[Documents/Docheader.htm]

Functioning of democratic institutions in Serbia and Montenegro

Doc.  10281
20 September 2004

Report
Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)
Co-rapporteurs:  Mr Miloš Budin, Italy, Socialist Group, and Mr Jonas Cekuolis, Lithuania, Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group


Summary

Four years after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia and Montenegro is a country that has changed enormously but not yet enough. The list of achievements in democratic and economic reform is long but the potentials created by the victory and the popular consensus of 5 October 2000 have not been fully exploited by the successive new leaders. It is true that to dismantle the legacy of the Milosevic regime is not an easy task but neither is it an impossible one, provided that the political will exists. Regrettably, many of the problems – and notably the co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia – that could have and should have been resolved by now are – four years later – still there, negatively affecting prospects for full democratic transition and economic recovery.

I.          Draft resolution [Link to the adopted text]

1.         Serbia and Montenegro became a member of the Council of Europe on 3 April 2003, less than a month after the tragic assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. This crime was a hugely traumatic event which affected the efforts to carry out comprehensive democratic reforms in line with Council of Europe standards.

2.         Since accession, and after the end of the state of emergency imposed following the assassination of Djindjic, Serbia and Montenegro formally succeeded in creating the institutions of the state union which was set up under the auspices of the European Union. Today, the state union Parliament and the Council of Ministers are meeting regularly and the judges to the state union Court were recently appointed.

3.         Serbia and Montenegro has signed and ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and is on track with regard to other formal commitments to the Council of Europe.

4.         In Serbia, the new government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is engaged in an ambitious legislative reform, adopting a series of key laws in the area of the political system and the judiciary. In doing so, the government is regularly seeking Council of Europe expertise. A similar process is in place in Montenegro.

5.         In June this year, after almost two years and three invalidated elections, Serbia also finally succeeded to elect its new President, Boris Tadic. This was made possible by the changes in the electoral law introduced by the new parliament which eliminated the minimum turnout for the validity of the elections. On the same occasion, it also eliminated the minimum threshold for political parties representing national minorities.

6.         The achievements of the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro are additionally important because they took place against the very difficult background of the legacy left by the Milosevic regime and the poor economic and social situation in both member states of the state union.

7.         The situation in Kosovo and the lack of security of the remaining members of the Serbian and other non-Albanian communities, particularly after the eruption of the ethnic violence in March this year, is also negatively affecting the situation in Serbia. Large numbers of internally displaced persons represent an additional financial burden for a country that is already hosting several hundred thousands of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The social situation is deteriorating and the personal tragedies of these people are often being exploited by populist politicians advocating radical and intolerant policies and ideas.

8.         While the situation in Kosovo is, to a large extent, outside the influence of the authorities in Belgrade, the Parliamentary Assembly is of the view that this is not the case for most of the other problems which are slowing down the process of democratic reforms and social and economic recovery. This is particularly true for the political infighting between moderate, pro-European and democratic political leaders in Serbia which has helped to give a new breath of life to extremist forces in the country after they had all but disappeared from the political scene after the first democratic elections to the Serbian parliament in December 2000.

9.         The compliance with the country’s obligations under the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is stagnating, and even deteriorating. A public campaign against the Tribunal, conducted virtually since 5 October 2000 by some leading Serbian politicians, resulted in overwhelming public hostility against the ICTY and a practical refusal to proceed with new extraditions. The Assembly considers that such attitudes not only help to deny justice for the hundreds of thousands of victims of crimes committed during the wars on the territory of the former Yugoslavia but also perpetuate self-deluding myths about Serbia being unfairly and unjustly treated by the outside world. Such ideas, popular with the previous regime, are an insurmountable obstacle on Serbia’s path to democratic stability and its reconciliation with itself and its neighbours.

10.        Since the fall of Milosevic’s regime less than four years ago, Serbia conducted two parliamentary and four presidential elections. Local and regional (Vojvodina) elections, for the first time providing for direct election of city mayors, are scheduled for 19 September 2004. Moreover, there are some signs that new early parliamentary elections may be called before the end of the year and in early 2005 voters may also be called to directly elect Serbian representatives in the state union parliament. While democratic elections are undoubtedly the foundation of any democracy, the Assembly warns they cannot become a substitute for policy and the steadily declining turnouts clearly show that excessive voting is causing serious electoral fatigue which undermines citizens’ confidence in democratic institutions.

11.        While the legislative reform, in co-operation with the Council of Europe, is well under way both in Serbia and Montenegro, a number of critically important laws in the field of police and media are yet to be adopted or made fully compliant to Council of Europe standards. This is a matter of concern and the Assembly considers that the authorities in Belgrade and Podgorica should do much more to achieve a genuine reform which will effectively prevent any attempts to exploit the police and the media for political purposes.

12.        Recently, there have been reports of an increase in the number of incidents against members of the Hungarian community in Vojvodina. Given the difficult legacy of the past, the politically volatile situation and the deteriorating social conditions, it is clear that even a single ethnically motivated incident may cause far-reaching and seriously damaging consequences.

13.        The independence of the judiciary is formally guaranteed by laws in both Serbia and Montenegro. Yet, particularly in Serbia, judges complain of excessive interference of the executive power and of media campaigns aimed at discrediting the judiciary through allegations of corruption and links with organised crime. This is happening at the time when two Serbian special courts – for organised crime and for war crimes – are conducting two crucially important trials – of persons accused of the assassination of Djindjic and of persons accused for crimes committed in Ovcara in Croatia, immediately after the fall of Vukovar. In Montenegro, a significant number of judicial nominations have been blocked by parliament without any explanations which raises some concern about political interference in the independence of the judiciary.

14.        The state union of Serbia and Montenegro, which was created on the initiative and with the assistance of the European Union to help the process of democratic and economic reforms and speed up its integration in the European Union, is, in the present form and circumstances, not meeting the expectations. The Assembly considers that the main reason lies in the failure of both Serbia and Montenegro to amend their respective constitutions and make them compatible with the Constitutional Charter. More than a year after the expiration of the agreed six months deadline, there are few signs of genuine intention to proceed with the necessary constitutional changes any time soon. The status quo is resulting in a constitutional vacuum and in ensuing constitutional, legal, administrative and political contradictions which is preventing the state union and its institutions to be anything else but a nearly powerless shell.

15.        The Assembly, fully conscious of the importance of a properly functioning state union for the success of democratic reforms in Serbia and Montenegro and its integration into the European Union, calls on:

i.          the governments, parliaments and all political forces in Serbia and Montenegro to re-launch and rapidly complete their constitutional reform in order to create the constitutional and legal preconditions necessary for the normal functioning of the state union before the expiration of the three-year period set by the Constitutional Charter;

ii.          the Council of Ministers and the Parliament of the state union to intensify their activities, with a special focus on areas where there has so far been little or no progress, such as:

a.         the removal of obstacles to free circulation of goods and services between Serbia and Montenegro;

b.         the adoption of legal and administrative decisions necessary for the compliance with obligations resulting from the country’s membership in the Council of Europe, starting with the selection of candidates for the post of judge and the nomination of the State Agent before the European Court of Human Rights;

c.         the dismantling of the military courts and the transfer of their competence to civilian courts;

d.         compliance with all other obligations resulting from the Constitutional Charter, which are under their competence and have not yet been met.

16.        The Assembly also calls on the political leadership in Serbia and Montenegro, and on the European Union, to begin talks aimed at finding solutions to the obstacles in the functioning of the state union, including those related to the obligation to carry out direct elections to the state union Parliament within two years after the entry into force of the Constitutional Charter.

17.        With regard to Kosovo, the Assembly calls on the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro to continue with their constructive attitude in the search for a lasting solution to this problem. They should maintain and reinforce the dialogue with the provisional institutions of the self-government in Kosovo and with the UNMIK, encourage the Kosovo Serbs to take part in the political process, including in the forthcoming elections, and help to dismantle the parallel structures of government in the Mitrovica area. The leaders of the Kosovo Albanian community and the international community should, on their part, do much more to create sustainable and secure conditions for the return of Serbs and other non-Albanians to Kosovo and to ensure their full participation in the political process. An immediate and substantial progress in dealing with the consequences of the ethnic violence of March this year – both in terms of justice and reconstruction – is a pre-condition for the success of any such efforts.

18.        The Assembly encourages the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro to continue the process of their legislative reforms and to focus on the critically important laws which should be adopted in the shortest possible period. These laws – and the list is not exhaustive – include:

i.          in Serbia, the law on police, the law on non-governmental organisations and the law on the ombudsman. In addition, the package of media laws should be revised or completed with regard to the prevention of improper influence of the executive powers, media concentration, transparency of media ownership and criminal libel provisions in the penal code;

ii.          in Montenegro, laws on police, state intelligence agency and public access to information.

