieving the impartiality, integrity and high standards of the judiciary. It requires a serious commitment to eliminating external influences on the judiciary, allocation of adequate financial resources and training. In addition, Member States are required to effectively fight corruption, because it represents a threat to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. Subject that is discussed in this chapter refers to the fulfillment of the political criteria that are an essential precondition for further integration. There are few regulations at EU level governing this area and most part of them are left to the Member States to regulate these issues on the best way and to comply with standards that are the foundation of the European Union. Considering that the aim of the negotiations that a candidate country joins the EU, it is necessary to establish mutual trust and to ensure the functionality of the system, respecting the values of the European Union itself.
Germany will continue to strongly support Serbia on it’s path to the European Union, stated today the Ambassador of Germayn Axel Dittmann.
At the National Assembly on the occassion of the opening of the conference on Chapter 23 on judiciary and fundamental rights, Dittman said that it is very important for Serbia that this Chapter was opened in July
The implementation of quality measures within the given deadline and the supervision over the implementation of these activities are the challenges Serbia faces in Chapter 23 following its opening in July, it was announced today at the conference „Implementation of activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23“.
The Ambassador of Germany Axel Dittmann stated today that Serbia made a significant step by opening the Chapter 23, because it concerns issues and principles that are vital for Serbia’s path toward the European Union.
„Crucial for Serbia itself is the improvement of the rule of law since it is key for improving the investment climate and thus for sustainable economic development of Serbia.
As part of the preparations for accession to EU Serbia will need to change its Constitution in order to transfer a part of jurisdiction to Brussels and to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. Contrary to popular belief it will not be necessary to exclude the pursuit over sovereignty of Kosovo from the highest legal act, estimated today legal experts at the presentation of the analysis dedicated to this topic.
Consultative meeting of the National Convention of the European Union for Chapter 23 was held in Leskovac within the framework of an International Conference regarding the accession of Republic Serbia to the European Union. The meeting was held within NCEU with the support of the German Organisation for Technical Cooperation (GIZ), the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights YUCOM and local council of the European Movement in Serbia.
The consultative session of the National Convent on the European Union (NKEU) for Chapter 23, „The negotiating position of the Republic of Serbia within the framework of the international conference on accession to the European Union for Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights“ was held today in Leskovac.
At the polls in 2017. the citizens will have to confirm the changes to the Constitution. The option is for a referendum to be held alongside the presidential election.
Citizens of Serbia could go to the polls twice next year – to elect the new president and to confirm changes to the Constitution that are necessary in the process of negotiations with the European Union by referendum. According to our information it is possible for the presidential elections, which fall in the spring, and the referendum on the Constitution to be held on the same day.
It is impossible for a country to become a new member of the European Union before the next EU budget period in 2021, said today the Head of the Serbian negotiating team for negotiations with the EU Tanja Miščević.
„This is simply a rule and one can’t go beyond that“ said Miščević and added that she would not engage in calculations as to when will the Serbia become a member of the EU because that does not depend solely on Serbia.
In the process of structural changes with the openiing of Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the constitution in order to allow for independent bodies to start their work adequately, which will lead to independence of the judiciary and prosecution, said the director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (Yucom) Milan Antonijević
Center of contemporary politics and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are organizing a panel discussion „What awaits in Chapter 23 and 24?“ on Friday 12th of August which is being held as a part of the project „Towards Europe“ that is jointly implemented by these two organizations.