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    • Delegation of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly visits BCSP

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    • Date: 14 June 2017

      Relations between Serbia and NATO, media freedom and building of democratic culture were the main subjects of the meeting of Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, held in the BCSP library on June 14, 2017.

      Delegation was led by Dutch senator Menno Knip, Chairmen of the Sub-Committee on Transition and Development of the Economics and Security Committee of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly. Members of delegation were also the President of the Parliamentary Assembly Paolo Alli and parliamentarians from member and partner countries, France, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      BCSP Director Sonja Stojanovic Gajic has introduced the members of the Sub-Committee on Transition and Development of the Economics and Security Committee of NATO’s Parliamentery Assembly with the public opinion surveys on security issues and Serbian foreign policy.

       “Majority of Serbian citizens is still for the membership in the EU, even though the perception of the EU has gotten worse in the recent period. Majority also has more negative than positive associations to the NATO membership. These views are, among other things, shaped by the media reporting”, explained Stojanovic Gajic.

      BCSP Researcher Katarina Djokic talked about the cooperation through the Individual Partnership Action Plan of Serbia - NATO (IPAP) and its invisibility in the media.

      “Cooperation with NATO is a politically sensitive and unpopular issue. Even though all information about this cooperation is available on the Ministry of Defense website, most journalists are not even aware what IPAP represents”, said Djokic.

      Main conclusions from the survey on the attitudes of the journalists who focus on the subjects of security and NATO were presented by Radomir Cvetkovic, BCSP Communications Officer.

      “Serbian journalists who report on the cooperation with NATO stress that political statements from the officials are dominant in that field. On the other hand, information on the concrete events that present the core of the cooperation are lacking”, said Cvetkovic.

      Among the participants of the meeting was also the Director of Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies Jelena Milic, who analyzed current relations of Serbia with NATO and EU. During the later discussion, parliamentarians were mostly interested for the possible ways of bring Euro-Atlantic integrations more closely to the Serbian citizens and for the public perception of Serbian relations with NATO and Russia.  

      NATO Parliamentary Assembly is an organization for international cooperation, dedicated to deliberation of security, political and economic questions. Delegation visited Serbia from June 12 until June 14 and during that period met with highest state official, members of National Assembly, international organizations, civil society and opposition. This visit was organized for the purpose of making report “Economic transition in the Western Balkans”.

      This text was translated by the BCSP intern Emilija Davidovic.

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