The possibility for different interpretations of the provisions and one-step decision-making of the Assembly’s Administrative Committee are the biggest problems in the application of the newly adopted Code of Conduct for MPs, said the programme director of Transparency Serbia, Nemanja Nenadić. Transparency Serbia (TS) conducted an analysis in which it stated that the Code of Conduct for MPs had been adopted by urgent procedure without clear reasons, that civil society’s call for exchange of ideas before its adoption, or for public debate had not been accepted. Nenadić still says that despite all these omissions, it is better that the Code was adopted, as every legal mechanism should be used to point out possible corruption.
OP: Do you have confidence that the Serbian Parliament will implement the Code of Conduct and is Transparency Serbia going to submit complaints to the competent Committee?
NN: If there is a reason, of course, because we always use all available legal mechanisms. We have been submitting petitions to the Oversight Committee, which was formed for the elections and from which not much had ever been expected or announced, so we are certainly going to try this mechanism, which is more firmly legally grounded. I assume that it will first be related to the obligations of MPs to explain decisions on laws that are important to us. We are also going to also use these new provisions in order to reach out to MPs and have them consider our proposals and initiatives. MPs should study proposals for improving the laws that the non-governmental sector submits to the Assembly when it comes to important anti-corruption regulations. This does not mean that they should necessarily support everything we propose, but at least they can consider it.
OP: You also stated in the analysis that the role of the Anti-Corruption Agency in the implementation of the Code remained unclear.
NN: The Committee is obliged to forward to the Agency complaints related to certain points of the Code, whether it is a conflict of interest or receiving gifts. However, there is one legal problem here, because the Agency can establish a violation of the law, but is not authorised to establish if the Code has been violated.
OP: There is an article in the Code saying that an MP may not use official funds or property of the National Assembly for the needs of the election campaign, or abuse their parliamentary function for personal gain or for the benefit of a political party. We have the impression that the MPs in the campaign are violating this provision all the time and every day. What does this article actually refer to?
NN: The first part is clear and it did not have to be articulated here, as it is forbidden by law. Officials can use official vehicles only for the purpose of personal safety protection. For example, the Speaker of the Assembly may visit the boards of their party during the campaign if the assessment of the security services is such. But the provision on the abuse of the parliamentary function for personal benefit or for the benefit of one’s party can be interpreted differently in practice. For instance, the most extreme example would be that an MP takes money from a company for themselves or for their party, and then to use their right to a discussion or parliamentary question in the Assembly to publicly criticise the competition. And in the broadest sense, the abuse of the rostrum is also when an MP in a discussion on a law uses the time to promote their party’s programme on that particular issue, although it has nothing to do with the current topic of the sitting.
OP: There is also a provision that the MP “shall avoid any situation that could indicate bribery or corruption.” It seems that even this formulation means nothing as it is impossible to prove the intention.
NN: This means that if there are indications that they should meet with someone who is interested in meeting them, if they are offered a meeting with an influential person “who can get things done”, the MP simply should not go to such meetings and should be aware.
OP: The Code states that an MP “shall establish constant and direct contact with citizens in parliamentary offices, forums/discussions and other public gatherings, as well as by answering questions sent by mail and electronically.” For now, that is not happening. Who will make them communicate?
NN: If they do not answer the questions, the MPs will violate the Code. The recommendation to citizens is to ask questions again, now that the Code has entered into force, as they will be able to point out the problem.
OP: If they point it out, the Administrative Committee, chaired by the head of the strongest parliamentary group, will decide on the applications. If the Committee decides in favour of its MPs, as it has been deciding on the violation of the Rules of Procedure, as a rule, there will be no further procedure, is that right?
