Serbia: Parliamentary discussion on military laws
11. December 2010. | 09:15
Serbian Parliament today continued regular session with discussion of amendments to proposed legislation. On the agenda are amendments to the proposed changes and amendments to the military, labor and material required.
Amendments were submitted by Deputy Group "Napred Srbija – Srpska napredna stranka and the deputies Mico Rogovic, Dragan Todorovic, Zlatko Djeric, Aleksandra Jankovic and Aleksandra Ilic. The Serbian government has proposed to the National Assembly not to adopt an amendment that proposes that the voluntary military service is not regulated by the proposed amendments to the Law on military, labor and material required, but by a special law. The Government believes that an article stating that at the proposal of the Minister of Defense the president may shorten the duration of military service should remain, and that the Ministry of Defence should regulate the status and other issues of the Army, while the proposed amendment, the number of persons in the active reserves and the amount of fixed monthly fee should not be determined by the National Assembly at the proposal.
MPs have launched the explanations of amendments, and other issues such as whether "current level of professionalism provides justification for the suspension of compulsory military service and whether the Government respects the neutrality of declared in 2007 by the National Assembly of Serbia. "
Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac said that the essence of the discussion on the suspension of compulsory military service is actually to see whether those MPs who are now against this proposal, would in future restore the military service. In his view professionalized Serbian Army is fully prepared to carry out their tasks, and it welcomes all those who want to volunteer for military service.
"The army is manned up to 84%, including the regular army and the professional soldiers," the defense minister said, noting that the process of professionalization of the army had startedback in 1980s, when the JNA engaged soldiers on contract who performed duties not done by ordinary soldiers. "WE can safely say that process of professionalization has been finalized today because there is no army, manned at 100 %."
The question of Serbia's entering the NATO and a referendum on the issue again today sparked a brief debate the defense minister and DSS MPs. Sutanovac quoted the Declaration on Kosovo and Metohija, adopted by the Serbian Parliament, and in which, as noted, that the decision on Serbian military neutrality may be decided on a referendum. "I stress the possibility of a referendum, so I say may not must," the defense minister.
Sutanovac said that the Ministry of Defense and the SAF is compliant with the announced military neutrality, but this does not exclude the need and desirability of international military cooperation, which is exactly the purpose of strengthening the security position of Serbia. This does not mean the introduction of Serbia into NATO, as some delegates expressed doubts, because the Ministry and the Army have successfully cooperated with many countries in the world, including the most powerful military powers, U.S., Russia and China, and Brazil whose defense minister had recently paid a first visit to Serbia.
"If we want to progress in science, medicine, education, parliamentarism we must respect and adopt the standards that others have already established , which are better than those that exist in Serbia. Our hope is that we can standardize our military in harmony with best internationally accepted standards all countries aspire to . Our desire to be closer to NATO and to codify their standards is in fact the desire to modernize Serbia. The point is to raise the operational capacity of our army, to adopt new standards and be part of the modern world, "said Sutanovac in today's debate in the National Assembly of Serbia.
He finally thanked all members who have constructively discussed the proposed legislation and have given support the positive changes that are visible with the high results achieved in recent years in the Army of Serbia.
The day to vote on amendments to the military law and other items that were on the agenda of the sixth session of the second regular session of the National Assembly will be determined later.