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    • The Reform of security services is part of Serbia’s European path

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    • Date: 22 June 2016

      At the panel discussion “What kind of security services are really needed in Serbia” that was organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy on 21 June 2016 in Belgrade was concluded that Serbia needs functioning security services that are subjects of democratic and civilian control.

      This panel has opened discussion on the best solutions for further development of the security services and security-intelligence system in order to maximize their ability for timely preclusion and elimination of contemporary security threats and risks, while respecting the principles of democracy and the rule of law, said Miroslav Hadzic, BCSP’s President of the Board of Directors.

      “There is no formula that calculates how much and what kind of security services is necessary for one country, but instead of the existing three laws, Serbia needs a one that regulates the security-intelligence system”, said Hadzic, and he added that for the democratic, civilian control it is necessary to return the power from the hands of politicians to the institutions of the system.

      Discussion also highlighted that in the Balkans, strategies that exist are consisted of prescribed global security risks and the ones from the European Union, while neglecting domestic challenges and threats.

      “Threats vary from country to country. In France, that is terrorism, Germany is faced with migrations, and in Eastern Europe that is strengthening of extremism. Serbia is not an isolated island, but the first interest of the Security Intelligence Agency is to protect national interests of the country, and if this is in accordance with the interests of the great powers, the better”, said Miroslav Panic, Advisor to the Director of the Security-Information Agency.

      Panic suggested that the European Union has no common regulation on the issue of national security, and that Serbia regulates the system according to security needs.

      Matthew van den Berselar, an expert on building integrity in the security-intelligence services with over 20 years of experience of working in the Dutch service, mostly in the field of international cooperation with the security services outside the European Union, considers that safety is not a matter of daily politics.

      ''The key is coordination and cooperation between security services, which is established by legal regulation. Law on Security-Information Agency has only 30 articles, and it is very general in character. For comparison, the Dutch law on Intelligence and Security Services has 83 pages, and Australian law has over 190 pages and regulates the implementation of every special measure individually“, said Berselar.

      Panelists stressed out that a problem of confidence exists in relation between Serbian security services and the ones in European Union member states. That is reflected primarily in the anxiety that exchanged informations won't be available to a third country.

      BCSP panel discussion “What kind of security services are really needed in Serbia'' is held within the project ''LEGASI-Towards Legislative Reform of Security Intelligence System'', with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Serbia. 

      Report was contributed by BCSP Researcher Katarina Djokic and translated by BCSP Intern Nevena Mancic.

      The representatives of media, embassies and profesional public have contributed to the discussion.
      The representatives of media, embassies and profesional public have contributed to the discussion.

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