NN: It is. It is where the process ends. It is now specific that due to the composition of the Parliament, almost all members of the Committee are from the ruling coalition, but in general, in most committees, the regime has always been the majority. Another risk is that the one who points out the violation of the Code should submit evidence about it, while the Committee does not have to do anything ex officio. That is why TS pointed out that two-level decision-making is better and that the Ethics Commission should have been used better. Although the formation of the Ethics Commission, which would take care of the application of the Code, has been planned, it remains unclear who could be its members, in addition to the MPs, nominated and appointed people. One of the most important issues – the number and election of members of the Commission and the manner of its work – are not regulated by the Code, but are envisaged to be regulated by an act of the National Assembly. The Commission shall determine which member will be in charge of providing confidential advice to MPs regarding the application of the Code, but the qualifications for selecting these advisors have not been specified. Therefore, I would say that it is certainly good that the Code has been adopted, but that after the Commission will have developed a Guide for the application of the Code, by analysing examples, it will be clearer which dilemmas need to be resolved. The Assembly should then reconsider and specify the contents of the Code.
Sudeći po novom skupštinskom sazivu analitičar bi mogao pomisliti da u Parlamentu Srbije sede dve partije sa približnim brojem poslanika, pa jednu predvodi Aleksandar Vučić, a drugu Dragan Đilas. Koliko je ponašanje i diskusija u ovom sastavu srpske skupštine u najmanju ruku neobična vidi se iz rezultata analize Otvorenog parlamenta koja kaže da je bez konkurencije najviše puta, u prvih pet meseci novog saziva, pomenut predsednik Srbije i predsednik vladajuće Srpske napredne stranke Aleksandar Vučić, a nakon njega lider vanparlamentarne Stranke slobode i pravde Dragan Đilas. Uz Vučićevo ime veoma često se koristila sintagma da je “zahvaljujući Vučiću i njegovo mudroj politici” Srbija postigla neki uspeh, dok se uz Đilasovo ime najčešće pominjala reč “tajkun” i navodnih “619 miliona evra koje je oteo od građana”. Dodatni podatak da su predsedavajući propustili svaku od skoro dve hiljade prilika da govorike prekinu i kažu da Vučić i Đilas nisu tema sednice, govori nam da je upravo suprotno. Parlament je, makar ovih poslednjih meseci, najviše služio kao poligon za predizbornu kampanju i obračun sa neistomišljenicima koji nisu prisutni.
I ne samo sa političarima. Zabeležili smo koliko su u jedanaest sednica jesenjeg zasedanja - devet redovnih i dve posebne, pominjani i drugi pojedinci koji svakako nisu imali veze sa temama održanih sednica, kao ni sa radom Parlamenta. Analizirali smo koliko su narodni poslanici u periodu od 22. oktobra do 29. decembra, pominjali različite političke aktere ali i osobe koje uopšte ne učestvuju u političkom životu Srbije, medije, nevladine organizacije, javne ličnosti i druge.
Celo jesenje zasedanje u znaku predsednika Srbije
Tokom prvih pet meseci novog dvanestog skupštinskog saziva, Vučić je bio pomenut čak 1,604 puta iako se ni jedan zakon o kojem se raspravljao nije odnosio na dužnosti predsednika ili bilo šta što bi bilo u njegovoj direktnoj nadležnosti. Sledi Dragan Đilas o kojem je bilo reči čak 1,030 puta iako je njegova Stranka slobode i pravde bojkotovala prethodne parlamentarne izbore pa osim retkih istraživanja javnog mnjenja, nikada nije izmeren njen rejting. Takođe, Đilas je u vreme prethodne vlasti bio gradonačelnik Beograda, a ne predsednik ili premijer odgovoran za stanje čitave države. Poslanici su dakle Đilasa pominjali duplo češće nego svoju Srpsku naprednu stranku (659 puta), pa opet predsednika Srbije bez izgovorenog imena (590 puta). Svi ostali su bili daleko manje zanimljivi, ali je interesantno što su nevladine organizacije bile pomenute 99 puta, nezavisna televizija N1 97 puta, dok je poslanica Evropskog parlamenta Tanja Fajon bila pomenuta čak 29 puta (Grafikon 1). Kad je reč o medijima, nevladinim organizacijama pa i predstavnicima Evrope, poslanici su im se najčešće obraćali u zamišljenom dijalogu iznoseći kritike pa i optužbe na koje odgovore ne očekuju.
