ISAC Hosts the “CFSP and Serbian Accession to the European Union” Conference
On 12 -13 May, ISAC organized the “CFSP and Serbian Accession to the European Union” international conference in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade. In partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden, Open Society Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the EU Delegation in Serbia, EU Info Centre, Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Czech Embassy in Belgrade and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade, ISAC dedicated the conference to analysing Chapter 31 (Common Foreign, Security and Defense Policy) of the EU accession negotiations and tackling the sensitive issues that stem from it.
We were especially pleased that the conference was opened by H.E. Ivica Dacic, Mr. Carl Bildt, H.E. Michael Davenport and Mr. Robert Cooper. They provided excellent insight into overall challenges of the CFSP in the case of Serbia and its importance for the negotiation process. It is especially important that senior Serbian government representatives participated as this conference, and ISAC’s overall project dealing with Chapter 31, is meant to provide a platform of knowledge transfer to Serbia’s decision makers for this negotiating Chapter as part of the overall European integration process.
The conference had a high level of media attention and the discussions offered an important overview of the issues facing Serbia in the context of foreign and security policy. The question of sanctions towards Russia was one of the most discussed topics, as well as position towards Ukraine. Global issues such as terrorism, migration, financial crises were also in the focus, and Serbia’s role was discussed from many angles.
The conference took place over two days, with the afternoon of the first day reserved for a public presentation and discussion of ISAC’s “Guide to Chapter 31 – Foreign and Security Policy”. The Guide contains basic information about the development, structure and importance of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, as a mechanism for the coordination of national policies. For more information on the Guide please see this page.
The second day was divided in 3 panels: “EU Common Foreign and Security Policy: Current Challenges and the Position of the Western Balkan EU Candidate Countries” (panellists: Mr. Vladimir Ateljevic, H.E. Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, Mr. Herbert Pribitzer, Ms. Christiana Markert; moderated by Dr. Ivan Vujacic); “The Experiences and Contributions of Post Big Bang Enlargement Member States within the CFSP Framework” (panellists: H.E. Ivana Hlavsová, Mr. Adam Balcer; moderated by Mr. Igor Novakovic); and “Common EU Foreign Policy Approach - Future Perspectives” (panellists: Dr. Marina Jovicevic, Ms. Rebecca Harms, Mr. Karsten Voigt, Dr. Jan Joel Andersson; moderated by Dr. Johanna Deimel). Closing remarks were provided by Dr. Tanja Mišcevic, who concluded by saying that a conference of this profile was exceedingly necessary to help Serbian negotiating team to better deal with this important chapter.
ISAC Fund is pleased that the conference was a successful beginning of its multi-year project designed to offer expertise, policy recommendations and public outreach activities to Serbia’s Negotiating Team for Accession to the European Union regarding Chapters 30 and 31.
The conference conclusions can be downloaded
CFSP and Serbian Accession to the European Union
ISAC Fund is pleased to announce its upcoming international conference that will take place on May 12-13, 2015 under the title “CFSP and Serbian Accession to the European Union”.
With the opening of the EU accession negotiations in 2013, Serbia is at the beginning of the final phase of the European integration process leading to the full European Union membership. In order to complete this phase Serbia must negotiate successfully in all of the 35 Chapters of the AcquisCommunautarie.
Chapter 31 dealing with Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy of the EU which is usually perceived as a technical, and easy to close, could become an unwanted obstacle in the case of Serbia. Almost all issues that fall into this Chapter are quite sensitive, given the current geopolitical situation in Europe. These challenges have grown even more tangible with the Ukraine crisis, forcing Serbia into a delicate balancing act between the EU and Russia, which must be addressed in the long run if Serbia is eventually to become a member of the EU. This is why we strongly believe that this Chapter must also be perceived as critical and that keenand thoughtful attention will be required.
The aim of this conference is to address some of these sensitive issues and create better understanding of what Chapter 31 exactly isand what are the obligations which stem from it. This will also be a good platform for raising awareness on what is the EU’s CFSP and Serbia’s current and future role within that framework.
Since ISAC is undertaking a new multi-year program designed to offer expertise, policy recommendations and public outreach activities to Serbia’s Negotiating Team for Accession to the European Union regarding Chapters 30 and 31, we believe that this conference represents a good way to put this Chapter into perspective and to ensure that it receives required attention.
You may find the latest version of the agenda here.