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September 24, 2014  Belgrade, Serbia

SERBIA’S EU INTEGRATION AND SOUTHWEST SERBIA/SANDZAK

The Council for Inclusive Governance (CIG) organized a new session of the Regional Forum. The session was devoted to Serbia’s EU negotiation process and how local communities can be included and contribute to the process. The meeting was opened by Srdjan Majstorovic, Acting Director of the Serbian Government’s Office for European Integration and Jadranka Jelincic, Executive Director of the Foundation for an Open Society. Several Forum members recommended using the Forum as a platform for introducing the process to local communities and to offer them possibilities for their proactive engagement that could contribute to the work of Serbia’s EU negotiation team. CIG invited Serbian Government officials to inform the Forum on the current stage in the process of European integration and to offer their view of the ways in which local communities, CSOs, and individuals from the Region could contribute to the process. The roundtable was a part of a project supported by the Open Society Foundation in Belgrade.

The Participants offered the following conclusions and recommendations:

  • The Forum should launch a local debate about the profiles of local experts that will be needed in the region after the EU membership. Also, there should be an initiative to start education programs in those areas.
  • It was recommended that the Forum should become the initiator of a local initiative for monitoring of the implementation of adopted legislation to fulfill the EU accession standards.
  • It was recommended that the Forum should start a spin-off economic project that will initiate cooperation in the economic field with the aim of attracting EU funds.
  • It was recommended to invite representatives of the Regional Development Agency for Eastern Serbia (RARIS) to inform members of the Forum about their experience and methods in attracting EU funds.
  • One of the recommendations was to organize a meeting between the newly elected representatives of the Bošnjak National Council (after the October 26 elections) and members of the Serbia’s negotiation team for the EU accession negotiations.

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