9.9.2012. Jelena Milić, CEAS Director, attended a presentation of the Policy Brief: The Višegrad Group: Exploring New Agenda for the Western Balkans

Belgrade, September 9, 2012

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Jelena Milić, Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) attended a presentation of the policy brief entitled “The Višegrad Group: Exploring New Agenda for the Western Balkans”, held on the margin of the Belgrade Security Forum, on September 21st. The policy brief is a part of the series published in the framework of the Višegrad Policy Briefs: Converging Regional Positions project, organised jointly by the Central European Policy Institute, the Slovak Atlantic Commission and the CD International, in cooperation with the International Višegrad Fund.

The authors of the policy brief are István Gyarmati, President of the Centre for Democracy Public Foundation from Hungary, Milan Nič, Senior Fellow at the Central European Policy Institute from Slovakia, Jan Vlkovský, a Western Balkans expert at the Jagello 2000 Association from the Czech Republik, and Tomasz Żornaczuk, Analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The project envisages elaboration of four expert policy briefs on selected security-related topics from the Višegrad point of view, containing well-reasoned policy recommendations that should be used as an expert input of the regional non-governmental community for debate on issues relevant to the V4 countries. Some of the recommendations include:

- encouraging Serbian leaders to make more progress in the political dialogue with Kosovo, working within the European People’s Party;
- supporting Montenegro’s steady progress, especially its bid for NATO membership through the North Atlantic Council;
- helping the revival of Macedonia’s EU and NATO integration bid by pushing for a new approach;
- keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina focused on tangible results by unblocking Bosnia’s participation in NATO’s MAP programme and supporting a stronger and leading role for the EU in the context of preparing the reconfiguration of their international presence there;
- engaging Kosovo in regional cooperation and promoting progress towards a solution, by supporting regional cooperation among the countries of the region, including between Serbia and Kosovo;
- and shifting from development to technical assistance by providing first-rate expertise and best practices in the integration and transformation agenda, prioritising state administration, transferring of knowledge on economic and social transformation, reinforcing the rule of law and supporting efforts to create a functional and stable civil society. Another form of support sees the already endorsed initiative of establishing a Western Balkan Fund modelled on the International Višegrad Fund.

6.- 8.9.2012. Jelena Milić, CEAS Director, participated in a Round Table under the title “Private Military and Security Companies” in Sanremo

San Remo, September 6-8, 2012

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Jelena Milić, Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) participated in the XXXV Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law under the title “Private Military and Security Companies” held between 6-8 September in Sanremo. The Round Table was organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, and under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense of Italy.

The works presented focused on the relevant questions of international humanitarian law, raised by the increased presence and activities of private military and security companies (PMSC) in various contexts. With the contributions of government representatives, international organisations and eminent experts coming from different regions of the world, the Round Table offered opportunities to share points of view and experiences among all the interested parties, including states, international organisations, civil society and the private security industry.

By delving into the nature of the status of private companies and the interrelation of the main initiatives aimed at establishing essential standards, the purpose of the Sanremo Round Table was to provide an up-to-date view of the actual international and national normalisation initiatives and the related institutional endeavours aimed at the implementation of already recognised standards regarding the application of the fundamental norms and principles of humanitarian law and human rights.


The Round Table was officially opened by Gianluigi Magri, Under-Secretariy of Defence, and Gianni Ghisi, Coordinator for the Contrast of Maritime Piracy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. High-ranking personalities such as the Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Christine Beerli; the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States Department of Defense, Gary Motsek and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gregory Starr, also took part to the Round Table.

6.9.2012. Collection of Policy Papers on Police Reform in Serbia presented

Belgrade Media Center, September 6, 2012

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Three non-governmental organisations from Belgrade – Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) – drafted a Collection of Policy Papers on Police Reform in Serbia, published and presented to the public at a conference on September 6, 2012 in the Media Centre in Belgrade. The Collection contains three contributions, from authors Nevena Dičić Kostić (BCHR), Saša Đorđević (BCSP) and Jan Litavski (CEAS). These three experts spoke at the conference, and the introductory speaker was Roar Larsen, Chief of the Law Enforcement Department of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Serbia. The OSCE mission supported the project and made publishing of the Collection possible.

Presenting his study ‘Building a Safe Community’, the researcher of BCSP Saša Đorđević especially pointed out the importance of the concept of ’community policing’ and police cooperation with citizens in creating security. He asked for a greater attention to be paid in communication between the Ministry of the Interior and the public to the fight against and, especially, prevention of crime, and less to the narrow political promotion of personalities and political options in the ministry. Respecting the rules of budget discipline and saving, even in the existing hard economic situation, by redistributing ressources, money should be found for strategic police reform. Finaly, Đorđević considers the 1980s as a source of good experiences for future police reform, that the idea of ’community policing’ began then, and that there are still experts from that time who can, with whier experience, aid contemporary and future police reforms.

