Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans Europeanisation meets democracy on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

Rule of Law and Justice – Case Serbia, Djordje Popović, ÖGfE Policy Brief, 13’2021

Serbia is a country with enormous challenges in the area of rule of law. The postponing of reforms in this field leads to rather unsatisfactory results in the accession process to the European Union. Not opening any negotiating chapter last year should be understood as a clear sign that the necessary reforms are a precondition for any progress in the negotiations. In this context, the author of this Policy Brief gives several examples of the dire legal situation in Serbia and offers policy recommendations for improving the rule of law in the future.

Policy Recommendations

  1. The legal framework and practice regarding elections, the election campaigns, oversight and funding of the campaigns in Serbia need to be improved.
  2. Law enforcement agencies must start working together to fight organised crime, money laundering and other forms of serious crime. Furthermore, they should focus on preventing connections of organised criminal groups with politicians and political organisations.
  3. All the amendments of the Constitution, although very necessary as well as a step forward in EU enlargement negotiations (Chapter 23), must be put on hold until democratic and fair elections can take place and return legitimacy to the Serbian Parliament.
The Policy Brief is published in the framework of the WB2EU project. The project aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, universities, higher education institutes and policy centres from the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years. The WB2EU project is co-funded by the European Commission under its Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme.

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