Project Description

As the basic law of every state, a Constitution should maintain and provide warranties for the fundamental values of democratic society. An illegitimate and inconsistent constitution that doesn’t postulate basic principles, institutions of democratic order and ensure the rule of law, will fail in providing legal safety and the respect of fundamental human rights. The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, ratified in 2006, was not only adopted contrary to the rules of democratic procedures, but is also replete with major deficiencies regarding technical, linguistic and legal manners. The onset of negotiations between Serbia and the European Union on accession and the Brussels agreement, signed by representatives of Serbia and Kosovo, provide additional impetus for debating the current constitution and give momentum to the process of constitutional revision.
The European Movement in Serbia has initiated a debate on key aspects of a potential revision of Serbian Constitution after having considered all socio-political circumstances indicating the necessity of Constitutional revision. Initial analysis questioned the legitimacy of the current Serbian Constitution and offered three possible scenarios for revision (policy paper ‘’Constitutional revision in Serbia: main aspects and possible solutions’’). Over time, EMiNS will intensify public debate on constitutional revision within the framework of the project “Awaiting a new Constitution” amongst all relevant actors. Thus a consensus will be built about the key aspects of adopting a new Serbian Constitution by creating a broader platform for discussion and through a careful examination of the substance and feasibility of Constitutional revision.
Whilst awaiting constitutional revision, the European Movement in Serbia is trying to contribute to the creation of a conducive environment. The window of opportunity we aim for should legitimise the adoption of a new Constitution by having broad understanding of this procedure’s significance and the document’s importance to a democratic society.Goal

The goal of this project is to contribute to the consensus building about the necessity and inevitability of revising Serbia’s supreme legal act, the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. This ought to be achieved by means of well-argued public debates and profound analysis in order to establish the basic preconditions for institutional stability. That is crucial to providing the guarantees of democratic order such as the rule of law, human rights and civil liberties.

Specific goals:

  • Performing research-based analysis on the content and method of ratification of a new Constitution;
  • Start and intensify both an academic and public debate on Constitutional revision that is based on aforementioned analysis amongst significant national and local stakeholder;
  • Contribute to and build a consensus amongst political actors on Constitutional revision, the basic principles thereof and the way in which it should be adopted.

Activities

Based on research and analysis, we plan to prepare a policy brief titled “Steps to a new Constitution: merits and procedure”. This document will represent a follow-up of earlier research conducted by the authors on the necessity and possibilities of implementing Constitutional revision, published as “Constitutional revision in Serbia: aspects and possible solutions”.

  • Preparation of three policy briefs and thematically focused public debates thereon
The results of research and analysis conducted will be presented in three separate documents (policy briefs), with each focusing on a specific branch of government: 1. The role of the National Assembly 2. The role of independent and regulatory bodies and 3. Human rights and civil liberties. These documents will form the starting point for three thematically focused public debates to be held in Novi Sad, Novi Pazar and Kragujevac.
  • Public debate within the framework of four public consultations

Representatives of relevant institutions such as political parties and organisations, the media and academia will be able to participate at four public consultations. There they have a chance to find out more about the results of research conducted for the policy brief ’Steps to a new constitution: merits and procedure’, to give feedback and provide suggestions for possible improvements. Public consultations will be organised in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Novi Pazar.

  • Campaign amongst political actors for basic principles that will guide the content of and procedure towards a new Constitution

Research results and proposals included in the policy brief ‘Steps to a new constitution: merits and procedure’ will be presented to parliamentarians and relevant parliamentary committees. This is to ensure an understanding on the necessity of Constitutional revision exists amongst political actors and decision-makers, and to present a possible framework defining the content of a new Constitution and mechanisms by which it can be adopted.

Target audience:

Political decision-makers and party members, the academic community, civil society organizations and broader public on the national and local level.

Timeframe for realization:

The project will be realised from September 2013 to April 2014.The project is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Serbia, as part of the MATRA program of the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Opinions and attitudes expressed on this webpage, as well as all electronic and printed material related to the project are opinions and attitudes of the author and his/her colleagues and as such, do not necessarily represent either the official opinion of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Serbia, or the opinion of the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


 

Donor:

 

 

Actual iniciative:

 


 

Video:


Public debate Steps to a new Constitution: merits and procedure

(Belgrade, November 2013.)

DOCUMENT AND EVENTS 

DOCUMENTS:

 

ACTIVITIES: