11. Feb. 2009
Council of Europe
Serbia: Transparent and efficient functioning of democratic institutions, which citizens can trust in, is an essential pre-condition for closing the monitoring procedure
Strasbourg, 11.02.2009 – «Transparent and efficient functioning of democratic institutions, which citizens can trust, is an essential pre-condition for closing the monitoring with respect to Serbia,» yesterday said Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly co-rapporteur on Serbia Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC) at the end of a two-day visit to the country.
«Since the last parliamentary elections of May 2008, Serbia has made noticeable progress in a number of reform areas -he continued- commending the current political stability as well as the adoption of a number of key laws relating to European integration, reform of the judiciary and fight against corruption. However, in a genuine democracy, the country’s future cannot be decided by the leaders of political parties alone and the members of Parliament should engage in a constructive dialogue about various political options, as free representatives of the citizens and not mere ‘tools’ of political parties. Guaranteeing the rights of the opposition is an essential element of democracy, but the opposition should not be able to block the parliamentary process,» he stressed.
«The revision of parliamentary rules of procedure is only part of the solution. Most importantly, the electoral system should be reformed to make sure that the views of all citizens of Serbia are represented in parliament, for example, by introducing open regional lists,» Mr Gross noted.
«With respect to the co-operation with ICTY, I do believe the authorities are doing everything possible to apprehend the remaining ICTY indicters Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic and hope to see this chapter of the monitoring process closed as quickly as possible,» he stressed. The honoring of obligations and commitments by Serbia will be debated during the April Part-session of the Assembly. For this purpose, the co-rapporteurs Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC) and Charles Goerens (Luxembourg, ALDE) will prepare an addendum to their last report dated September 2008. If necessary, they are ready to pay another visit to Belgrade to talk with the country’s leadership at the highest level in order to agree on a roadmap aiming at the closing of the monitoring procedure.