Chapter 23 is one of the most voluminous and complex chapters, while speed and duration of negotiations in the area directly affect progress in other aspects of accession negotiations with the European Union.
EU policies in this regard aim to maintain and further develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. Policies under Chapter 23 are divided into four main and interrelated areas: justice, fight against corruption, fundamental rights, and rights of EU citizens.
An independent and efficient judiciary is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and high standard in adjudication by the courts are essential for safeguarding the rule of law. It implies firm commitment to eliminating external influences on the judiciary and securing adequate financial resources and training. Legal guarantees need to be in place for fair trials.
Also, the member-states must effectively fight corruption, as it represents threat to stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. A solid legal framework and reliable institutions are needed to support a coherent policy for prevention and deterrence of corruption.
The member-states are expected to ensure respect for fundamental rights and rights of EU citizens that are guaranteed by the acquis and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.