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Unsuccessful fight against corruption one of the main obstacles for EU integration

Transparency Serbia (official chapter of Transparency International), indicates that the resolution on Serbia, that is under discussion in the European Parliament to the proposal of the Special Rapporteur, David McAllister, shows that current activities of the authorities in fight against corruption have not led to any significant progress, and that resolving of this problem is one of the most important considerations in the process of European integration.

Namely, many critical observations from last year's European Commission report on Serbia when it comes to the fight against corruption and the rule of law in general have found a place in the Resolution, and some estimates are now even harsher. It is emphasized that "concern about the lack of progress in the fight against corruption", the need to "step up the implementation of anti-corruption strategy" and to come to a result in the form of indictments and convictions of high-level corruption. The European Parliament asks the rapid adoption of the Law on Anti-corruption Agency, as well as amendments to the Criminal Code on economic crime and corruption, thus demonstrating dissatisfaction with amendments from November 2016, which were carried out precisely with reference to the compliance with EU regulations.

Transparency Serbia indicated that a number of issues and problems that our organization has publicly emphasized unsuccessfully for more than ten years were mentioned in this document, such as the use of public resources and posts in election campaigns, the lack of parliamentary control over the executive power, the lack of support of the Assembly to the independent state organs.

The resolution, already in the introductory part calls for full implementation of reforms and the improvement of planning, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of laws and strategic acts. The authorities in Serbia are invited to fully implement the recommendations of OSCE / ODIHR. We remind that their findings refer to resolving of some problems that Transparency Serbia indicated for years: regulating of election campaign in order to prevent the misuse of public resources and official posts; ensuring the transparency of campaign financing, while it lasts, and timely control of that funding; insufficient activity of REM related to election campaign.

In relation to other matters, we emphasize that Resolution also indicates that the independence of the judiciary is not ensured in practice, and that explicitly recalls that "controversial events in Savamala" are not resolved (this paradigmatic event was not mentioned in the EC report from November 2016 ), "expressing concern" because of the wide use of emergency procedure for law adoption, calls on the Serbian parliament to oversee the executive branch and to adopt the Code of Conduct. Resolution finally reminds us of the need to amend the Constitution, including the strengthening of the position of the independent state bodies. The importance of these organs (so-called, fourth branch of government) in the oversight of the executive is highlighted in a separate bullet of the report, with special emphasis to the prominent institution of the Ombudsman, for whose work requires "full political and administrative support" is required. The report notes that there is no progress regarding freedom of the media, nor full transparency of media ownership.

Transparency Serbia

Belgrade, 10 January 2017.