19.        The Assembly is concerned by the risk of deteriorating inter-ethnic relations in Serbia and particularly in Vojvodina. It calls on the authorities to properly investigate and sanction any ethnically motivated incidents but also to reinforce the dialogue with the representatives of the minority in order to prevent any attempts to deteriorate the inter-ethnic relations in the country. On the other hand, all attempts to exaggerate and politically exploit inter-ethnic tensions for political purposes, be it locally, nationally or internationally, should be immediately stopped and unconditionally condemned.

20.        With regard to the independence of the judiciary, the Assembly calls for an immediate end to any attempts by the executive power to influence, pressure or discredit the judiciary. Any justified allegations of corruption, criminal ties or political bias should be dealt on the basis of law, not through the media. In Serbia, the government is responsible for creating proper circumstances in which the two Special Courts will be able to carry out their tasks in an independent and professionally adequate manner. In Montenegro, the political forces should abstain from any attempts to influence the judiciary, through their role in judicial nominations or any other means.

21.        The Assembly calls on the authorities at all levels to immediately and unconditionally comply with the country’s obligations under the Statute of the ICTY, starting with the arrests and extraditions of all indicted persons who openly reside on the territory of Serbia and Montenegro and the intensified search for those who may be hiding in the country. In addition, the authorities should immediately comply with the commitment to inform the public of the crimes committed by the Milosevic regime through a public campaign but above all through a change of attitude of many of the political leaders which is negatively influencing the public opinion with regard to the Tribunal.

22.        In conclusion, the Assembly calls on all moderate, pro-European and progressive political forces in Serbia and Montenegro to engage in dialogue and co-operation with the aim to stabilise and consolidate democratic institutions within and between the two member states. This is a pre-condition for the success of democratic, economic and social reforms.

23.        The Assembly resolves to continue to monitor the honouring of commitments and obligations by Serbia and Montenegro.

II.         Explanatory memorandum by the co-rapporteurs

Table of contents

I.          INTRODUCTION

II.          THE FUNCTIONING OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO AND ITS IMPACT ON THE COMPLIANCE WITH COUNCIL OF EUROPE ACCESSION COMMITMENTS AND MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS

III.         STATE OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACCESSION COMMITMENTS AND MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS

i.          Ratification of the Dayton Peace Agreements
ii.          Ratification of conventions
iii.         Civilian control of the armed forces
iv.         Reform of the police (deadline April 2004)
v.          Media
vi.         Geneva Convention on the status of refugees (deadline April 2004)
vii.        Legislation on citizen’s associations and non-governmental organisations (deadline April 2004)
viii.       Reform of the prison system
ix.         War crimes not prosecuted by the ICTY
x.          Prevention of torture
xi.         Electoral legislation
xii.        Co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
xiii.       Missing people and mass graves
xiv.       Information campaign on the crimes committed by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic
xv.       Independence and impartiality of the judiciary
xvi.       Conscientious objectors and alternative service
xvii.       Office of ombudsman
xviii.      Constitutional charter and the functioning of the state union
xix.       Decentralisation, local democracy and regional autonomy

xx.        Kosovo
xxi.       Minorities

IV.        CONCLUSIONS

Appendices

I.          Draft programme of the Visit of the COE Parliamentary Assembly co-rapporteurs for monitoring the fulfillment of the commitments of Member States – Serbia and
Montenegro from 30 August to 2 September 2004

II.          Council of Europe Conventions signed and ratified by Serbia and Montenegro

I.          INTRODUCTION

1.         Serbia and Montenegro became a member of the Council of Europe on 3 April 2003, less than a month after the tragic assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. The Assembly had adopted a favourable, but conditional, opinion in September 2002, linking the accession to the adoption of the Constitutional Charter on the relations between the two republics in their respective parliaments.

2.         According to established practice, the first monitoring report on new members’ compliance with accession commitments and membership obligations is presented to the Assembly two years after the accession, when most of the deadlines for the country’s formal commitments – the signature and ratification of key Council of Europe legal instruments – come to their term. In the case of Serbia and Montenegro, this would have been in April 2005, yet the co-rapporteurs believed – and the Monitoring Committee agreed – that a number of elements call for an earlier, intermediate report, focusing on the problems in the functioning of democratic institutions in Serbia and Montenegro and their impact on the respect of commitments and obligations. The co-rapporteurs hope that an earlier report and an Assembly debate could send an early signal to the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro and help them to meet their membership obligations which are essential in ensuring that the country’s democratic and legal reforms will be conducted in compliance with European standards and practices.

II.         THE FUNCTIONING OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO AND ITS IMPACT ON THE COMPLIANCE WITH COUNCIL OF EUROPE ACCESSION COMMITMENTS AND MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS

3.         The first period after the accession of Serbia and Montenegro to the Council of Europe was marked by the state of emergency in Serbia, imposed shortly after Zoran Djindjic’s assassination. It is undoubtedly true that the state of emergency played an important role in the authorities’ effort to maintain the stability of the country, yet it also resulted in a substantial worsening of the respect for the rule of law and human rights. The independence of the judiciary, weak even before the events, was further undermined, media freedom was excessively curbed, procedural rights of some 10 000 persons detained during the operation Sabre were not fully respected and there were also reports of their physical abuse by the police. A number of important laws, notably in the field of judiciary, criminal law and media, were adopted or amended during the state of emergency, in haste, insufficient transparency and with little or no consultation of Council of Europe experts, which raised the issue of their compliance with Council of Europe standards.

4.         In Serbia, the prospects for an early and comprehensive compliance with the Council of Europe commitments were affected by a virtually perpetual state of elections. The assassination of Prime Minister Djindjic resulted in early parliamentary elections in December 2003. They brought about a change in power with a government led by Vojislav Kostunica which is depending on the support of Milosevic’s Socialist Party of Serbia. The state of emergency, the run up to parliamentary elections and the agonisingly protracted negotiations to create a governing coalition therefore consumed most of the time and the political energy during the first year following the accession. Moreover, during this period, Serbia also went through the third and fourth attempt to elect its first democratically elected President. The last attempt in June was finally successful – thanks to the changes to the election legislation adopted by the new parliament, and the elections – which were for the first time held in September 2002! – were won by Boris Tadic from the Democratic Party. There are few prospects for an early electoral slow-down. Local and regional (Vojvodina) elections are slated for September this year and there are persisting rumours that, if the decline in the support of the governing coalition is confirmed, early parliamentary elections may be called before the end of 2004, possibly together with a referendum on the new Serbian constitution. Moreover, according to the Constitutional Charter on relations between Serbia and Montenegro, direct elections in the Parliament of the state union should be held in February 2005, two years after the entering into force of the Constitutional Charter. These elections are a subject of heated political debate both in Serbia and particularly in Montenegro and the rapporteurs wish to return to this issue in the chapter dealing with the functioning of the state union.

5.         Two parliamentary and four presidential elections (not counting the one that led to Milosevic’s downfall) in four years have created a considerable electoral fatigue and eroded Serbian voters’ trust in the country’s democratic institutions and moderate, pro-European politicians. Extremist and populist parties are gaining ground and may have not yet reached their peak – in spite of the victory of Boris Tadic. The local elections on 19 September are the next important test. Whatever the result will be, it is evident that the perpetual elections did not only interfere with the efforts to comply with Council of Europe commitments, but also sidetracked the political elite’s focus on long overdue social and economic reforms. While it is clear that proper elections represent the fundamental basis of any proper democracy, they cannot serve as a substitute for policy. Serbia’s economy is still in poor shape and early signs of serious social unrest have already appeared. If the democratically oriented political class, in the government and the opposition alike, does not get its act together immediately, the economic problems and social tensions – with all the grave political consequences – may soon spiral out of control.

6.         The first year since the accession of Serbia and Montenegro to the Council of Europe was also marked by a considerable deterioration in country’s co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, which is also one of the key accession commitments. In his speech before the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 7 May 2004, the Tribunal’s President Theodor Meron said that a recent report by the Tribunal Prosecutor described “Serbia and Montenegro’s present co-operation as nearly non-existent”. The report also stated that the level of co-operation has declined following the December 2003 parliamentary elections in Serbia. Since, the situation has not improved, in spite of the recent appointment of Rasim Ljajic, Serbia and Montenegro’s Minister for Human and Minority Rights, as the new Chairman of the National Coordination Council for the co-operation with the ICTY. On 13 July 2004, Goran Hadzic, former president of the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, fled from his home in Novi Sad just hours after the Prosecutor’s Office handed over a sealed indictment against him to the Foreign Ministry of Serbia and Montenegro. Mrs Del Ponte clearly stated that the country’s authorities are to be held responsible for the indicted person’s disappearance. There are presently 22 ICTY fugitives and most of them are on the territory of Serbia and Montenegro – according to the Prosecutor.

