EU’s Fabrizi: Urgent reform of rule of law needed in Serbia

Source: N1

The head of the European Union’s Delegation in Belgrade Sem Fabrizi said on Friday the political message from the European Commission (EC) report on Serbia was that the reforms in the rule of law needed to be faster and deeper, as the way for the country to open new negotiating chapters with the bloc.

Serbia did not open any new chapter within the accession talks with the EU in 2020, due to the report’s assessment about the deteriorating democracy in the country and the lack of progress in the rule of law.

Fabrizi told the Friday’s session of Serbia’s Parliament Committee for European Integrations the EC report portrayed two pictures – first showed what had happened in Serbia in May 2019-May 2020 period, while the second contained the recommendations for the future.

Currently, he said, Serbia was moderately ready but added there were areas without any progress, as the reform of the public administration.

Fabrizi recalled Serbia had more than 150 acting managers and that the authorities should either employ them permanently or relieve them of duty, adding the state employees should have permanent jobs.

He said that there was no progress regarding chapter 23 (the rule of law) neither in judiciary nor in media freedom.

As far as chapter 24 is concerned, Fabrizi said some progress was noted.

He added Serbia recorded one percent fall thanks to the economic reforms which pushed it closer to the EU. The Eurozone countries, Fabrizi said, had seven percent fall in the economies.

He added the next year would also be challenging, but that the EU would ‘inject’ nine billion Euro into the Western Balkans, not only in money but also in infrastructure, energy connectivity and digital networks.