Grafikon 1: Broj spominjanja različitih političkih aktera i izraza u jesenjem zasedanju
“Hvala predsedniku što sam poslanik”
Aleksandar Vučić je najčešće, čak 340 puta bio pominjan na prvoj sednici jesenjeg zasedanja. Tada su, naročito novi narodni poslanici, govore počinjali izrazima zahvalnosti predsedniku Srbije i Srpske napredne stranke Aleksandru Vučiću što im je pružio poverenje da uopšte budu tu gde jesu,posebno jer se iz biografija mladih sa liste “Aleksandar Vučić - Za našu decu” vidi da su mnogi izabrani bez nekog radnog ili političkog iskustva. Na četvrtoj sednici kada je razmatran set zakona o porezima, Vučić je pomenut 239 puta, 201 put kad se pričalo o digitalnoj imovini i fiskalizaciji, a 197 puta kad su poslanici su raspravljali o budžetu za 2021. godinu (Grafikon 2).
Grafikon 2: Broj spominjanja Aleksandra Vučića po sednicama
Lider opozicije je tajkun i lopov
Sednica o godišnjim izveštajima i finansijskim planovima nezavisnih tela i institucija bila je prilika da se ime Dragana Đilasa čuje čak 265 puta i ostane upamćena po govoru mržnje. Đilas je tada nazvan “velikim bratom svih finansijskih pronevera u Republici Srbiji” a na udaru poslaničkih kritika našao se i njegov brat Gojko Đilas za kojeg javnost ranije nikada nije čula i koji se ne bavi ni politikom ni javnim poslom. Kako je tada objasnila poslanica Sandra Božić, inače predsednica skupštinskog Odbora za kulturu i informisanje, ona je fotografiju Gojka Đilasa pokazala javnosti zato što građani znaju kako izgleda brat predsednika Vučića, kako izgleda brat premijerke Ane Brnabić, pa smatra da treba da se zna i kako izgleda brat jednog od lidera opozicije. Poslanici su tih dana ponavljali pozive nadležnima da utvrde koliko nekretnina poseduje brat Dragana Đilasa te kako je do njih došao, ali kasnije nisu obavestili javnost da li su im istražni organi ikada odgovorili. Na sednici na kojoj je građanima trebalo približiti rad nezavisnih institucija poput Fiskalnog saveta ili Agencije za borbu protiv korupcije, kritikovan je vlasnik jedne od retkih nezavisnih medijskih kuća u Srbiji Dragan Šolak, ali i Tanja Fajon o kojoj je navedeno da pre svega objasni “u čijoj vili u Ljubljani se nalazi sedište njene partije”. Otvoreni parlament je neke od najupečatljivijih primera govora mržnje objavio na svom twitter nalogu, a najviše pažnje javnosti privukla je izjave poslanice Srpske napredne stranke Biljane Pantić Pilje da nezavisne medije, N1 i Novu S “može opisati samo jedna rečenica - domaći izdajnik, strani plaćenik”.
Đilas je u govorima poslanika predstavljen ne samo kao sadašnji lider opozicije uz tvrdnje da je “kupio” dobar deo opozicionih aktivista, već i kao simbol bivšeg režima. Kada su poslanici raspravljali o budžetu za 2021. godinu, 223 puta pomenuli su Đilasa, a naročito njegovih sada već legendarnih “619 miliona koje je Đilas stavio na račune svojih privatnih firmi dok je vodio grad Beograd”.
Grafikon 3: Broj spominjanja Dragana Đilasa po sednicama
I na kraju bilo je situacija da neki ljudi budu pomenuti samo jednom, ali da je zbog njihove popularnosti ili posebno neprijatnog tona, to imalo izuzetno snažan odjek. Danima se u javnosti komentarisalo to što je poslanik Srpske napredne stranke Marko Atlagić poznatu srpsku glumicu Seku Sablić optužio za nedostatak patriotizma odgovarajući na jedan njen intervju u kojem je kritikovala stanje u Srbiji. Isti poslanik pozvao je jednog od najpopularnijih glumaca u Srbiji Dragana Bjelogrlića da se iseli iz države jer je kako tvrdi “obećao da će otići ukoliko ne uspeju protesti nazvani “Jedan od pet miliona” a koji su neko vreme trajali protiv Vučićevog režima.
