22 October 2021 The address of National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic at the sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues on the amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia

22 October 2021 The address of National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic at the sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues on the amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia

Friday, 22 October 2021

National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic Addresses 66th Sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addressed the 66th sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues with the topic debate on the judiciary amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia with the participation of representatives of the non-parliamentary opposition.


THE FOLLOWING IS THE SPEECH OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IN ITS ENTIRETY:

"Respected colleagues,

I am happy to greet you and to continue with the good work done so far in the process of adopting changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. This is a really important and complex task, which the National Assembly, and especially this Committee, play a key role in, so I can note that we are doing well and have many reasons to expect that the whole procedure will be completed during the term of this Parliamentary legislature, which is one of the requirements for constitutional amendment. Constitutional changes or the process of passing laws and other acts cannot be transferred from one legislature to another.

I would also like to greet the representatives of non-parliamentary parties, I welcome you and appreciate your attendance, because from the beginning of this process we have been open to the participation of all stakeholders and suggestions that can come from anyone who wants to be constructive in making the best decisions. It is very good to have you participate not only in this process, but in other issues of state and national importance as well, and I highly appreciate your presenting your proposals at meetings within the inter-party dialogue and expressing interest in attending them.

You know, and I am pleased to inform you directly on this occasion, that the Venice Commission gave a positive opinion to the draft of our constitutional amendments on 15 October, which was an important step for us to continue with our procedure. The representatives of the Commission informed me about it at the meeting I had with them seven days ago, and I am happy to say that with it we have crossed an important threshold toward the full international and professional verification of the work we have done so far.

As you know, one of the reasons for the amendment of the constitutional provisions concerning the judiciary is the fulfilment of our obligations related to the European integration process, which we are doing completely transparently in this way and in cooperation with relevant factors, such as the Venice Commission, of course.

At this moment, the task before this Committee is to conceptualise the final text of the proposed constitutional amendments, which will then go before the National Assembly, where I expect their adoption.

At the same time, we continue to work on the new Law on Referendum, because it is also an important part of the overall procedure for constitutional amendment, since the final word on constitutional changes is given by our citizens in the referendum. Our draft of the new Law on Referendum will be the subject of some of the next sessions of the Venice Commission, and I expect a positive outcome there as well, so that after that we can start the procedure of its adoption in the National Assembly to be able to conduct the upcoming referendum.

The pace at which we are going is really good, and I expect that we can successfully complete the entire procedure, including the referendum, during the mandate of the current the Assembly legislature, i.e. by mid-February next year.

We are nearing the end of a big job and I would like to remind you that changes to this part of the Constitution in have been on the table since 2006, when the Constitution was adopted, and that many times in the past we have failed to respect the suggestions of the Venice Commission and harmonise our Constitution with European standards, which we are doing now. We have many reasons to be satisfied, because above all we setting new provisions that will bring our citizens an even greater degree of independence of the judiciary, access to justice and make the rule of law even more efficient.

The National Assembly’s leadership will be committed to completing this work in full. I would like to inform you that in agreement with the Venice Commission it was agreed to organise a meeting which would be attended by representatives of parties within the inter-party dialogue conducted in the presence of EP mediators, as well as those who conducted dialogue without them, to give them the chance to present their proposals and suggestions and contribute to the adoption of constitutional changes.

We could not have achieved results such as this so far had we not seriously dedicated ourselves to fulfilling the procedure for constitutional amendment by conducting a very broad public debate which absolutely all the relevant representatives took part in, from university professors, judges and prosecutors to lawyers, the non-governmental sector, as well as all others who have, with their interest and suggestions, contributed to the National Assembly ultimately adopting the best solution for our citizens.

This procedure has so far been conducted according to the highest democratic standards and with full respect for the provisions for constitutional amendment, and I am convinced that it will be so until the very end. I expect your good cooperation would continue as well as your full engagement, and as far as I am concerned, you can count on my full cooperation as before, because we are all taking part in making a decision of great importance, one which is not made very often.

I wish you good work and that you make good decisions,

Thank you!”



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friday, 1 july
  • 11.00 - the National Assembly Speaker addresses the conference on the Position of Serbia’s in the Euro-Atlantic Community (National Assembly Building, 14 Kralja Milana Street, Grand Hall)

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