Demostat: The PM, not Vucic, will sign the future agreement

NEWS 26.01.2023 14:22
Tanjug via AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who has been Belgrade’s de facto negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina for years now, will not be the one to sign the agreement when the time comes, this will be done by the Serbian Prime Minister, said the Demostat Research and Publishing Center.

Demostat said Vucic himself indirectly said this at a media conference when talking about the European proposal for the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

“I know what I will decided, but not on behalf of Serbia. Other competent state bodies and possibly the citizens will be deciding on Serbia’s behalf because (otherwise) it would be contrary to the Serbian Constitution,” Vucic said at the time.

It would be usual and normal for the agreement to be signed by the Prime Minister, because that follows from the constitutional provision under which the Government is the executive body implementing Serbia’s internal and foreign policy.

In the case of international agreements, the procedure entails steps, negotiations come first, followed by the adoption of the text of the agreement that the parties had agreed to. The parties then verify the agreement, which means that changes can no longer be made to it, said Demostat.

However, in order for an agreement to be valid, it must be ratified by the Parliament.

Law professor Vesna Rakic Vodinelic told Demostat that the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina will bear all the characteristics of an international agreement.

She explained that, under the Constitution, the internal and foreign policy is in the hands of the Serbian Government. The President’s powers include representing the Republic of Serbia in the country and abroad.

“The constitutional provision stipulating that the Government implements the internal and foreign policy is clear. What happened here is that Vucic took over the powers of other executive, sometimes also of the judicial bodies,” said Rakic Vodinelic.

If the Constitution is to be honored, the agreement should be signed by the Prime Minister, she said.