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          • Year: 2009
          • Western Balkans Security Observer Issue 12

          • The idea for this issue arose during the conference on the role of independent research centres (IRC) in the security policy, which was organized by the Centre for Civil-Military Relations in November 2008. During that conference, we realized that it was still early to analyze the influence of IRC on the security policy in the region, because the number of organizations whose primary activity was research within this field was very small. We have therefore decided to analyze the scope of a wider involvement of the civil society organizations in the creation, implementation and evaluation of the security policies. Papers based on the results of empirical research conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia deal with this subject.

        • The review of the new handbook on public oversight over the security sector offers models for inclusion of CSOs in the oversight over the security sector, as well as a large number of illustrative examples from the practice of those organizations from different parts of the world.

          In their papers, Goran Buldioski and Židas Daskalovski explain the think-thank concept or the IRC concept to the readers. They analyze the development of IRCs in the Western Balkans and the characteristics that separate them from similar organizations from other parts of the Europe. Both authors critically examine the biggest challenges that organizations that want to work as IRC encounter, and they suggest the ways in which they can work more effectively. Buldioski’s recommendations are first and foremost intended for the potential donors, while Daskalovski’s recommendations are aimed at organizations from the region.

          Review paper on IRCs in the USA introduces us to the developed tradition of inclusion of independent centres of knowledge in the creation of the security policy of this superpower. Although presented experiences cannot be directly compared to the social context of the Western Balkans, this paper still indicates the common challenges that lie before all IRCs: how to remain independent from the political decision-makers, and yet influence the contents of the policies and secure continuous funding.

          Apart from this issue’s topic, we have also tried to critically folloW current developments regarding security in the Western Balkans. In this issue, we have published an informative review of the National Security Strategy of Montenegro, which primarily focuses on approaching of Montenegro to the NATO Alliance. Biljana Đorđević examines the concept of security and human rights in the EU by analyzing the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, as well as the so-called Return Directive. Those two documents are important for Serbia as well, because what is imminent is the adoption of the National Strategy for Migration Management and the adjustment of that strategy to the current European priorities in order to fulfil the conditions set forth in the White Schengen Road Map. In conclusion, we have published a review of the book on European Defence and Security Policy, in which the scope of EU peace operations in Bosnia and Macedonia has been analyzed.

          Sonja Stojanović (excerpt from the Editor's Word)

          31. july 2009. 

        • Tags: think tank, independent research centres, CSO, NGO, Security, policy, migrations, national security
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