BRUSSELS – The adopted common EU negotiating position for Chapter 23 in Serbia’s accession talks does not contain the demands set forth by Croatia.
The text of the common position, seen by Tanjug, encourages Serbia to continue the process of alignment with European criteria and develop its policy and the instruments thereof so as to make them as close to those in place in the EU as possible.
Serbia is expected to submit regular reports on progress in the judicial reforms and assess by the end of 2018 the direct impact of the results of the reform process in the field.
As regards judicial independence, the EU notes that Serbia has already launched preparations for constitutional amendments slated for 2017 pursuant to European standards and recommendations from the Venice Commission.
The amendments are expected to lay the groundwork for a transparent and objective system of electing judges and prosecutors and evaluating their work.
As regards war crimes trials – an issue Croatia had insisted for over three months – the EU is not demanding that Serbia scrap a specific law on the matter.
Serbia is expected to ensure thorough regional cooperation and good-neighbourly relations in the process of solving war crimes, including avoidance of conflict of jurisdiction, and war crimes must be tried without discrimination, the text said.
At the same time, Serbia is expected to cooperate constructively with neighbouring countries on the issue of missing persons.
Serbia must ensure efficient and strong institutional capabilities to deal with the implementation and overseeing of anti-corruption measures, the text also said.
As regards minority rights, the EU urges Serbia to fully implement its action plan for Chapter 23, in particular the section on protection of national minorities across the country.