7.         These include three out of four generals, indicted for their role in Kosovo. These three are living openly in Serbia and are conducting a media campaign against their extradition. The authorities, instead of arresting them, are publicly questioning legal, political and ethical credentials of the Tribunal, and promising domestic trials for the generals, even if there are no indications that the Tribunal is ready to make any such concessions. Such attitude, instead of influencing the public opinion on the Tribunal and its importance in a positive way – which is a specific commitment to the Council of Europe – is, to the contrary, reinforcing the negative public opinion and creating new obstacles for compliance with Serbia and Montenegro’s international obligations.

8.         It is clear that the obligation to cooperate with The Hague put the present Serbian government between the rock and a hard place. The international community is losing its patience and if there is no early and substantial improvement, there is a possibility of new sanctions. On the other hand, the public opinion in Serbia is against any co-operation with the ICTY, and especially hostile to any new extraditions of Serbia and Montenegro citizens to The Hague. The government is therefore in a very difficult situation, but this is largely its own fault. Much of the public hostility can be attributed to the fact that members of the present government had also been in the past consistently negative with regard to the Tribunal and notably it’s Prosecutor. Now in government, the negative public sentiments which they themselves helped to create are a serious obstacle in their efforts to receive international assistance and fully re-integrate the country into the international community. Again, apart from being an important commitment in itself, the (non) co-operation with The Hague Tribunal has a negative impact on the overall quality and the direction of governance in Serbia, and consequently on the compliance with Serbia and Montenegro’s commitments and obligations as a member State of the Council of Europe. The government should focus on complying with another important accession commitment – which is calling for a public information campaign on the crimes committed by the Milosevic’s regime – which could facilitate the public acceptance of full and unequivocal co-operation with the ICTY.

9.         Finally, the political situation in Serbia is also negatively affected by the situation in Kosovo. The inter-ethnic, predominantly anti-Serb violence which erupted in March this year and resulted in the loss of nineteen human lives and widespread destruction of private property and Serb cultural and religious monuments in Kosovo – had a hugely traumatising impact on the Serbian public opinion and the political scene. The first reactions by some politicians and in parts of media, and most of all the retaliating acts of vandalism against mosques in Belgrade and Novi Sad, merit the strongest possible condemnation, yet on the whole, it must be underlined that the Serbian political class and the authorities had reacted faster and had done more than the leaders of Kosovo Albanians to de-escalate the situation and restore calm. This being said, the uncertainty about the province’s future status and the difficult conditions of the remaining Serbian community living there has a troubling effect on the pace of reforms in Serbia. Kosovo also provides a fertile ground for populism and demagogy which have yet to be given a less prominent role in Serbian political life.

10.        Montenegro, for its part, has done comparatively more than Serbia in terms of formal adoption of legislation linked to Council of Europe accession commitments and membership obligations, even if some key laws – such as the laws on police and state intelligence service, as well as the law on the access to information – are still awaiting adoption. While it is welcome that the Montenegrin authorities have shown willingness to ask for, and use Council of Europe expertise, there is still much to be done to ensure that all relevant legislation complies with Council of Europe standards and principles, and, even more importantly, that all structural political and administrative conditions necessary for their implementation are in place and functioning.

11.        Montenegrin political life is marked by a long lasting opposition’s boycott of the parliament. The initial motives – suspension of the direct TV broadcast of parliamentary debates – which led to their departure from the parliament in spring 2003 have since been replaced by more general objections against the ruling majority. While the boycott in itself did not stop the legislative work of the parliament, it is an obstacle in the constitutional reform which has not yet seriously begun, even though it should have been completed a year ago – according to the Constitutional Charter on relations between Serbia and Montenegro..

12.        The functioning of political and judiciary institutions in Montenegro is also shadowed by a number of scandals that have erupted in the last few years. A notorious case of human trafficking implicating high police and judicial officials was the subject of a joint OSCE/Council of Europe investigation and report, noting a number of serious structural problems in the Montenegrin judiciary and police which are highly detrimental to the normal functioning of justice and the rule of law. The alleged involvement of high officials in criminal activities – with a few cases actively prosecuted by the Italian authorities – is also a serious handicap in the effort to carry out reforms. Finally, the recent assassination of the editor-in- chief of the daily Dan – who was a prominent critic of the government, is a cause for gravest concern, even if it is too early to say whether his murder was politically motivated.

13.        Another set of problems concerns the functioning of institutions at the level of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, created by the Constitutional Charter which entered into force on 4 February 2003. It should be recalled that the drafting and the implementation of the Constitutional Charter were part of the accession commitments. For a very long time the institutions envisaged by the Charter – notably the Council of Ministers, the Parliament of the state union and the Court – have either not been functioning properly or have not been set up at all. The Parliament, for example, has long been suffering from a chronic lack of quorum which virtually stalled its legislative work. The situation has only improved recently, with the adoption of the rules of procedure and the creation of working bodies. Among the five ministries in the Council of Ministers some – such as the Ministry for Human Rights and National Minorities – are active but lack a clear mandate and means, while others, notably the Ministry for Internal Economic Relations have yet to make an impact in the field they are responsible for. Finally, the Court of the state union, which should play the key role in clarifying numerous legal voids and uncertainties in Serbia and Montenegro’s original constitutional set-up, had not been created until May this year. Its judges met for the first time in June and the Court’s rules of procedure are yet to be adopted.

14.        The constitutional reform, aimed at making the constitutions of Serbia and Montenegro compatible with the Constitutional Charter, should have been completed within six months of the Charter’s entry into force, i.e. on 4 July 2003. In reality, the reform has barely started in Serbia while in Montenegro the situation is even worse. As a consequence Serbia and Montenegro continues to be composed of two almost completely separate constitutional, legal, administrative and economic systems. In spite of some attempts to buck the trend there is little progress in achieving minimal, but functioning co-operation in political, legal, administrative and economic area. In these circumstances, the prospects for an early and effective compliance with Council of Europe commitments are very poor and there is a need for an urgent and immediate change in attitudes, both in Belgrade and Podgorica, to change this trend.

15.        The pace of democratic and economic transformation is also affected by the huge numbers of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, who, for the most part, have been living in exile for almost a decade. Their number, some 700 000 according to the authorities, has been increased by some 200-300 thousand internally displaced persons from Kosovo, Serbs, Roma and others. Caring for these refugees and internal displaced persons represents a huge financial burden for the authorities and is an aggravating factor in already difficult social situation. Lack of prospects for any significant return, and most importantly the continuously precarious situation of the non-Albanian minorities in Kosovo have a negative effect on the political scene. Personal tragedies of a traumatised and socially endangered population are being exploited to advance populist and extremist ideas. Serbia must invest all efforts to improve the situation of the refugees and IDPs and international community has an interest, and obligation, in helping Serbia to cope with this difficult task.

16.        During our visit in Belgrade and Podgorica, many of the interlocutors have spoken about the fight against corruption. Regrettably, this was almost exclusively in the context of discrediting political opponents, rather than explaining a strategy how this, critically important goal could be achieved quickly and efficiently. Two points have emerged clearly from our discussions. Firstly, that corruption still remains a serious threat to the normal functioning of state institutions and the economy both in Serbia and Montenegro and secondly, that neither has done enough to stop this phenomenon which is causing further impoverishment of the population and undermines their already fragile trust in the democratic institutions. The rapporteurs, while welcoming the adoption of the law on the prevention of conflicts of interests in Serbia, have some reservations with regard to the possibilities allowing parliamentarians to be members of the managing boards of public companies, in their own name and against remuneration. In Montenegro, the recently adopted law gave such rights to government ministers and parliamentarians alike, and was therefore sent back to the parliament by President Vujanovic.

17.        While one has to recognise that the authorities in Serbia had to deal with the very difficult political and economic legacy of the past, it is also important to note that a big part of the present difficulties in Serbia could nevertheless have been avoided. A major part of the responsibility lies not with the extremist, nationalist right working for Milosevic’s revival, but with the so called pro-European, reform oriented and moderate forces in Serbia, which have been in power ever since the downfall of Milosevic’s regime almost four years ago. If extremist and nationalist forces – which were thoroughly defeated in the first post-Milosevic’s elections in December 2000 – are again gaining ground, they are doing so because the progressive forces have offered them an opportunity to do so. During the last four years, the progressive forces have persistently failed in finding a minimal consensus to propose and jointly implement a pro-European, modern and democratic political platform for Serbia. Instead, most of the pro-European politicians engaged in self-defeating, agonising political infighting and personal vendettas. Against this background, the election of a moderate Serbian President in June is perhaps the last opportunity to change the way politics are conducted in Serbia. It is an opportunity that Serbia cannot afford to miss.

18.        In Montenegro, the political leadership should accept the fact that, after the downfall of the authoritarian regime in Serbia, they are judged on their own merits. Montenegro’s resistance to Milosevic and its destructive policy are not and will never be forgotten, but, with the return of democracy to Serbia, both members of the state union are held to higher, or rather normal criteria of democratic behaviour. The co-rapporteurs take note of the Montenegrin leadership’s commitment to reform yet the ultimate test of this commitment must be the extent to which these reforms are implemented in every day life.