Judging by the new Assembly convocation, an analyst might think that there are two parties in the Serbian Parliament with a similar number of MPs, one led by Aleksandar Vučić and the other by Dragan Đilas. The unusual behaviour and discussion in this composition of the Serbian Parliament can be seen from the results of the analysis of the Open Parliament, which shows that, without competition, the President of Serbia and the President of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party Aleksandar Vučić was mentioned most often in 2020, followed by the leader of the extra-parliamentary Party of Freedom and Justice Dragan Đilas. Vučić’s name often stood together with a syntagm “thanks to Vučić and his wise policy” Serbia achieved some success. On the other hand, Đilas’s name was most often accompanied with words “tycoon” and alleged “619 million euros that he stole from citizens”. The additional fact that the speakers of the Parliament missed each of the almost two thousand opportunities to interrupt the addressers and say that Vučić and Đilas were not the topic of the session, tells us that it was just the opposite. At least in recent months, the Parliament has mostly served as a training ground for the election campaign and for confrontation with dissidents who are not even present.
And not just with politicians. We noted that in eleven sittings – nine ordinary and two special ones, other individuals were mentioned, too, although they did not have anything to do with topics of these sittings, nor with the work of the Parliament. We analysed the extent to which MPs in the period from October 22nd to December 29th mentioned various political actors, but also persons who do not participate in the political life of Serbia at all, the media, non-governmental organisations, public figures and others.
The entire autumn session was dedicated to the President of Serbia
During the first five months of the new twelfth parliamentary convocation, Vučić was mentioned as many as 1,604 times, although none of the laws being discussed referred to the duties of the President or anything that would be in his direct competence. Dragan Đilas closely follows as he was talked about as many as 1,030 times, although his Party of Freedom and Justice boycotted the previous parliamentary elections. Apart from rare public opinion polls, this party’s rating has never been measured. Also, during the previous regime, Đilas was the mayor of Belgrade, and not the president or prime minister responsible for the state of the entire country. However, MPs mentioned Đilas twice as often as their own Serbian Progressive Party (659 times), and then the President of Serbia without saying his name (590 times). All the others were far less interesting, but it is thought-provoking that non-governmental organisations were mentioned 99 times, independent television N1 97 times, while MEP Tanja Fajon was mentioned as many as 29 times (Chart 1). When it comes to the media, non-governmental organisations and even representatives of Europe, the MPs most often addressed them in an imaginary dialogue, presenting criticism and even accusations to which they do not expect answers.
“Thank you, President, that I am an MP”
Aleksandar Vučić was most often, as many as 340 times mentioned at the first constitutive session of the Assembly of Serbia in the Twelfth Convocation. The new MPs were beginning their speeches by expressing gratitude to the President of Serbia and the Serbian Progressive Party, Aleksandar Vučić, for giving them the confidence to be where they are, especially because the biographies of young people from the list “Aleksandar Vučić – For Our Children” show that many of them were elected without any work or political experience. At the fourth sitting, when the set of laws on taxes was discussed, Vučić was mentioned 239 times, 201 times when digital property and fiscalisation were discussed, and 197 times when MPs discussed the budget for 2021. (Chart 2).
The leader of the opposition is a tycoon and a thief
The sitting devoted to annual reports and financial plans of independent bodies and institutions was an opportunity for the name of Dragan Đilas to be heard as many as 265 times and to be remembered by hate speech. Đilas was then called “the big brother of all financial embezzlements in the Republic of Serbia”, and his brother Gojko Đilas who the public had never heard of before and who was not involved in politics or public affairs, was also attacked by parliamentary critics. As the MP Sandra Božić, who also happens to be the President of the Parliamentary Culture and Information Committee, said, she showed the photo of Gojko Đilas to the public because citizens knew what President Vučić’s brother looked like, what Prime Minister Ana Brnabić’s brother looked like, so she thought it should be known what one of the opposition leaders’ brother looked like. In those days, MPs reiterated the calls to the authorities to determine how much real estate property Dragan Đilas’s brother had, how he had acquired it, but they did not inform the public whether the investigative bodies had ever replied. At a sitting at which the work of independent institutions such as the Fiscal Council or the Anti-Corruption Agency should have been brought closer to the citizens, the owner of one of the few independent media houses in Serbia, Dragan Šolak, was criticized, together with Tanja Fajon from whom it was demanded to explain first of all “in whose villa in Ljubljana her party was headquartered”. The Open Parliament published some of the most striking examples of hate speech on its Twitter account. The statements of the Serbian Progressive Party MP Biljana Pantić Pilja that the independent media, N1 and Nova S “can be described by only one sentence – a domestic traitor, a foreign mercenary”, attracted the most public attention.