Expert from the BCHR Nevena Dičić Kostić presented her study ’Police Status According to the new Criminal Procedure Act’. She pointed out the changes introduced by the Criminal Procedures Act (CPA), especially relating to the police and judiciary, as well as in the very role of the judiciary in criminal investigations. She considered the consequences which the changes in the CPA could have upon the human rights of those retained, detained or others under investigation, in relation to the practice of retention and detention. She analysed the parallel solutions in a number of European countries. She expressed hope that the suitable new regulations of the CPA will bring about better protection of human rights of suspects and, generally, more legal security, as well as eficiency of the entire process.

Researcher Jan Litavski presented his study ’Professional Culture, Ethics, Errors and Police Accountability’. He especially pointed out that the police should be an integral part of the entire society, decentralised and maximally sensitive to the needs of the local community. The problem of corruption should be especially urgently resolved in the police, as corruption is extermenly dangerous in this service, not just from a moral point of view, but also regarding police credibility. Personal data protection of citizens is also an open question, epseically in light of new technologies. Obviously there is a too elastic understanding of police entitlements and an often unjustified invasion into the privacy of citizens, illustrated by around 270.000 research polls over the Internet annually by mobile phone network operators.

Roar Larsen pointed to the significance that OSCE given to police reform in Serbia. Such reform is seen as an important integral part of transition towards democracy and creation of a secure environment necessary for faster economic development of Serbia. The conference discussion was attended by on MP as well – Saša Vujić – who welcomed the activities of the thee non-governmental organisation in stimulating police reform and aiding legislatures through expert contributions and finalised practical policy recommendations.

With numerous NGO activists and experts, alongside Jan Litavski, the conference was attended by another CEAS associated – Dušan Gamser – who pointed out the importance of ‘slicing regulations’ in the fight against corruption in the police sector. In its research on corruption, CEAS especially emphasises the importance of deregulation – as well as reducing the range of discretionary powers of civil servants, inspection services, or others who impose mandatory fines – for narrowing the scope for corruption.

The Collection of Policy Papers on Police Reform in Serbia is published in Serbian and English. It is available at the CEAS website at:

http://www.ceas-serbia.org/root/prilozi/Zbirka%20predloga%20za%20reformu%20policije%20u%20Srbiji.pdf

5.6.2012. Dušan Gamser represented CEAS at the discussion ‘Egypt in Transition’

Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), June 5, 2012

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On June 5, 2012, a discussion was held on the topic ‘Egypt in Transition’, at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP). The main introductory speaker was Dr Ahmed Kandil, reporter and researcher from the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, Egypt. BCSP associate, Marija Marović was the moderator.

This discussion enabled the Belgrade public a chance to talk about the political and wider social situation in Egypt after the 2011 revolution with a representative of an Egyptian civil society organisation. Dr Ahmed Kandil actively participated in the political life and strains in Egypt and has experience in the field which is significant for better understanding the situation in the country, which he happily shared with the other participants.


The following topics were discussed:

- The political and social-economic situation in Egypt after the Revolution, including a short review of the key political actors and relations of force between them;
- The role of the Security sector (military, police, security forces) – challenges of reforms;
- The role of the civil society in the process of transition in Egypt, the similarities and differences in relation to Serbia;
- The arrests of members of Egyptian NGOs and forthcoming trials;
- The Presidential elections in Egypt – what can be expected during and after.

The Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) in Belgrade was represented at the discussion by Dušan Gamser, CEAS associate.

31.5.- 2.6.2012. Jan Litavski, CEAS researcher, participated in training organised by the TACSO office in Serbia

TACSO Office in Serbia, 31.5.2012–2.6.2012

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Jan Litavski, researcher at the Centre for Euro-Atlantis Studies participated in the training ‘Strategic network development and management of networks’ in the period between 31.5.2012–2.6.2012, organised by the TACSO office in Serbia.

The training began by mapping out networks and elements needed for the formation and maintenance of a network. The training was focused on strategic planning and elements necessary for the development of a strategic plan. Furthermore, discussions were led over which skills are needed for managing networks, and which for public representation. The training also dealt with the notion of communication and decision making in networks, questions of network sustainability and strategic aim identification. At the end, participants agreed on the logistics and assistance of TACSO trainers on producing strategic plans for the networks they will manage.

2.3.2012. Jelena Milić, CEAS Director, as a guest lecturer at the Corvinus University in Budapest

Belgrade/Budapest 2.3.2012

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The Director of CEAS, Jelena Milić, will on several occasions act as a lecturer at the Corvinus University in Budapest. The first discussion is on the topic of European integration of Serbia, with a specific review of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

CEAS still actively stands for the establishment of the rule of law and protection of human rights, followed by all-encompassing transitional justice. It requests the same from the domestic and international stakeholders in charge, the Hague Tribunal included, no matter whether it is about the conduct of the investigation of the assertions made in Dick Marty’s report on human organ trade, the responsibility of the current Serbian Army Chief Ljubiša Diković for crimes in Kosovo and the appropriateness of his appointment to that position, or the insistence on finding out who, why and how helped the hiding of Hague fugitives Radovan Karadžić, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić for so long.