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    • Chapters 23 and 24 are the key for reforms in Serbia

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    • Date: 04 February 2016
      BCSP Director Sonja Stojanovic Gajic presented the joint report on rule of law and anti-corruption in the EU and in the negotiations with Serbia during the second meeting of JCC.

      Keeping chapters 23 and 24 open throughout the accession negotiations can only be beneficial to Serbia, providing a strong incentive for reforms in the areas of the rule of law, in particular the judiciary, protection and promotion of fundamental rights, democratic governance and the fight against corruption and organised crime.  This was conclusion of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held in the European Economic and Social Committee premises in Brussels on 4 February 2016.

      During the meeting JCC members discussed the current state of play and the work ahead in Serbia's accession negotiations to the EU. They debated Chapter 23 - Judiciary and fundamental rights - and Chapter 24 - Justice, freedom and security - with a special focus on the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

      The basis for discussion at the second JCC meeting was the Joint Report Rule of law and anti-corruption in the EU and negotiations with Serbia. This report is the result of a collaborative effort between Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, BCSP Director and member of the EU-Serbia JCC representing Serbian civil society organisations, with expertise in the prEUgovor civil society coalition's monitoring of negotiations pertaining to Chapters 23 and 24 and Marina Skrabalo, EESC member from Croatia and rapporteur on the transparency and inclusiveness of accession negotiations, with the support of expert Filip Hamro-Drotz, former EESC member from Finland and co-rapporteur on corruption in the EU. The report served as the basis for discussion at the second JCC meeting and for the formulation of recommendations to the EU institutions.

      The JCC is one of the bodies set up within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and Serbia, enabling civil society organisations from both sides to monitor Serbia's progress towards the EU, and to adopt recommendations for the attention of the Government of Serbia and the EU institutions. The JCC is made up of eighteen members, nine from each side, representing the EESC and Serbian civil society.

      This report was prepared by BCSP Intern Dijana Zugic 

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