The National Convention on the European Union called on the Serbian Government to withdraw the draft law on amendments to the Law on Expropriations and on the National Assembly to remove this proposal from the agenda of the session scheduled for today, 23 November.
It is stated that “such a draft law represents an inadmissible attack on the private property of citizens, contrary to the Constitution of Serbia and the principle of legal security, undermining the right to peaceful enjoyment of property guaranteed by the Constitution”.
It is added that the possible application of this amended law would not contribute to the creation of a good business environment for all participants in the Serbian economy and stable business conditions, nor to the fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria on economic freedoms and market development.
As it is noted, in the event of the adoption of this law, the government will have the discretionary right, without adhering to pre-established criteria and conditions, to declare certain projects as being in the public interest, and anyone’s property may then become subject to expropriation.
“In a European country aspiring to become a member of the European Union, such an approach and treatment of private property is unthinkable,” states the letter from the National Convention. It adds that the amendments will allow private companies to be beneficiaries of expropriation, because the law says that the list of beneficiaries of expropriation can be determined “under a special law”, which may be particularly benefit companies from the mining sector.
“(Under the law) all procedures are treated as urgent, which means that expropriation is carried out within 5 (+3) days. The law will also allow temporary occupation of land for up to 3 years, if that land is needed for a project that the Government declares to be of national interest to the State or international interest,” the letter of the National Convention states.
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