Talking about Đilas, MPs not only presented him as a current opposition leader claiming that he “had bought” good part of the opposition activists, but also as a symbol of the former regime. When the MPs discussed the budget for 2021, they mentioned Đilas 223 times, and especially his now legendary “619 million that Đilas put on the accounts of his private companies while he was leading the city of Belgrade”.
In the end, there was a situation where some people were mentioned only once, but because of their popularity or especially unpleasant tone, the mention had extremely strong repercussions. For days, the public commented that the MP of the Serbian Progressive Party, Marko Atlagić, had accused the famous Serbian actress Seka Sablić of lack of patriotism, responding to one of her interviews in which she criticized the situation in Serbia. The same MP called on one of the most popular actors in Serbia, Dragan Bjelogrlić to move out of the country because, as he claimed, he had promised that he would leave the country if the protests called “One in five million”, which lasted for some time against Vučić’s regime, failed.
Predsednik Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije Ivica Dačić sazvao je Petnaesti sastanak Kolegijuma Narodne skupštine Dvanaestog saziva za utorak, 26. januar, sa početkom u 9.00 časova.
Predsednik Narodne skupštine Ivica Dačić sazvao je, na zahtev 230 narodnih poslanika, Prvo vanredno zasedanje Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije u Dvanaestom sazivu, za utorak, 26. januar 2021.godine, sa početkom u 10.00 časova.
“Serbia remains on the European path, is making progress in all chapters, and this year it has not opened a single chapter because the European Union has changed its approach to enlargement”, these would be the wrapped up conclusions of the European Integration Committee session.
Members of the Committee considered the current situation in the process of negotiations between Serbia and the European Union, as well as the Report on Accession during the Finnish Presidency in the second half of 2019, which the Government submitted to the Assembly on March 13th this year.
The Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović was the first in the new convocation to report to the MPs. The Minister spoke for almost 50 minutes, while five members of the committee spent about half an hour repeating that what Joksimović has already said, praising the Ministry, questioning and analysing the actions of the European Union, while there was not a single word of criticism or self-criticism, which speaks enough about the oversight role of the competent Committee.
Minister Joksimović explained that the consideration of the report for last year, when Finland held the EU presidency, was late due to the coronavirus epidemic. She pointed out that the European Commission recognised in its report that, objectively speaking, there were delays in certain areas, but that there was not enough talk about the fact that in the previous year, despite all the challenges, “Serbia has made progress in almost all negotiation chapters.”
“The EC report is often read politically and should be so, especially because it is in line with the new methodology of EU action, where the political criteria are strengthened and where this time members took part in compiling the report more than before, “ said Joksimović claiming that one could sense the attitude of members towards the enlargement policy in the Report, because, as she stated “there are so many EU members that are not in favour of enlargement that their criticisms and objections were reflected in the report on Serbia’s progress”.
She believes that the opening of 18 of 35 chapters in the last five years is not a weak effect, and that much has changed in the accession since the migrant crisis which began in 2015.
It is important that the polls have shown that the majority of Serbian citizens would vote for joining the EU, even though they see problems in the community and sometimes think that unfair conditions have been set for Serbia. The Minister reiterated that Serbia is still the “leading country” in the region and that it is ready to open chapters 2 – freedom of movement for workers, 3 – freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services, 14 – transport, 21 – trans-European networks and 27 – environmental protection and climate change.
As Germany will be presiding for two more months, Minister Joksimović believes that there is still a chance that Serbia will open a chapter at the intergovernmental conference. She also reiterated that the EU did not appreciate enough the fact that Serbia had a special ministry for European integration, but insisted on a chief negotiator, although the negotiating team had existed since 2014 and consisted of representatives of ministries and civil society.
