Friday, 18 December 2020

Fourth Sitting of the European Integration Committee

At the sitting held on 18 December 2020, the members of the European Integration Committee were presented the European Commission’s 2020 Progress Report on the Republic of Serbia by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi.

At the beginning of the sitting, the Committee was addressed by National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic whop said that the European Commission’s Progress Report on Serbia has never before been discussed at a National Assembly plenary session.

In his introductory address, Dacic expressed satisfaction that an agreement was reached at the state level, in talks with the President of Serbia, Prime Minister and ministers in the field, that public hearings be a practice in the coming period, and that the relevant conclusions would be proposed by the European Integration Committee, or more precisely the MPs who are members of said committee. He also announced that the European Commission’s Report would be discussed at a special session of the National Assembly.

In the continuation, the Committee Chairperson invited the Head of the EU Delegation to present the European Commission’s annual report to the members of the Committee.

At the beginning of his address, Sam Fabrizi pointed out that the European Union supports Serbia's efforts to persevere on its European path and that European integration has broad support among the citizens of Serbia.

Fabrizi presented Serbia's achievements in the negotiations for EU accession, as well as the recommendations given by the Union for chapters 23 and 24, and for political, economic and judicial criteria.

The part of the Report dealing with political criteria contains a review of the elections held in June 2020 and the formation of the National Assembly. It states that certain steps have been taken in order to solve the shortcomings in Assembly’s work by reducing the number of urgent procedures and the previous practice of obstructing the work of the Parliament.

The part relating to the judicial system recognizes that Serbia is making efforts to reduce the backlog of cases and harmonize court practice. In the fight against corruption, operational steps have been taken to strengthen the mandate and ensure the independence of the Anti-Corruption Agency, as well as strengthen its capacity to implement the Law on Prevention of Corruption and the competencies of state bodies in combating organized crime, terrorism and corruption.

The legislative and institutional framework for the protection of fundamental rights has largely been set in place. Serbia has adopted a new media strategy, drafted in a transparent and inclusive manner and identifying the main challenges to media freedom in Serbia.

Fabrizi pointed out that the pandemic of the COVID-19 disease has not bypassed the Western Balkans, and that the final scope of its impact in terms of loss of human lives and damage to the economy, is not final yet, but that early estimates predict a drop between 4 and 6% in GDP in the region, while in Serbia, for now it has decreased by only 1%. The Head of the Delegation stated that the EU, although affected by the pandemic, spared no expenses to provide the necessary and unreserved support to the Western Balkans, in the financial sense for resolving the immediate health crisis and the resulting humanitarian needs.

Following a debate, the Committee adopted the proposal that the MPs submit a Decision Proposal on the presented European Commission’s 2020 Progress Report on the Republic of Serbia.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Elvira Kovacs, and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Vesna Markovic, Milan Radin, Ana Miljanic, Predrag Rajic, Ilija Matejic, Viktor Jevtovic, Dubravka Filipovski, Milan Urosevic, Dusica Stojkovic, Stanislava Janosevic, Diana Radovic, Zagorka Aleksic, Samira Cosovic and Enis Imamovic, as well as MP Shaip Kamberi.

Committees related to this activity

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friday, 28 january
  • 13.00 - meeting of the Inter-Party Dialogue Control Body (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 1)

  • 17.00 - National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic meets with Inter-Party Dialogue co-facilitators (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 1)

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