III.        STATE OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACCESSION COMMITMENTS AND MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS

19.        As this document is not a full monitoring report, which is not due until 2005, the intention is not to make a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the country’s compliance with its commitments – for some of which the deadlines have not yet expired – but rather to present a snapshot of the present situation, analyse trends, identify problems and try to find ways to resolve them before they further undermine the country’s capacity to meet its obligations fully and in time.

20.        The report is based on the visit of Mr Cekuolis to Belgrade and Podgorica from 17-19 February and the joint visit of the two co-rapporteurs which took place from 30 August-2 September 2004, as well as the information provided by the Permanent Representation of Serbia and Montenegro to the Council of Europe. The report also includes information contained in regular, quarterly reports on the compliance with Serbia and Montenegro’s compliance with obligations and commitments and implementation of the post accession-strategy, prepared by the Directorate for Strategic Planning and presented to the Committee of Ministers by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, as well as the European Commission’s Stabilisation and Association Report for Serbia and Montenegro, which was published in March 2004.

i.          Ratification of the Dayton Peace Agreements

21.        This commitment has been complied with. The gesture of the President of Serbia and Montenegro’s Council of Ministers, Mr Svetozar Marovic, who, during his visit to Sarajevo in November 2003 apologised for the atrocities committed during the 1992-1995 war, is an act which should be welcomed and can significantly contribute to the reconciliation and consequently stability in the region. One remaining issue are the two cases pending at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in which Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia are accusing Serbia and Montenegro for the violation of the United Nations Charter and the Genocide Convention. The authorities in Belgrade proposed to its two neighbours to drop the cases. In return, Serbia and Montenegro is willing to do the same with its own case against NATO member countries which took part in the military operation against then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in spring 1999.

ii.          Ratification of conventions

22.        Formally, Serbia and Montenegro is on track as to the signature and ratification of key Council of Europe instruments. The European Convention on Human Rights and its protocols, as well as the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment have been ratified in March 2004, within the one-year deadline, while for other conventions (the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the European Charter of Local Self Government, the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation, the European Convention on Extradition, the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, and the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons) the deadline for signature and ratification will not expire until April 2005. It is encouraging that most of these conventions have already been signed. The Revised European Social Charter should be signed by April 2005 and ratified as soon as possible.

23.        Pending the ratification, the authorities are obliged to respect the principles contained in the conventions they have committed themselves to accept. This requirement may often be of crucial importance, as the country is currently adopting many laws in the fields covered by the above mentioned conventions. The authorities should systematically consult with Council of Europe experts in order to make sure that the new legislation is in line with Council of Europe standards and avoid the need to change the legislation once the relevant conventions enter into force.

24.        It should be noted, however, that formal ratification is not enough. The first priority, when it comes to the Human Rights and the Anti-Torture conventions is the adoption of the administrative measures necessary for their effective implementation. This includes the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights, the setting up of the Office of the Government Agent before the Court and, in the case of the Anti-Torture Convention, the decision on which authority is competent to receive notifications to the government and the appointment of liaison officers with the CPT. The co-rapporteurs are encouraged by the assurances that, after some initial delay, these steps will shortly be taken.

25.        Yet even with the election of a judge and the administrative structures in place, the enforcement of the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom will depend on the capacity of the Serbian and Montenegrin judiciary to do so. For the time being – not least because of the delays in the setting up of the state union Court, but also because of the lack of preparedness, but also independence and the inefficiency of lower court in both Serbia and Montenegro – this does not yet seem to be the case.

iii.         Civilian control of the armed forces

26.        The Assembly asked the authorities to comply with this commitment either by adopting legislation or, preferably, through the inclusion of provisions in the constitutional charter. It should be welcomed that Serbia and Montenegro opted for the second alternative. Moreover, in general terms, the process of bringing the armed forces under the civilian control has been relatively successful. Major legislative changes are being prepared and pending their adoption, important practical steps have been taken, notably in the field of financial control, arms trade and military procurement. Significant personnel changes were made, and a number of high ranking officers, some of whom had close ties with the former regime, were either dismissed or retired. The newly elected President of Serbia Boris Tadic should be given credit for much of the progress which was achieved during the time he was minister of defence.

27.        In spite of this progress, some serious problems persist. In the legal vacuum resulting from the delayed and partial implementation of the Constitutional Charter, the system of military courts and prosecutors, which should have already been dismantled, not only continues to exist, but it also proceeds with arrests and the prosecution of civilians! The persons involved have no possibility of complaint – the judicial body which is competent to enforce the Constitutional Charter – the state union Court, has not yet begun to operate. While Montenegro already adopted a law abolishing military courts, no law transferring the competence has been adopted at the level of the state union. The co-rapporteurs were given assurances that a draft was ready and would be adopted shortly. This issue is of utmost importance and it is imperative that these courts are abolished and all cases pending before them are immediately transferred to civilian courts.

iv.         Reform of the police (deadline April 2004)

28.        The reform of police and security services was the key priority of post-Milosevic’s governments in Belgrade. This was understandable, given the extent of police corruption and contacts with organised crime, yet unfortunately not very successful, as was tragically illustrated by the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, which was carried out by members of Serbian special security forces – the “Red Berets”. The commitment – requiring the adoption of new laws within one year, has not been complied with neither by Serbia nor Montenegro. In Serbia, the activities of a working group to draft a new law on police set up in November last year were suspended by the December 2003 parliamentary elections. In Montenegro, a draft law on police and on the state security agency are blocked in the parliament by diverging views within the government coalition on the way to appoint top police and state security officials. It is imperative that both members of the state union adopt new laws on police which will be fully in line with Council of Europe standards and practices. The authorities are encouraged to consult with Council of Europe experts in order to achieve this objective. Whatever the reasons given by the authorities both in Belgrade and Podgorica, their failure to adopt the relevant laws in the field of police and intelligence services is unacceptable and should not last any longer. The absence of proper legislative framework guaranteeing a professional, accountable police which is able to carry out its duties efficiently while fully respecting human rights, reinforces the suspicion that the main objective is not to reform the police, but to ensure the majority’s effective control over it.

v.          Media

29.        The Serbian broadcasting law – which was a specific commitment - was adopted and has entered into force, as required by the Assembly. However, there are serious problems in its implementation, as a legitimate and functioning Broadcasting Council, envisaged by the law, and responsible for the allocation of broadcasting licences, has not yet been created. It is worrisome that it was the Serbian parliament itself which violated the procedural requirements foreseen by the broadcasting law. The law has now been amended, but media professionals continue to complain about the dominating influence of the executive power in this body. Again, the authorities should do more to demonstrate that their objective is to create conditions for a genuine independence of the media, rather than a system in which the majority can exercise indirect, hidden but decisive influence. The Serbian Parliament also adopted a Law on Public Information which needs to be amended as its too broad definitions of exceptions allow for excessive restrictions to the freedom of expression. In Montenegro, the package of media laws adopted in 2002 is being implemented, albeit slowly. The draft law on free access to information has not yet been adopted, which is a major obstacle to the normal exercise of the freedom of information and expression. The fact that slander and libel laws no longer envisage prison sentences is welcome, yet proscribed financial fines may be disproportionate as the maximum amounts could well lead to the closure of most of the Montenegrin media outlets if they were ordered to pay. The recent assassination of the editor-in-chief of the Podgorica daily “Dan” is a cause of grave concern, even if the circumstances are not yet fully clarified.

vi.         Geneva Convention on the status of refugees (deadline April 2004)

30.        The commitment requires the adoption of legislation enabling the implementation of the 1967 Geneva Convention within one year. This has not yet been done. According to the authorities, a draft has now been prepared under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and should soon be adopted.

vii.        Legislation on citizen’s associations and non-governmental organisations (deadline April 2004)

31.        In Serbia, there has been no progress on the legal status of both domestic and international non-governmental organisations, which is based on an out-dated law from 1991 which has little to do with present social and political environment. A new draft law is being prepared, and should, according to the authorities, be adopted before the end of this year. In Montenegro, a law exist but NGOs ask for a more favourable tax regime which in its present form, as in Serbia, hinders normal functioning of NGOs.

viii.       Reform of the prison system

32.        Very little progress in both Serbia and Montenegro is to be reported. According to the authorities, this is mostly due to financial problems. This is not satisfactory. According to the findings of a joint OSCE/UN monitoring mission carried out in April 2003, the overall conditions in prisons are very difficult, the cells are overcrowded and health care is inadequate. Full co-operation and compliance with the recommendations of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture which should shortly carry out its first visit to the country, will be essential in this respect.

