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    • BCSP in Brussels on the EU enlargement, security and the rule of law

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    • Date: 08 January 2016
      Chapters 23 and 24 were the main topic discussed during the visit of the BCSP delegation to the institutions, think tanks and the media based in Brussels.

      On photo: Radomir Cvetkovic, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, David McAllister and Bojan Elek
      On photo: Radomir Cvetkovic, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, David McAllister and Bojan Elek

      Delegation of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) paid a study visit to Brussels institutions from 6 to 8 January. Representatives of the BCSP had a meeting with the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Serbia, David McAllister, with the Ambassador of Serbia to the EU Dusko Lopandic, and many others. The BCSP Director Sonja Stojanovic Gajic participated in a meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee on the topic of the EU Enlargement Strategy.

      The BCSP study visit to the institutions in Brussels was organized with the support of the OSCE Mission in Serbia. The aim of the visit was to establish a dialogue with the individuals interested in security policy, rule of law and the EU enlargement, to get familiar with the state of the policies covered by the Chapters 23 and 24, as well as to establish contacts and cooperation with the European institutions, the media and think tank organizations that specialize in this field.

      The first stop during the three-day visit to Brussels was the Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the EU, and after that the representatives of the BCSP visited the European Parliament, the European Commission, and two influential think tank organizations - Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and European Policy Centre (EPC). On the study visit agenda there were also the meetings with journalists from Brussels-based media specializing in European issues, the Serbian media correspondents, and the representative of the International European Movement.

      In addition to the above mentioned activities, the BCSP researcher Bojan Elek and the BCSP communication officer Radomir Cvetkovic presented the main findings of the latest report by the coalition prEUgovor, as well as the key topics of the upcoming sixth Belgrade Security Forum.

      BCSP at the Meeting on the EU Enlargement Strategy

      BCSP participated at the EESC hearing on the EU Enlargement Strategy
      BCSP participated at the EESC hearing on the EU Enlargement Strategy

      The aim of the hearing organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on January 8, 2016 was to gather experts from DG NEAR and other institutions and think tanks, as well as the CSOs from Brussels and the Western Balkans, to discuss with the EESC study group the EESC Opinion on the EU Enlargement strategy.

      The panelists at the meeting talked about the key challenges of the EU enlargement policy, from the perspective of the CSOs in the candidate countries, and how the CSOs from these countries could be better involved in the EU enlargement process.

      Having praised the new way of reporting by the European Commission on the situation in the candidate countries, the BCSP Director stressed the need for the enlargement policy to be clearly linked with the progress of democratization in the country.

      "The rule of law is possible only in democratic countries. Functional democracy prevents concentration of power, corruption and political parties’ influence on the institutions and actors that are responsible for ensuring the separation of powers and the rule of law. It is, therefore, essential that the enlargement policy in the next period does not ignore the evaluation of the state of democracy and human rights such as the freedoms of assembly, of association, of expression, and of the media, which are a prerequisite for the exercise of associated rights of workers, ethnic and sexual minorities, etc. It is especially important that those who defend human rights and the accountability of state institutions are protected from attacks”, said Sonja Stojanovic Gajic.

      Translated by BCSP Junior Researcher Isidora Stakic

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