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1 European Integration Office of Serbia and Montenegro Communication actions.

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1 1 European Integration Office of Serbia and Montenegro Communication actions

2 2 Basic facts regarding SCG EIO Established in the Nov 2001, as a body of Council of Ministries Main task is to coordinate activities concerning the SAp EIOs partners are State Union institutions as well as the institutions in the SU member states that are dealing with EU affairs (Ministry of International Economic Relations and European Integration of the Republic of Montenegro and EU Integration Office of the Republic of Serbia)

3 3 Latest Framework changes After the twin track approach was introduces in the SAp, the most competencies were transferred to republican institutions The negotiations that are happening in such circumstances envisage signing of a SAA with two annexes relating to the specific sectorial policies. The issues such as visas, asylum, migrations, integrated border management, quality infrastructure, intellectual property rights, as well as the legal approximation in this areas are within the SU competences.

4 4 Obstacles that should be overcame The lack of human, financial and technical resources in the SCG EIO The lack of Communication Strategy (the joint public affairs approach for all Council of Ministries institution) Permanent capacity building of the civil servants (especially considering EU integration and foreign languages)

5 5 Priorities and Competences To coordinate expert-administrative tasks related to the SCG Negotiation team operations (Negotiation team is embracing the institutions from all three levels) as the EIO SCG has the role of Secretariat. To coordinate all activities that are prerequisite for signing of the SAA. To coordinate and follow the activities that are following EC recommendations (SAp Annual report, European partnership, EPD meetings) To coordinate and lead the process of the acquis translation. To follow the implementation of the project under the CARDS financial instrument for SU level (Next year IPA). All activities related to the further improvement of the administration capacities as well as the dissemination of information about the EU integration process.

6 6 Rising Awareness – SCG EIO actions Activities concerning rising awareness are in accordance with our competences, and they are mainly focused to: Policy makers Civil servants Journalist And from recently business people and general public –Info corner in the SU Palace; –media are invited to follow and learn about new instruments that are to be introduces in SCG; –presence of SCG EIO director in media; –publishing the brochure in the daily magazine apropos official opening of negotiation, –together with the NGOs and Chamber of Commerce- organisation and participation in conferences and seminar concerning EU matters.

7 7 Relations with media and civil society SCG EIO keeps journalists updated on EI process. SCG EIO involves media as a partner in the whole EI process. SCG EIO cooperates with educational institutions, i.e. faculties, universities, and colleges. SU institutions have a close cooperation with the NGO sector in the area within SU competence.

8 8 Stabilization and Association Agreement 1 Inaugural ceremony at the occasion of opening of negotiations between SCG and EU on SAA was held on 10 October The first Official round was held on 7 November 2005 Envisaged duration of negotiation was one year. Initial configuration of negotiation was: three official and five technical rounds. The next official round that was planned to be held on 11 May 2006 concerning JFS is postponed until the full cooperation with ICTY is been provided. The EPD meetings are been organized at the same time as the negotiation rounds.

9 9 Stabilization and Association Agreement 2 The complex negotiation team structure – SU and member state levels. EIO as a Negotiation team secretariat has a following tasks: i.EIO is a focal point for the communication and cooperation with the EC in Brussels ii.Organisation of the meetings and necessary consultation relating to the WG activities as well as the official negotiation rounds. iii.Drafting of all necessary documents iv.Coordination in the whole process

10 10 Media approach in SAp 1 Already done: i.At the SU level the PR group was established. The aim is to coordinate media approach within the SAp ii.Another PR group, composed of the member states representatives and representatives of EU in SCG was established. The aim is the exchange of information and experiences, while the final goal is to improve public awareness iii.Organisation of the media coverage of the relevant issues concerning European integration (press releases, interviews, press conferences organisation, special events) iv.Dissemination of the promotional and educative materials to the press. v.The web site is been improved vi.The first edition of a e-builten was launch (the joint effort of the EIO and the Information directorate) vii.Transparency of the state union institutions activities is been improved (according to the competences)

11 11 Media approach in SAp 2 Recommendations and further steps: Further education of civil servants and media representatives. Following the above mentioned, the training for the media representatives on the topics chosen by them is planned. Further cooperation between all levels and among all stakeholders in the process is necessary (organizing the panel discussion and the permanent exchange of info) Plan to increase media presence, according to the future development of events

12 12 CONCLUSION Always should be kept in mind that all three administrations are working with the same goal – faster integration of the SU, i.e. member states in the EU structures – that was the subject on which the media approach should be based (promotion of the process, not institutions). SCG is facing several crucial events in 2006 – ICTY cooperation, SAA negotiation, SU future and the future status of Kosovo and Metohia After signing of the SAA, the continuation of the reforms and impetus towards our neighbours will follow. By this, and with permanent monitoring of the progress the SCG will continue towards the EU.

13 13 CONTACT Branka Bilen Katić SCG EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OFFICE Bulevar Mihaila Pupina Belgrad phone Faks

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