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State capture of the judiciary, prosecution, police in Serbia
Political influence
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About anticorruption laws on the International anticorruption day

Transparency Serbia is urging MPs to substantially improve four anti-corruption laws at the session that begins today, on an International Anti-Corruption Day, so that the possibility of misuse of public resources and public office gets curbed.

The Government has proposed amendments to several articles in the Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency, namely the Law on Prevention of Corruption (to be implemented from September 2020), the Law on Financing Political Activities and the Law on Public Enterprises. These regulations, according to the explanation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, are being modified to meet the recommendations of the OSCE / ODIHR Mission, given after the last presidential and parliamentary elections, in 2017 and 2016.

Transparency Serbia estimates that the Government's proposals are insufficient to meet the recommendations of international organizations. Moreover, these changes in the current text will not solve the problems identified by the Government itself in the 2013 Anti-Corruption Strategy and in the Action Plan for Chapter 23 of European Integration.

Although the Government has accepted two of our proposals - that problems in electoral law be addressed by amendments to the law and that a public debate is organized on them - most of the proposals from the public debate were rejected without valid or any justification.

When it comes to the Law on Public Enterprises, the draft law contains a provision under which a director would be dismissed if he misused his function or resources to promote the party or to exert political pressure on employees. We point out that so far there has been no legal obstacle to such directors being removed and prosecuted, but this has not been done. Transparency believes that the norms should be refined so as to prohibit other, less obvious, types of influence of public company executives to business partners and users of their services, and that publicity about the use of resources of these companies during the campaign (official vehicles, advertising and sponsorships and more).

Regarding the rules applicable to public officials (the Anti-Corruption Agency Law, ie the Law on preventing Corruption), Transparency indicates that changes to the law should be used to regulate "officials’ campaign" by restricting the possibilities for alleged regular activities of public officials, that provide additional promotion in the media before the elections.

In the Law on Financing of Political Activities we consider it useful that the Agency will be obliged to determine whether there were any violations of the rules in the short term after the complaint has been submitted. However, such time limits should also be prescribed for the Agency's actions in controlling campaign finance reports, as well as for initiating proceedings to punish those responsible.

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