Reforms falling under Chapters 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Freedom, Security and Justice) lie in the core of EU-Serbia accession negotiations and have proven to be particularly
demanding. The latest annual report of the European Commission (October 2020) found that there were serious delays in a number of reforms concerning the rule of law in Serbia. Threats, intimidation and violence against journalists were reasons for concern, while judicial independence and accountability, freedom of expression, the prevention of corruption and the fight against organised crime were stressed as key areas where progress is lacking. Shrinking civic space in Serbia has put additional pressure on CSOs nurturing critical approach towards official policies. With a lack of substantial dialogue in society, media and institutions, citizens are also confused about the benefits the reforms should bring them.
Main objective of the project PrEUgovor Policy Watch: building alliances for stronger impact in uncertain future is to contribute to implementation of Rule of Law policy reforms in Serbia, in the framework of political criteria, Ch. 23 and 24 within the EU accession. This will be pursued by strengthening the prEUgovor coalition and building alliances with other civil society organisations to conduct comprehensive and independent monitoring of policy reforms under political criteria and Chapters 23 and 24 and to conduct evidence-based advocacy towards the national, local and EU stakeholders.
The project is implemented by the prEUgovor coalition and supported by the European Union for the period January 2021 - June 2023.
Activities in this project are divided in four clusters:
1) policy monitoring: monitoring reforms in political criteria, Chapters 23 and 24 (semi-annual prEUgovor Alarm reports); measuring effectiveness of selected key institutions implementing Rule of Law reforms at the national and local level (institutional barometers);
2) policy dialogue: engaging in discussion with stakeholders at national and local conferences; drafting key annual recommendations (Reform Agendas) and prompt reactions to main developments in the monitored area (Brief Alerts);
3) capacity building: disseminating methodology for Institutional barometer to local CSOs; raising capacities and skills for effective advocacy and communication and for smooth coordination of the coalition;
4) raising public awareness: publishing investigative stories highlighting examples of Rule of Law deficiencies in Serbia, infographics, producing media and website content and video stories showcasing importance of Rule of Law standards.
The project is funded by the European Commission in the framework of the “Rule of law - Support to Civil Society capacities” program through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance EuropeAid/168079/DD/ACT/RS. The contents produced within the project are the sole responsibility of the prEUgovor coalition and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union. Part of this project (10%) is co-funded by Balkan Trust for Democracy, a programme of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.