December 24th 2014
Organizations led by members of working groups for Chapters 23 and 24 in National Convent on the European Union and SECO mechanism in the field of justice and home affairs expressed dissatisfaction with the non-transparent procedures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the process of drafting the Action Plan for Chapter 24.
With this actions Ministry of Internal Affairs violates the guidelines for the inclusion of civil society in the process of adopting regulations.
Action plan for chapter 24, one of the most important in negotiation process, is the document which will be carried out harmonization of national legislation with European standards in the areas of justice, freedom and security.
This document lists the government’s priorities for the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking, terrorism, border management and migration and other issues of importance for the security of citizens.
Serbia’s progress in European integration depends on its successful implementation. It is unacceptable that the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the ministry responsible for its creation does not involve CSOs, professional associations, the media, citizens and other stakeholders in this process.
We demand that the Ministry of Internal Affairs submitted a draft to the public and allow the sending of the proposal from the earliest stages of its development.
Disposal of involvement of CSOs in the process of drafting this document is contrary to the principle of active participation of civil society at all stages of the legislative process. This principle is one of the basic principles of the European management of public affairs and implies involvement of NGOs in planning of regulation drafting, making of regulatory instruments and the drafting of regulations, and in monitoring the implementation of regulations in order to evaluate its appropriateness.
Also, we call on the Ministry of Interior to make public supporting documentation for drafting the Action Plan for Chapter 24.
Ministry of Internal Affairs and all other ministries should according the example of the Ministry of Justice, which made available on its website: a translation of the report with the screening of the first and second draft of the Action Plan for Chapter 23, a report on the involvement of civil society and the methodology of the cost estimates. We believe that the availability of these documents is necessary in order to increase the openness of the accession negotiations and understanding of the EU accession process.
The government should ensure that all ministries consistently provide for the participation of civil society in the negotiation process with the EU and careful consideration of all comments which are aimed at the realization of Serbia’s progress in the EU accession process.
Participation of civil society organizations in the preparation, adoption and implementation of regulations increases their accuracy and user-friendliness, positive effects they produce, facilitate their implementation and reduce the costs of application.
We invite all civil society organizations, professional associations, academics and other citizens interested in Serbia’s EU accession to join this initiative by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The signing organizations:
- Belgrade Centre for Security Policy – BCSP, coalition member prEUgovor, coordinator of the Working Group for Chapter 24 in the National Convention on the European Union, the leading organization SECO on Justice and Home Affairs.
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM, member of the Human Rights House, coordinator of the working group for Chapter 23 in National Convent on the European Union.
- The European Movement in Serbia – EminS
- Civic Initiatives, member of the Human Rights House
- Transparency – Serbia, member of the Human Rights House
- The Humanitarian Law Center
- Center for investigative journalism, member of the coalition “prEUgovor”
- Link plus
- Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, member of the Human Rights House
- Committee for human rights, Nis
- Committee for human rights, Leskovac
- Partners for Democratic Change Serbia – Partners Serbia
- The Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies
- Policy center, member of the Human Righrs House
- Group 484, member of the coalition “prEUgovor”
- ASTRA – Anti trafficking action, member of the coalition “prEUgovor”
- Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
- Center for Applied European Studies, member of the coalition “prEUgovor”
- SHARE Foundation
- Asylum Protection Center
- Center for civil society development PROTECTA
- Roma Women’s Center BIBIJA
- National Parliament Association, Leskovac
- Victimology society of Serbia
- Novi Sad School of Journalism
- Becej Youth Association
- Toplica Center for Democracy and Human Rights
- Resource center centar, Majdanpek
- Info center association, Brus
- The European Vojvodina
- Farmers’ Association for Rural Development Deliblato Sands
- Local Agenda 21 for Kostolac municipality
- Sandzak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms
- Sveti Spas Association
- Citizens association Zajedno zajedno
- Dijalog, Valjevo
- Anti-Corruption Society, Zrenjanin
- Autonomous Women’s Centre, member of the coalition “prEUgovor”
- Bureau for social researching BIRODI
- Centre for Development of Non-Profit Sector
- Belgrade open school
- Center for research, transparency and accountability – CRTA
- Center for democracy foundation
- Alliance for the Protection of Nature, animal rights and the rights of people EPAR-OIPA Serbia
- Centre for Development of Civil Resources, Niš