About National Convention on the EU
Public opinion in Serbia gives very broad support to Serbia’s goal to become a member of the European Union. However this support is broad, statistics point out that around two third of citizens is not acquainted with the integration process , with challenges and obligations that this process implies. Especially, the people in regions suffer from the lack of information.
National Convention on the EU in Serbia (NC EU) is a unique project which overall goal is to institutionalize the permanent body for thematically structured debate among representatives of public administration, politicians, non-governmental organizations, experts, professional organizations and general public on negotiations of Serbia and EU on Stabilization and Association Agreement. Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) in cooperation with European Movement in Serbia initiated the idea to establish such body on the national level. The project draws from experiences which the SFPA has gained by organizing a similar project in Slovakia – National Convention on EU in Slovak Republic.
Overall goal of the project is to strengthen capacities of Serbia for EU integration process and to create forum for permanent public debate on European future of Serbia which would comprise the regions of Serbia. The main goal is to secure legitimacy of entire negotiation process with EU and to encourage open and transparent dialog among interested sides providing exclusive and relevant information from the experts. Inter alia, through debate, interested sides from all social sectors will be acquainted with functioning of EU, development of EU policies and performance of Serbia as potentional member state.
National Convention consists of Chairmanship and 6 Working groups:
- Political conditionality and domestic institutions
- Regional cooperation
- Jurisdiction, freedom and Security
- Capital and services
Working groups will be formed on professional bases. Each working group will consist of at least 20 members, representatives of target groups, chairman, co-chairman and internal expert. Working groups will meet separately 4 times per year, and they will discuss specific topics related to political conditionality, regional cooperation, jurisdiction, freedom and security, capital, services, goods and agriculture. For every working group session internal expert will suggest Agenda and invite key speakers that will present relevant information related to the topic. The main goal of every WG session is recommendation. Having in mind that working groups are separated and dedicated to specific subjects in a line with the chapters being negotiated within the on-going talks on singing Stabilization and Association Agreement, each working group will, in its recommendation, express its stand regarding which position should Serbia take in the process of negotiation with EU. These recommendations will be promulgated and sent to all relevant actors and public and at the and of the project will be published in the specific book.
Working groups will begin its work in September 2006. and will gather in expected dynamics until September 2007. At least 5 WG sessions will be organized outside of Belgrade. Afterwards, Plenary session will be organized in order to gather all WG members and Chairmanship of NC EU. First round of the project will end by November 2007.