Chapter 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights was opened on 18 December 2013.
The aim of this Chapter is to create preconditions for an independent and impartial judiciary, with administrative capacities sufficient for the protection of the rule of law.
This Chapter of the acquis covers the area of the judiciary, anti-corruption, fundamental rights, and rights of EU citizens. In addition to the need for a full alignment of national legislation with the EU acquis, it is necessary that a candidate country shows visible and measurable results and track record in applying legislation.
The acquis in the area of anti-corruption is composed of a series of UN and CoE conventions, decisions, and recommendations by the European Council. The candidate country must fully align with the acquis and show readiness to make tangible results in the prevention of and fight against corruption.
The area of fundamental rights comprises a series of conventions, protocols, charters, and declarations, which the candidate country must introduce into its legal system, as well as ensure their implementation.
Rights of EU citizens include the conditions necessary for ‘enjoyment of rights’ of EU nationals. These include voting rights and right to run for elections for the European Parliament, right to vote and run for local elections, right of free migration, and diplomatic and consular protection. Most of the acquis in this area includes decisions and directives, which enter into force on the day of accession to the EU.