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  • From the Background

    If you get tired of reading, then have a listen to our podcast. European Talks podcast is a short form conversation that aims to untangle difficult questions on various topics related to Serbia’s relations with the EU and its member states, by talking to experts, diplomats, and other relevant actors. Whether you are a researcher, a politician, or just genuinely curious about the topic, European Talks podcast will provide you with valuable ideas, answers as well as new questions.

    Balancing between East and West: can Serbia benefit from a flexible foreign policy?

    There are growing doubts about the region’s European perspective following a series of postponements in the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia and the announcement of reforms of the enlargement methodology. Although Montenegro and Serbia are forerunners in the process, membership is still a long way off, especially after EU member states largely dismissed the 2025 membership perspective. This has resulted in a weakening of the EU’s gravitational force in the region, allowing space for other global and regional powers. The increase in economic cooperation between Serbia and China, as well as Serbia’s signing of a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, has made this especially clear. We discussed these issues with our guest, ambassador Duško Lopandić, CEP Council member. This episode coincides with the publishing of annual ranking of top think tanks worldwide by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program by the University of Pennsylvania, where CEP regularly finds their place. CEP is ranked as the best think tank in the WB and among the top ten in Central and Eastern Europe.

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    More listening, less advising: think tankers as democracy defenders

    In this episode, we speak about the think tanks, and their potential to counter the decline of democracy worldwide and nurture inclusive and evidence-based policymaking. Our guest is Sonja Stojanović Gajić, great connoseur of the topic, member of Executive Board of Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCBP) and CEP Council member. This episode coincides with the publishing of annual ranking of top think tanks worldwide by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program by the University of Pennsylvania, where both CEP and BCBP regularly find their place. CEP is ranked as the best think tank in the WB, while BCBP is regularly the best think tank on security and defence in the region and beyond. Recommendations for further reading: Enrique Mendizabal, Reclaiming the think tank space in 2020s onthinktanks.org/articles/reclaim…ce-in-the-2020s/ Isidora Stakić, BCBP, Threats and Pressures Faced by Activists and Independent Journalists in Serbia bezbednost.org/All-publications/…es-Faced-by.shtml Isidora Stakić, BCBP, Kriminalizacija solidarnosti: Obračun sa aktivizmom Združene akcije „Krov nad glavom" bezbednost.org/Sve-publikacije/7…-Obracun-sa.shtml #CooperativeSecurityInitiative i #CooperativeSecurityMatters

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    Seeking for better service design and delivery: created by and for citizens

    More and more countries worldwide are placing the administrators in the users’ shoes and trying to understand the citizens’ journey through the service request. Today, we will talk about public services and service delivery. Our guest is Gregor Virant, Head of SIGMA and former minister of public administration of Slovenia. SIGMA stands for Support for Improvement in Governance and Management, a joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union.

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    EU Conditionality Towards Western Balkans: Supporting Democracy and Rule of Law (?)

    Dr. Natasha Wunsch, Postdoctoral Researcher at the European Politics Group at ETH Zurich is joined by Sena Marić, Programme Manager and Senior Researcher in CEP.

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    Think tanks in the Age of Post-Truth Politics: How to Make Facts Matter (Again)

    Milena Lazarević, CEP’s Programme Director, is joined by Dejan Jović and Matt Dann. Dejan Jović is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Zagreb. Matt Dann is the Secretary General of Bruegel.

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