Forging a National Strategy Through EU Accession: Serbia, 2007–2012

Sonja Licht

24. October 2014

Forging a National Strategy Through EU Accession: Serbia, 2007–2012

In May 2014, BFPE hosted an exciting research endeavor: George Gavrilis, an independent consultant specializing in international relations, foreign policy, higher education and oral history, spent two weeks in Belgrade, where he prepared a case study in the inner workings and achievements of Serbia Government’s European Integration Office.

The case study – published one month ago – is featured at the web site of the Innovations for Successful Societies (ISS), a joint program of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and the Bobst Center for Peace & Justice. For the ISS, these case studies, based on interviews, trace the steps reformers have taken to try to improve a service, build an institution, or escape a governance trap.

In Gavrilis’ words,

“from 2007 to 2010 Serbia enacted a series of unilateral measures that kick-started harmonization with EU law and signaled to the European Commission in Brussels that Serbia was serious about its future in the EU. Because the reformers were so focused on pursuing accession, they did not have much opportunity to think independently about national priorities and formulate a separate national development strategy.”

Mr. Gavrilis drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 2014. Michael Scharff conducted additional interviews in London, England and Paris, France in June and July 2014. Valentina Đureta of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence provided vital logistical support for the case study. Case published September 2014.

About the author:

Dr. George Gavrilis is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University working in the areas of international relations, foreign policy, higher education and oral history. He is also a specialist on the Middle East and Central Asia. He recently served as Executive Director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, an NGO based in Washington, DC and Istanbul, Turkey. In 2008-09 he served as an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and worked with the United Nations on various policy initiatives on Central Asia and Afghanistan. He previously taught international relations and comparative politics in the Department of Government at the University of Texas-Austin, directed research for the CFR Oral History Project at Columbia University, and served as a National Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. He is author of The Dynamics of Interstate Boundaries (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and has published articles in Foreign Affairs and The New York Timeson Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and the West Bank.

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