Civil society organisations ask Serbia to strengthen the rule of law

The 7th meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) that took place in Belgrade on 23 October enabled civil society organisations from both sides to examine the state of play of Serbia's accession process.

Although much progress has been made in many fields, such as economic growth, the JCC expressed in the joint declaration its concern about "the lack of progress in the area of freedom of expression" and encouraged the Serbian authorities to "redouble their efforts to ensure respect for the rule of law, fundamental rights, judicial reform, the fight against corruption and freedom of the press".

JCC members were pleased that Serbia has opened two new chapters of the accession negotiations (Fisheries and Financial and budgetary provisions). The news was also good in relation to the economy, with a fall in unemployment and growth acceleration in 2018, but the final joint declaration emphasised the need to take effective measures to tackle the informal economic activity, to fight inequalities and poverty and to make more efficient and transparent use of dialogue platforms with civil society. (dgf)