ix.         War crimes not prosecuted by the ICTY

33.        In Serbia, specific legislation on the organisation and jurisdiction of the republican institutions in prosecuting war crimes was adopted in July 2003. The Special War Crimes Prosecutor was appointed on the same occasion. Prior to this, two trials for war crimes were held but did not concern any high ranking police or army officers. Generally speaking, it should be welcomed that judicial structures are in place, yet questions remain as to the conditions allowing for a genuinely independent work of the War Crimes Court and Prosecutor, the efficiency of witness protection mechanisms and, most importantly, the existence of the necessary political will and proper environment to carry out fair and comprehensive trials. The on-going trial of persons accused for crimes committed in Ovcara, after the fall of Vukovar, are the key test which will show whether Serbia and its judiciary are able, and willing, to try war criminals in domestic courts.

x.          Prevention of torture

34.        Apart from signing and ratifying the Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment, Serbia and Montenegro was also asked to prevent ill-treatment of citizens by the police. This remains a serious problem, as was also demonstrated in Serbia during the state of emergency, when there were many serious allegations of ill-treatment of detained persons by the police. To make matters worse, the Serbian Ministry of Interior has first rejected the allegations and later admitted to their existence but insisted that their internal investigation had shown that they were groundless. The absence of systematic, transparent and credible investigation of complaints is a cause of great concern. According to the Serbian Minister of Interior, this situation has now changed, and the work of the new General Inspector of Police is a guarantee that all abuses and irregularities will be properly investigated and, if necessary, sanctioned.

xi.         Electoral legislation

35.        In Serbia, the new parliament changed the electoral law following the last parliamentary elections in December 2003 and abolished the threshold for parties representing ethnic minorities. On the same occasion, it also abolished the 50% requirement for the validity of presidential elections, which allowed for successful election of the new Serbian President in June 2004 – after three consecutive failures. Both Serbian and Montenegrin parliament should shortly adopt laws on the modalities of direct elections to the Parliament of the state union, which should be, according to the Constitutional Charter, be held early in 2005. However, these elections are a matter of considerable political controversy, notably in Montenegro, and there are no signs that any such laws are being prepared, neither in Podgorica nor in Belgrade.

xii.        Co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

36.        According to the Tribunal’s President and Chief Prosecutor, the co-operation of notably the Serbian authorities is going from bad to worse. The Assembly’s Opinion 239 specifies five aspects of the co-operation with the ICTY and only one – the revision of the law on the co-operation with the ICTY in accordance with the ICTY Statute – seem to be, at least partially complied with. As to other key aspects of co-operation, such as the arrest of fugitives, the production of documents and Tribunal’s access to witnesses, the Tribunal Prosecutor declared that “the Serbian authorities would appear to have renounced the provision of more than a minimal level of the co-operation with the Tribunal”. Following the recent, allegedly assisted disappearance of Mr Hadzic, Mrs Del Ponte declared that she would soon have no choice but to notify again the UN Security Council of Serbia and Montenegro’s failure to comply with its obligations under the Statute of the ICTY.

37.         It should be noted that since the nomination of Mr Ljajic as Chairman of the National Coordination Council for the Co-operation with the ICTY, there has been some improvements on the production of documents and access to witnesses. However, there is an absolute stalemate when it comes to extraditions, which is the responsibility of Serbian (and Montenegrin) governments, and not Mr Ljajic, who is a state union Minister. The term “co-operation” which is used to describe the character of relations between Serbia and Montenegro and the ICTY is, to some extent, misleading. The country has no choice but to fully comply with its obligations under the ICTY Statute, and should give up any attempts to present its obligations as some kind or contractual relationship which can be changed through political horse-trading and “give and take” negotiations.

xiii.       Missing people and mass graves

38.        Co-operation with UNMIK on the fate of persons – both Albanian and Serbian – missing as a result of the hostilities in Kosovo is on going. As to the three mass graves in Petrovo selo, Perucac and Batajnica near Belgrade, the Serbian authorities have confirmed the exhumation of some 900 bodies, presumably all Kosovo Albanians. Only one third of the bodies has been identified and handed over to UNMIK. While the forensic efforts to identify the victims is to be welcomed, it is regrettable that criminal investigation to find persons responsible for the death of 900 persons and the concealment of their remains has yet to produce any results. The co-rapporteurs would also like to call on the competent authorities in Kosovo to reinforce their efforts in finding the truth on the fate of the missing Serbs and members of other communities in Kosovo.

xiv.       Information campaign on the crimes committed by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic

39.        There is no evidence of any significant and concrete efforts to inform the public of the crimes which have been committed by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic against the other peoples in the Balkans. If anything, the message of many among the Serbian political leaders in the debate on the co-operation with the ICTY has rather the contrary effect, and reinforced the public perception of Serbs as the main victims of the war in the former Yugoslavia. The rapporteurs welcome the intention of the state union Minister for Human Rights to launch a public campaign aimed at clarifying the past and explaining the role of the ICTY. However, they believe that any such campaigns are bound to fail until some of the leading Serbian politicians, including those from pro-European, moderate and pro-democratic forces, will not change their attitude to the ICTY and, consequently to Serbia’s role and responsibility in the wars on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In contacts with the representatives of the international community these leaders are systematically invoking the argument of hostile public opinion, yet it is perfectly legitimate to ask who is really influencing whom. The law on the assistance to the persons extradited to the ICTY, adopted in the parliament with the votes of the leading party in the governing coalition, illustrates well the scale of the denial and the gravity of the problem. The law finally did not enter into force, thanks to the decision of the Serbian Constitutional Court, but attitudes have not yet changed.

40.        In this context, the rapporteurs would like to pay tribute to the Serbian President Boris Tadic, state union Minister for Human Rights Rasim Ljajic and, above all, Serbia and Montenegro’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vuk Draskovic, who had the courage to publicly denounce the campaign against the ICTY in the Serbian public and argued in favour of complete and unconditional compliance with the country’s international obligations.

xv.        Independence and impartiality of the judiciary

41.        This remains one of the most serious problems, which affects the overall capacity of the country to ensure the respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

42.        At the state union level, the Court has not really begun to function yet. While its judges have now finally been appointed, disagreements about its competence as well as funding persist. This is prolonging the legal uncertainty which seriously undermines not only the prospects for a normal functioning of the state union but also reform efforts in its two members. As mentioned above, in spite of the clear provisions in the Constitutional Charter, military courts continue to function, and there is no clear timeframe for their dismantlement and transfer of jurisdiction to the civilian courts.

43.        In Serbia, the situation of the judiciary was negatively affected by the state of emergency, during which a number of legislative and personal changes have been made in a rushed, insufficiently transparent and in some cases – such as the dismissal of the President of the Serbian Supreme Court – clearly illegal manner. These included measures allowing for the suspension of judges and prosecutors outside the prescribed procedures as well as the introduction of an 8 year mandate for deputy prosecutors which, compared to the previous permanent term, significantly increased the scope for political interference. Procedures for the appointment and dismissal of both judges and prosecutors were amended to increase the role of the executive which further eroded their independence.

44.        The new Serbian government is clearly determined to review most of the changes introduced in the field by their predecessor. While this should be generally supported, the reform should henceforth follow a clear strategy, prepared with the participation of civil society and professional associations. The co-rapporteurs welcome the readiness of the Serbian Minister of Justice to systematically seek Council of Europe expert opinion in the preparation of legislative drafts. 

45.        While – thanks to the efforts of the Serbian Ministry of Justice – there is evident progress in the creation of formal conditions for the independence and normal functioning of the judiciary, the rapporteurs are concerned about the open conflict between representatives of the executive and the judiciary power. While some leading members of the governments are accusing highest judicial officials of corruption, links with organised crime and political agenda, judges, in return, criticise the government for – in their view – excessive influence in judicial appointments and dismissals and complain about an orchestrated campaign of public defamation and pressure against them, At the time when two special courts – responsible for organised crime and for war crimes – are conducting two, crucially important trials – on the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and on the crimes committed in Ovcara after the siege of Vukovar, the Serbian public is exposed to a merciless media war in which the decisions of these two courts, and even their very existence, are being systematically questioned and criticised. Any such pressures and other attempts to discredit the outcome of these trials in advance must stop immediately. The authorities must guarantee adequate circumstances in which the judiciary will be able to carry out its duties in an independent manner. Any attempt to use the judiciary for political purposes, be it by judges or politicians, should not only be condemned but also investigated and, if necessary, sanctioned.

