The efficient battle against corruption and the judiciary reform are of essential interest for Serbia and its citizens, and not just a condition for the European integrations, it has been stressed at the conference on prerequisites for curbing the corruption, held in Belgrade. The true progress in this field requires a systemic approach, with good laws and their proper implementation. The report of Suzana Mitic.
Corruption is one of the biggest problems in Serbia, pointed Goran Ilic, the President of the Association of Public Prosecutors, in addressing the participants. The state has passed many regulations in the domain of battle against corruption, but they are not implemented, added Ilic, reminding that our country still has a very bad rating in this sphere. One of the reasons for the stagnation is the lack of awareness about the significance of the real independence of institutions in curbing the corruption, he emphasized.
In Serbia, the reform of judiciary has been talked about for 12 years, and since the beginning of reforms in this field, three years ago, the debate is still unsettled on whether we are on a good path, said Dragana Boljevic, the President of the Association of Judges, which has organized the gathering, along with the Association of Public Prosecutors. Unfortunately, she adds, the citizens’ confidence with the independence of court authorities and prosecution is on a lower level than before the reforms.
President’s Advisor for legal affairs Oliver Antic has reminded that the battle against corruption is one of the priorities, and President’s greatest wish is to accelerate the road of Serbia towards the rule of the law. “In my opinion, the main obstacle for this acceleration is the interference of the executive power. Since 1945 to this day, the executive power has had great influence on the judiciary as a whole. This is why President Nikolic has said that the state bodies should at last do their work, without outside pressure”, underlined Antic. He has also pointed that the criteria for the reelection of judges and prosecutors must be firm and objective, while assessing that there were mistakes in the process of reelection.
The rule of the law can be successfully applied only through the independent judicial system, and only the independent judiciary can guarantee the success in battling corruption, said Head of the EU Delegation in Serbia Vincent Degert. He added that the progress in this domain is not a new condition for Serbia in the process of European integrations, but belongs among the foundational conditions.
French Ambassador to Serbia Xavier Denio has assessed that works should be accelerated on fixing the mistakes from the process of judges and prosecutors reelection. Independent, efficient and transparent judiciary is the backbone of democracy and social development, added Demitrios Kypreos, Head of the OSCE Mission in Serbia. He has emphasized that the battle against corruption is a big challenge and expressed expectation that the new government will boldly face this task.