Serbian-Romanian Relations and the Status of the Vlach Minority in Serbia

The study is the end result of a research project supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Serbia. The aim of the research and the study itself was examining all relevant aspects of the bilateral relations between Serbia and Romania concerning the position and status of the Vlach minority in Serbia. It also aims to promote and further deepen the Serbian-Romanian relations and partnership on Serbia’s path towards the European Union.

Analysis of Serbia’s alignment with foreign policy declarations, positions and measures of the EU in 2014

The Working Group on Chapters 30 and 31 of the National Convention, coordinated by ISAC Fund, presents its first annual analysis of Serbia’s alignment with declarations, positions and measures adopted under the framework of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The analysis provides a critical review of the process of alignment, while providing a number of recommendations for the Government of Serbia and its negotiating team. The analysis is only available in Serbian.

The compendium of policy papers

The compendium consists of five policy papers that are the result of the project “Young Leaders Training”. Participants of the program worked in groups on the proposals and they chose specific questions within the topics, angle of approach and the number and content of the recommendations.

Introduction to Serbia’s Negotiations with the EU on Chapter 30 – External Relations

The purpose of this study is precisely to provide the first information about the content of negotiations in the Chapter 30, and provide the basis for the beginning of the public debate on these issues. The main challenges and dilemmas that await us as a country during the negotiations are presented in a concise manner. The publication is also the first product of the partnership and collaboration of the International and Security Affairs Centre (ISAC) and the European Policy Centre (CEP), regarding the support and following of the negotiations in the Chapter 30 in the subsequent period

Bulgarians in Serbia and Serbian-Bulgarian Relations in the Light of Serbia’s European Integration

The EU integration process is often burdened with complicated bilateral and cross-border issues between candidates and neighbouring EU member states. These issues could endanger the efficiency of the process of negotiations, thus stall the progress and contribute to the prolonged instability in the region. During 2013, in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Belgrade, the research team of the ISAC Fund completed a field research in Bosilegrad and Dimitrovgrad, two municipalities in South Eastern Serbia predominantly populated by the ethnic Bulgarians, as well as in Belgrade and Sofia. Through series of interviews with various stakeholders and in-house research results, ISAC has formulated conclusions and policy recommendations for all of the involved stakeholders.

The version in Bulgarian language is available here.

From Four Pillars of Foreign Policy to European Integration: Is There a Will for Strategically Orienting Serbia’s Foreign Policy?

With the support of the European Fund for the Balkans, through the Think and Link programme, ISAC Fund has undertaken an public opinion poll about the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia, along with the publishing of its policy study From Four Pillars of Foreign Policy to European Integration: Is There a Will for Strategically Orienting Serbia’s Foreign Policy?. The goal of this research was to find out to which extent the results of the poll correspond with the findings of the above mentioned policy study, but also to find out how citizens perceive foreign policy domain.

Neutrality in the XXI century – Lessons for Serbia

Excerpt from the review of Prof. Dr. Predrag Simic:
Compendium “Neutrality in the XXI century – Lessons for Serbia” is the most ambitious attempt so far in Serbia to comprehensively and in-depth address the issue of neutrality in contemporary international relations, the question which is, in Serbia as well as in many other countries, a subject to scientific and political debates and conflicting interpretations. What characterized this project is a good selection of topics, a fine structure of the compendium and the expertise of authors. All of those contributed so that the readers of the book gets familiar with experiences and contemporary views of the old and the new neutral countries, but also with the main issues raised by the debates about neutrality which are now taking place and also the importance, or rather, unimportance, of neutrality in contemporary circumstances. Thus, the compilers of this compendium offered answers to many questions which are also relevant for Serbia. It can therefore be concluded that this compendium will be able to offer to the Serbian scientific and political public the answers to many questions that were the subject of a broad debate about its political and strategic decisions in the recent years.

