Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Eighth Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of SerbiaI in 2007

At the request of 128 Members of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr.



At the request of 128 Members of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Oliver Dulic convened the Eighth Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia for Tuesday, 11 September 2007. The sitting will begin at 10 a.m.

The request for holding the sitting specifies the following agenda:

1. The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia , submitted by the Government,
2. The Bill on confirmation of the Agreement on amendment of and accession to the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA 2006, submitted by the Government,
3. The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Tobacco, submitted by the Government,
4. The Bill on confirmation of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, submitted by the Government,
5. The Bill on travel documents, submitted by the Government,
6. The Bill amending and modify the Bill on prevention of violence and inappropriate behavior at sporting events, submitted by the Government,
7. Election of the president, vice-presidents and members of the Council of the State Audit Institution, from the list submitted by the Finance Committee,
8. The Proposal of the Decision amending the Decision on determining the composition of the Standing Delegations of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to international parliamentary institutions, submitted by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Oliver Dulic,
9. The Proposal of the Decision amending the Decision on the election of the Committees Members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by minorities Deputies’ Group Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians-List for Sandzak-Union of Roma of Serbia-Albanian Coalition of Presevo Valley.

Elaborating the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia, Dragan Jocic, Minister of Interior, pointed out that it brings into accord the area of citizenship with the Constitution of Serbia and the changes caused by Montenegro leaving the state union.

The amending and modifying of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia will solve the status of citizens of Montenegro currently living in Serbia. It will make it possible for citizens of Montenegro who on 3 June 2006 had a permanent address on the territory of Serbia to gain Serbian citizenship, under alleviated circumstances.

Minister Jocic emphasized that granting citizens of Montenegro in Serbia (about 250 000 of them) Serbian citizenship will not be pursuant to their losing their Montenegrin citizenship. Furthermore, the legal amendments will also allow citizens of Montenegro who did not have a permanent address in Serbia at the time when it became the legal successor of the state union, to gain Serbian citizenship under alleviated circumstances.

The Assembly continued work with a discussion in principle about the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia.

On the second day of the sitting (12 September), the National Assembly first concluded the discussion in principle on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia, and then began a discussion in principle on the Bill on confirmation of the Agreement on amendment of and accession to the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA 2006.

Addressing the Members of Parliament, Mladjan Dinkic, Minister of Economy and Regional Development, reminded all present that this was a multilateral agreement replacing the 32 bilateral agreements on free trade. He stated that the Agreement was signed on 19 December 2006 by eight customs territories (Serbia, Montenegro, FYRM, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Moldova and UNMIK, for the territory of Kosovo), adding that it was ratified by all with the exception of Serbia.

Minister Dinkic stated that Serbia realises 30% of export and 8% of import with these countries, adding that Serbia would benefit from the liberalisation of foreign trade, considering that it has a stronger economy and that lowering the barriers will allow for a higher rate of export to these markets. Additionally, the Agreement enables export into third party countries under preferential customs regime for goods produced from components previously imported from one of the CEFTA countries, while now only a product with more than 51% of components from Serbian territory is considered domestic.

Dinkic pointed out that from 10 May 2010 all companies from CEFTA territories will be treated as domestic bidders, because all of the members should by then ensure non-discrimination in the system of public purchases. Another innovation is the predicted formation of a zone of completely free trade in the region from 31 December 2010, meaning that the customs duties of these countries will slowly become closer.

Dinkic emphasized that domestic trade will benefit from the ratification of CEFTA, because it will become more competitive and attract more investment. Still, that is just the first step, considering that the goal must be total liberalisation of trade with EU countries, and until then CEFTA will help to strengthen the Serbian economy and make it more competitive until Serbia joins the EU, Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic emphasized.

The Assembly went on to discuss in principle the Bill on confirmation of the Agreement on amendment of and accession to the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA 2006.

In the morning part of the sitting, on 13 September, the National Assembly completed the discussion in principle on the Bill on confirmation of the Agreement on amendment of and accession to the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA 2006.

Minister of Finance, Mirko Cvetkovic, went on to elaborate the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Tobacco pointing out that the Law regulates an important economic field. In the chain of production, processing and trade, this branch employs about 130 000 people, and about one billion euros have been invested in it in the past several years.

Cvetkovic said that the goal of amending and modifying is raising competitiveness of domestic production, simplifying the administration concerned with tobacco and precisely defining the obligation of the buyout of tobacco and some other categories.

Afterwards, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in principle of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Tobacco. During the discussion, the members of parliament drew attention to violations of the Operating Procedures on several occasions.

The Bill on the confirmation of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was elaborated by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Dr. Sasa Dragin. He stressed that the ratification of this agreement is of vital interest to Serbia because of its inclusion into European integration, as well as attracting foreign investment. Dragin reminded all that the goal of the document is the reduction of emissions of dangerous fumes that cause the greenhouse effect, thus decreasing the rate of the heating of the atmosphere.

Minister Dragin said that extreme climatic changes have not bypassed this region which is why it is imperative that Serbia, within its powers, joins the activities for decreasing pollution. This protocol, he pointed out, the developed signing countries are obligated to decrease the emission of harmful fumes by more than 5% by 2012, while developing countries such as Serbia, are not thus obligated. He also pointed out that by accepting this protocol Serbia will benefit from investments from developed countries into clean technologies projects.

