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This document is the third Secretariat report on compliance with

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This document is the third Secretariat report on compliance with ...

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SG/Inf (2009) 3 final 31 March 2009

    ————————

    Serbia:

    Compliance with obligations and commitments and

    implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme

th4 Report (February 2008 February 2009)

    ______________________

    Document presented by the Secretary General

    Executive Summary

    After several years of political uncertainty, multiple elections and changes of government, Serbia should now be entering a period of sustained political stability. This could, and should, provide an

    opportunity to consolidate democratic institutions, the rule of law and human rights. It is important now for Serbia to convincingly demonstrate progress in the implementation of its new laws, institutional mandates and international commitments.

    Serbia has very nearly fulfilled all of the formal, quantifiable, commitments it took upon accession to the Council of Europe. The most serious exception is the full co-operation with ICTY and the

    handover of the remaining indictees. There are also two conventions and two pieces of legislation

    still outstanding, but these are currently in the process of adoption. Some of the most important commitments refer to longer term reform processes, which have begun and would be better suited to a dialogue-based observation with a regular stocktaking by the Committee of Ministers.

    Implementation of newly adopted legislation or national strategies should be monitored in order to assist the Serbian authorities to develop a track record of sustainable results of the reforms.

    Specific areas for this could include reform of the judiciary, fight against corruption and organised crime, domestic prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, creating an improved

    climate of tolerance towards vulnerable minority groups (LGBT, religious minorities) and human rights defenders (NGOs, journalists), support for and functioning of independent institutions, as well as with regional and ethnic reconciliation efforts.

     CONTENTS

    Pages

I. Introduction.................................................................................................................3

II. Developments during the reporting period...............................................................3

III. Developments Related to Specific Accession Commitments...................................5

     Conventions...................................................................................................................... 5

     ICTY ................................................................................................................................ 6

     Kosovo.............................................................................................................................. 6

     Institutional reforms ........................................................................................................ 6

     Human rights .................................................................................................................... 9

     Domestic legislation .................................................................................................... ..10

IV. Other issues raised during the monitoring mission................................................11

     Independent institutions and oversight bodies............................................................11

     National minorities ........................................................................................................ 12

     Rights and protection of vulnerable groups ................................................................. 13

     Situation in South Serbia ............................................................................................... 13

V. Conclusions, Recommendations ................................................................................ 15

    VI. Decisions ........................................................................................................................ 16

     Appendix I..................................................................................................................... 18 2

    I. Introduction

This is the fourth Secretariat report on compliance with obligations and commitments and 1implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme with respect to Serbia. The

    Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs carried out a Secretariat visit to Serbia, in Belgrade and Bujanovac, from 6-11 November 2008. The programme of the visit can be found in the Appendix to this document. Once again, the Secretariat wishes to thank the Serbian authorities for the availability of the relevant officials to meet with the mission and for the support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the organisation of the mission. As usual, the Permanent Representation of Serbia to the Council of Europe (CoE) provided important input and assistance to the work of the Secretariat. The CoE Office in Belgrade played a very valuable role in the preparation of the mission and of this report. The Secretariat would like to note its special gratitude to the team of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Bujanovac for their kind and extremely professional assistance.

    The present report does not attempt to chronicle all political developments in Serbia during the reporting period, or to assess progress in every field related to the Council of Europe’s mandate. More substantial information concerning specific fields of co-operation can be found in the relevant recent reports from the Council of Europe, such as the report on Serbia of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of April 2008, the Compliance Report adopted by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in June 2008, the Monitoring Committee’s report on the Honouring of Commitments and Obligations by Serbia submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) in September 2008, the report of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Punishment (CPT) published on 14 January 2009 and the report of the Human Rights Commissioner’s visit to be

    published in early March 2009. The Secretariat has also taken note of the European Commission’s (EC) progress report for 2008 which was issued on 5 November 2008. Rather than repeat the assessments made by those instances, this report will focus on developments related to specific accession commitments (Part III) and on several broader issues which were the subject of specific attention during the Secretariat visit in November 2008 (Part IV).