46.        In Montenegro, the situation is better with regard to legislation, as most of the key laws regulating the judiciary are already in place. This being said, there are huge problems in the implementation. Even if the law on courts was adopted in 2002, no administrative or appeal court has been set up yet as of today. Moreover, the appointment of judges and their accountability in practice continues to be a subject of excessive politicisation, as it was illustrated in December 2003 when the parliament, without an explanation, rejected one-third of the proposals for new judges submitted by the Higher Judicial Council.

xvi.       Conscientious objectors and alternative service

47.        This commitment has been complied with, with the exception of the issue of persons who refused the draft before the entering into force of the Council of Ministers Decree on Civilian Alternative Service in October 2003, and who should now be amnestied.

xvii.       Office of ombudsman

48.        Ombudsman institutions exist in Montenegro and in the Autonomous region of Vojvodina, but not yet in Serbia.

xviii.      Constitutional charter and the functioning of the state union

49.        The constitutional charter was agreed and most of the institutions envisaged by it have been set up– albeit with a considerable delay. The last parliamentary elections in Serbia also resulted in a clear progress in the functioning of the state union Parliament, which has now adopted its rules of procedure, created working structures and accelerated its legislative work. The Council of Ministers, presided by Svetozar Marovic, is working regularly. However, the fact that virtually nothing has been done to amend the constitutions of Serbia and Montenegro to make them compatible with the Constitutional Charter is rendering the whole process inefficient and almost meaningless. The European Commission 2004 Stabilisation and Association Report says that: “…continuing differences in the interpretation of the Constitutional Charter, followed by delays and obstruction in its enforcement, and the still unclear distribution of powers – de jure and de facto – between the various levels added to the constitutional and legal uncertainty. The failure of the republics to adjust their constitutions to the Constitutional Charter has led to the parallel existence of different constitutional and legal systems. The problem of the coexistence of new legislation and obsolete laws continued. All this seriously affects the rule of law in Serbia and Montenegro...”.

50.        The failure of both Serbia and Montenegro to amend their constitutions and make them compatible with the Constitutional Charter has resulted in the fact that the state union level is largely reduced to a largely powerless talk-shop, unable to resolve most of the key issues – such as the harmonisation of customs duties – within its, already very narrow, field of competence.

51.        New problems are already on the horizon. The Constitutional Charter provided for the first direct elections for its Parliament to be held two years after its entry into force, which will be in February next year. While the Serbian side and notably the Prime Minister Kostunica insist on unconditional respect of this clause, the Montenegrin authorities strongly oppose it, arguing that any such elections would fail to motivate the voters in favour of the Montenegrin independence, which would in return deliver the victory to the opposition forces advocating closer links with Serbia. A situation in which Montenegro would be, at the state union level, represented by the opposition, would – according to the Montenegrin authorities – create a situation in which the state union would, for all practical purposes, no longer function and de facto cease to exist.

xix.       Decentralisation, local democracy and regional autonomy

52.        Generally speaking, progress in this area, particularly in Serbia, is hindered by the stalling of the constitutional reform, but also, with regard to regional autonomy, by the persisting uncertainty with regard to the status of Kosovo. However, there has been some progress and the implementation of the 2002 law on local government is on going, even if local administrations are still too weak in terms of human resources and infrastructure. In the ethnically mixed areas in Southern Serbia near the administrative border with Kosovo, there has been some progress in setting up some municipal structures which should help to ease the persisting ethnic tensions. As regards Vojvodina, the Serbian Parliament transferred some administrative competence to the regional authorities.

53.        In Montenegro, a set of key laws regulating local democracy was adopted in July 2003. The key problem remains the lack of financial sustainability of local governments unit.

xx.        Kosovo

54.        The mandate of the Monitoring Committee’s rapporteurs is limited to areas in which the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro are exercising effective authority, while Kosovo is under direct administration of the United Nations. The commitments in the Assembly’s Opinion 239 therefore relate only to Serbia and Montenegro’s compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the co-operation with UNMIK, and the contribution to the efforts to build a democratic, multi-ethnic entity in Kosovo, with a view to creating a political climate conducive to reflection and dialogue on its future status.

55.        Generally speaking, the authorities are doing their best to comply with this commitment, as illustrated both in their efforts to normalise inter-ethnic relations in Southern Serbia as well as by their willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue with representatives of Kosovo interim self-governing institutions. The co-rapporteurs ask the authorities to do more to contribute to the dismantling of parallel structures of government, set up by the Serbian Community in the Mitrovica area. They also wish to support the call made by the Kosovo Ombudsperson Marek Nowicki, who, in May this year, asked the Serbian and Montenegrin Prime Ministers to grant internally displaced persons from Kosovo presently in the territory of Serbia and Montenegro some of the rights that are today enjoyed by the refugees.

56.        This being said, the co-rapporteurs also believe that the major part of the responsibility lies with the interim institutions of self-government and the UN administration in Kosovo. Dismantling of parallel Serb institutions must be accompanied by the introduction of credible and effective measures to improve the security and the living conditions for the members of the non-Albanian minorities, and notably Serbs in Kosovo. Calls for the return of displaced Kosovo Serbs to Kosovo and for their participation in the forthcoming elections this autumn in Kosovo – to which the co-rapporteurs fully subscribe – are likely to be unsuccessful without an immediate and substantial progress in the investigation and arrests of persons responsible for the killings and the destruction of property on 17 and 18 March this year. So far, both the quest for justice and the speed of the reconstruction of the houses and cultural and religious heritage are far from being satisfactory.

xxi.       Minorities

57.        Generally speaking, the situation of minorities in Serbia and Montenegro is improving, but this progress is taking place in a politically volatile environment, burdened by the past and aggravated by difficult social and economic conditions affecting the majority of citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin.

58.        On the formal level, Serbia has gone further than Montenegro, as it has adopted a law on minorities which is in line with European standards. In Montenegro, a draft law is ready and will hopefully be adopted soon. This being said, it should be added that minorities have guaranteed representation in the Montenegrin parliament, while no such arrangements exist in Serbia and no minority parties have succeeded in entering the parliament following the last parliamentary elections in December 2003. The electoral law has now been changed eliminating the minimal threshold for the parties representing national minorities. Yet, at least until the next elections, minority parties no longer participate in the institutions at the Serbian level which is not helping the dialogue and efforts to integrate members of national minorities as citizens of Serbia with full rights and obligations.

59.        Both the Serbian authorities and the international community have been focusing their attention on Sandjak with its strong Bosniak population and on Southern Serbia with its Albanian speaking community. The situation there remains complex and tense, but there have also been some achievements, also in the functioning of ethnically mixed municipalities bordering on Kosovo.

60.        Recently, the focus shifted to Vojvodina, the most ethnically mixed part of the country, which had in the past succeeded in avoiding major tensions and conflicts between the minorities and the Serbian speaking majority. Following some rather alarming reports on the increase of inter-ethnic violence, particularly against persons belonging to the Hungarian speaking community, the co-rapporteurs raised this issue in their talks with the highest authorities in Serbia and the state union. They also discussed the issue with foreign diplomats and representatives of domestic non-governmental organisations active in the field of human and minority rights. The co-rapporteurs also asked to meet with representatives of the National Council of Hungarians in Vojvodina, but they were unfortunately unable to attend the meeting. Instead they were asked to provide written information on the situation instead and the co-rapporteurs hope to receive the document in time before the plenary debate in the Assembly.

61.        From the information gathered, the co-rapporteurs conclude that there has been a recent increase in violent incidents in Vojvodina, partly involving persons of different ethnic origins. Yet, there is no evidence that this increase was planned, or in any other way organised. Many incidents seem to be triggered by other, mostly criminal motives, and their inter-ethnic character was, according to the authorities but also our interlocutors from the civil society, in many cases a mere coincidence, not at all rare in a region with such an ethnically mixed population.

62.        This being said, it is also clear that a part of these incidents were motivated by inter-ethnic hate, and this is a cause for most serious concern. In Serbia and Montenegro, given the recent past dominated by inter-ethnic hatred and its destructive consequences, any incident even incidentally involving members of different ethnic groups should be dealt with immediately, seriously, efficiently and in accordance with Council of Europe standards. Any attempts to diminish the importance and the risk resulting from such incidents are dangerous and unacceptable. On the other hand, any attempts to exaggerate and politically exploit such incidents for political purposes, be it locally, nationally or internationally, should also be clearly and unequivocally condemned.

63.        The co-rapporteurs therefore recommend to the competent authorities in Serbia to increase their efforts to effectively prevent new inter-ethnic incidents, to investigate and, if justified, sanction the reported ones. They should also reinforce the dialogue with the representatives of national minorities in order to develop new ways to restore the atmosphere of trust and inter-ethnic tolerance. The existing law on national minorities provides a good basis, but it needs to be properly and comprehensively implemented. Internationally, the co-rapporteurs welcome the initiatives to conclude bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries on the questions related to national minorities. They hope that the agreement with Hungary, already ratified by Belgrade, will soon also be ratified by the parliament in Budapest.

IV.        CONCLUSIONS

64.        Four years after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia and Montenegro is a country that has changed enormously, but not yet enough. The list of achievements in democratic and economic reform is long but the potentials created by the victory and the popular consensus of 5 October 2000 have not been fully exploited by the successive new leaders. It is true that to dismantle the legacy of the Milosevic regime is not an easy task, but neither is it an impossible one, provided that the political will exist. Regrettably, many of the problems that could have and should have been resolved by now are – four years later – still there, negatively affecting prospects for full democratic transition and economic recovery.

