National Convention on the European Union in Serbia 2008/09 (NC EU)
National Convention on the European Union in Serbia (NC EU) is institutionalized and thematically structured debate among representatives of state and non-state sector: administration, self-governments, politicians, expert community, business community, non-governmental organizations, and broad public, on preparation of Serbia for EU accession.
Serbia still lacks political and national consensus regarding of EU accession. There is very broad but shallow support in the public opinion to the goal of the country becoming the EU member state. There is a need of increasing available information regarding EU accession process. Based on the survey, conducted in 2007 (SEIO), 69.3% of citizens support the goal of EU accession but their understanding of the process and challenges which lay ahead is weak and insufficient (only 30% consider themselves informed). EU accession process is developing mostly by government officials and there is no efficient and permanent dialog between state and non state sector. Serbia has signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU which will initiate demanding preparations of the country for the process of future membership negotiations with EU. During this process there is a need for all social subjects to get involved and to provide their professional contribution to better understanding and to the success of the process.
Therefore, the project NCEU, through inclusion of all social subjects in permanent and constructive debate on the most significant issues related to the process of EU association contributes to creation of necessary consensus on EU and mobilizes broader political forces and citizens, as well as wide professional community. Initiating dialogue and exchange of information and best practices with their colleagues from EU (from Slovakia), participants in NCEU and broad public improve knowledge on EU and the process of EU integration.
Overall objectives of the project:
- To strengthen capacities of the Serbia for EU accession process and to raise the level of knowledge about EU among citizens.
- To improve cooperation between state and non state sector.
- To serve as an active, permanent and useful information resource on the EU for the Serbian public.
- To support an elaboration of national positions of particular issues in the EU accession process;
- To provide better insight of the EU performance and actions for the Serbian public (deciding about us with us).
During the first phase in 2006/2007, NC EU achieved outstanding results presented in the adopted recommendations in the period when Serbia was in the process of negotiating the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU. NC EU continues with its work at the moment when Serbia has an important work before itself, most of all the implementation of SAA and demanding preparations for negotiations about future membership in the Union. In this respect, the role of state administration is of crucial importance, but because of the nature of the process it is necessary to mobilize all the subjects and in that way achieve national consensus.
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