The representatives of the Serbian Ministry of Justice, the High Judicial Council, the State Prosecutorial Council, the Judicial Academy and the Ministry of European Integration, together with representatives of the EU Delegation and the Council of Europe, gathered on 11 February for the final Steering Committee Meeting of the Horizontal Facility action “Strengthening legal guarantees for independent and impartial tribunals”.
The meeting was opened by Mr Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, who stressed that the rule of law, and especially issues pertaining to judicial independence, remain in the very focus of the Council of Europe efforts in Serbia. He pointed out to the importance of the local authorities review of the results and recommendations stemming from the Council of Europe monitoring, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) being particularly relevant for any future work on improving judicial independence.
The participants agreed that the subject matter covered by the action is and remains to be highly relevant to Serbia, especially with respect to obligations under Chapter 23 in accession negotiations with the European Union. Representatives of all institutions complimented the approach and methodology of the Council of Europe and emphasised that the activities implemented have enabled them to acquire full ownership of the action.
The action “Strengthening legal guarantees for independent and impartial tribunals” is co-funded by the European Union and Council of Europe’s joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey, implemented by the Council of Europe.