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    • Launching the project "Business and Security": international expert conference to be organised in the National Assembly

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    • Date: 03 November 2008

      Although integration to the EU is backed by the vast majority of citizens, accession to NATO is a highly controversial topic even among the democratic political parties. The on-going debate has been dominated by historical and emotional arguments rather than by the clear minded cost-benefit analyses. In one sentence, the thematic focus of discussions was on the political and security implications of NATO membership, while economic dimension was either neglected or raised in general terms without reference to any evidence.

      This is a consequence of the lack of research and hard data on possible Serbia’s economic gains and costs. The other reason is almost complete absence of business community from the debate. Setting security and foreign policy priorities is no longer only an issue for the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and other governmental agencies, but requires the cooperation and collaboration of the whole society, including academia, civil society and business.

      Therefore, the Centre for Civil-Military Relations is launching the project "Business and Security" with a long-term goal to increase awareness in Serbian society about the interconnection between economy, stability and security.

      The project consists of pilot research and conference focusing on possible economic consequences of Serbia’s security integration, with a special focus on costs and benefits of Serbia’s possible accession to NATO. The research will be used to map key arguments and evidence needed for an educated debate on costs and benefits of current and further Serbia’s security integration. This will be used during the conference which will gather security experts, economists and members of business community in Serbia, as well as foreign guests from new member countries of the NATO and the EU, and representatives from these organizations. The conference will provide them with an opportunity to focus on economic aspects of integration into NATO and European security structures.

      This opportunity will be also used to inform the target audiences about the new threats to security, such as energy security or cyber terrorism, which could only be approached through wide international partnerships. The results of research will be reviewed with the analysis from the conference and published in a Collection of Papers both in Serbian and English.

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