On May 22, the prEUgovor Coalition marked its 10th anniversary with the conference “A Decade of the prEUgovor Coalition: Preserving Rule of Law Reforms Without Compromise.”
How far has Serbia advanced in improving its standards and practices in key areas that the pre-EU treaty has been following for a decade? What are the main problems in the slow progress regarding the functioning of democratic institutions, the protection of human rights, the fight against corruption, and the reform of the police? Can the system adequately respond to the epidemic of violence, femicide, and anti-gender rhetoric? What to expect from drafting a new strategy for the fight against corruption and a new law on internal affairs? How to improve the accession process and strengthen its reform potential? – were some of the questions that the speakers on the panel and guests of the event tried to answer.
On this occasion, the 20th alarm report was presented, a regular independent semi-annual report of the Coalition that monitors the state of reforms in certain areas of Cluster 1. The report covers the period from November 2022 to May 2023.
Alarm Report on Progress of Serbia in Cluster 1 – May 2023
For a decade now, the organizations gathered in the prEUgovor Coalition have been documenting the words and deeds of the Serbian authorities and relevant institutions, analyzing them within a broader picture so that both the domestic and international public understand the importance and scope of the undertaken reform activities. Alarm reports were published even when official reports on the implementation of action plans were not, or they offered a picture of a parallel reality, the reverse side of which needed to be illuminated. These twenty reports, therefore, together provide a comprehensive and faithful, critically colored account of the decade of European integration of Serbia.
For years, the prEUgovor Coalition has been warning about the state capture, which is happening parallel to and intertwined with the EU accession process. While the authorities are trying to show some progress in the formal process and open new negotiation chapters, i.e., clusters, the effects of the activities undertaken on the ground are unsatisfactory. Obligations are often interpreted minimally, criticism is belittled, and results are presented as better than they are. Serbia is still only halfway when it comes to the standards it needs to reach and consistently apply in chapters 23 and 24. The problematic functioning of democratic institutions, monitored within the framework of political criteria, spills over into other areas.
PDF of the latest edition of the ALARM report can be downloaded HERE!