It was noted on the 1st of November at the conference “Implementation of the activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23″ that implementation of high quality measures and overseeing of those activities represent the main challenge for Serbia as provided by Chapter 23 and it’s opening in July. Provided by Chapter 23 Serbia has 50 transition criteria that will be completed with activities provided by Action plan for that chapter, said Head of the Serbian negotiating team in negotiations on EU membership Tanja Miščević. Mrs. Miščević also adds that the report regarding European Commission on Serbia’s progress in European integration is expected by the 9th of November and the next one in two years, in 2018.
Tanja Miščević also said that transition criteria do not represent anything newer than it was already envisaged by Action plan for Chapter 23.
“That represents concentrated number of measures and by realizing Action plan we will also complete the transition criteria”, said Mrs. Miščević.
She further noted that one of the challenges will be implementation of these measures within a set deadline and that this, even though 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 and how it 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.
The Assistant Minister of Justice Čedomir Backović has said that the Ministry of Justices appreicated the role of civil society in the process of opening the Chapter 23 and that he hopes that these organization 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 also contribute to the quality of measures.
Dittmann: The key reform of the judicial system
Axel Dittmann, the Ambassador of Germany in Belgrade, said that it was good that the Chapter 23 being important as it is 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 about 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 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, Tanja Miščević said.
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 document 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.