Serbian PM says Venice Commission approved changes to constitution

English 16.04.2021 13:44
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Izvor: Tanjug / Rade Prelić

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Friday that her government received the approval of the Venice Commission for amendments to the constitution.

Speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Commission on Constitutions Issues and Legislature, Brnabic said that the process to change parts of the constitution. “This is one of the basic rule of law requirements on the European integration path but we are not doing this just for the sake of integration but because we believe in reforms and that the public and economy can rely on justice being equal for all and achievable in a reasonable time,” she told the meeting.

A government press release said that “the Committee adopted the Bill on changing the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, proposed by the Serbian government”.

Brnabic recalled that the government adopted the initiative to change the parts of the constitution governing the judiciary on December 3, 2020 and submitted it to parliament following 18 months of public debate.

Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic said that the amendments will change only the parts of the constitution on the judiciary and denied claims that the ruling majority wanted to change the preamble which states that Kosovo is part of Serbia. He said the Committee on Constitutional Issues has to adopted the proposed amendments which are then debated by MPs and have to be adopted by a two thirds majority. He said the proposed amendments can’t be altered.

Dacic also explained that a referendum on the amendments has to be held prior to the early elections which are being planned for early 2022.

The changes to the constitution have been a contentious issue for the past few years with critics claiming that the authorities are planning to change the constitution in a way which would allow official Belgrade to recognize Kosovo.