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    • What awaits Serbia in the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice?

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    • Date: 12 November 2011
      The new European Movement in Serbia "Guidebook" concerning policies of freedom, justice and security was presented in Belgrade

      Within the framework of the “Guidebooks to EU policies” project implemented by the European Movement in Serbia (www.emins.org) at the Media Centre Belgrade, the last in the row of Guidebooks was dedicated to issues of justice, freedom and security presented on November 14. Authors responsible for the completion of this specific Guidebook are Head of the Bureau for Strategic Planning in the Serbia Ministry of Interior Drazen Maravic and Director of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) Sonja Stojanovic. Government of Serbia Vice-president for European Integration, Bozidar Djelic and the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in the Republic of Serbia, Jan Varšo, were invited by the organisers to speak on the value and usability of the Guidebook.

      The Guidebook depicts the institutional, financial and legal framework within which the common Area of Justice, Freedom, and Security (AFSJ) exists in the EU. It is one of key EU policies, which, after the Lisbon Treaty, presents the successor of policies in the field of justice and home affairs.

      Guidebook is available for direct download at http://www.emins.org/sr/publikacije/knjige/11-vodic-kroz-eu-politike-sloboda-bezbednost-pravda.pdf (in Serbian language only).

      Government of Serbia Vice-President for European Integration, in his opening address, said that this is “probably a policy domain of greatest importance for the EU, when it decides on new candidates,” and "Serbia is aware that these negotiation chapters will be the first to open, and last to close.” Precisely for this reason, “if there was a good moment for publishing the Guidebook, it is now,” believes Djelic.

      BCSP Director Sonja Stojanovic said that the "EU wishes to see whether laws are being thoroughly applied and bearing results." She highlighted the oversight mechanisms established by the EU, in order to see standards being implemented. Drawing lessons from the negative experience of post-Romanian and Bulgarian accession, as well as the negotiation process with Croatia, the EU decided to open the negotiation chapter on justice, freedom, and security first.

      As one sphere of policy where Serbia drags behind its EU neighbours, as well as other member states, Sonja emphasized the protection of personal data.

      Still, she believes that by using the Guidebook employees in state administration will reach a step closer to the goal EU had set for itself: to have one third of the entire staff working in police and judiciary of all member states by 2015 trained on AFSJ policies. This, however, leaves a difficult task for Serbia’s state administration - to not only continue harmonizing its laws and practices to the ones of the EU, but also keep following this “moving target” of changing and developing policy.

      Reports by European Movement in Serbia (http://emins.org/sr/press/newsletter.html#AEP04) and Euractiv Serbia (http://www.euractiv.rs/vesti/102-srbija-i-eu/3079-slobode-bezbednost-i-pravda-kljuni-u-pridruivanju-eu.html) were used for the purpose of preparing this text.

      Related topics:Serbia, EMINS, guide, freedom, justice, eu
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