Belgrade, May 22, 2023. Tanja Ignjatović spoke about the unfavorable context for the exercise of basic human rights, the prevention of violence and the protection of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, topics that were not the focus of reforms within the framework of European integration (strengthening of the right, hate speech in public space, anti -gender narratives and attacks on dissidents), as well as about reforms "on paper" and a series of institutional failures, emphasizing the demand for the responsibility of the authorities, while the members of the AWC held a banner that read "We are looking for answers".

In her welcoming speech, Jelena Pejić Nikić from the Belgrade Center for Security Policy stated that during the six-month monitoring of the work of the new Government, the focus was on the completion of the judicial reform and the drafting of the Law on Internal Affairs. Referring to the tragic events of May 3 and 4, she said that they must be seen as a warning and systemic problems, while giving suggestions for overcoming them.

Nemanja Nenadić from Transparency Serbia pointed out that there is no progress in some important parts of Chapter 23, as well as failures in the process of adopting judicial laws, which implement constitutional amendments in the field of justice, and in the procedure for the election of prominent lawyers that followed.

Attempts to improve the provisions of the law on internal affairs are still ongoing through discussions with representatives of the MoI, and the two key issues are biometric surveillance and police management, emphasized Bojan Elek from the Belgrade Center for Security Policy. He also pointed to the recent establishment of the Secondary School of Internal Affairs without a legal basis and the need to announce a competition for the selection of police director as soon as possible, a position that has been vacant since the end of 2021, and the importance of which has been particularly emphasized recently.

The head of the European Union delegation in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, said that it is time for Serbia to boldly accelerate reforms at a time when the EU pays much more attention to candidate countries for membership. He concluded that cooperation between institutions and civil society is crucial and that an encouraging environment should be provided in which they can secure financial resources and act without pressure.

Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević stated that civil society is an important segment of the integration process, with a reminder that it should be critical, but also objective.

The conference "The Decade of prEUGOVOR: Preserving Rule of Law Reforms Without Compromise" can be watched in its entirety HERE.

The ALARM prEUgovor report can be seen HERE.

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