LOADING

Type to search

Why the reform of the security services should be part of the accession negotiations with the EU

Events Programs Regional integration Security, Justice and Home Affairs Us & The Public Who Follows Those Who Follow Us: Towards Accountable Security Services in the Western Balkans Who Follows Those Who Follow Us: Towards Accountable Security Services in the Western Balkans

Why the reform of the security services should be part of the accession negotiations with the EU

Share

On June 4, 2016 the event “Why the reform of the security services should be part of the accession negotiations with the EU” was held in Belgrade, organized by the Belgrade Center for Security Policy BCSP.

The event discussed the risks of abuse of the security services in the region and the role that the European Union should play in terms of reform in this sector.

The most drastic example of abuse of the security services is the wiretapping scandal of 2015. when thousands of citizens were illegally monitored by the Security and Counterintelligence Administration. During the event, Magdalena Lembovska explained that civil society organizations in North Macedonia have been pointing out the problematic aspects in the management of the security services for years.

“Due to the scarce legislation, it was not clear what the competences of each of the services were, which significantly made it impossible to monitor their work. There was no information about their functioning, supervision and control. Although there were some attempts at parliamentary oversight, the services always managed to thwart these attempts, which were very rare anyway. In the meantime, the UBK budget was increased without proper explanations being given.” – said Lembovska.

Furthermore, Lembovska spoke about the importance of the Report of the Group of Senior Experts on Systemic Rule of Law Issues (the so-called Priebe Report) and its impact for stakeholders to take steps to ensure accountability in this sector. At the same time, the current situation regarding the reform of the services was presented, and it was emphasized that the reform should be essential and comprehensive.

Colleagues from Serbia and Montenegro presented the challenges for good management of the security sector in their countries.

BCSP Executive Director Predrag Petrovic pointed out the bad trend of politicization of the security sector in Serbia through concrete examples. He emphasized that during the negotiations with the EU, special attention should be paid to the reform of the security services, because without such a reform there can be no progress in the rule of law.

Dina Bajramspahic from the Alternative Institute pointed out the low transparency of the security sector in Montenegro.

The process of accession to NATO also meant reform of the security sector, so the operation of these services is no longer subject to discussion. However, the most important thing for NATO is the safe exchange of data, while the transparency and accountability that interests the citizens were not covered.

“We are aware that the civil sector should not deal with the details of the operations of these agencies, but we want to make sure that the institutions established for such a purpose, such as the parliamentary oversight committee and the Ombudsman, do.” – clarified Bajramspahic.

The panelists concluded that effective democratic control over the security services is necessary in order to start building trust in this sector.

The event was supported by the European Fund for the Balkans within the project “Who Follows Those Who Don’t Follow: Towards Accountable Security Services in the Western Balkans” jointly implemented by the Belgrade Center for Security Policy from Serbia, the Center for European Strategies – EUROTHINK from North Macedonia and the Alternative Institute from Montenegro.

Tags:

Leave a Comment