The problem of transparency in law-making process is conditioned by a number of factors that are changing quite rapidly. One must be naive to think that the crucial laws whose adoption is being prepared with insufficiently transparent public debate, as the Labor Law, or whose drafts are merely mentioned, without anyone seeing them, as the legislation in the field of education in Serbia that is allegedly still being prepared, are brought in social and political vacuum.
Like countries of the Visegrad Group and Western Balkans, Serbia is faced with a situation in which the new government with a strong parliamentary majority emerged. This is, of course, a good thing, since there will be fewer blockages in the legislative process, and as civil society will know exactly who to turn to seeking greater transparency and wider public debate about the laws that are passed and are yet to be passed in the coming period.
However, some other factors are changed as well. As the Center for Development of Civil Society has been engaged in the protection of the rights of ethnic minorities for fifteen years, it is hard not to see the intertwining influence of different factors.
When we talk about the recent political changes that have taken place, we think of the elections in countries such as Serbia or Macedonia, or the Visegrad countries, for example Hungary. But, other changes significantly affect the transparency of the legislative process as well.
Crimean crisis is a new trial and a new challenge. Any factual border changing in Europe affects not only international relations but also the managing mode of internal issues in all European countries. Crimean crisis has intensified issues related to the adoption of the Labor Law, since it implies adherence to the standards of one of the parties who are confronted regarding Ukraine. It also raised the issue of the existing legislative solutions and their possible changes with regard to such important matters as the oil rent and South Stream. In small countries, foreign policy influences the legislation. Ukrainian events increase the vulnerability of small countries and may decrease transparency not only of their foreign policy, but also the legislative process and the role of the public in them. This cannot be stressed enough. Exacerbated international situation makes demands for transparency even more necessary, and, at the same time, more difficult to achieve. There is an understandable tendency of power holders in exacerbated international situation to further remove public from decision-making process.
Any change in international relations, such as the annexation of the Crimea, affects all countries in Europe, and in different ways. It opens up the possibility of a certain dose of risk in the recomposition of different policies, not only regarding international politics, but also the internal one. Despite a very sustained and constructive behavior of the most influential country of the European Union to Ukraine’s crisis, border changes in Ukraine created a porous border in the Sudeten Mountains and the rivers Oder and Neisse. The deployment of U.S. military in Poland serves deterrence, but not necessarily only deterrence of the possible danger from the East. Some of the Visegrad Group countries are objectively in more delicate position both from the east and from the west, after the annexation of the Crimea.>>>