J. Joksimović and Flessenkemper: Council of Europe's expert recommendations important to Serbia
September 04 2019 | Belgrade
Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović and Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade Tobias Flessenkemper have talked about intensifying cooperation between Serbia and CoE, particularly in the context of implementing the recommendations of that European institution, the EU accession process and other topics.
Jadranka Joksimović has thanked the Council of Europe for the assistance it has been providing to Serbia, especially in the segment of public administration, judiciary, human rights and strengthening of democratic norms and standards. She has assessed that Serbia, as a CoE member for the past 16 years, has achieved significant results in the said areas, that the cooperation between Serbia and CoE has been at an enviable level, and that there is room for its intensifying.
The Minister has also pointed out that Serbia pays special attention to the adoption and implementation of the Council of Europe's standards - particularly in the European integration process, which represents its strategic foreign policy interest. She has also emphasised that more than a half of Serbian citizens – 53%, are pro-European, while 68% support the implementation of reforms. She has noted that the reforms regarding the rule of law are particularly important.
As regards the Council of Europe's standards, Jadranka Joksimović has also stressed the importance of the Horizontal Facility programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, whose second phase has recently been approved. Within this regional programme, the Republic of Serbia is provided with Council of Europe's expertise in alignment with the CoE standards in areas of crucial importance, including judicial reform, promotion of minority rights, fight against organised crime and corruption. The results achieved under the first phase of the Horizontal Facility are very significant for Serbia’s reform path, and even greater effects are expected from its second phase, given that much larger funds have been allocated for the continuation of the programme.
Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade Tobias Flessenkemper has confirmed that the Council of Europe will continue to help the development of the most important segments in the area of the rule of law and human rights and also assessed that Serbia is an active member of the Council of Europe.
Joksimović and Flessenkemper have agreed that the Council of Europe and the Ministry of European Integration, which is the coordinator of overall development assistance, will intensify coordination to achieve a more efficient use of these funds in other line ministries.