•  
    •  
    • Press Contact

    • For information regarding BCSP activities please contact our Communications Officer

      Dragana Belanovic +381646479097

      dragana.belanovic@bezbednost.org

       

    •  
    •  
    • Info BCSP

    • Sign up to receive our e-bulletin.
    •  
    •  
    •  
     
    • Reform of the security services in Serbia requires dialogue

    •  
    • Date: 19 October 2016

      The Model Law on Security Services created by the team of experts from Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) was presented to Master and PhD students of The Faculty of Security Studies on 19 October, 2016. The presentation was organized with the support of the Center for Applied Security.

      “The debate on the reform of security services in Serbia is necessary because such debate is missing not only in the general public, but in the academic and professional community as well”, said Executive Director of BCSP Predrag Petrovic.

      Petrovic presented the key changes introduced by the Model Law, such as integration of the Military Security Agency (VBA) and the Military Intelligence Agency (VOA) in an individual Military Intelligence and Security Agency, changing the structure of National Security Council and establishment of Technical and Operational Center.

      “A country with limited resources such as Serbia needs to have less rather than more services. This process should not be a problem because they often cannot make distinctive difference what security and what intelligence activities are, which often leads to conflict of jurisdiction,” pointed out professor at the Faculty of Security Studies Bozidar Banovic, who was the first inspector general of VBA and VOA from 2011 to 2013.

      Banovic added that the structure of the Bureau had to be extended to public prosecutors and that the presence of the Republic Public Prosecutor was required, which would be the best reflection of the mechanism of the prosecutorial investigation that had already been introduced in Serbian legal system.

      “I am specifically against the fact that services have police powers. When security services have such powers that inevitably leads to conflict of jurisdiction between services and the police” warns the Professor.

      Banovic praised Model Law for supporting the existence of the General Inspectorate, and that it suggests accountability of the Inspectorate to the Government and not the services, because the control cannot be effective if it is in authority of the security services Director. 

      “However it is necessary to ensure that the report of the Inspectorate does not remain only on paper. For example, a report may contain proposed measures for eliminating irregularities, and the Government would be obliged to carry it through the National Security Council” said the Professor.

      Also Banovic considers it is necessary to have clearly defined general conditions for the selection of the inspectors.

      “Strengthening the independence and authority of this body in relation to executive branch of the government could be implemented through the election of the members of this body by the Parliament,” concludes Banovic.

      During the discussion it was pointed out that joining together military services is not a good solution, but that security services should be organized by their assignments, and accordingly establish intelligence agency and counterintelligence agency in which there would be civilian and military elements.

      Profiles of intelligence officer and counterintelligence officer are different and may pose a greater obstacle than dividing by civilian - military personnel. Today civilian and military personnel already work together in military services, and joining together VBA and VOA would only further suffocate already weak intelligence activity, it was stressed at the meeting.

      Creation of the Model Law has been supported by OSCE Mission to Serbia and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Belgrade in the framework of the project “LEGASI - Towards Legislative of Security Intelligence System”.

      Report was translated by BCSP Intern Mirjana Arsic.

       
      Related topics:model, Law, security services
    •  
    • Post a comment

    •  
    •  
    • See all comments

    •  
    •