Serbia, (de)constructional laws on road to EU membership, News
The Government of Serbia submitted a proposal to the Parliament to repeal the Law on Special Procedures for the Construction and Reconstruction of Line Infrastructure Facilities of Special Importance.
The law was applied for a little longer than two years, but from the very beginning, the European Commission repeatedly pointed out, in writing and in direct contacts, that it was not in accordance with the legal acquis of the EU, especially in the part related to public procurement and the selection of a so-called strategic partner.
The relevant ministry does not dispute that the main motive for repealing the law is our obligation to comply with the regulations of the European Union, but not the only one. The reasons that existed at the time of the passing of the law no longer exist.
“So we decided to transfer all the provisions of that law that concern construction and efficiency of construction when it comes to large state projects to the Law on Planning and Construction, but therefore those provisions that concern the choice of partner, strategic partner, law on public procurement – to be abolished because there is a Law on Public Procurement”, said the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesić.
These were the main objections of the civil sector as well. They welcome the repeal of the law, which, in their opinion, was not in the interest of the state.
“In two specific cases, we saw that there was an additional high degree of discretion in decision-making. Finally, a serious problem with this law was that procurements were made without the possibility of interested companies to appeal,” says Nemanja Nenadić from “Transparency Serbia”.
What they continue to worry about is interstate agreements for large infrastructure projects. The line ministry does not rule them out, but they emphasize that the main mechanism will be a tender.
“I think there are many other problems in the preparation of the tender itself that led to the tenders being slow. For example, the tender did not prevent us from completing the Niš-Dimitrovgrad railway for four years, for which we received a grant from the EU five years ago, so that it didn’t happen. We will only start working this year. So, there are procedures that we can speed up,” notes Vesić.
Domestic companies are preparing for the tender race and to become contractors for projects of national importance from subcontractors to foreign companies.
“All these years, working for them, we have gained experience both in terms of personnel and technical skills, and we have acquired references to now participate equally. It is certain that domestic companies will invest in the development of their personnel and technical capacities in order to be competitive and participate in these tenders,” he points out. Vuk Vujović, executive director of the company “Ras inžinjering – niskogradnja”.
With clear rules on who won a large infrastructure job in the tender and under what conditions, the last obstacle to closing Chapter 5 on public procurement is removed.
In addition, by introducing energy efficiency, green certificates for buildings, more than 10 directives of the European Union are practically adopted.
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