    II. Developments during the reporting period

Presidential elections held on 3 February 2008 gave a second mandate to President Boris 2Tadic. On 17 February, Kosovo declared itself independent and was subsequently recognised

    by a majority of CoE and EU member States. On 20 February, Serbia’s Foreign Minister, Mr

    Vuk Jeremic, addressed the CoE’s Committee of Ministers’ Deputies and informed them that

    his Government had declared the action of Kosovo’s Provisional Institutions of Self-

    Government to be null and void. The governing coalition of Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic

    Party of Serbia (DSS) and Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party (DS), already strained by strong

    political differences, did not survive the exacerbating factor of this development. In early March, new parliamentary elections were called for 11 May, to be held alongside the previously scheduled local elections. The elections were observed by OSCE/ODIHR and

     1 This report follows a series of 10 reports concerning the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and three reports concerning the Republic of Serbia between 2003 and 2008. 2 All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

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    PACE observers who found that they were overall in line with both OSCE and CoE standards for democratic elections. The only serious issue to mar the generally positive evaluation made by the international observers was a partially negative and even threatening theme of some of the campaigning which was dominated by the issues of Kosovo and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU).

    No single party or pre-electoral coalition won an absolute majority of seats in the Parliament. The negotiations for establishing a governing majority went on until 7 July 2008, when the new government was elected by the Parliament. The new ruling coalition is made up of the ―For a European Serbia‖ pre-electoral coalition (DS, G17+, Serbian Renewal Movement,

    League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina and Sandjak Democratic Party) and the pre-electoral coalition around the Socialist Party of Serbia (Party of United Pensioners of Serbia, United Serbia and the Movement of Veterans of Serbia) with the support of several parties representing national minorities. A functional majority was found around a central agreement on EU integration which could not have been contemplated even a short time ago. The change of leadership in the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the strongly pragmatic approach of both Mr Tadic and Mr Dacic have led to the signature of a Declaration of Political Reconciliation in October 2008 between these two parties. The first two priorities of the new government’s programme are EU membership and defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia.

    The turnabout in the attitude of the SPS towards Serbia’s further European integration, in particular towards membership in the EU, is mirrored by the developments which have led to the establishment of a new party, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) by Tomislav Nikolic. Mr Nikolic’s support for ratification of the SAA with the EU was a major source of discord between himself and the President of the Radical Party, Mr V. Seselj, currently on trial in the Hague, but actively maintaining leadership of the party. The Radical Party continues to dispute the legitimacy of the electoral mandates of some 21 MPs from the Radical Party who moved with Mr Nikolic to the new party and formed a new caucus in the Parliament. The on-going dispute between the SRS and SNS is one of several elements contributing to the inefficiency of the current Parliament.

    On 11 June, Serbian authorities arrested Stojan Zupljanin, an International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indictee charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was a Bosnian Serb police commander. On 21 July, Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb political leader indicted for genocide and war crimes, particularly in relation to the massacres at Srebrenica in 1995, was arrested in Belgrade and transferred to the Hague.

    The SAA with the EU was ratified by the Serbian Parliament in September 2008. It will not be ratified, however, nor will the Interim Trade Agreement be implemented by the EU member States until Serbia achieves full co-operation with ICTY. The Serbian Government has begun unilaterally implementing the Interim Trade Agreement (from 30 January 2009). The Government also expects to achieve the liberalisation of the visa regime and to apply for candidate status in the first half of 2009. The EC’s progress report released on 5 November

    2008, recognised significant progress by Serbia in most areas, but called for further progress in several areas of concern to the CoE, such as the reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and improving human rights protections for vulnerable groups. There are still some areas of strained relations between Serbia and the EU, in particular over the 22 EC member States’ recognition of Kosovo, but 2008 ended with agreement on the status, role and 4

deployment of the EU’s Rule of Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) as reflected in the 24

    November report of the United Nations Secretary General.

