Ombudsman cooperation in the region is of the utmost importance in the protection of human rights, especially useful through the exchange of experiences in work with the aim of improving good practices and the efficiency of independent institutions, said the Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pasalic, in cnversation with the Romanian Ombudsman, Renate Weber, who with her associates paid a two-day working visit to the institution of the Protector of Citizens. In addition to the Secretary General of the expert service of the Protector of Citizens, Olja Jovicic, the Ambassador of Romania in Belgrade H.E. Oana-Cristina Popa also attended the talks.
Pasalic expressed his expectation that the new Draft Law on the Protector of Citizens will be in the legislative procedure and informed Webber about organizational changes in the institution after the systematization in December 2018, especially about the function of the new organizational unit –Department for urgent action. The Romanian Ombudsman showed special interest in the competences and authorities of the Protector of Citizens and the international cooperation with ombudsmen from the region.
Speaking to the Romanian Ombudsman and the Protector of Citizens, the vice-president of the National Assembly, Djordje Milicevic, expressed his satisfaction that the good political and parliamentary cooperation between Serbia and Romania is accompanied by good cooperation between these two independent institutions. He welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia and the Ombudsman of Romania, as well as the establishment of the Network of Balkan Ombudsmen. In the conversation, he emphasized the importance of successful cooperation of the Protector of Citizens with the National Assembly, which elects the Protector of Citizens and to whom he is responsible for his work.
Zoran Pasalic said at the press conference at the Serbian Parliament, after meeting with the Parliament's vice-president, Djordje Milicevic, and the Ombudsman of Romania, Renate Weber, that the Ombudsman's contact with the Parliament is important and that the Ombudsman is an advisor to the Serbian Parliament who, by communicating the results of his work and experience and by speaking openly to the Members of Parliament about what systematically or individually bothers Serbian citizens, indicates what needs to be changed in order to align the regulations with the needs of the citizens. These institutions have an obligation to strengthen the protection of our citizens in Romania and Romanian citizens in Serbia through contact. Independent ombudsman institutions are at the disposal of citizens and in protecting their rights, the citizens can contact us, Pasalic said.
The Ombudsman of Romania, Renate Weber, stated that the Ombudsman's institution is crucial for all democratic societies, and that mutual exchange of work experience is of the utmost importance, especially in order to promote good practice and efficiency of independent institutions in Serbia and Romania.
On the second day of the visit, representatives of the National Council of the Romanian National Minority spoke about the position of the Romanian national minority in Serbia, as well as the problems they face on a daily basis, while representatives of the NPM and the Department for urgent action spoke about the work and typical cases from these organizational units.