European Western Balkans

EP: Serbian authorities to investigate excessive use of police force, concerned about Savamala

Savamala; Photo: KRIK

BELGRADE – The European Parliament calls on the Serbian authorities to investigate excessive use of force by police, and considers controversial events in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala, reports Serbian daily newspapers Danas.

As it was stated in compromise amendments on the Draft Report on Serbia by David McAllister – European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, regarding the destruction of private property, Serbian authorities were called for a quick resolution of this case and full cooperation with judicial authorities in this investigation, so that responsible are brought to justice.

Daily newspaper Danas had an insight in a document in which, Serbian authorities were also urged to refrain from accusations and “unfounded political attacks on the Ombudsman”, as well as to “protect the independence of these regulatory bodies”, reiterating concern for “attacks on the media and journalists with a critical point of view”.

To recall, this year on the Draft Report on Serbia was submitted a record 325 amendments and final Resolution on Serbia will be adopted by the end of March at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Most of the amendments came from the MEPs who know very well political circumstances in Serbia and belong to different political groups, so MEPs used 13 new amendments to further enrich the Article 10 of the Resolution regarding the rule of law, of which one part relates to Savamala case.

The paragraph of this article which applies to the case of Savamala was amended by emphasising that in this case it was about the destruction of private property, and calls for swift investigation and clarification of this case as well as the full cooperation with the judicial authorities. This paragraph came from the amendment which was submitted by the European Greens – Ulrike Lunacek and Igor Šoltes.

As it was stated in Danas, MEPs in the Article 11, which deals with the work of the National Assembly, expressed their concern about the extensive use of urgent procedures in adopting legislation, and emphasized the importance of the National Convent on European Integration, but also expressed their regret because, due to disruption, Michael Davenport – head of the EU Delegation to Serbia was not able to present the Commission’s report in the European Integrations Committee of the Serbian Parliament, along with call for Assembly to enable him to do so.

The article concerning the work of independent regulatory bodies was amended in a way that applies to all existing institutions. It calls the government to protect the independence of these regulatory bodies, to provide them with full political and administrative support for their work and to ensure that authorities follow their recommendations. This call to act upon the recommendations of the regulatory bodies was surprisingly submitted in six different amendments, which more than 10 MEPs submitted.

MEPs expressed concerns in the compromise amendments about the involvement of some high-ranking Serbian officials in the celebration of the Day of Republika Srpska last month, adding that it is contrary to the decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republika Srpska. In that context, Serbian authorities are called to express support to the constitutional reforms in BiH for strengthening the capacity of the RS to be functional and able to conduct the accession negotiations with the EU.

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