Serbia and Hungary – Political and Economic Perspectives

There are numerous discussions and publications regarding Serbian-Hungarian relations, however these are often limited to common history and culture. Present issues, challenges and opportunities often remain out of the focus of the public and the elite in the two countries. Having this in mind, the International and Security Affairs Centre (ISAC fund) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Serbia, decided to concentrate on current topics such as bilateral relations, European integration, economy, trade, cross border cooperation, as well as the issue of national minorities, and to provide a fresh look on Serbian-Hungarian relations. The result is the newest ISAC’s policy study titled Serbia and Hungary – Political and Economic Perspectives. The study itself is based on ISAC Fund’s in-house research as well as on information gathered at the conference Serbian-Hungarian Relations – A Way Forward (Belgrade, June 18, 2012) organized by ISAC and Friedrich Ebert Foundation .

From Four Pillars of Foreign Policy to European Integration: Is There a Will for Strategically Orienting Serbia’s Foreign Policy?

With the support of the European Fund for the Balkans, ISAC Fund’s research team presents its most recent policy study titled FROM FOUR PILLARS OF FOREIGN POLICY TO EUROPEAN INTEGRATION: IS THERE A WILL FOR STRATEGICALLY ORIENTING SERBIA’S FOREIGN POLICY?
This study examines the problems of Serbia’s foreign policy from 2008–2012, as evaluated on three points: its lack of long-term strategy; the malfunctioning of its system of decision-making and supervision; and the problems of its process of harmonization with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The main purpose of this study is to offer a set of recommendations for reforming the approach to these questions, derived from an in-depth examination of the mentioned foreign policy aspects with the aim of bolstering the nation’s political standing abroad.

Neutrality in Europe in the 21st century and the Case of Serbia

The topic of this analysis is the development and the dynamic change of the concept of neutral state in international relations since the XIX century. The text also presents the cases of few European states that are commonly accepted as being permanently neutral, or which strive to be accepted as such. Based on both theoretical standpoints and practical cases, the author has outlined the conditions that one state needs to meet in order to be internationally accepted as permanently neutral in post- Cold war era. Finally, the author compares these conclusions with the case of Serbia’s self-proclaimed status of neutrality.

Using Candidacy to Entice Further Reform

This paper looks at why Serbia should receive Candidacy Status for European Union membership in light of the European Council decision taken in December 2011. It argues that Serbia can achieve much more vis-à-vis reforms and the adoption of the acquis if its European path is kept open and steadily encouraged, in this case via Candidacy Status. The paper also considers the effects of Kosovo in the overall European integration process of Serbia and how further integration can assist in finding an acceptable solution for both sides.

Turkey in the Western Balkans: The Means and Goals of the New Foreign Policy

Although Turkey sees itself increasingly as an emerging power in international relations, it leads the policy that is in line with NATO stability priorities in the Western Balkans. Many countries in the region continue to accept the independent initiative of Turkey, which represents an opportunity for Turkey to use this influence as a subject for negotiations with the EU.
Based on the conclusions of the conference “New Turkish Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans” held in April 2011, and independent research, ISAC is publishing the policy paper “Turkey in the Western Balkans: The Means and Goals of the New Foreign Policy.” The document contains overall analysis of the new Turkish approach to the region, and a set of policy recommendations in relation to the same topic for Serbia and other Western Balkan states.

Serbia and Albania – Preparing for a New Start

With the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Tirana and Belgrade office), ISAC Fund has organised two workshops under the Chatham House Rule on the topic of Serbian-Albanian relations. Participants included experts, representatives of the civil society and political elites from both Serbia and Albania. The conclusions from these workshops, together with the results of ISAC’s in-house research.
The goal of this policy paper was to identify all the obstacles (not directly connected to the issue of Kosovo) that obstruct further improvement of relations between the two countries, and to give the practical policy proposals to the elites of both countries on how to remove or, at least, reduce their influence.

CEFTA 2006 – Challenges and Opportunities

This Collection of Essays intends to provide a thorough overview of the challenges and benefits for Serbia and the region within CEFTA 2006. As CEFTA 2006 is the second most significant trade market for Serbia, this publication intends to raise awareness on the importance of developing more proactive and broader regional initiatives.

Turkey`s New Approach to the Western Balkans

Turkey is presently among the most active external political actors in the Western Balkans. Yet the perception of its new activism in this part of south-east Europe is often emotional and seldom pragmatic. As such, this paper attempts to provide a non-exhaustive overview of the various aspects of this new Turkish approach to the region. It also aims to provide a sober, facts-based assessment, which can serve as a starting point for an informed discussion on Turkey`s new role in the Western Balkans.

