Facilitating Serbia's Contribution to NATO's New Strategic Concept

The main objective of this project is to promote active discussion about, and involvement in, the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept amongst specific target groups from throughout Serbia.

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Background
NATO’s Strategic Concept, which was approved in its current form at the Washington Summit in 1999, is one of the key policy documents of the Alliance, providing ‘the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives’, ‘the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving them’, and ‘the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole’. In July 2009, NATO formally launched a public debate on the development a new Strategic Concept at a major security conference in Brussels, led by the out-going NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. In particular, the conference examined how the Alliance relates to the rest of the world, as part of a wider network of security actors, whilst exploring NATO’s role in addressing new threats and challenges.

As NATO’s new Strategic Concept is due to be presented at the Lisbon summit, scheduled for the end of 2010/beginning of 2011, the launch of this process provides an opportune moment to engage Serbia in the on-going debate about the future of NATO and collective security structures in general. With respect to Serbia’s own relations with NATO, it is imperative that debate be shifted away from terms premised purely on the basis of membership or not, towards broader considerations about the future of collective security. Even though Serbia has declared itself military neutral, it still chose to be a part of the Partnership for Peace Programme and to cooperate with NATO in various other programmes. Active engagement in and contribution to the on-going debate on the new Strategic Concept is therefore extremely important for Serbia, should it want to have its say about the future shape and strategic orientation of NATO. The recent experiences of Serbia ensure that it has a key role to play in the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

A series of conferences and workshops will explore issues of pertinence to the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept – including NATO’s changing relationship with specific actors (such as the EU and Russia), security sector reform (especially the modernisation of the armed forces and reintegration of soldiers into civilian life), the fight against terrorism and various forms of trafficking (of weapons and humans), energy security and sustainable economic development – primarily from Serbia’s own particular perspective and experiences, thereby encouraging participants to explore how NATO’s new Strategic Concept could be defined to better serve Serbia’s domestic strategic interests. The conclusions arising from these events will serve as the basis for Serbia’s input into NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

Objectives
The main objective of this project is to promote active discussion about, and involvement in, the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept amongst specific target groups from throughout Serbia.

Other strategic objectives include:

  • to raise awareness about NATO, its decision-making bodies and changing role in the twenty first century;
  • to demonstrate that Serbia has an important role to play in defining NATO’s new Strategic Concept through the accumulation of recommendations from key target groups;
  • to create a core of individuals within each of the identified target groups capable of contributing to debates about collective security in Serbia;
  • to facilitate the sharing of perspectives on Euro-Atlantic integration amongst key target groups in Serbia.

Participants
This project will focus upon the following four key groups (in alphabetical order):

  • Civil Society
  • Media
  • Political parties
  • Private sector

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact TransConflict Serbia at the following e-mail address – office@transconflict.com

The ‘Facilitating Serbia’s Contribution to NATO’s New Strategic Concept’ project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
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