Inviting the Members of Parliament to vote for this Bill, Minister Dragin talked about the political, legal and economic significance of the Kyoto agreement.
The concept of sustainable development is becoming the model of social and economic development, strengthening cooperation with the international community in the area of environmental protection and an important step in Serbia’s international affirmation, as well as strengthening its position as a partner in international relations.

Minister Dragin said that by accepting the Agreement, Serbia sends a clear signal that it shall continue to implement European standards in the areas of environmental protection, energy and using reusable power sources.

By the end of the working day the assembly had finished discussing in principle the Bill on the confirmation of the Kyoto Protocol.

On the fifth day of the sitting, 17 September, The National Assembly concluded a discussion in principle on the Bill on travel documents. Elaborating the Bill, Minister of Interior Dragan Jocic pointed out that travel documents with the state emblems of the Republic of Serbia are necessary for their alignment with the new Serbian Constitution, new citizenship law and international standards. Passing this law is in accordance with the Government Action plan for the alignment of domestic regulations with those of the European Union.

The right to travel documents is based on citizenship and it states that everyone has the right to freedom of movement, Jocic said, adding that this right might be limited in cases of the violation of the Constitution, disturbing the peace, and prevention of the spread of infectious diseases.

The Bill includes the introduction of a new travel documents form that guarantees the reliability and inviolability of personal data contained within the document, prevention of its possible misuse, as well as the expeditious and simple identification of an individual. The technical protection of travel documents is one of the key conditions for approaching the ”white Schengen list”, Minister Jocic emphasized, adding that this creates the conditions for the ease of Serbian citizens’ travels abroad.

The Bill foresees the issue of new passports commencing in March of next year, while the exchange of the old passports will last until 31 December 2008. Expiry dates of travel documents will be reduced from 10 to 5 years, the reason for which are rapid technological changes in the area of automatic data reading.
Jocic also claimed that the bill will decrease the number of travel documents, rescinding of joint passports and the possibility of inclusion of the child into the passport of one of the parents. In addition, exit visas will be abolished, and due to the unique procedure and technology, the passport will be made solely within the country. Serbian citizens abroad will be able to submit a request for a passport only through a diplomatic-consular representative office.

The National Assembly went on to conclude the discussion in principle of the Bill amending and modifying the Bill on prevention of violence and inappropriate behavior at sporting events. Minister of Interior, Dragan Jocic gave the elaboration of the Government proposal saying that the proposed modifications represent the full implementation of the European Convention on prevention of violence and that they are the result of detecting the flaws noticed since 2003 when the Bill was passed. According to his estimate, these modifications should improve the efficiency of the Bill.

Jocic pointed out that the proposed modifications introduce new obligations of the sports clubs, supporters, security personnel, MUP, and the penalties hold increased severity. Some of the changes he listed are the suggestion to have sports facilities open two hours before the beginning of a match or event and to increase the duties and obligations of all participants in sporting events: sports unions, clubs, security, visiting clubs, as well as MUP. According to the new authorisations, MUP can dictate which route the supporters take and can also prevent the sporting event from taking place in certain situations. Modifications of the Bill also forbid the sale and consumption of alcohol at a certain distance from the sports facility and penalties have also been made more severe so that many minor infractions will now become criminal violations, concluded Jocic.

By the end of the working day the Assembly had finished discussing the Bill in principle.

On 18 September the National Assembly went on to conclude a unique discussion of the proposals for the election of the president, vice-presidents and members of the Council of the State Audit Institution, from a candidate List determined by the Finance Committee.

In the afternoon, the National Assembly concluded a unique discussion of the Proposal of the Decision amending the Decision on determining the composition of the Standing Delegations of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to international parliamentary institutions and the Proposal of the Decision amending the Decision on the election of the Committees Members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

On the seventh day of the sitting (19 September) the Members of Parliament conducted a discussion of the specifics of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia.

By the end of the working day the National Assembly conducted a discussion on the amendments submitted to the Bill amending the Law on Tobacco.

On the eighth day (20 September) the National Assembly conducted a discussion of the specifics of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Tobacco and the Bill on travel documents.

In the morning part of the proceedings on 24 September, the National Assembly discussed the specifics of the Bill amending and modifying the Bill on prevention of violence and inappropriate behavior at sporting events.

After the National Assembly discussed all the items on the agenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Oliver Dulic designated a voting day in the continuation of the proceedings at 3 p.m.

As part of the Voting Day the National Assembly endorsed the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia, the Bill on confirmation of the Agreement on amendment of and accession to the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA 2006, the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Tobacco and the Bill on confirmation of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in their entirety.

The National Assembly endorsed the Bill on travel documents and the Bill amending and modifying the Bill on prevention of violence and inappropriate behavior at sporting events in their entirety.

The National Assembly went on to elect Radoslav Sretenovic as the president of the Council of the State Audit Institution, Ljubica Nedeljkovic as vice-president of the Council, and Zoran Tamas, Ljiljana Dmitrovic-Saponja and Natalija Catovic as members of the Council.

Also, the National Assembly endorsed the Proposal of the Decision amending the Decision on determining the composition of the Standing Delegations of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to international institutions and Proposal of the amending the Decision on the election of the Committees Members of the National Assembly.

After the National Assembly completed the discussions of all items on the agenda and passed decisions on them, Speaker Dulic concluded the Eighth Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007.



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