On 8 October, the United Nations General Assembly supported Serbia’s proposal to request

    the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. The recognition of Kosovo’s independence, the next day, by Serbia’s neighbours, ―the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia‖ and Montenegro was met with disappointment and a somewhat more severe reaction than perforce by the Serbian authorities. Unlike other countries recognising Kosovo, from which Serbia temporarily recalled its Ambassadors, the Ambassadors from these two countries were declared personae

    non gratae and asked to leave. Both countries are now, however, considering appointing new Ambassadors to Serbia.

    III. Developments Related to Specific Accession Commitments

    A table outlining the state of completion of the commitments listed in PACE Opinion 239 can be found in the document SG/Inf (2009) 3 Addendum. Most of the formal commitments requiring specific laws or ratifications have been fulfilled, with some notable exceptions; there remain several commitments which are related to longer term reform processes which have not yet come to fruition.

    Conventions

    The European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation and its protocols have not been signed or ratified.

    The European Social Charter (Revised) has not been ratified. The law on ratification was adopted by the Government on 25 December 2008 and submitted to Parliament on 26 December. The Serbian authorities are strongly encouraged to accept the collective complaints procedure.

    It can also be noted that the deposit of the instrument of ratification for the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regards to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows took place on 8 December 2008.

    The Ministry of Justice has prepared, and the Parliament has begun considering, the ratification in the near future of the following CoE conventions:

    ; Convention on Cybercrime and its Additional protocol, concerning the criminalisation

    of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems;

    ; Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings;

    ; Convention on the Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds of

    Crime and the Financing of Terrorism;

    ; Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism;

    ; Protocol Amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism;

    ; Convention on Transfrontier Television;

    ; Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised).

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    ICTY

    There has been notable progress during the reporting period on co-operation with ICTY. The arrest and transfer to the Hague of Stojan Zjuplanin and Radovan Karadzic are very important demonstrations of the Serbian government’s political will to fulfil this obligation. This

    component of the search for justice for the victims and for the conscience of Europe will only be complete, however, when Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic join them in the Hague. ICTY Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz addressed the United Nations Security Council on 12 December 2008 and confirmed that Serbia’s co-operation with his office has significantly improved. He

    specifically recognised improvements in the provision of documents and access to archives and a more pro-active approach to the apprehension of the remaining fugitives.

     3 Kosovo

    In relation to Kosovo, it should be pointed out that the current government has made very public and solemn statements renouncing any use of force over the settlement of the status issue. The request for an advisory opinion from the ICJ demonstrates the government’s intention to use legal and diplomatic means to achieve its ends in this respect. Serbia’s co-

    operation with UNMIK has been inconsistent. While officially insisting on the continued applicability of UNSC Resolution 1244 and of UNMIK’s complete mandate, the holding, for example, of the Serbian local elections in the territory of Kosovo on 11 May 2008 was in direct contravention of UNSC Resolution 1244. The agreement reached between Serbia, the EU and the UN on the deployment of the EULEX mission throughout Kosovo shows an increased willingness of this government, and notably the Ministry of Kosovo and Metohija, to put the genuine interests of persons living in or displaced from Kosovo above those of purely partisan concerns, which is very welcome.

    Institutional reforms

    The current Parliament has not so far shown itself to be more effective than the previous Parliament. Much time is being lost on non-scheduled debates, points of order and disputes over the rules, as well as very lengthy discussions on amendments, all of which highlight the need for new Rules of Procedure for the Parliament. The EC progress report also noted the low level of legislative output in 2008. The Speaker of the Parliament has announced that a proposal for new Rules of Procedure and for a new law on the Parliament would be put on the Parliament’s agenda in 2009. In the meantime, the Parliament adopted amendments to the

    existing rules of procedure on 17 February, with the aim to shorten procedures for ratifications of international instruments and for laws related to European integration. The CoE (PACE)/EC Joint Programme on support to parliamentary institutions has been working to strengthen the administrative capacity of the parliament for the past three years and is ready to provide further assistance on this particular issue.

