Center’s programs are:
- Monitoring of the implementation of public policies and policy research
- Building a policy community – the “Public Issue” Forum
Public Issue Forum was formed in 2013 as a mechanism for a dialogue with the policy community. It was designed to promote the concept of continuous debate on specific topics, encourage quality checks on research and documents, generate a critical mass of civil society organizations, think tanks, experts and journalists dedicated to specific issues related to Serbia’s EU integration processes and establish dialogue between them.
Public Issue Forum is directly linked to other programs as it enables the exchange of opinions and views on a predefined topic selected in accordance with the program’s or project’s objectives. This exchange takes its form through thematic debates, analysis, involvement of the expert public in the preparation of briefs and policy papers and other materials that lead to the production of the final study with recommendations.
Also, one of the important functions of the Forum is COMMUNITY FORMATION. As noted above, one of the identified problems is the lack of a policy community in Serbia. A community of people dedicated to the same broader goal, such as the Europeanisation of Serbia, is exactly what is lacking in Serbia in the same way that the PUBLIC is lacking, in the classical sense of the word. The Forum thus somewhat combines the cognitive and activist component, giving it a theoretical foundation.
- Enlargement policy consolidation is a program that started in 2013 when the tendency was observed within the EU to regard Serbia and the whole region primarily as a security issue rather than an enlargement issue. This shift in the EU’s focus from enlargement to stabilization and security issues has also led to increasing discrepancies between the enlargement’s communitarian policy and the EU’s common foreign and security policy, which is burdened with its own structural problem. The additional abolition of the special enlargement body within the EU Commission and its merger with the European Neighborhood Policy goes hand in hand with the gradual alignment of the objectives and purpose of the two EU policies. Besides that, in political and colloquial speech in EU circles, enlargement policy is increasingly referred to as “neighborhood” policy.
In recent years, the EU has dealt with these issues through the Berlin process since 2014 and through its strategy for enlargement to the Western Balkans. Bearing in mind the new EU enlargement strategy proposed by the Commission on February 6th, 2018 which clearly states that there are important bilateral disputes between countries in the region that need to be resolved, that the EU will not agree to import those disputes and the instability they could cause, and that final and binding solutions must be found urgently and implemented before the accession of any country, CPES will further analyze these disputes involving Serbia and try to explore possible routes of their resolution in the context of European integration.
The strategy also suggests that it is important to understand the interdependence of societies in the Western Balkans and to move away from narrowly understood national interests. Bearing in mind the acceleration of resolving the relationship issue between Belgrade and Pristina, which has been taking place over the last few months, and that most support measures for the region’s integration have been announced for 2018–2019, it is clear that the settlement of bilateral disputes is emphasized as a key segment of the political accession criteria in the short and medium term. In the upcoming period CPES will continue to give this topic the greatest possible research importance.