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        • Serbia and Hungary: Hammering Democracy
          • Publications

          • Autor: Marko Drajić
          • Serbia and Hungary: Hammering Democracy

          • Hungary is currently Serbia’s closest international partner. Bilateral relations between the two countries are no longer marred by any disputes and their political and economic interests increasingly coincide. The values underpinning the administrations of both countries have converged to ...

        • The Security Sector in a Captured State
          • Publications

          • Autor:
          • The Security Sector in a Captured State

          • Report on state capture in Serbia is BCSP genuine and pioneering work aiming to document and deconstruct ongoing process of state capture in the security sector through presentation of mechanisms, actors and consequences of this process.

        • The Security Sector in the State of Emergency: Testing Democracy
          • Publications

          • Autor: Isidora Stakic, Jelena Pejic Nikic, Katarina Djokic, Marija Ignjatijevic, Sasa Djordjevic
          • The Security Sector in the State of Emergency: Testing Democracy

          • This analysis by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) concludes that during the 52 days it spent in a state of emergency, Serbia failed the test of democracy, thanks to a series of failings and irregularities in the conduct and control of the security sector.

        • The Masks Have Slipped: Serbia in a Geopolitical Pandemic
          • Publications

          • Autor: Isidora Stakic, Maja Bjelos, Marko Drajić
          • The Masks Have Slipped: Serbia in a Geopolitical Pandemic

          • Masks have slipped and the interests of Serbia’s foreign policy were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These interests are not based on the principles of common goods, but on mechanism for preserving the existing internal order. This is one of the conclusions in the foreign policy analysis ...

        • Crime in the Western Balkans Six at the Time of Coronavirus: Early Findings
          • Publications

          • Autor: Sasa Djordjevic
          • Crime in the Western Balkans Six at the Time of Coronavirus: Early Findings

          • Did organized crime groups continue with their activity at the time of Coronavirus, which trends in the criminal activities in the Western Balkans can be noticed in the first six weeks of the pandemic and which scenarios can be envisaged for the future, analyzed BCSP Researcher Sasa Djordjevic.

        Serbia and Hungary: Hammering DemocracyThe Security Sector in a Captured StateThe Security Sector in the State of Emergency: Testing DemocracyThe Masks Have Slipped: Serbia in a Geopolitical PandemicCrime in the Western Balkans Six at the Time of Coronavirus: Early Findings
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        • The discrepancy between declarative commitment to the rule of law and the actual state on the ground is a common denominator of the EU integration efforts in all the countries of the Western Balkans. Therefore this paper urges decision makers in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as civil society and regional organizations committed to the EU integration of the Western Balkans countries and EU institutions to address the shortcomings of the EU-related efforts of these countries to this point and the overall reforms that aim for the democratization of the region.

          In all three countries, it is particularly worrisome that issues, which should come first on the Governments' agendas, come last.

          In other words, there is continuous trend of stagnation or backsliding in fundamental rights, and this has especially been reflected in deteriorating media freedom and the violation of human rights by police officers and other official institutions.

          Progress in the efficiency of the judiciary can be commended, but there is no significant progress regarding its independence. Special prosecutions set up in Macedonia and Montenegro, although demonstrating a degree of independence, face obstructions from other institutions and face intense political pressures. The track record for fighting organized crime and corruption in Serbia and Montenegro is still not reflected in the final convictions of high profile cases.

          In all countries, cooperation between the Government and civil society regressed, as demonstrated by smear campaigns against CSOs. Councils for cooperation between CSOs and the Government in Macedonia and Montenegro are boycotted by civil society representatives. The role of non-governmental actors in EU Accession efforts is downgraded by the lack of access to the key information on the progress made in meeting EU criteria, especially in Montenegro.

          There are also more specific converging trends observed among the countries. In Macedonia and Serbia, prioritization of security and bilateral issues tends to overshadow the “fundamentals first” approach of the European Commission and to downplay the importance of the rule of law. Macedonia and Montenegro, on the other hand, have gone through political experiments with the so-called governments of electoral trust, trading off the efforts towards depoliticizing the administration for the priority of addressing the low levels of trust in the elections. Still, the aftermaths of the elections in both countries are marked by the refusal of the opposition to confirm the validity of the election results.

          Curbing overarching politicization in the region is a key precondition for a more efficient fight against corruption. The EU, Governments and CSOs should thus avoid technicisation of the EU accession efforts. The EU should persist with its “fundamentals first” approach, with more efficient inclusion of civil society in the process of EU integration. CSOs should continue independent monitoring and evaluation of rule of law efforts and with promoting examples of successful reforms - the so called “agents of reform” across the region, to spur positive peer-pressure among the countries.

          The study is conducted within the framework of the project Monitoring and Evaluation of the Rule of Law in Western Balkans (MERLIN WB), conducted by the European Policy Institute - Skopje in partnership with Institute Alternativa from Montenegro and the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy from Serbia and funded by the European Fund for the Balkans.

           
        • Tags: MERLIN, rule of law, Western Balkans, civil society, corruption
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