Five MPs asked to take the floor: Dušica Stojković, Dubravka Filipovski, Vesna Marković, Vuk Mičetić and Predrag Rajić, all from the Serbian Progressive Party. They emphasised the successes of the Ministry and the Government, repeated that the stalemate was due to Covid-19 pandemic, analysed the fact that EU policy had changed due to the migrant crisis, praised the continuity in the Ministry that had existed since 2017, and asked about projects and funds. There was not a word about unfulfilled goals and possible accountability, nor was there any mention of any criticism from the European Commission’s report.
Before the Assembly of Serbia hastily adopted the Code of Conduct for MPs in December, the Open Parliament expressed its opinion on that, demanding that the proposal be withdrawn. Since the Code was nevertheless adopted as it stands, it left numerous questions as to how and whether it would be applied at all. We sought some answers from the President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), Katarina Golubović, because if there were jurists from the opposition in the Assembly, they would have pointed out the problems of the adopted solution during the discussion.
OP: The Code was adopted hastily, there was no wider discussion, and it remained unclear when the working groups worked on changes to the original 2014 proposal. How do you assess the entire process and the fact that the Code was adopted precisely in this almost one-party Assembly?
KG: The news that the Code would be adopted by the end of 2020, as well as that the reports of independent institutions and the European Commission on Serbia’s progress would be discussed in plenum, was announced by the Speaker of the Assembly at the EU Convent plenary session held on December 17th. The plans were easily fulfilled, given that there are only seven opposition MPs in the Assembly. Thus, we certainly got three positive statements on our way to the EU, which is also mentioned in the introductory part of the Code. The second question is whether the citizens are getting a new, more decent, Assembly. Not really, if the Open Parliament needs to invite a jurist outside the parliament to discuss it. The basic value of the Assembly is democracy in pluralism. If we do not have basic, fundamental values, any additional evaluations and assessments are wrong.
Here is the proof. If there were enough opposition jurists in the parliament, they would have probably said that if the Code was adopted to prevent violence, it did not have to be adopted at all, because violence is prohibited by the Rules of Procedure in article 107. In fact, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, the Speaker and the competent committee impose more diverse and much harsher penalties. So, the lie that a “decent assembly” requires a Code is repeated by those who imposed fines exclusively on opposition MPs, while they were in the parliamentary benches.
In addition, nowadays in the Assembly, MPs are not being attacked, but rather members of the “extra-parliamentary opposition”, censorious citizens, disobedient representatives of institutions... However, the Rules of Procedure prohibit that, too, only the Speaker of the Assembly does not apply it, as it would have to be applied against MPs of the ruling party.
OP: Which members of the Code are in your opinion the “weakest link” that you find inapplicable?
KG: The Code is a set of values. It is not a question of whether something is applicable, it is a question of how something can be read.
OP: In the discussion on the Code, it seemed that the MPs of the Serbian Progressive Party were in fact threatening the non-existent opposition, former and future peers, stating that they would never allow violence in the Assembly that they had experienced primarily from the movement Dveri, but also from pro-European parties. Do you see the Code as another means of dealing with political dissidents or as an instrument for strengthening parliamentary integrity?
KG: The Code is adopted for the citizens. For example, it prescribes the availability of MPs to citizens, and we have heard almost nothing about that in the discussion. The Code prescribes additional rules on conflicts of interest. Therefore, there are elements for this Code that serve to strengthen integrity. However, the discussion itself actually shows that those who adopt the Code and who should implement it have not understood this very important “innovative” part. Citizens can insist on a closer and more direct MP-citizen relationship, but the launch of this instrument to strengthen parliamentary integrity will again depend on promotion led by the NGO sector.
OP: The words “liar”, “thief”, “tycoon”, “traitor”, “jerk”, “thug” and many others are spoken every day in the Assembly by the ruling majority. No speaker in this autumn session stopped such a speech, much less issued a warning. As the Speaker of the Assembly, Ivica Dačić, has recently said, now that the Code has been adopted, that will not be happening. How realistic is it to expect that citizens or NGOs will submit reports due to hate speech, i.e. how realistic is it to expect that the Committee headed by Aleksandar Martinović will react to such reports? And if they do not react, what could be the next step?
