“We are grateful for the assistance, which you offer. All experience shared will be useful. Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU accession negotiations are the most difficult for us.” Such opinion was expressed by the Serbian Minister of Justice Nela Kuburovic who met today with the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva in Belgrade. Zaharieva is on a two-day visit to the neighboring country.
Chapter 23 of the EU accession negotiations with Serbia is "Judiciary and fundamental rights" and Chapter 24 is "Justice, freedom and security"
“The job of the minister of justice is not an easy one and I speak from experience. The public often expects justice from the minister of justice and it is difficult to explain that the minister does not investigate, press charges or pass sentences”, said the Deputy Prime Minister Zaharieva. “Chapters 23 and 24 are the hardest and it is not coincidental that they are the last ones to be closed. The European Commission would like to see irreversibility in the process. The judicial system is conservative but it does not mean it should not be modern.”
The Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister advised her colleague that the coordination between the institutions is of the utmost importance, because in the case of these two negotiation chapters in Serbia there is need for cooperation with nearly 50 organizations. She shared her experience with the Judicial Reform Council, which Zaharieva constituted in the beginning of last year, where the two packages of amendments to the Judiciary System Act and the amendment to thePenal Procedure Code were prepared with the participation of representatives of all institutions and professional associations of magistrates. Kuburovic shared that she also consults with civil society organizations for each legislative initiative.
Ekaterina Zaharieva invited Nela Kuburovic to visit Sofia on October 25th this year for the informal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers of EU and Western Balkan countries.