Following her appointment as an NGO representative in the working group for chapter 23 in the process of negotiations for accession to the EU, Jovana Marović, research coordinator at Institute Alternative, had an interview with Balkan Insight on 12 March 2012
1. How many non-governmental organizations applied to have their representatives included in the working groups?
Chief negotiator underlined at the press conference that 10 applications for participation in the working groups on chapters 23 and 24 were submitted by NGOs.
2. What will be your individual role, as a representative of Institute Alternative? What issues will you insist on?
Institute Alternative, through its research activities, has been closely involved in areas particularly susceptible to corruption: public procurement; public-private partnerships; issues directly linked to planning and executing the budget at local and national level; operation and reform of state and local administration. During its continuous work in these areas, the Institute issued numerous publications, analyses, comments, and formulated numerous proposals and recommendations for practical policies, many of which were incorporated in final versions of normative acts. Hence, my role in the working group for negotiations for accession to the EU, as a representative of Institute Alternative, is reflected in contributing to the area of fight against corruption, especially in the fields which are the Institute’s expertise.
3. In case you know, based on which criteria were you and other 5 representatives chosen?
As I mentioned in answering your previous question, my appointment is grounded in my hitherto work for Institute Alternative in areas covered under chapter 23, as well as in my academic and professional credentials which are in the framework representing an integral part of this chapter (rights of EU citizens).
4. Is it true that this is the first time that NGO representatives participate in a candidate country’s negotiations with the EU? Why is that? Whose initiative was it?
Non-governmental sector participated in previous negotiations, albeit less and in a not so formal way. However, this is the first time it participates directly in the working groups. This inclusion of the NGO sector is contingent upon the complexity of the negotiating process itself, but also upon the lack of administrative capacities in state institutions which requires ‘external’ expert contribution.