KG: It is realistic to expect that NGOs submit complaints for hate speech, because they did the same to the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, but this institution did not deal with the speech of MPs due to immunity. In that sense, the House of Human Rights urged that the Code must enable at least one channel for citizens to initiate proceedings in the case of hate speech of MPs. The Committee has a clear deadline for acting on the application and it will show whether there is a sincere political will to implement it and, at least as stated in the introduction, bring us closer to the European Union.
OP: How are the codes, if any, applied in the countries of the region and, to your knowledge, does it suffice for the European Union representatives to see that Assembly fulfils an obligation only formally or will they seek compliance with the OSCE standards?
KG: In European integration processes, the form is evaluated, but the effect is appreciated. As far as ethics and codes are concerned, different solutions exist in codes in the region and have been applied for a decade. For example, there are codes without sanctions, but also codes with very severe sanctions, such as deductions in salary in certain percentage, exclusion from the session, and even revocation of the mandate. Due to disproportionate sanctions against opposition politicians, the Hungarian Parliament was brought before the European Court, for example, as it was determined in this case that fines of around 200 euros imposed on opposition politicians were disproportionate to the Code and thus represented a violation of freedom of expression.
Pre nego što je Skupština Srbije u decembru na brzinu usvojila Kodeks ponašanja narodnih poslanika, Otvoreni parlament svoje mišljenje o tome iskazao je zahtevom da se predlog povuče. Pošto je Kodeks ipak usvojen ovakav kakav je ostavio je brojna pitanja da li će i kako uopšte biti primenjen. Odgovor smo potražili od predsednice Komiteta pravnika za ljudska prava (YUKOM) Katarine Golubović koja je ocenila da je upravo to signal da nešto nije u redu, jer da je u skupštini bilo pravnika iz opozicije, oni bi još u raspravi ukazali na probleme usvojenog rešenja.
OP: Kodeks je usvojen na brzinu, nije bilo šire rasprave, a ostalo je nejasno i kada su radne grupe radile na izmenama prvobitnog predloga iz 2014. godine. Kako ocenjujete čitav proces i činjenicu da je Kodeks donet baš u ovoj gotovo jednopartijskoj skupštini?
KG: Vest da će Kodeks biti usvojen do kraja 2020. godine, kao i da će se u plenumu razmatrati izveštaji nezavisnih institucija i Evropske komisije o napretku Srbije, saopštena je civilnom sektoru i građanima od strane predsednika Skupštine na plenarnoj sednici EU Konventa 17. decembra. Planovi su sa lakoćom ispunjeni s obzirom na to da u Skupštini sedi samo sedmoro opozicionih poslanika. Time smo sigurno dobili tri pozitivne rečenice na putu ka EU, koja je i spomenuta u uvodnom delu Kodeksa. Drugo je pitanje da li to građani dobijaju jednu novu, pristojniju, skupštinu. Teško, kada Otvoreni parlament mora da pozove pravnika van parlamenta da raspravi o tome. Osnovna vrednost skupštine je demokratičnost u pluralizmu. Ako nemamo osnovne, početne vrednosti, svako dodatno merenje i ocene su pogrešne.
A evo i dokaza. Da u parlamentu ima dovoljno opozicionih pravnika, verovatno bi rekli da, ako je Kodeks donesen radi sprečavanje nasilja, to uopšte nije moralo da se radi, jer je to zabranjeno i Poslovnikom u članu 107. Štaviše, kazne po Poslovniku su raznovrsnije i višestruko oštrije i izriče ih Predsednik i nadležni odbor. Dakle, laž da je za „pristojnu skupštinu“ potreban Kodeks ponavljaju oni koji su izricali novčane kazne isključivo opozicionim poslanicima, dok ih je bilo u poslaničkim klupama.
Pored toga, danas se u Skupštini ne napadaju toliko članovi parlamenta, već „vanparlamentarna opozicija“, kritički nastrojeni građani, neposlušni predstavnici institucija... Međutim, Poslovnik i to zabranjuje, samo ga Predsednik skupštine ne primenjuje, jer bi morao da se primeni protiv poslanika vladajuće partije.
OP: Koji su članovi Kodeksa za vas “najslabija karika” za koje mislite da nisu primenjivi?
