Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Sarajevo
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports this work through a grant for a three year project (2009 – 2012) conducted throughout the Western Balkans with participating Think Tanks in seven countries. The overall aim of the project is to develop capacities in civil society organizations so that they can contribute to security policy in each country. Present at the event were representatives from all the countries in Western Balkans, the Regional Cooperation Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, as well as representatives of international organizations such as the OSCE.
Representatives from all seven Think Thanks were invited as speakers to present the results of the study. The presentations focused on the dominant context of Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans, the main drivers and main challenges ahead of Security Sector Reform processes, and the contribution of civil society.
Norway’s Ambassador in Sarajevo, Jan Braathu, also held an introductory speech at the event. During his introduction Ambassador Braathu elaborated on the Norwegian MFA’s conviction that the Security Sector is one of the key building blocks for a democratic and secure society:
“Our aim is to contribute to the democratic control of the security sector in the Western Balkan countries, and thereby contribute not only to security sector reform, but also to democratization processes in a much wider sense. At the outset, it was taken for granted that the security sector, important though it may be, would be a major stumbling block for democratization processes. It was not expected that the security sector would become, in many respects, the cutting edge of change and reform. But that is actually the experience.” (The full speech can be read here)
The Think Tanks taking part in the project are: