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J. Joksimović: In judiciary reform, quality is more important than speed

May 28 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: In judiciary reform, quality is more important than speed

Serbia has focused on quality and not only on speed in the judiciary reform, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today, noting that, even now, Serbia is not lagging behind certain EU countries in some areas of the rule of law.

Joksimović has emphasised that Serbia is the only country that is negotiating under strict methodological conditions, and that, at the beginning of the negotiation process, it first had to open chapters 23 and 24, as well as chapter 35 related to the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

“In addition, all chapters that Serbia has so far opened could only be opened if the progress of our country had been recognised in the area of the rule of law,” said Joksimović after the ceremony organised on the occasion of Austria delivering humanitarian aid to Serbia, answering the question of Austrian journalists on why Serbia has not been more decisive in judiciary reform. 

Joksimović has stressed that the judiciary reform is a demanding task and that Serbia has already had an ‘epic’ failed attempt at judiciary reform in 2009, which, according to her, cost Serbia a lot.

“We have focused on quality. Reforms in judiciary are fundamental and comprehensive, and they take time. They are not simple, but serious and deep,” stated the Minister.
She has added that a lot of work still needs to be done in judiciary reform, because, according to her, it is for the benefit of the citizens. 

“There really is no dilemma. We are ready to accept certain criticism, but we also want everything we have done so far to be recognised,” said Joksimović.

Asked when Serbia will decide which methodology it will pursue in further negotiations with the EU, the Minister has said that the issue of methodology is not binding, in the sense that Serbia and Montenegro, as countries that are well-advanced in the accession process, do not have to decide immediately, but can weigh their options.

Joksimović does not find the new methodology disputable but she believes that it is important for Serbia to hear how this model will be applied and how the results achieved so far will be valorised. 

“The idea of the new methodology should be to accelerate the process, and we hope that we will get some precise answers. Serbia has already opened some chapters in each of the clusters, therefore, we are interested in knowing whether that would mean that we would open all clusters at once and thus significantly accelerate the process, or whether it would mean something else,” stated Joksimović.

She has added that Serbia wants to hear these explanations and that it will decide on the new methodology thereafter.

Source: Tanjug