•  
        • 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.

        • 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.

        • Pandemic of geopolitics
          • Publications

          • Autor: Igor Bandovic
          • Pandemic of geopolitics

          • How does the COVIDー19 pandemic influence Serbia's foreign policy - read in the op-ed writen by BCSP Director Igor Bandovic for the weekly "Vreme".

        Serbia and Hungary: Hammering DemocracyThe Security Sector in a Captured StateThe Security Sector in the State of Emergency: Testing DemocracyCrime in the Western Balkans Six at the Time of Coronavirus: Early FindingsPandemic of geopolitics
    •  
    •  
    • Info BCSP

    • Sign up to receive our e-bulletin.
    •  
    •  
    • Find publications, analysis and documents in our unique resource base available to all visitors of BCSP web site.
      Advance search
    •  
    •  
    •  
     
    •  
        • The police did not always conduct themselves professionally, proportionately and as politically neutral agents primarily concerned with the needs and rights of citizens. The criteria on the basis of which the Ministry of the Interior issued permits for movement during the curfew were not prescribed, which is why they were misused during the flare-lighting incident.

          People who arrived in Serbia before the state of emergency was declared were often not informed that they had been placed under mandatory self-isolation. Police harassment was observed in at least three cases, with the police internal control department reacting publicly only once.

          The Serbian Armed Forces were engaged in a large number of tasks, which was significant due to the weak capacity of the civilian authorities to respond to natural disasters on their own. Nevertheless, coordination with the civilian authorities took place informally and primarily through the President of the Republic. No decision on the use of the Serbian Armed Forces has been published, so it is not clear who decided how they will be deployed. The military took on public security assignments for which it lacks training and clear procedures, which proved to be a problem particularly when it came to securing refugee and asylum centres. Members of the armed forces were not sufficiently well protected from the COVID-19 infection.

          The negative trend of pressures and threats to independent journalists and activists has continued. Several problematic arrests and detention orders have been reported, such as the cases of Ana Lalić, Jovana Popović and Slaviša Pajović.

          The National Assembly was further degraded. Its role has been reduced to automatically rubber-stamping decisions made by the executive branch. At the same time, MPs have been treated solely as representatives of political parties and not as representatives of all Serbian citizens. Therefore, in terms of their constitutionality and lawfulness, the decisions made by the executive during the state of emergency remain highly questionable .

          The declaration of a state of emergency was not necessary for the implementation of appropriate measures to protect the population, since these could be implemented using other legal mechanisms. The fact that the state of emergency is regulated in more detail in the Law on Defence than any other act makes it clear that it was originally envisaged as a response to military threats, not natural disasters. Orders prohibiting movement were issued by the Minister of the Interior, although restrictions on the constitutional rights of citizens during a state of emergency are supposed to be prescribed by a decree issued by the Government and co-signed by the President.

          Serbia has an opportunity to take the test again if the Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of executive decisions as soon as possible and if the National Assembly, the Ombudsman and internal control bodies review the conduct of the police and the armed forces during the state of emergency. The Prosecutor's Office and the Ombudsman should, within their competencies, review the arrests of journalists and activists. The European Union should take into account the political context and the institutional response to the epidemic when drafting its next report on Serbia's progress. In the long run, the spread of COVID-19 is a reminder to institutions of the need to reform the current emergency management system.

           

        • Tags: police, Serbian Armed Forces, state of emergency, Security sector, external oversight, parliament, parliamentary oversight
    •  
    • Post a comment

    •  
    •  
    • See all comments

    •  
    •