Press release



’In the 18 months since the enforcement of the Organisation and Competencies of Government Authorities in Fighting Organised Crime, Terrorism and Corruption Act, 749 persons have been convicted of crimes of corruption’, Justice Minister Nela Kuburović stated at the opening of the two-day international conference ’Fight against corruption for Southeast Europe’s progress’. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Justice under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Serbia, and with the support from the European Union (EU) Project ‘Prevention and Fight against Corruption’.

Minister Kuburović said that since the enforcement of the Act, special departments within high public prosecutor’s offices had reviewed cases brought against 15,222 persons, charging 1,269 persons. These resulted in 771 rulings, 749 of which were convictions.

Minister Kuburović noted that the Government of the Republic of Serbia was showing clear political will and undeniable commitment to a strategic approach to combatting corruption. ‘Aware of the long-reaching consequences of corruption on the rule of law, social equality and economic growth, Serbia embarked on a systemic fight against corruption back in 2012’, the Justice Minister stressed. She explained that by adopting the Act and amending the Criminal Code to include seven new crimes of corruption, Serbia had made its repressive anti-corruption mechanism stronger and more complete than ever.

‘Equally, Serbia has been focusing on preventive action: the new Corruption Prevention Act was adopted in May this year and the Lobbying Act in November 2018. With the adoption of the Whistleblower Protection Act in 2015, Serbia even became a pioneer in whistleblower protection’, the Justice Minister added.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi stated that Serbia was closer to joining the EU because of its fight against corruption and the several important laws to that effect which had been adopted. However, he noted that the focus now needed to be on the application of those laws which should not remain a mere ink on a white sheet of paper, and which, if enforced, would increase the trust of citizens, companies and the international community.

Several dignitaries attended the conference: Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the High Judicial Council Dragomir Milojević, Republic Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac, Police Director Vladimir Rebić, Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency Dragan Sikimić as well as Justice Ministers of Montenegro, Bosnia−Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska and other countries.

The purpose of the conference is to highlight and to advance international and national mechanisms for fighting against corruption and strengthening integrity, reflecting on the results of the specialised judicial anti-corruption institutions in the region and beyond.

The topic of advancing and strengthening cooperation among the relevant institutions and anti-corruption services will be discussed by justice ministers, prosecutors, heads of national anti-corruption bodies and representatives of the civil sector from Serbia, Albania, Austria, Bosnia−Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.