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Brnabić and Joksimović with Giaufret on EU accession

October 15 2021 | Belgrade

Brnabić and Joksimović with Giaufret on EU accession

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović have met today with the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, to talk about the key current issues in Serbia’s EU accession process.

The Prime Minister has informed Ambassador Giaufret about the latest reform activities within Cluster 1 – Fundamentals, and the improvement of the rule of law, as reported from the Serbian Government.

Brnabić has stressed that, today, the Government of Serbia has received another confirmation that the constitutional reform is in line with the highest European standards, as the plenary session of the Venice Commission confirmed a positive framework for the continuation of the process of amending the Serbian Constitution towards finalising the process of achieving judicial independence by the end of the year.

In addition, the Prime Minister has informed the Ambassador that several important documents whose implementation is a precondition for further democratic development of society were adopted at yesterday’s Government session.

The Strategy for Gender Equality for the period 2021–2030 is aimed at contributing to a faster achievement of gender equality and improvement of the everyday life of women and men in Serbia, as stated by the Prime Minister.

She has added that, owing to the implementation of this Strategy, women and men will have rights that are in line with the highest European standards in this area and will equally contribute to the development of the society they live in.

Minister Joksimović has informed the Head of the EU Delegation about the content of the National Strategy for Prosecution of War Crimes in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2021–2026, which was adopted yesterday.

“This document is another result of our full commitment to strengthening the rule of law. By implementing the measures defined in the National Strategy, we will contribute to a greater efficiency of war crime trials, better access to justice for all victims of those crimes, investigating the fate of missing persons, and particularly, to fostering the culture of remembrance and dialogue. All these principles are characteristic of democratic legal orders, and Serbia is determined to implement those principles following the highest standards and building partner relations both in the region and with international institutions competent in these matters”, noted Joksimović.

Ana Brnabić has particularly informed the Ambassador about the recently adopted Draft Law on Ombudsman, which has been sent to the National Assembly for adoption and which is aimed at enhancing the independence of that institution in line with all international standards.

They have also talked about the content of the new Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, which will establish additional mechanisms for the improvement of transparency in the work of public authorities.

Brnabić is convinced that the progress the Serbian Government achieved in the rule of law, in the first year of its term, will be verified in the upcoming EC Report on Serbia for 2021, and that it will represent sufficient grounds for member states to propose the opening of the negotiation clusters that Serbia has fully prepared, by the end of the year. The Prime Minister has stressed that those are cluster 3 – Competitiveness and Inclusive Growth and cluster 4 – Green Deal and Sustainable Connectivity.

Minister Joksimović has additionally informed the EU Delegation on the current state in those two clusters, and on the fact that Serbia has met all opening benchmarks for a total of 12 chapters covered by those clusters.

Ambassador Giaufret has thanked Prime Minister Brnabić for hosting the meeting and for regularly providing information about the reforms in the rule of law in Serbia, as stated in the press release.

He appreciates the opportunity to engage in the implementation of rule of law reforms at the highest level, as they are vital for Serbia’s progress towards EU accession.

“This is a priority for the EU and EU Member States which are closely following the developments in Serbia.

Serbia has been continuously engaged in transparent and inclusive reform processes and timely implementation in key areas, such as the fight against corruption and organised crime, judicial independence, fundamental rights, war crimes, and media environment.”

Giaufret has stressed that those are not only EU’s priorities but also areas that would have a huge positive impact on the Serbian society, citizens and economy.

Ambassador Giaufret has specified that the EC Annual Report on Serbia, which should be published this month, will offer guidelines and clear priorities for Serbia’s further alignment with the EU acquis and practice in all negotiation chapters in the EU accession process.

He has recalled that the European Union is already engaged in a broad financial assistance package that provides support to Serbia’s reform processes, adding that this assistance can be further increased in the following year.

Ambassador Giaufret has also noted that the EU expects the measures agreed within the inter-party dialogue to be timely implemented in an inclusive and transparent way, together with ODIHR recommendations, in order to create appropriate conditions for the holding of elections scheduled for the following year.

Source: Tanjug