The implementation of quality measures within the set deadline and supervision of 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“.
Srbija faces 50 transitional measures in Chapter 23 but they will be met through activities envisaged by the Action Plan for that chapter, said the head of the negotiation team of Serbia in negotiations for EU membership Tanja Miščević.
She said that the transitional measures do not represent anything new in relation to measures prescribed by the Action Plan for Chapter 23.
„This is a concentrated number of measures and through implementation of Action Plan we also fullfil the transitional measures“, said Miščević.
She said that one of the challenges will be implementation of measures within the set deadline and that this, although less important than the quality of measures envisaged, has „accounting value“.
“It is important to us to fulfill the measures we anticipated in the set deadline”, said Miščević and pointed to the role of civil society organizations and how they can act to alert to time delays.
She pointed out that the quality of measures is much more important and that the civil society can help in the process of development of high quality documents with the emphasis on implementation.
“We have witnessed that a very good document can be distorted in the application because it is interpreted in the way that is not appropriate“, she said.
As one of the challenges she also singled out the process of supervision of the implementation of activities, which can also be aided with the involvement of civil society organizations.
Axel Dittmann, the Ambassador of Germany in Belgrade, said that it was good that the Chapter 23 was opened in July, and that Germany will continue to strongly support Serbia on its path to EU.
“It is now important that the measures envisaged by the Action Plan are put into effect. In this the reform of the judicial system plays a big role. It is essential to build a legal system that is based on the respect for the rule of law and strong and independent prosecutors and judges“, he said.
He reminded that the Chapter 23 is related to core values and principles on which European Unions is based, such as democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, independent judiciary, freedom of thought and fight against corruption.
He said that promoting the rule of law is crucial for the improvement of the investment climate and hence essential for sustainable economic development of Serbia.
The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Oscar Benedict, said that the opening of the Chapters 23 and 24 in July was a sign that the negotiations for membership of Serbia in EU are on the right track.
He said that the areas encompassed by these Chapters will be the focus of European comission and member states of EU until the end of the negotiations and reminded that these chapters regarding the rule of law are the first to be opened and the last to be closed in negotiations.
“In the further course of the negotiations the progress must be visible to us in EU but what is more important it has to be seen and recognized by the citizens of Serbia“, he said.
The Assistant Minister of Justice Čedomir Backović has said that the Ministry of Justice recognizes the role of civil society in the process of opening the Chapter 23 and that he hopes that these organizations will also be involved in the implementation of the Action Plan.
Backović said that 54 institutions are involved in the activities of Chapter 23 and that civil society can assist in ensuring that these activities are fullfiled on time and can also contribute to the quality of measures.
The report of European comission on the 9th of November, the following 2018.
The annual report of European Comission on the progress of Serbia in European integration is expected on the 9th of November, the next following report is expected two years later – 2018, said today in Belgrade the head of the negotiation team of Serbia in negotiations for EU membership Tanja Miščević.
At the conference “Implementation of the activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23″ she said that the Comission, in contrast to current practices, will publish the next report in 2018, and that in the meantime the so called non-paper will be published which will record all that has been done in the previous period and which will be smaller in scope compared to the annual reports.
Miščević added that the EU Council is considering Chapters 5, 25 and 26 in membership negotiations with Serbia.
“We are very interested to open them until the end of the year“, said Miščević.