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INFORM National workshop in Serbia

2017-06-06 – 2017-06-07

On 7 June 2017, the first National Workshop in Serbia was held in Belgrade in the premises of the European Integration Office (SEIO) of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The meeting brought together representatives of the European Integration Office and the INFORM team from the Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe (CECS/CESK).

The goal of national workshops is to engage representatives of national offices for European integrations and other important stakeholders in order to raise awareness about the INFORM project, as well as to gather expert feedback on it.

The European Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia was established on 14 March 2004 as a Serbian Government service. SEIO prepares for adoption the acts of the Government designed for supervising, directing and harmonizing the activities of ministries and special organizations in relation to the European Union association and accession and formulates public information on the process of European Union accession and association.

During the first part of the meeting, the CECS team introduced the INFORM project to the SEIO representatives, providing an overview of the project and highlighting its research agenda. The second half was dedicated to discussions and exchange of views about the project, focused on gathering suggestions from the SEIO representatives.

Presenters (CECS):

1. Predrag Cveticanin, lead of the CESK team

2. Danijela Gavrilovic, senior researcher

Participants (SEIO):

1. Srđan Majstorović, Deputy Director

2. Ana Drljević, Department for Planning, Programming, Monitoring and Reporting on EU Funds and Development Aid

3. Nataša Savić Janjić, Department for Communication and Training

4. Vladimir Lazović, Department for Planning, Programming, Monitoring and Reporting on EU Funds and Development Aid

Main points/issues raised:

The SEIO representatives agreed on the importance and usefulness of the project, particularly in raising awareness about the problems caused by changes in contemporary Serbian society and internal obstacles to the implementation of the norms and standards of the EU. They expressed their belief that INFORM and SEIO can help each other in formulating recommendations and measures for successful implementation of the integration process. INFORM research findings would assist SEIO officials in their decision-making processes, and SEIO would provide information about their practical experience regarding the integration process.

The SEIO representatives also stressed that the researchers involved in the INFORM project could offer suggestions as to the best means for promoting the standards and norms of the EU due to their deep understanding of the practices and opinions related to the integration process in a deeper and more essential way.

The general recommendation given to the INFORM representatives was to organise extensive presentations of the team’s research findings and introduce the findings to government representatives, with the goal of raising awareness about the actual social climate in Serbia and the activities required to overcome “bad informality”. The SEIO representatives were of the opinion that raising awareness about values is still an important process and task that needs to be realized.

The SEIO representatives also expressed their willingness to engage in joint collaborations on the recommendations for a more successful implementation of the EU integration process in Serbia.

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

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