Today, Minister of Justice Nela Kuburovic met with the Special Advisor in Euro-integration Process to the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the former Head of Italian Diplomacy Franco Frattini, to discuss Serbia’s progress in the EU-integration [process] and the Ministry’s results achieved within the Negotiation Chapter 23. Minister Kuburovic and Frattini concurred that special efforts had to be dedicated to the fight against corruption and organised crime, which was not only of the Ministry’s priorities, but also that of the Serbian Government.
Frattini stated that the EU member states were monitoring Serbia’s progress, particularly in the context of the Negotiation Chapter 23. He highlighted, however, that it was equally important for the citizens of Serbia to witness and feel the progress achieved in the field of judiciary, economy and fight against corruption.
The Justice Minister said that the National Assembly had at the end of the previous year acted on the Ministry’s recommendation by adopting five statutes which were to improve significantly the anti-corruption and anti-organised crime system by [delegating] new competences to the Prosecutor’s Office for Organised Crime, prosecutorial and police system specialisation, and establishing task forces formed of staff specially trained for financial investigations cases. She added that a new Anti-Corruption Bill would be passed in the upcoming period, explaining that the advice and the experiences shared by colleagues from the Italian Anti-corruption Agency had proven very useful when the Bill was being drafted.
Moreover, Minister Kuburovic stated that in the upcoming week the Italian Minister of Justice was expected to visit, during what time the two ministries would be signing a Protocol on Cooperation which would enable Italian colleagues to give professional training on the conducting of financial investigations to Serbian prosecutors and police officers. Aside the Protocol - as she explained -, the two parties would also be signing new agreements on the advancement of cooperation in the provision of international legal assistance.