State authorities have slightly improved the way regulations are prepared and enacted

During the last reform season, the Government of Serbia slightly improved the way of preparation and enactment of regulations important for doing business, it was assessed by experts within the first NALED podcast, which was realized in cooperation with Tanjug. The total value of NALED's Regulatory Index of Serbia for 2019/2020 is 49 out of a maximum of 100 points, which is 17.2% better than five years ago, but still halfway to the ideal standard.

During the podcast, the report was presented to the public by one of the creators of the Regulatory Index of Serbia, professor of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade and member of NALED’s Science Council Branko Radulovic and NALED’s advisor for economic development Dusan Vasiljevic.

The ministries received the best score (74 out of 100) for the availability of information, that is, for responding to inquiries from businesses and requests for information of public importance, as well as for the quality of information they provide on their websites. The second-best score (64 out of 100) was obtained for the public preparation of regulations, and the most significant improvement is the increase in the number of laws not adopted by the urgent procedure from 40% in 2016 to 74.5% last year.

- The Regulatory Index of Serbia is an objective indicator of the quality of the process of enacting and implementing laws and the predictability of the business environment. While in several domains there have been positive developments in the process of drafting regulations, some poorer results have also been noted. The biggest decline compared to the previous RIS was registered in the quality of preparation of regulations, because only 65.5% of the observed laws involved an impact analysis before the adoption, which is 25 percentage points lower than in 2016. The number of public hearings has also been reduced, which are now conducted in 60% of cases, compared to 90% in 2016 - says professor Radulović.

Observing individual ministries, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications prepared its regulations in the best possible way, bearing in mind that 90% of the laws had an impact analysis. The Ministry of Finance stood out especially for the number of adopted laws important for businesses (31), and together with the Ministry for European Integration, for the availability of information where both earned the maximum rating.

The component of predictability in drafting regulations also received a middle mark within RIS (53 out of 100). The data show that 30 laws important for businesses have been changed 80 times in the last five years, on average every two years. Also, out of 100 bylaws whose adoption was planned last year with the aim to further regulate the implementation of 21 laws, only 40 have been passed so far. The average delay in bylaws passed during 2019 was 826 days. The Government of Serbia planned to adopt 269 laws in 2019, and 59 were passed in the Parliament. However, this is not the final list of new regulations because the MPs voted for another 120 "unplanned" laws.

According to Radulovic, the new Serbian government, given that it now has a Ministry for Dialogue, can significantly improve communication with businesses and other interested stakeholders in of the process of making regulations. A survey on the state of public-private dialogue conducted by NALED shows that 66% of respondents believe that they do not receive draft regulations on time and that, when it comes to public hearings, they join the dialogue too late. Just over a quarter of businesses are satisfied with the level of involvement in the process of adopting regulations, and 13% of associations believe the same.

RIS monitors legislative practice through six components. In addition to the predictability of the application of regulations (fulfillment of the legislative plan and the frequency of amendments to the law) and the timeliness of law enforcement (adoption of bylaws), RIS also measures the quality of regulations (impact analysis of planned laws), public character of the drafting and adoption process (public hearings, draft availability and urgency of adoption), regulatory burden (administrative costs of law enforcement), and availability of regulatory information. It was created on a sample of 90 laws that had a direct or indirect impact on the economy, and which were adopted or modified during 2019.

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