    Fundamental electoral problems, related to the distribution of mandates and the party control of mandates, which are based in the Constitution and supported by the current legislation on elections, were highlighted by the Venice Commission in 2007 and still remain to be solved. The manner of distribution of MP mandates and the provision for the ―imperative mandate‖ of

    the party rather than the MP, are certainly not alien to the dysfunctioning of the parliament. Even if political parties have a legitimate role to play within a democracy, many interlocutors

     3 See footnote 2.

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complained of a veritable rule of parties‖, which undermines the deliberative and

    representative functions of the Parliament in favour of something more like an arena for inter-party jousting.

Reform of the judiciary and prosecution have been amongst the main priorities of the new

    government in its first few months. The inefficiency of the justice system has led to increasing numbers of cases concerning the length of procedures before the European Court of Human Rights. The high number of criminal cases dropped due to the statutory limitations, the low rate of conviction and the prevalence of minimum or sub-minimum penalties for criminal cases related to corruption, have only driven higher the public’s perception of an incompetent, or even corrupt, justice system which is not capable of self-regulation or of reforming itself. The lack of effective government sponsored reform in this area after the transition to democracy has been a source of disappointment for the citizens, government and international community alike. After many years of stumbling and delayed efforts at wide-ranging, systemic changes, the justice system continues to struggle under a substantial case backlog, a lack of public confidence and growing insecurity amongst legal professionals.

    Several laws aiming to reform this sector were adopted on 22 December 2008: Law on the Organisation of Courts, Law on Judges, Law on the High Judicial Council, Law on the Public Prosecution, Law on the State Council of Prosecutors, and Law on Court and Public Prosecutors Seats and Districts. Some of the controversial elements in the reforms stem from the Constitution, notably the role of the Parliament in the appointment of the members of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils. The re-organisation of the court network, including a decrease in the overall number of judges, and the procedure and time frame for a general re-election of all judges, and introduced by the new laws received strong opposition from the professional associations of judges and prosecutors and from opposition political parties. Specific details concerning the re-organisation of the structure of the courts and the procedure for the re-election of judges were only included in a final draft version of the law which was made public only a very short time before the debates began in the Parliament, leaving little space for public information or debate.

    The Venice Commission adopted Opinion 464/2007 on the draft laws on the high judicial council, on judges and on the organisation of courts in March 2008. The Venice Commission underlined that, in general, the Constitution of Serbia does not sufficiently support judicial independence in the country. The Constitution creates a risk of politicisation of the judiciary by the election of judges and of the High Judicial Council by the Parliament and could create a discontinuity between the existing judiciary and the new one to be elected, once the High Judicial Council is in place. The draft law on judges was deemed in the Opinion to be generally in line with European standards, but a number of provisions needed to be revised, notably those that weakened judicial independence. Although the draft reviewed by the Venice Commission did not contain a provision on the controversial procedure for the re-election of judges, it was understood that this would be included in the final version of the draft law. The CoE Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) adopted a declaration on 14 November 2008, considering ―that the principle of irrevocability of judges and tenure

    until a mandatory retirement age or the expiry of a fixed term of office is a fundamental tenet of judicial independence‖. The Associations of Judges and of Prosecutors point to an

    unrealistic time frame for the transition, risks of political influence on the HJC and on the prosecution as part of executive branch. These Associations have submitted, on 3 March, an initiative to the Constitutional Court on the laws claiming a discontinuity of the judiciary, the undermining of its independence and the lack of an appeal mechanism.

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    The procedure for a new, general, recruitment of judges will require clear, objective and consensual criteria and an impartial mechanism, including for appeal. Strong legal guarantees would go far to put the affected population more at ease with this process, as would an adequate social plan for judges who prefer early retirement to re-election or who fail to be recruited. The Ministry of Justice provided the Secretariat with extensive information on the development and implementation of these reforms and has given assurances that both the Ministry and the High Judicial Council will take account of the advice and opinion of the Venice Commission as this process goes forward.