65.        The situation in Kosovo, the uncertainty about its final status and most importantly the precarious and insecure living conditions of the remaining members of the Serb and other non-Albanian communities in Kosovo, is one of the problems affecting Serbia’s political, but also social and economic situation. It must be said that the Serbian authorities’ ability to influence the situation is rather limited, and that they are, to a large extent, doing everything within their power to improve the situation and find a solution. Much, on the contrary, remains to be done by the interim self-governing institutions in Kosovo and also by the international community. The priorities should be the creation of conditions for sustainable return – which cannot be done without greater progress in dealing with the consequences of anti-Serbian riots in March this year. Another important priority is the successful conduct of the forthcoming elections in which Kosovo Serbs should, in their own interest, take an active part.

66.        The second problem is the stagnating, and even deteriorating state of compliance with Serbia and Montenegro’s obligations towards the ICTY. The authorities, and particularly an important part of the political leadership in Serbia, should abandon their negative attitude with regard to the Tribunal. This is of utmost importance, primarily because justice must be done, for the sake of victims and for the sake of the Serbian people as a whole. Populist campaign against the ICTY, which some of the Serbian politicians are conducting virtually since 5 October 2000,  legally invalid, politically misleading and ethically wrong. It perpetuates self-deluding myths and perceptions of Serbia and its role with the outside world which are counter-productive and dangerous. The image of Serbia as a country suffering from an unfair and unjust treatment by the world powers and the international community as a whole was the cornerstone of Milosevic’s grip to power as well as of his defence in The Hague. The new Serbia should have the courage and the honesty to give up such misconceptions. In this respect, the extraditions are crucially important, but coercing Serbia into compliance will not be enough. Its leadership, and its people, must understand, and accept, the need for justice and genuine reconciliation.

67.        The third set of problems relates to the state union, created through the insistence by the European Union to accelerate the pace of reforms and speed up the country’s integration in the European Union. It must be said that, in the present state of affairs, the state union is not meeting the expectations, and it is, to the contrary, hampering the reform as well as the integration. The blame is usually put on the Montenegrin ruling parties, as they are openly advocating independence. Yet, in all fairness, it must be said that the Serbian side has so far also failed to give a more concrete form to its rhetoric commitment to the state union The main obstacle in the normal functioning of this unprecedented legal and political entity – the incompatibility of the constitutional systems at the level of the state union and its two member states, is a result of not only Montenegrin, but also Serbian failure to amend their constitutions within the agreed deadline of six months after the entry into force of the Constitutional charter in the beginning of 2003.

68.        Today, the state union Parliament and the Council of Ministers are meeting regularly, while the Court was only recently set up and still lack financial and material resources necessary for its normal functioning. However, the obligation to conduct direct elections to the state union parliament in February 2005 may bring the whole process to a standstill. While the co-rapporteurs fully agree with those arguing that accepted obligations must be respected fully and in time, they also wish to stress that such an approach cannot be applied selectively. More concretely, the co-rapporteurs have some doubts whether direct elections in the situation in which the Serbian and Montenegrin constitutions have not yet been amended and the state union has not been given a real chance to function properly, would serve any purpose or would, rather, further undermine the prospects for the state union’s mid and long term survival. They therefore believe that all the parties – Serbia and Montenegro and the European Union – should try to agree on steps which would enable the state union to function properly, before the present disappointing state of relationship is given a coup de grace by the popular vote in Montenegro, or in Serbia, or in both.

69.        In conclusion, it must be stressed that Serbia and Montenegro’s capacity to deal with these, and other problems, will largely depend on whether their political leadership will be able, and willing to overcome their narrow party interests, personal vanities and vendettas. Such attitude among leaders belonging to moderate, democratic and pro-European forces is creating ample space for those advocating populist, radical and intolerant ideas. The progressive forces in both member states must demonstrate a higher degree of statesmanship and responsibility, to meet the expectations of their growingly disillusioned electorate. Serbia and Montenegro need to make further progress in genuine reform, which is aimed at changing state institutions so they are able to serve the people – not the power – under these, and all future governments. This is not only the best, but the only way to guarantee a long term stability and prosperity in the country. All those genuinely interested in achieving these objectives can count on full co-operation and assistance of the international community including the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly, which should, for the time being, continue to monitor the compliance with the country’s commitments and obligations.

APPENDIX I

PROGRAMME

Visit of the COE Parliamentary Assembly co-rapporteurs for monitoring the fulfillment of the commitments of Member States Serbia and Montenegro from 30 August to 2 September 2004

Monday 30 August 2004

Arrival of the delegation

16.00    Meeting with ICTY office in Belgrade

Venue:  CoE office Belgrade, Vuka Karadžica 12

16.30    Meeting with NGO’s:

-          Belgrade center for human rights
-          Helsinki Committee
-          Humanitarian Law center
-          Civic Initiatives

Venue: CoE office Belgrade, Vuka Karadžica 12

18.00    Meeting with media representatives

-          B92
-          Association of journalists of Serbia
-          Media center

Venue: CoE office Belgrade, Vuka Karadžica 12

20.00    Working dinner

-          Ambassador of Italy
-          Ambassador of Norway
-          Head of OSCE mission to SaM

Venue: Restaurant “Kalemegdanska terasa”

Tuesday 31 August 2004   

10.00 – 11.00                Meeting with members of the Delegation of the Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro to CoE PA headed by the Speaker of Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro, Zoran Šami SM Assembly,

                                    Trg Nikole Pašica 13 Hall 1

11.00 – 11.15                Statements for the press

11.30 – 12.30                Meeting with Mr. Ognjen Pribicevic, SM Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Bircaninova Str.2

12.45 – 13.45                Meeting with Mr. Rasim Ljajic, SM Minister of Human Rights and National Minorities

Palace of Serbia and Montenegro, Boulevard Mihajla Pupina 2a

14.00 – 15.15                Lunch offered by the Speaker of SM Assembly, Mr Zoran Šami

15.30 – 16.30                Meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Predrag Markovic

National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Kralja Milana 14

16.30 – 17.00                Meeting with Prime Minister to the Republic of Serbia, Mr Vojislav Koštunica

Venue: RS Government, Nemanjina Str.11

17.00 – 17.30                Meeting with representatives of G 17 + parliamentary group

17.30 – 18.00                Meeting with representatives of Democratic Party of Serbia parliamentary group

18.00 – 18.30                Meeting with representatives of Democratic Party parliamentary group

18.30 – 19.00                Meeting with representatives of the Socialist Party of Serbia parliamentary group

Wednesday 1 September 2004

9.00 – 9.45                    Meeting with President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Janko Lazarevic

10.00 – 10.45                Meeting with Minister of Interior in the Government of the

Republic of Serbia, Mr Dragan Jocic

11.00 – 11.45                Meeting with Minister of Justice in the Government of the

Republic of Serbia, Mr Zoran Stojiljkovic

12.00 – 12.45                Meeting with Minister for Administration and Local Self Governance to the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Zoran Loncar

14.00 – 15.15                Lunch to honour CoE PA Co- Rapporteurs hosted by Ms Gordana Comic, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Parliament of RS

15.30 – 16.15                Meetings at the RS Constitutional Court

16.30 – 17.15                Meeting with Republic of Serbia Prosecutor, Mr Slobodan Jankovic

17.30 – 18.15                Meeting with Vukašin Maraš, Deputy Minister of Defense of Serbia and Montenegro

Thursday 2 September 2004

Podgorica

8.45      Meeting with Ms. Vesna Kilibarda, Minister of Culture

9.30      Meeting with Mr. Željko Šturanovic, Minister of Justice

10.15    Meeting with Mr. Svetozar Marovic, President of the State union

11.00    Meeting with Mr. Miodrag Vlahovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs

11.45    Meeting with Mr. Dragan Đuric, Assistant to the Minister of International Economic Relations and European Integration

12.30    Meeting with MPs, representatives of ruling parties:

- Mr Miodrag Vukovic, DPS (Democratic Party of Socialists)
- Mr Rifat Rastoder, SDP (Social-Democratic Party)
- Mr Krsto Pavicevic, GP (Civic Party)
- Mr Ferhat Dinoša, DUA (Democratic Union of Albanians)

13.15    Meeting with Mr Ranko Krivokapic, Speaker of Parliament – short press statement

14.00    Meeting with Mr. Dragan Đurovic, Vice President of Government and the Minister of Interior

14.30    Lunch with Mr. Radoje Korac, President of Constitutional Court, and Mr Stevan Damjanovic, President of Supreme Court

15.30    Meeting with MPs, representatives of opposition parties:

- Mr Srda Božovic, SNP (Socialist People’s Party)
- Mr Predrag Popovic, NS (People’s Party)

16.30    Meeting with Mr Milo Đukanovic, Prime Minister

17.30    Meeting with media representatives:

- Mr Rajko Šebek, editor of information programme, “IN” Television
- Mr Samir Rastoder, daily “Republika”
- Mr Mladen Milutinovic, acting chief editor, daily “DAN”

18.15    Meeting with representatives of NGOs:

- Ms. Vesna Jovicevic, Deputy Director of the Association of State Prosecutors
- Mr. Zoran Pažin, Association of Judges
- Mr. Nikola Martinovic, Bar Association.

