Representatives of the Public Administration and Local Self-Government met today with rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), with whom they discussed about taken activities and future steps of MPALS regarding reform processes, European integration, protection of rights and freedoms of national minorities, as well as improvement of the local self-government system and the development of decentralization process.
On this occasions, great gratitude was expressed for the support the international organization provides to Serbia in the reform processes. It was pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Serbia and this Ministry will invest lots of efforts in the future in order to continue good cooperation of the Republic of Serbia with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which Serbia will surely demonstrate through the fulfilment of high international and European standards.
MPALS representatives briefed the delegation of the PACE Monitoring Committee that a Draft Act amending the Act on Local Self-Government has been prepared with the aim of improving the local self-government system which, among other things, proposes the possibility of local self-government units to, though their bodies, monitor the process of European integration and develop administrative capacities, in keeping with the Act and foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia.
Representatives of the Ministry also stress that respect and promotion of rights and freedoms of national minorities is of great importance for both, the process of European integration, and the rule of law in general. At the meeting, it was pointed out that in March 2016 the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Action Plan for the Execution of the Rights of National Minorities within the Negotiating Chapter 23, and that it is now working on its implementation.
At the meeting it was noted that progress was made in the public administration reform in Serbia in 2016, in the areas related to the processes of rationalization, optimization and restructuring of the state administration.
PACE Monitoring Committee Co-Rapporteurs Samad Seyidov and Maria Guzenina, as well as the Head of the Council of Europe Mission to Serbia, Tim Cartwright and Secretary at the Monitoring Committee Sylvie Affholder congratulated the Ministry on the progress made in the reform process and the positive report published by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. They also praised the work and promptness of the representatives of this Ministry and called for further cooperation with the rapporteurs of this international organization.
In addition to the State Secretaries of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Government Ivan Bosnjak and Zoran Kasalovic, the meeting was attended by the Assistant Ministers Ivana Antic, Ivana Cirkovic and Sasa Mogic.