PLAC III project results presented at the final conference

The Policy and Legal Advice Centre (PLAC III) project has an important role in supporting the process of harmonisation of Serbian legislation with the Union acquis, it was assessed at a final conference of the project held in Belgrade on 26 March.

In his opening address, Assistant Minister for European Integration Miroslav Gačević said that the essence of the PLAC project is the continuous legal support that Serbia receives in the process of joining the European Union.

He reminded that the cooperation with the PLAC project has been going on for 11 years already, actually since the beginning of the negotiation process, while the PLAC III project lasted for five years with a budget of 5.4 million EUR.

The main beneficiary of the PLAC III project was the Ministry for European Integration, but in addition, direct beneficiaries were other ministries and various competent institutions participating in the process of harmonising legislation, pointed out Gačević.

Gačević said that the goal of the technical support provided through the project is to contribute to the improvement of the process of harmonization of the legislative framework of Serbia with the Union acquis and the effective application of the harmonised regulations. At the same time, the goal is to continue strengthening the capacity of the institutional structure for the successful conduct of accession negotiations.

He cited flexibility as an important characteristic of the project, because PLAC III adapted its activities to the needs of the beneficiaries in the negotiation process.

"The results of the project are very good... The constant development of EU legislation, as well as new initiatives in the process of European integration, make this kind of support extremely important for the accession process of the Republic of Serbia, as well as for the daily work of the administration in fulfilling the obligations from that process," Gačević said, adding that it is extremely important that the legal support provided is very specific, and also that the project made it possible the beneficiaries to see comparative experiences from European countries.

The Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, Plamena Halacheva, pointed out that the PLAC project provided invaluable support to the Serbian administration in harmonising the national legislation with the acquis of the EU.

"The impact of the PLAC project on the harmonisation of the national legislation with the Union acquis is profound. It has been guiding the Serbian administration through the complex process of aligning their national laws with European standards. It played a key role in the preparing the Serbian administration for the screening process and the opening of 22 negotiating chapters," she said.

According to Halacheva, this achievement is not "merely a statistic, but represents a tangible step towards fostering stronger ties between Serbia and the European Union."

She welcomed the commitment of the Government of Serbia to the process of harmonisation of legislation and implementation of Union regulations.

"In addition to this demanding task, Serbia as a candidate country has even greater challenges in the future - to further strengthen and improve the mechanisms of coordination and cooperation between various state administration institutions, to improve its administrative capacities and place them at the appropriate level for implementing and ensuring the effective application of laws and by-laws in accordance with the Stabilization and Association Agreement," Halacheva said.

The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation also pointed out that it is important to strengthen administrative capacities for the process of harmonisation of legislation, considering that the legal acquis of the Union is constantly evolving.

PLAC III project team leader Andrej Engelman said that the project included 14 negotiation chapters from five clusters. A total of 136 activities were organised, with the engagement of 189 experts from 20 European countries. Drafts of 666 legal, strategic and other documents were prepared through which 292 legal acts of the Union acquis were transposed.

Engelman said that chapters 12, 15, 27 stand out as the most successful, in which the largest number of activities were organised and in which the most working days were spent. He added that in particular chapter 15 can be singled out, since a lot has been done in the last two years, from documents related to radiation safety to energy efficiency, in areas covered by it.

"The project went well. In most cases the response of the ministries was very good, because people do want to do something and bring change. And because of that, it happened that the experts engaged in the project did more than was originally planned: they made additional proposals and created the documents needed for further harmonisation," Engelman concluded.

PLAC III Key Legal Expert Zoran Sretić listed the components of the projects as following: harmonisation with EU regulations, their implementation and application, as well as the strengthening of Serbia's negotiating capacity (to open and close the chapter) and the transfer of knowledge through trainings, workshops and study visits.

Sretić presented concrete results in each of the negotiation chapters covered within the project.

The PLAC III project started in January 2019. The planned duration of the project of 30 months was extended twice, so the entire implementation period was 60 months. With the budget of 5,423,220 EUR, it was implemented by the consortium led by DMI Associates in cooperation with Eastern Bridge and GiZ.

Last updated: July 18, 2024, 11:52