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On Tuesday, December 22, 2016 the last public debate was held at the Center for Professional Development within the project "I have a right to know about EU", conducted by Network of European Movement in Serbia, with the support of Government of Federal Republic of Germany. Public debate called "What we know and what we think we know about EU?" gathered participants from public sector of city administration Kikinda, civil society organizations, young people from middle and high schools, as well as citizens of Kikinda.

The debate was opened by Tamara Radlović, president of EMinS – Kikinda local council, and speakers on this event were Slobodan Samardžić PhD, from Faculty of Political Sciences, Milica Saračević, from Sector for coordinating the accession process and monitoring of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, SEIO and Neda Živanović, project consultant.


Radlović, welcomed the speakers and the audience and expressed satisfaction that the association of 14 local councils was established, together with the European Movement in Serbia, named Network of European Movement in Serbia, that managed to unite members around the same goal, which is improving harmonization, coordination and initiation of joint programs and activities dedicated to building democratic Serbia in a united Europe. She also pointed out that citizens in Serbia has positive attitude and perception on the system of the rule of law in EU member states, but that this system is not the most desirable in Republic of Serbia, or that the most people are skeptical about the accession process and the reforms which this process requires (from opinion poll on attitudes about EU).

Professor Slobodan Samardžić said that the EU operates in the shadow of its great crisis and that is almost impossible to analyze its phenomenon. When we say crisis, we mean dysfunction of the EU in important segments of its existence, primarily in the area of economic and monetary union, where the most visible manifestations of the crisis are reproduced – the crisis of public debt, the general financial crisis and the predominant long recession. As an answer to a question "Who makes decisions in the EU?" he said that the role of institutions were adapted to the type and character of legal acts which are adopted, enabling a better balance between accountability and efficiency. With greater powers of Parliament, the decision process is somewhat closer to EU citizens. The new rules encourage flexibility, continuous and close cooperation of the key participants in the process.

Milica Saračević made a review and mentioned that the accession negotiations started on January 2014 and that the first four chapters were opened during this reporting period, including chapter 35, dealing with the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, and the rule of law contained in chapters 23 and 24. One of the current issues of European integration of Serbia is the attitude towards genetically modified food (GMO) and the speaker pointed out that the EU has one of the strictest regimes when it comes to GMO which is used for human consumption. It is forbidden to place on the market GMO which did not undergone long and rigorous approval procedure in which its risky properties are examined. This procedure in practice usually lasts around 45 months. In the end, approved GMO food needs to be properly marked, so that consumers could be informed whether the food they buy contains genetically modified ingredients, allowing them to make their own decision about whether they want to consume GMO. She also said that households would still be able to produce traditional products such as cheese and rakija for their own use, but if they wanted to sell them on the market, it would be necessary to meet the general requirements relating to the safety of food products in all EU member states.

Neda Živanović spoke about the EU as the largest donor in Serbia, with more than 3 billion euros of grants over the past 15 years in all areas, from the rule of law, reform of public administration, social development, to the environment and agriculture. Just for the reconstruction after the floods in May 2014, the EU donated 173.6 million euros to Serbia, while more than 20 million was given to help Serbia cope with the wave of refugees and migrants. Today, EU aid is primarily aimed at supporting Serbia to prepare for taking over and effectively implementing future EU membership obligations. She also mentioned that EU integration process of Serbia brings new possibilities in the field of education and student exchange as part of EU program aimed at young people and students. So far Serbia has access to Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, which goal is to increase exchange of young people in all European countries and EU, primarily in the NGO sector. Serbia also has access to Tempus program, which allows cooperation and exchange of students from high schools and colleges from EU member states and candidate countries. Regarding the impact of the integration process on employment, it is important to say that knowledge of foreign language will become more important, as well as professional skills and knowledge, which will be one of the preconditions for successful employment of young people.

In a very interesting discussion participants, in addition to topics which were spoken about, wanted to know about the future of European Union, further European integration process, how much will European policy continue to change as a result of the latest events etc. 


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Deki  -  
26.01.2018 02:27
Koliko fašizma na jednom mestu....

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