    The Constitutional Court continues to lack its full complement of judges, which causes a number of difficulties for this Court to fulfil its expanded mandate under the Constitution. ECtHR judgements continue to point out the excessive length of proceedings as the main source of complaints. The Constitutional Court is receiving support from CoE to meet its new mandate as the final domestic remedy for ECHR.

The fight against corruption, economic crime and organised crime has been a serious priority

    of successive Serbian governments for some time now, with mixed results. The ongoing privatisation process and a lack of transparency about the links between political parties and the business sector have made the prosecution of economic and political corruption difficult, although some high-profile cases have been made public. Several important laws were adopted in this respect in 2008, most notably, on 23 October 2008, the Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency, amendments to the law on financing political parties, the law on the criminal liability of the legal entities, and the law on seizure of property/confiscation of property attained through criminal acts. The draft law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism was sent to Parliament in September 2008, and should be

    adopted soon. The Law on Public Procurement, which was adopted on 22 December 2008, should provide stronger financial discipline for the State institutions. The adoption by Parliament of the Rules of Procedure for the State Auditing Institution, on 23 January 2009, should also now allow for stricter control over public expenditures.

    Nevertheless, corruption and economic crime remain a major issue for public policy and a more consistent track record of prevention and suppression of corruption is needed. Strengthening of the State bodies charged with prevention, investigation and repression of corruption and economic crime, such as the Financial Intelligence Unit, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, and the relevant prosecutors’ offices, will be

    necessary if there is to be a chance for success. The Transparency International Corruption thth place, which represents a decline from its 79 Perception Index for 2008 put Serbia in 85

    place in 2007. The GRECO joint first and second evaluation rounds compliance report on Serbia, adopted in June 2008, assessed Serbia’s implementation of the recommendations

    contained in the original evaluation report. Approximately half of the recommendations were assessed as having been dealt with satisfactorily and the remaining recommendations as partly implemented. The Serbian authorities informed the Secretariat that they are actively preparing for the third round of GRECO evaluation.

    The third evaluation round visit of Moneyval will take place in May 2009. The joint EC/CoE Project Against Economic Crime (PACO-Serbia) was completed in 2008 and, as follow-up, a new Joint Programme is being developed with the Serbian authorities on money-laundering. Serbia is participating in the Regional Joint EC/CoE Programme supporting the network of prosecutors in South East Europe (PROSECO). The experts of this project have provided 8

    expertise on the draft law on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in order to ensure its compliance with the CoE Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

A set of laws on local self-government were adopted in haste in December 2007, in order to

    meet the deadline set by the Constitution and to be able to call the local and provincial elections in time. The local elections held on 11 May (second round Vojvodina Assembly 25 May) demonstrated some weaknesses in the laws, in particular the laws on local elections and on local self-government. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Europe observed the local elections and concluded that they were conducted in line with European standards. The report of the observation mission also recommended revisions to the law on local elections with a view to full conformity with the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and, in particular, the clarification of the election and the administrative role of the mayor. The recommendations of the Venice Commission on the electoral legislation in Serbia should be implemented also with regard to local and provincial elections. The legal framework concerning municipal property, its transfer and management, as well as the status of local government staff has not yet been finalised.

    The third Secretariat report (SG/Inf (2008) 3) pointed out the difficulties faced by minority language communities which risk losing public media access with the privatisation of local public media. In 2008, this process was suspended due to uncertainty about the status of the relevant property under the different laws. The Joint EC/CoE Programme on strengthening local self government in Serbia was completed at the end of 2008, and a follow-up Joint Programme is being planned for 2009-2011, with the continued constructive co-operation of the Serbian authorities in this field. The CoE remains ready to provide expert comments on the existing legislation or draft legislation, notably in relation to the European Charter of Local Self-Government which entered into force in Serbia in January 2008.

