Serbia "shows commitment to fight against corruption"

BELGRADE -- Serbia has achieved significant progress in the fight against corruption and shown commitment and willingness for further determined efforts in this regard.

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

This is according to officials of the European Union, United Nations, Council of Europe, United States and Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Serbia.

U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby says that the Serbian government has taken serious steps in the anti-graft fight, made progress in adopting an action plan for implementing the national strategy for the fight against corruption, and demonstrated awareness that it requires a large number of participants.

During a public debate on the draft action plan for implementation of the National Strategy for the Fight against Corruption at the Palace of Serbia, Kirby underscored that the fight requires independent judiciary, efficient prosecution, police, adding that the independent media can also assist government institutions in the oversight of other institutions.

According to Kirby, the U.S. backs the Serbian government's efforts to investigate 24 dubious privatizations.

Head of the OSCE Mission in Serbia Peter Burkhard said that Serbia is on the right track of creating a strong repressive system for the fight against corruption.

Serbia has taken significant steps in the fight against corruption and the government has shown willingness and commitment to rooting out that problem, he added.

Burkhard notes that strong institutions are needed, adding that the strategy requires "sustainable implementation", but warns that it seems that the implementation is sometimes problematic.

Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Adriano Martins said that the Serbian government's commitment to combating corruption has been illustrated by concrete actions that it undertook.

He points to the importance of that commitment at the moment when the country is about to open Chapters 23 and 24 in EU entry talks, which will also be addressed during the forthcoming meeting between EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and the Serbian authorities.

On behalf of the UN, Deputy Resident Representative of the UN Development Program in Serbia Juerg Staudenmann welcomed the Serbian government's efforts aimed at securing a consensus in the priority field of the fight against corruption and its zero tolerance approach in that pursuit.