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    • Ministry of Interior should publish the Draft Action Plan for Chapter 24

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    • Date: 24 December 2014
      Civil society organizations request from the Ministry of Interior to publish the Draft Action Plan for Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom, and Security) and enable interested stakeholders to participate in its preparation.
      BCSP is the leader of CSO gathered in of working groups for Chapter 24
      BCSP is the leader of CSO gathered in of working groups for Chapter 24

      Organizations led by the members of Working Groups for chapters 23 and 24 under the auspices of the National Convention on European Union (NCEU) and SEKO Mechanism for Justice and Home Affairs are expressing dissatisfaction due to the lack of transparency on the part of the Ministry of Interior in the process of drafting the Action plan for Chapter 24.

      By acting in this manner, the Ministry of Interior is in violation of the governmental Guidelines on inclusion of civil society organizations in the process of creating regulations (available only in Serbian). 

      The Action Plan for Chapter 24, one of the most important chapters in Serbia’s accession process to the European Union, will serve as a benchmark document for harmonization of domestic legislation with European standards in the areas of justice, freedom, and security. The document outlines priorities for the Government in the areas of combating organized crime, drugs, human trafficking, terrorism, border management and migrations, and other topics important for the safety of citizens. The progress of Serbia in the European integration process is depending on the success of its implementation. Therefore, it is unacceptable for the Ministry of Interior, the institution in charge of drafting the Action Plan, to exclude civil society organizations, professional associations, media, citizens, and other interested parties from the process.

      We request from the Ministry of Interior to make the Draft Action Plan for Chapter 24 available to the public and allow for the consultation process with the interested parties to take place in the earliest stage of its preparation.

      Postponing the inclusion of CSOs in the process of drafting this document goes against the principle of active participation of civil society in all phases of the legislation process. This is one of the fundamental principles of the European management of public affairs which envisages the inclusion of CSOs from the beginning of the legislation drafting process, including the selection of regulatory instruments, creating regulations and their evaluation through monitoring.

      We appeal to the Ministry of Interior to make the supporting documents of the Action Plan for Chapter 24 accessible to the public.

      Ministry of Interior and all other ministries should act in accordance with an example set by the Ministry of Justice which made all documents relevant to the Action Plan for Chapter 23 accessible on its webpage: translation of the Screening Report for Chapter 23, first and second draft of the Action Plan for Chapter 23, Report on Inclusion of CSOs and the methodology of cost evaluation. We believe that these documents must be made available to the citizens of Serbia in order to achieve greater transparency of the negotiation process and understanding the process of accession to the EU.

      The Government must assure that all ministries consistently allow participation of civil society in the process of negotiation with the EU, as well as careful examination of all comments submitted by the CSOs with the purpose of contributing to the progress of Serbia in the accession process.

      By involving CSOs in the processes of preparation, creation, and implementation of regulations, their precision and intelligibility is improved, as well as their positive effects, while at the same time facilitating and lowering costs of their implementation.

      We invite all civil society organizations, professional associations, academic community and other citizens interested in the accession of Serbia to the EU to join this initiative by sending an e-mail to office@bezbednost.org

      Signatories:

      1. Belgrade Centre for Security Policy - BCSP, a member of the coalition prEUgovor, coordinator of the Working Group for Chapter 24 in the National Convention on the European Union, the leading organization of SEKO on Justice and Home Affairs

      2. The Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights - YUCOM, a member of the House of Human Rights and Democracy, the coordinator of the Working Group for Chapter 23 in the National Convention on the European Union.

      3. The European Movement in Serbia - EMinS

      4. Civic Initiatives - CI

      5. Transparency Serbia, a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      6. Humanitarian Law Center

      7. Center for Investigative Reporting in Serbia - CINS, a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      8. Link Plus

      9. Belgrade Center for Human Rights - BCHR

      10. The Committee for Human Rights - Niš, CHRIN

      11. The Committee for Human Rights - Leskovac, CHRLE

      12. Partners for Democratic Change - Serbia

      13. Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies - CEAS

      14. Policy Center - PC

      15. Praxis

      16. Group 484, a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      17. ASTRA- Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      18. Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence - BFPE

      19. Center for Applied European Studies, a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      20. SHAREFoundation

      21. Asylum Protection Center - APC

      22. Center for Civil Society Development - PROTECTA

      23. Bibija- Roma Women’s Center

      24. Association People's Parliament Leskovac

      25. Victimology Society of Serbia

      26. Novi Sad School of Journalism

      27. Becej Youth Association - BUM

      28. Toplica Center for Democracy and Human Rights

      29. Resource Center Majdanpek

      30. Association Info Center Brus

      31. European Vojvodina

      32. Farmers' Association for Rural Development of Deliblatska Pescara

      33. Local Agenda 21 for Kostolac municipality

      34. Sandzak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms 

      35. Association Sveti Spas

      36. Citizen’s association Together together

      37. Association Dialogue, Valjevo

      38. Association against Corruption, Zrenjanin

      39. Autonomous Women’s Center - AWC,a member of the coalition prEUgovor

      40. Bureau for Social Research BIRODI

      41. Center for Development of Non-profit Sector - CRNPS

      42. Belgrade Open School, initiative Progovori o pregovorima

      43. Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability - CRTA

      44. Peščanik

      45. Foundation Center for Democracy

      46. Alliance for Protection of Nature, Animal and Human Rights EPAR-OIPA Serbia

      47. Center for Development of Civil Resources, Niš - CRCR

      48. Association of Refugees from the Republic of Croatia

      49. European Policy Centre - EPC

      50. Citizen’s association “Sisyphean Work”

      51. Institute for Territorial Economic Development - InTER

      52. Center for Education of Adults “Educa Humana”

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