SERBIAN-ALBANIAN RELATIONS: STATE AND PERSPECTIVES

This Paper represents an effort of the ISAC Fund to address another sensitive topic of regional cooperation. It strives to show that there are numerous issues in bilateral relations between Serbia and Albania which should not wait for the Kosovo issue to be finally settled.

LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN SERBIA AND RUSSIA IN THE FIELD OF OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

ISAC Fund’s team prepared this document in cooperation with the Law OfficeNikolić-Kokanović-Otašević from Belgrade. The aim of the analysis was to review the entire Oil and Gas Arrangement, from the standpoint of the legal regulations of the Republic of Serbia and the international treaties that bind Serbia, as well as to identify potential problems in this area of Serbian economy that may arise during the implementation of this Agreement.

The analyses led to several conclusions. The Arrangement itself is without precedent in the recent practice of entering into international agreements in Serbia. A number of issues that were mentioned in the Arrangement have no binding characteristics. Some of the provisions are in the apparent contradiction with Serbian legislation, as well as with the international treaties where Serbia is one of the parties.

Document in Serbian
Abstract and conclusions of the analysis in English

Russian Vision of European Security and Serbia

Žarko Petrović
Research Director, International and Security Affairs Centre, ISAC Fund

Serbia started to formulate balanced policy regarding the Initiative of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for adopting the New European Security Treaty. Serbia should continue with this policy, because a country wishing to become a EU candidate country cannot conduct independent policy regarding such an important issue as international security. Besides, this initiative is primarily directed towards increasing Russian security. Serbia should follow the EU policy regarding this Initiative.

By following the EU policy Serbia would thereby prove to the “enlargement sceptics” in the EU countries that it is, in fact, not a “Russian proxy” in the Balkans.

Russia and the Western Balkans

In this study Dušan Reljić, Senior Researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, analyzes the processes which conditioned the reinvigoration of Russia’s political and economic influence in this part of Southeast Europe. The conclusion is, above all, that following years of Russia’s declining influence, and the increase in US domination, the conflict over Kosovo re-opened the space for Russia’s return into the Western Balkans. In this conflict, Belgrade is dependent on Moscow’s support.

Also, the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline ties, in the long term, the energy security of South East Europe to Russian supplies.
The European Union, in spite of the fact that all countries in the region see their political future in accession thereto, will in future have to take into account not only the will of the United States of America, but also the influence of Russia in the Western Balkans.

Fifth Report of Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations Project

Prof Dr Miroslav Jovanović
Medvedev in Belgrade: two aspects of the announced visit (pdf)
On symbolism in foreign policy and on the announcement and background of the visit of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Serbia. On strategic partnership and on the responsibility of Serbian elites.

Žarko Petrović
Russian – Serbian Strategic Partnership: Scope and Content (pdf)
What makes partnership between Russia and Serbia „strategic“? What is the scope of this partnership for Serbia in the context of its Euro Integration?

Personal View
Dragan Vukšić
Serbia – Russia Military Political Relations in the Process of Solving Kosovo Issue and in the Future (.pdf)
The personal view of the author on the role of Russia and some Russian officials and official bodies in the period before, during and after the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The Fourth Report of the Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations project

ISAC Fund started the realization of the Project “Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations” in September 2008. The idea for the project came from the need to comprehend the relationship between Russia and Serbia in a realistic manner which can be based on facts, from the point of view of Serbia’s rational interests.

The Third Report of the Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations project

ISAC Fund started the realization of the Project “Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations” in September 2008. The idea for the project came from the need to comprehend the relationship between Russia and Serbia in a realistic manner which can be based on facts, from the point of view of Serbia’s rational interests.

The first and second report of the Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations project

ISAC Fund started the realization of the Project “Monitoring Russia Serbia Relations” in September 2008. The idea for the project came from the need to comprehend the relationship between Russia and Serbia in a realistic manner which can be based on facts, from the point of view of Serbia’s rational interests.