    On 15 October 2008, the Vojvodina Assembly adopted a new Statute for the Autonomous Province which would increase the legislative and budgetary powers of the Province. The Statute, and its necessary accompanying law on competences of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, have not yet been adopted by the Serbian Government or endorsed by the Serbian Parliament, and so cannot yet come into force. The setting up of an office of Vojvodina in Brussels, in order to foster the region’s relations with the EC and with other European regions,

    has elicited controversy amongst the political parties, illustrating that fears of separatism in Vojvodina still remain in some quarters.

    Human rights

    During the 2008 parliamentary election cycle, the Constitutional Court invalidated an earlier decision of the Republic Electoral Commission (REC) which had allowed representatives of national minorities to register an electoral list with a lower number of signatures than other parties. The REC’s decision had, in fact, brought the practice of list registration into line with

    the legal threshold established for national minority lists to win electoral mandates. Following the Constitutional Court’s decision, national minority parties found themselves

    with very little time to meet the same requirement for signatures as all other, more nation-wide, parties. Some parties simply did not manage to do this, while others were assisted by the rapid mobilisation of some sectors of civil society and political parties to ―donate‖ or collect signatures on their behalf. The 11 May parliamentary elections resulted in the election of 12 representatives of national minority parties and the formation of a national minority caucus. Whereas the Constitutional Court decision was entirely correct in its interpretation of

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the Constitution and the law, the intention of the legislator to provide specific conditions to

    promote electoral participation of representatives of national minorities was clearly

    undermined in the 2008 electoral cycle and will require legislative amendments to rectify the situation before the next elections.

    The new Government of Serbia includes a Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, which took over the competences of the former Agency for Human and Minority Rights. The Parliament appointed four Deputy Ombudspersons on 7 October 2008. In 2008, the Ombudsperson dealt with 4000 contacts from citizens and 850 formal complaints. The majority of complaints concerned delays with, or outcomes of, judicial and administrative proceedings and access to rights, notably for children. The Ombudsperson, Mr Sasa Jankovic, informed the Secretariat that 11 municipal assemblies have so far appointed local ombudspersons, which he hopes will improve accessibility for the more rural areas of the country. The Parliament is currently considering the Government’s proposed draft law on the

    Protection of Children’s rights which includes the creation of a new Ombudsperson for

    Children. This proposal is opposed by the Ombudsperson as a wasteful duplication, or even dilution, of efforts as one of the Deputy Ombudspersons has the specific mandate for children.

    In March 2008, Serbia submitted the State Report to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the Advisory Committee visited Serbia in November 2008. The Expert Committee of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages adopted its evaluation report on Serbia’s implementation of the Charter in September 2008, following its visit in February 2008. The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe visited Serbia in October 2008, and his report was published in early March 2009. Serbia is currently holding the presidency of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, from July 2008 to July 2009. The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Bozidar Djelic, is the National Co-ordinator and the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights is providing the Secretariat for the Presidency. Roma in Serbia remain, however, subject to discrimination, poverty and marginalisation with little access to education, employment or health care. The Secretariat was informed that a draft law on recognition of civil status is being prepared with the intention to solve the difficulties experienced by many Roma, especially Roma IDPs from Kosovo, to get identity documents and thus full access to social, educational and economic rights. Increased co-ordination of Serbia’s significant international and national efforts

    (strategies, action plans, funds, etc.) with the relevant local authorities and non-governmental associations could help to improve the real reach of these efforts in practice.

    There have been no substantial developments in relation to the commitment to ―inform the people of Serbia about the crimes committed by the regime of Slobodan Milošević, not only

    against the other peoples of the region but also against the Serbs‖. It is hoped that this may be

    one of the areas in which the new Ministry for Human and Minority Rights may be active.

    Domestic legislation

A law on Personal Data Protection was adopted on 23 October 2008, and the deposit of the

    instrument of ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regards to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows, took place on 8 December 2008. This law provides for a Commissioner for the protection of personal data. Mr Rodoljub Sabic, already the Commissioner for Access to Information of Public Importance, was also appointed to this position. Without the allocation of appropriate personnel and resources this new appointment 10

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