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    • The best of BCSP in 2014

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    • Date: 31 December 2014
      Improving security policies, increasing accountability of government institutions and fostering dialogue on key issues of security sector governance in Serbia and in the Western Balkans marked the work of the BCSP research team in 2014.

      BCSP remained the leading CSO in the region in research and advocacy of accountability, integrity and anti-corruption reforms in the security sector. We continued to contribute to the transparency of Serbia’s accession negotiations with the EU and the improvement of Serbian-Albanian relations. We maintained a space for discussion of global security challenges in the Balkans through Belgrade Security Forum, as well as possible contributions of Serbia and the region to resolving global security issues. The greatest success is that we expanded a number of participants in Serbian security policy community by inclusion of a number of local civil society organizations and municipalities in our activities.

      At the last global list of the most influential Think Tanks in 2013 BCSP was ranked among the best in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and in the top 20 into three categories in the world. In the list of the best think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, we entered the top 20.In the ranking of the best in the world dealing with defense and national security, BCSP ranked in the top 30, whereas among research centers dealing with foreign policy and international relations, we are in the top 40 in the world.

      The fight against corruption as an incentive for reforms 

      Throughout 2014, the BCSP was continuously drawing attention of national and international public on the trends and challenges of systematic fight against corruption in Serbian police, military and intelligence services. We initiated discussion throughout Serbia about the risks of corruption in the police out of which six case studies were produced documenting corruption in.  More importantly, in 2014, BCSP team produced evidence-based comprehensive analysis of the integrity of the security sector in Serbia. We initiated a dialogue on a model for reform of the security intelligence system and revealed the problem of the influence of political e on employment in intelligence services.The confirmation of BCSP’s expertise on researching integrity in security institutions is selection of BCSP in an open competition by the Transparency International for the second time to perform the assessment of the integrity of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Serbia, as part of the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, which will be released in early 2015.

      Involvement in the process of negotiations

      BCSP recommendations for preventing information leaks on police investigations, strengthening internal control in Ministry of Interior, as well as on need of review of intelligence service role in criminal investigations are adopted and put forward in the Screening Reports for the Chapter 23  and Chapter 24. These policy recommendations were part of BCSP’s advocacy as a member of a prEUgovor coalition, the coordinator of the Working Group for Chapter 24 in the National Convention on the European Union and a SECO leading organization in the field of justice and home affairs. We have launched initiatives for greater transparency of the process of EU accession negotiations and we consistently facilitate the participation of other civil society organizations in this process. More than 50 CSOs supported the BCSP request to the Ministry of Interior to publish the draft of the Action Plan for Chapter 24.

      Implementation of the Brussels Agreement

      At the regional level we mostly worked on improving Serbian-Albanian relations through increased cooperation between the security communities. Shortly after the signing of the Brussels Agreement, through the exchange of researchers with Kosovar Centre for Security Studies, a partner organization  from Pristina, we conducted a field study of the integration of Serbian police officers in northern Kosovo and Albanians in Southern Serbia.  The Summer School of Security Policy  created a dialogue among 18 academics, junior civil servants and journalists on security policy in the triangle Belgrade-Pristina-Tirana, which is still going on and contributes to overcoming conflicts and   trust-building in the region. The example of this is that one of participants from Albania was the first one in her country who launched collecting aid for those affected by the floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

      New research topics

      BCSP reacted to the floods of May 2014 by collecting aid for affected citizens and sending appeal for support to all international partners. Soon after the disaster, BCSP conducted research on effectiveness of protection and rescue system in Serbia. This will be the basis for advocacy of improvement of local resilience systems and national emergency management system. During 2014, the first regional assessment of civil capacities for peace operations was conducted and presented. In cooperation with Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, we have piloted Local Safety Monitor for the first time in Serbia by gathering information about citizens’ perceptions and official statistics on local safety in municipalities. The benchmarking results from this research results will be presented in 2015.

      From local to global

      The fourth year in a row, BCSP co-organized  the Belgrade Security Forum, the major Western Balkan gathering for review of regional topics in global context and for bringing global topics to the Balkans. In 2014, we brought to BSF a several hundred experts, politicians and academic researchers and civil society activists to Belgrade and attracted huge media attention. The concluding statement of the Fourth BSF, stating that Serbia can contribute to finding solutions for ongoing European crisis by enhancing the dialogue between the EU and Russia, has become part of the official discourse of the Government of the Republic of Serbia which is the chair of OSCE in 2015. Together with Women in International Security from the U.S. BCSP worked on developing indicators for the implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1325 - Women, Peace and Security in the military operations of NATO members and partner states. To this end, BCSP consulted the key civil society activists, researchers, politicians and security professionals in Belgrade and Washington.

      Expanding knowledge and sharing experiences

      News reporters form six national and seven local and regional media outlets participated in the BCSP training  on reporting on corruption in the police, armed forces and intelligence services. The training resulted in 11 published articles, radio and TV reports. Furthermore, in the course of the year, BCPS organized a series of training on the subject of gender equality in the security sector in Serbia. During 2014, BCSP trained representatives of local governments, police, welfare centers and media from Niš, Kraljevo, Kruševac, Aranđelovac and Zrenjanin on the subject of gender equality and local security, while 15 civil society organizations attended training for project management .  More than 100 employees of the Ministry of Interior took part in BCSP seminars on gender mainstreaming in policing.

      In addition to numerous training organized for others, BCSP team worked on development of its staff and organizational capacity. The BCSP researchers and interns attended 15 training on various subjects: column writing, public procurement performance, project proposal writing and TV appearance.

      BCSP in numbers

      During 2014, we published more than 40 publications, organized and participated in over 50 public events, training and courses. We appeared in national, regional and international media over 500 times, mentored twenty Serbian interns and visiting researchers, established new partnerships with other CSOs from Serbia and region.

       

      Related topics:Best of BCSP
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