Representatives of organizations members of the PrEUgovor coalition, including the representative of ASTRA, visited the institutions and organizations in Brussels on June 5-6. There, they discussed the results of the implementation of the policies covered under Chapters 23 and 24 as part of Serbia’s accession negotiations with the European Union. At the meeting with the three-member delegation from the Directorate General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the representatives of the prEUgovor coalition presented the main findings of regular monitoring of reforms in the field of Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (Chapter 23) and Justice, Freedom and Security (Chapter 24). Representatives of the European Commission (EC) assessed that the opening of the chapters contributed to making more visible work in Serbia in these areas and pointed out that concrete evidence of the effects of reforms would be needed to close these chapters, and not only formal ticking of the assumed activities.
The topic of the discussion was the attitude of Serbian government towards civil society organizations. The EC representatives stressed that civil society is an important part of the negotiation process and that they expect the inclusion of CSOs in the implementation of certain activities from the action plans for Chapters 23 and 24. In addition, they pointed out that civil society organizations have a key role as independent observers and promoters of changes, which will improve the implementation of certain policies.
Laura Trimajova, assistant to Eduard Kukan, Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of the Delegation of the EU-Serbian Stabilization and Association Committee was very interested in developments in Serbia. She stressed that she monitors the implementation of reforms in Serbia and the fulfilling of conditions for opening and closing chapters on a daily basis. It has been assessed that it is difficult to find a balance between praising what has been done within the EU membership negotiations, while at the same time evaluating real progress made on the ground.
Members of the prEUgovor coalition also visited the media, in order to gain a better insight into the editorial policy and the way of functioning of the EU Observer portal, as well as the work of the Serbian media correspondents.