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The Research Forum (RF) is EMinS’ think tank unit where different issues relevant to the Serbian EU integration process are subjected to expert, in-depth and comprehensive research followed by relevant policy outputs in the form of alternative policy proposals for improved, effective and efficient reform performance and governance in particular areas within European Integration process. RF was founded in May 2011 and gathers independent experts – EminS’ members and close associates whose research focuses on the following areas: European Integration, Rule of Law, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Environmental protection, EU Pre-accession Funds, Economy, Energy, Agriculture and Rural Development. The overall goal of ReF is to support EMinS advocacy efforts and contribute to the improvement of the quality of public policies in the context of European integration of Serbia.
The Research Forum (ReF) is EMinS’ policy research-analytic unit where different issues relevant to the Serbian EU integration process are subjected to expert, in-depth and comprehensive research followed by relevant policy outputs in the form of alternative policy proposals for improved, effective and efficient reform performance and governance in particular areas within European Integration process. ReF was founded in May 2011 and gathers independent experts – EminS’ members and close associates whose research focuses on the following areas: European Integration, Rule of Law, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Environmental protection, EU Pre-accession Funds, Economy, Energy, Agriculture and Rural Development.
Research produced by EMinS has consistently been thorough and always included elements of practical policy recommendations regarding necessary reforms and and the definition/implementation of particular policies. Serbia has received candidate country status and negotiations for membership have commenced. Thus the reform process regarding EU accession intensifies and the role of civil society organizations should take on a different character. Expectations from CSOs and think tanks should relate to the challenges of reaching the standards and implementation of laws in concrete areas. This implies the functioning of aforementioned organizations as indispensable partners to both state authorities and EU institutions in policy creation and monitoring the fulfillment of criteria for membership.
The expedited adoption of regulations and laws characterises the contemporary political environment in Serbia. This negatively impacts the quality of legislation and prevents the occurrence of public debate. The European Commission, in its yearly Progress Reports, persistently refers to the inconsistent and inefficient implementation of existing laws, programmes and policy. These circumstances display the necessity for an engaged approach amongst all political actors in Serbia, including CSOs, in tracing the relations between Serbia and the European Union. Specific actions include interpreting EU processes, their implications for Serbia and the wider region, monitoring the integrationary process and explaining the EU and its politics in an unprecedented manner. Additionally Serbia lacks an evaluational culture of analysing the effects of programs being implemented at the local and national level and there is little domestic expertise in the assessment of policy. Crucial to the establishment of the Research Forum are the modest capacities of the public sector and the necessity for expert assistance in the integrationary process and consolidation of Serbia as a modern European state. Independent from political influence and resistant to political pressure, RF members and their expert analysis can encourage and accelerate positive reforms Serbia’s steps towards the European Union.
- Cooperation of EminS’ members and associates with all relevant independent experts in the conduct of comprehensive, innovative and multidisciplinary research.
- Formulate alternative policy papers (proposals) that strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of all reforms within the accessionary process.
- Adoption of official policy based on RF proposals which directly impacts political and economic reforms and modernises both the state and society for European integration.
- Establishment and development of communication with all interested parties (policymakers, media, public, sectoral representatives) in order to inform them about RF activities and policy recommendations so as to create a mechanism for joint advocacy and promotion.
- Strengthening the public’s voice in designing policy with a view to develop participatory decision-making as this would entail better solutions, increased public activism and thus improve citizen-state relations and understanding of the accession process.
- Enhancing cross-sectoral cooperation in the decision-making process.
- Encouraging young researchers to take an active role in the process of developing policy proposals.
- Institute strategic partnerships with related political research organisations in the Western Balkans, EU and worldwide.
The results of the RF’s work are published in a form of factsheets, essays, policy briefs, policy analysis and research reports. Through these policy research outputs which are based on innovative, inclusive, multidisciplinary and transparent research approach, RF analyses the present situation and problems in the particular social field in question, offers possible solutions and opens public debate about them. Therefore, ReF aims to establish and strengthen communication with relevant stakeholders, decision-makers, representatives of civil society, academia and expert community, media and wider public.
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