Serbia’s European integration: An improved framework for cooperation adds to CSOs’ legitimacy
PISM (Polish Institute of International Affairs) policy paper “Civil Society Networks in the European Integration of Serbia” co-authored by Tomasz Zornacsuk (PISM), Bojan Elek (Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, BCSP) and Ljiljana Ubović (BFPE) was presented today in our premises.
Representatives of CSOs, international community and public administration took part in the discussion, exchanging opinions and experiences primarily related to Serbia’s accession to the EU. Civil society networks initiated to monitor and participate in Serbia’s accession negotiations – National Convent, SEKO and PrEUgovor – were critically assessed.
The participants in the discussion underlined the importance of regulations governing the participation of civil society in the negotiation process, as well as a clear framework defining clear responsibilities and obligations.
In particular, they insisted on improving citizens’ understanding of the benefits of accession process, bringing in effect improved cooperation and contributing to participatory decision-making.
Enhanced cooperation framework would certainly add to the legitimacy of civil society’s participation in the process, which at times may be (with good reason) questioned.
The international community and donors are invited to follow carefully – at all levels – but also to support the process and quality initiatives aimed at involving civil society in decision-making processes and defining development policies.
This policy paper is published within the “Thinking for Governance” project, led by the Polish Institute of International Affairs, and supported by the International Visegrad Fund