“The Ministry of Justice is aware of the great importance when the involvement of the civil society organisations in the accession negotiations between the European Union and Serbia is in question, and has endeavoured from the very start to include them in every stage of this process, beginning from the screening to the development of the Action Plan”, said today the Assistant Minister of Justice and Head of the Negotiating Group for Chapter 23, Mr. Čedomir Backović, during the opening of the Regional convent on the European Integration Seminar on the topic: “Cooperation of the State and Civil Sector in the Judiciary and Fundamental Rights Fields“, held in Aero Club in Belgrade.
Mr. Backović emphasized some of the measures undertaken by the Ministry of Justice for the involvement of the civil society in the past stages of work on Chapter 23, such as: web streaming of explanatory screening; invitation for the participation of the civil society organisations in preparing bilateral screening; organisation of briefings; training for the representatives of the civil society representatives on the negotiation process topic; as well as public invitation for the participation in the preparation and development of the Draft Action Plan.
Furthermore, Mr. Backović emphasized the big role of the civil society in the implementation of the Action Plan. “Their participation will take place upon the publication of the Public invitation of the Ministry of Justice and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, when the organisations will be able to submit proposals and comments regarding the activities foreseen in the Action Plan“, added Backović.
Toward the end of his address, Mr. Backović emphasized that concrete measures, in whose implementation participate the civil society organisations, as partners or principal bodies in charge of these activities, have been determined as well; also, within all the legislative activities, the Ministry of Justice has established the practice to always include in the working groups relevant civil society organisations.
Within the organised three panels the following was discussed: the cooperation between the state and the civil sector in the fight against corruption, in the EU integration context; the cooperation of the state and the civil sector in the field of the protection of human rights; as well as the cooperation of the state and civil sector in the judiciary reform field.
The participants were addressed by the Minister without Portfolio in charge of European Integration. Ms Jadranka Joksimović; Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, H.E. Michael Davenport; President of European Movement in Serbia, Mr. Vlastimir Matejić; Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), Mr. Milan Antonijević; as well as the Executive Director of the International Višegrad Fund, Ms Karla Vusterova.