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“.
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 regard to measures prescribed by the Action Plan for Chapter 23. „This is a concentrated number of measures and through implementation of the Action Plan we also meet the transitional measures“, said Miščević.
She said that one of the challenges will be the implementation of measures within the given deadline and that this, although less important than the quality of measures envisaged, has „accounting value“. “It is important to us to meet the measures we anticipated within the given deadline”, said Miščević and pointed to the role of the 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 all 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 by the civil society organizations. The Ambassador of Germany in Belgrade Axel Dittmann 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 a big role plays the reform of the judicial system. It is essential to build a legal system that is based on the respect for the rule of law and strong and independent prosecution and judiciary“, he said.
He reminded that the Chapter 23 is related to the 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 the 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 the European comission and member states of EU until the end of the negotiations and reminded that the 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 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 the Chapter 23 and that the civil society can assist in ensuring that these activities are fullfiled on time and can also contribute to the quality of measures.