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Report from the CEAS Conference

   Mon 03/03/2014

 

On February 24, Lousewies van der Laan participated in the CEAS international conference in Belgrade. She was part of the panel discussing the issue of global, regional and Serbian security, foreign policy and economic challenges. Read more about the CEAS international conference in their report (first published on the CEAS website). 
 
After opening accession negotiations with the EU, is it time for redefining and calibrating the course of Serbia’s foreign, security and defense policies?
 
The second annual CEAS international conference was held on February 24, 2014, at the Metropol Palace Hotel in Belgrade, under the title „After opening accession negotiations with the EU, is it time for redefining and calibrating the course of Serbia’s foreign, security and defense policies?“. The conference is part of the project Serbia and the EU: What do we have in common in the areas of security and defense and how to make the most of it – continued advocacy of security sector reform in Serbia through intensive use of Serbia’s EU accession process resources, supported by the Fund for an Open Society, Serbia. 
 
The conference was opened by Jelena Mili?, CEAS Director, Tanja Miš?evi?, Head of the negotiating team for negotiations on the accession of Serbia to the EU, Ambassador Miomir Udovi?ki, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and Nataša Vu?kovi?, President of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration of the National Parliament of Serbia in its last assembly. The main message sent from this panel is that Serbia needs strategic thinking in its process of further accession to the EU, which calls for a more open and honest debate on the foreign policy course of the country.  
 
The second panel dealt with the issue of global, regional and Serbian security, foreign policy and economic challenges, seeing speakers including Lousewies van der Laan, Vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands, Charles du Vinage, Director of the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung in Serbia and Saša Radulovi?, outgoing Minister of Economy of the Republic of Serbia. This was followed by a discussion in which those present had the opportunity to question the speakers on how they would overcome certain challenges that are present, for example, in the European Union, in Serbia, in the process of reforms.
 
The third panel addressed the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). An overview of the current state of affairs regarding CSDP was presented by Sanja Mešanovi?, from the negotiating team for negotiations on the accession of Serbia to the European Union. A presentation by Dominik P. Jankowski, an Expert Analyst at the National Security Bureau of the Republic of Poland, and Bodo Weber, Analyst at the Democratization Policy Council from Berlin, followed. 
 
The next panel gave a regional review of security policy and current security threats, with the idea of highlighting what we have in common and where do we differ. Jan Piek?o, Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI) Director from Poland opened the panel giving an overview of recent developments and the current state of affairs in Ukraine. Presentations by Milan Jezovica, Senior Fellow for the Foreign Policy Program of the M.E.S.A.10 think-tank, and Former MFA State Secretary from Slovakia, on Slovakia’s security challenges and choices; Ilian Vassilev, Board Member of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies from Bulgaria, on the problems that Bulgaria is faced with, the influence of Brussels and relations with Russia; and Edina Be?irevi?, Lecturer at the Faculty of Criminalistics, Criminology and Security Studies of the University of Sarajevo, on the riots in Bosnia, followed.
 
On the final panel, Jelena Mili?, CEAS Director, Jasminka Simi?, PhD of Political Science and Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia President, opened a discussion on the crossroads at which Serbia currently finds itself – the question of whether to turn towards the political East or the political West, relations with neighbors, its position in the region and cooperation with Russia.
Jelena Mili? also presented the sixth issue of the CEAS quarterly “The New Century: liberal responses to global challenges”.
 
The conference was attended by representatives of state institutions and bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Anti-Corruption Agency, Office of the Council on National Security and Classified Information Protection; followed by representatives of international organizations such as the NATO Military-Liaison Office, the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the OSCE Mission to Serbia; representatives of foundations, such as the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung; representatives of the diplomatic community in Serbia, civil society, academics and representatives of the media.
 
A press clipping from the conference can be found at the CEAS website in the CEAS in the Media section.
 
Official Tweet of the conference: #SerbiaInEU

 

 

 

 

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