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    • Transparency and dialogue with citizens are key to building police integrity

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    • Date: 23 March 2017

      Transparency in their work and simultaneous openness to the proposals of civil society organizations present key steps towards building police integrity are the main conclusion of the regional network POINTPULSE conference held on 23. March 2017. 

      Research on public opinion showed that more than a half of the Western Balkans population believe that civil society organizations (CSOs) should participate in fight against corruption, actively or in cooperation with the state administration.

      Vladimir Erceg, Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) Researcher, cited acceptance of BCBP’s recomendations during the adoption of the Law on Police and contributions to improvement of the transparency in public procurements in the security sector as an example of BCBP’s direct impact on public policies.

      "On the basis of the BCBP’s proposals, the scope of parliamentary oversight was significantly improved and the potentially wasteful public procurements now can be easily found online by the recently launched 'Red flags' web portal. These are direct results of civil society initiatives", emphasised Erceg.

      Politicization of the police are the main problem in cooperation between CSOs and the Ministry of interior, Erceg highlighted.

      "The result of the growing instrumentalization of the police in Serbia is the fact that the Ministry of Interior has recently started to treat BCSP’s findings and recommendations as malicious criticism. This complicates our communication with the Ministry, and the result is that the organization is increasingly addressing the public to influence policy changes", stated Erceg.

      At the conference, the audience has been informed on the challenges that CSOs face while monitoring the integrity of the police. Conference participants pointed out that the biggest problem is difficult access to public information, which is necessary for researche. They stressed that the organizations must be objective towards the security sector and at the same time need to build partnerships with it.

      Besides BCBP, the conference brought together five organizations from the region gathered in POINTPULSE network in order to improve police integrity and advocacy of policies aimed at faighting corruption in Western Balkans.

      The conference is a part of the project „Western Balkans Pulse for Police Integrity and Trust - POINTPULSE“, supported by the European Union through Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) program „Civil Society Facility“ (CSF).

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