KG: Kodeks je skup vrednosti. Nije pitanje da li je nesto primenjivo, pitanje je kako se nešto može čitati.
OP: U raspravi o Kodeksu činilo se da poslanici Srpske napredne stranke u stvari prete nepostojećoj opoziciji, bivšim i budućim kolegama, navodeći da nikad više neće dozvoliti nasilje u Skupštini kakvo su doživljavali pre svega od Dveri, ali i proevropskih stranaka. Da li ste Kodeks doživeli kao još jedno sredstvo za obračun sa političkim neistomišljenicima ili kao instrument za jačanje parlamentarnog integriteta?
KG: Kodeks se usvaja radi građana. On, na primer, propisuje dostupnost poslanika građanima, a o tome u raspravi gotovo ništa nismo čuli. Kodeks propisuje dodatna pravila o sukobu interesa. Dakle, ima elemenata da ovaj Kodeks posluži i za jačanje integriteta. Međutim, sama rasprava već dovoljno pokazuje da oni koji Kodeks usvajaju i koji treba da ga primene nisu shvatili taj vrlo bitan „inovativni“ deo. Građani mogu da naprave pritisak za pravljenje bliže i direktnije relacije poslanik-građanin, ali će pokretanje ovog instrumenta za jačanje parlamentarnog integriteta opet zavisiti od promocije koju vodi nevladin sektor.
OP: U skupštini su se sa strane vladajuće većine svakodnevno čuli izrazi „lažov“, „lopov“, „tajkun“, „izdajnik“, „kreten“, „bitanga“ i mnogi drugi. Nijedan predsedavajući u ovom jesenjem zasedanju takav govor nije zaustavio, još manje izrekao opomenu. Kako je nedavno rekao predsednik skupštine Ivica Dačić, sad kad je usvojen Kodeks, to se neće dešavati. Koliko je realno da će građani ili NVO podnositi prijave zbog govora mržnje, odnosno koliko je realno da će na takve prijave reagovati Odbor na čijem je čelu Aleksandar Martinović? I ako ne reaguju, šta može biti sledeći korak?
KG: Realno je očekivati da NVO podnose prijave za govor mržnje, jer su to činili i ka Poverenici za zaštitu ravnopravnosti, ali se ova institucija nije bavila govorom poslanika zbog imuniteta. U tom smislu je i bio uperen poziv Kuće ljudskih prava da Kodeks mora da omogući bar jedan kanal građanima da pokreću postupak u slučaju govora mržnje poslanika. Odbor ima jasan rok za postupanje po prijavi i tu će se iskazati da li postoji iskrena politička volja da se on primeni i da nas, bar kako u uvodu stoji, približi Evropskoj uniji.
OP: Kako se kodeksi, ako ih ima, primenjuju u zemljama regiona i da li je po vašim saznanjima za predstavnike Evropske unije dovoljno i kada Skupština neki posao ispuni samo formalno ili će ipak tražiti usklađenost sa standardima OEBS-a?
KG: U evrointegracionim procesima se forma ocenjuje, ali se efekat ceni. Što se etike i kodeksa tiče, različita rešenja postoje u kodeksima u regionu i primenjuju vec deceniju unazad. Tako, na primer, postoje kodeksi bez sankcija, ali i kodeksi sa vrlo oštrim sankcijama kao što je odbijanje određenog procenta plate, isključivanje sa sednice, pa čak i oduzimanje mandata. Zbog nesrazmernih sankcija prema opozicionim političarima se pred Evropskim sudom našao, na primer, parlament Mađarske, za koji je utvrđeno u konkretnom slučaju da su novčane kazne od oko 200 evra, izrečene opozicionim političarima, bile nesrazmerne prekršaju Kodeksa i time predstavljale povredu slobode izražavanja.
Predsednik Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije Ivica Dačić sazvao je Četrnaesti redovni sastanak Kolegijuma Narodne skupštine Dvanaestog saziva za utorak, 19. januar, sa početkom u 11 časova.
Predsednik Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije Ivica Dačić sazvao je Trinaesti redovni sastanak Kolegijuma Narodne skupštine Dvanaestog saziva za utorak, 12. januar, sa početkom u 11.00 časova.