LATEST STORIES

  1. 20/05/2014 photo SERBIA: PRISONSERS HELP FIGHTING THE FLOOD

    Agenfor Western Balkans contributed mobilizing 1000 prisoners as volunteers to help citizens in need for the flood. Mirko Stojkovic:"Cooperation and subsidiary policies are possible"

  2. 10/04/2014 video WESTERN BALKANS: PRISON INTERVIEWS TO HIGHLIGHT DRAMMATIC SECURITY CONCERNS IN THE REGION

  3. 01/04/2014 article TURKEY: COUNCIL OF EUROPE REPORT ON THE IMRANI PRISON

    Council of Europe monitors the Imrali prison in Turkey, where the Kurd leader Ocalan and other 5 inmates are detained.

  4. 18/03/2014 photo NOVI SAD CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN PRISON

    Photos from the culural activities and agricultural productions within the Novi Sad Prison

  5. 18/03/2014 photo Serbian Delegation of Ministry of Justice visits Italian prisons

    Agenfor organized a scouting visit in Rome and Padova for the Serb Ministry of Justice to explore new potential area of cooperation for the Judiciary reform

  6. 17/10/2013 photo The Commission’s 2013 Progress Report on Turkey

    The Commission’s 2013 Progress Report on Turkey highlights a number of important steps taken by Turkey over the past 12 months, notably the adoption of a fourth judicial reform package and the start of a peace process to end terrorism and violence in the Southeast of the country. At the same time, the report emphasises the pressing need to develop a truly participatory democracy, able to reach out to all segments of society, as well as the clear requirement to further amend criminal legislation and reform its interpretation by the courts so as to ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These issues underline the importance for the EU to enhance its engagement with Turkey, especially on fundamental rights, so that it remains the benchmark for reforms in the country.

  7. 08/10/2013 photo EGEMEN BAGIS EVALUATES DEMIRKAN VISA CASE

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“ EGEMEN BAGIS EVALUATES DEMIRKAN VISA CASE ”

Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis made an evaluation regarding the judgement of the European Court of Justice in Demirkan Case.

Egemen Bagis indicated the following: European Court of Justice’s Demirkan judgment has been an unfair decision. Unfortunately, the decision is affected by political concerns rather than legal considerations. EU law has been sacrificed to prejudices and daily political calculations. This decision is also in contradiction with the idea of eliminating borders which is one of the fundamental values of the EU. By refusing to accept Turkish citizens’ visits to EU Member States for the purposes of receiving services within the scope of freedom to provide services, the Court of Justice has taken a decision that is not in compliance with the EU law and Turkey-EU association law. The provisions of the Ankara Agreement, which was drafted parallel to the Treaty of Rome and whose objective is full membership of Turkey to the EU, are quite clear. There is no doubt that free movement of persons is an indispensable component of this objective. It is not possible to interpret the concept of freedom to provide services in Turkey-EU association law differently from the same concept in EU law. Our citizens who wish to travel to EU Member States for medical treatment, education or business trips, and for tourism in particular, should be considered as recipients of services within the framework of freedom to provide services, and thereby, be allowed visa-free travel. This decision is also in contradiction with the visa liberalization process which we are currently carrying out with the EU. We have noted that the Member States, which reached a consensus to initiate the visa liberalization process and invited Turkey to conclude the Readmission Agreement accordingly, have participated as interveners in the case. This makes us question the sincerity of the Member States regarding the visa liberalization process. It should be understood that Turkey will take into account the positions of these Member States in the readmission agreement/visa liberalization process currently ongoing with the Commission. Furthermore, it is intriguing that EU law has been interpreted by the EU’s judicial body in a manner far from fairness and objectivity. This decision of the Court of Justice is also highly unfortunate with respect to the principle of the rule of law, one of the fundamental values of the EU. Law cannot be interpreted from the perspective of one’s own “interests”. Furthermore, law cannot be a platform for political calculations. The EU should reject approaches which favour the “law of rulers” over the “rule of law”. Turkey will carefully consider this approach and act accordingly. At the moment, our objective is to ensure visa free travel for Turkish citizens. Undermining, delaying or hindering this process through court rulings is unacceptable. Our citizens should be confident. Visa free travel is a right and Turkey will pursue its rights arising from Turkey-EU association law.