APPENDIX II

  Serbia and Montenegro

Treaties signed and ratified or having been the subject of an accession as of 10/9/2004

No.

Title

Opening of the treaty

Entry into force

E.

N.

C.

001

Statute of the Council of Europe

5/5/1949

3/8/1949

 

 

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 3/4/2003

Entered into force: 3/4/2003

 

 

 

 

 

005

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

4/11/1950

3/9/1953

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

009

Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

20/3/1952

18/5/1954

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

018

European Cultural Convention

19/12/1954

5/5/1955

X

 

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 28/2/2001

 

 

 

 

 

024

European Convention on Extradition

13/12/1957

18/4/1960

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 30/9/2002

Entered into force: 29/12/2002

 

 

 

 

 

030

European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

20/4/1959

12/6/1962

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 30/9/2002

Entered into force: 29/12/2002

 

 

 

 

 

041

Convention on the Liability of Hotel-keepers concerning the Property of their Guests

17/12/1962

15/2/1967

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/5/2001

 

 

 

 

 

044

Protocol No. 2 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, conferring upon the European Court of Human Rights competence to give advisory opinions

6/5/1963

21/9/1970

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

045

Protocol No. 3 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, amending Articles 29, 30 and 34 of the Convention

6/5/1963

21/9/1970

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

046

Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, securing certain rights and freedoms other than those already included in the Convention and in the first Protocol thereto

16/9/1963

2/5/1968

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

050

Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia

22/7/1964

8/5/1974

X

 

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/5/2001

 

 

 

 

 

051

European Convention on the Supervision of Conditionally Sentenced or Conditionally Released Offenders

30/11/1964

22/8/1975

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/5/2001

 

 

 

 

 

055

Protocol No. 5 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, amending Articles 22 and 40 of the Convention

20/1/1966

20/12/1971

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

062

European Convention on Information on Foreign Law

7/6/1968

17/12/1969

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 30/5/2002

Entered into force: 31/8/2002

 

 

 

 

 

069

European Agreement on continued Payment of Scholarships to students studying abroad

12/12/1969

2/10/1971

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/3/2001

 

 

 

 

 

073

European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters

15/5/1972

30/3/1978

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 30/9/2002

Entered into force: 31/12/2002

 

 

 

 

 

086

Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition

15/10/1975

20/8/1979

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 23/6/2003

Entered into force: 21/9/2003

 

 

 

 

 

087

European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes

10/3/1976

10/9/1978

X

X

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/8/2001

 

 

 

 

 

088

European Convention on the International Effects of Deprivation of the Right to Drive a Motor Vehicle

3/6/1976

28/4/1983

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/5/2001

 

 

 

 

 

090

European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism

27/1/1977

4/8/1978

 

 

 

 

Signature: 15/5/2003

Ratification or accession: 15/5/2003

Entered into force: 16/8/2003

 

 

 

 

 

097

Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Information on Foreign Law

15/3/1978

31/8/1979

X

X

 

 

Signature: 23/6/2003

Ratification or accession: 23/6/2003

Entered into force: 24/9/2003

 

 

 

 

 

098

Second Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition

17/3/1978

5/6/1983

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 23/6/2003

Entered into force: 21/9/2003

 

 

 

 

 

099

Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

17/3/1978

12/4/1982

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 23/6/2003

Entered into force: 21/9/2003

 

 

 

 

 

102

European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter

10/5/1979

11/6/1982

X

X

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/8/2001

 

 

 

 

 

105

European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children

20/5/1980

1/9/1983

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 18/1/2002

Entered into force: 1/5/2002

 

 

 

 

 

112

Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons

21/3/1983

1/7/1985

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 11/4/2002

Entered into force: 1/8/2002

 

 

 

 

 

114

Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty

28/4/1983

1/3/1985

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/4/2004

 

 

 

 

 

117

Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

22/11/1984

1/11/1988

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/6/2004

 

 

 

 

 

118

Protocol No. 8 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

19/3/1985

1/1/1990

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

120

European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches

19/8/1985

1/11/1985

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 1/4/2001

 

 

 

 

 

121

Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe

3/10/1985

1/12/1987

X

X

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 1/6/2001

 

 

 

 

 

126

European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

26/11/1987

1/2/1989

X

X

 

 

Signature: 3/3/2004

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/7/2004

 

 

 

 

 

134

Protocol to the Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia

16/11/1989

1/11/1992

X

 

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 29/5/2001

 

 

 

 

 

135

Anti-Doping Convention

16/11/1989

1/3/1990

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 28/2/2001

Entered into force: 1/4/2001

 

 

 

 

 

141

Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime

8/11/1990

1/9/1993

X

X

 

 

Signature: 9/10/2003

Ratification or accession: 9/10/2003

Entered into force: 1/2/2004

 

 

 

 

 

147

European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production

2/10/1992

1/4/1994

X

 

X

 

Signature: 2/6/2004

Ratification or accession: 2/6/2004

Entered into force: 1/10/2004

 

 

 

 

 

151

Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

4/11/1993

1/3/2002

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/3/2004

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/7/2004

 

 

 

 

 

152

Protocol No. 2 to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

4/11/1993

1/3/2002

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/3/2004

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/7/2004

 

 

 

 

 

155

Protocol No. 11 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, restructuring the control machinery established thereby

11/5/1994

1/11/1998

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

157

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

1/2/1995

1/2/1998

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 11/5/2001

Entered into force: 1/9/2001

 

 

 

 

 

165

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region

11/4/1997

1/2/1999

X

X

X

 

Signature: 3/3/2004

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/5/2004

 

 

 

 

 

167

Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons

18/12/1997

1/6/2000

X

X

 

 

 

Ratification or accession: 30/9/2002

Entered into force: 1/1/2003

 

 

 

 

 

173

Criminal Law Convention on Corruption

27/1/1999

1/7/2002

X

X

X

 

 

Ratification or accession: 18/12/2002

Entered into force: 1/4/2003

 

 

 

 

 

177

Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

4/11/2000

 

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

187

Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances

3/5/2002

1/7/2003

 

 

 

 

Signature: 3/4/2003

Ratification or accession: 3/3/2004

Entered into force: 1/7/2004

 

 

 

 

 

45 treaty(ies) found


Reporting committee: Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)

Reference to committee: Resolution 1115 (1997) of 27 January 1997

Draft resolution unanimously adopted by the committee on 15 September 2004

Members of the committee: Mrs Durrieu (Chairperson), Mr Frunda, Mrs Tevdoradze, Mrs Severinsen (Vice-Chairpersons),Mr Agramunt Font De Mora, Mrs Aguiar, Mr Akçam, Mr B. Aliyev,Mr André, Mr Arzilli, Mr Atkinson,Mr Baška, Mrs Bauer, Mr Bernik, Mrs Bilgehan, Mr Bindig,Mrs Bousakla, Mr Van den Brande, Mr Budin,Mrs Burbiené, Mr Cabrnoch, Mr M. Cavusoglu, Mr Cekuolis, Mr Christodoulides, Mr Cilevics, Mr Colombier, Mr Debono Grech, Mr Einarsson, Mr Elo, Mr Eörsi, Mr Glesener, Mr Gross,Mr Grusenbauer, Mr Hancock, Mr Hedrich, Mr Hegyi, Mr Herkel, Mr Holovaty, Mrs Jäätteenmäki, Mr Jakic, Mr Jaskiernia, Mr Jurgens, Lord Kilclooney, Mr Kirilov, Mrs Konglevoll, Mr Kosachev, Mr Kvakkestad, Mrs Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Mr van der Linden, Mr Lintner, Mr Marty, Mr Matušic, Mr Medeiros Ferreira, Mr Melcák, Mr Mikkelsen, Mr Mollazade, Mr O’Keeffe, Mr Olteanu, Mr Pangalos, Mrs  Petrova-Mitevski, Mrs Pétursdóttir, Mr Prijmireanu, Mr  Rakhansky, Mrs Ringstad, Mr Rivolta, Mr Rustamyan, Mrs Saks, Mr Sasi, Mrs Shakhtakhtinskaya, Mr Shybko, Mr Slutsky,Mr Smorawinski, Mr Soendergaard,Mr Spindelegger, Mrs Stoyanova, Mr Tepshi, Mr Tkác, Mr Vis, Mrs Wohlwend, Mr Zacchera.

N.B. The names of those members who were present at the meeting are printed in bold.

Head of the secretariat: Mrs Ravaud

Secretaries to the committee: Mr Gruden, Mr Cupina, Mr Kotlyar.