Western Balkans: Parliamentary oversight of the security sector

02-05-2017

Both the European Union and NATO have sought to promote democratic security sector governance as one of the criteria for their respective accession candidates. Consequently, the Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro and Serbia – have begun security sector reforms as part of their Euro-Atlantic integration. The overall objective of these reforms is to support the transformation of the security sector in accordance with democratic norms and the principles of good governance, rule of law, protection of human rights and efficient use of public resources. In this context, a special focus is placed on improving governance through greater civilian and parliamentary oversight of security processes. Since the 1990s, Western Balkan countries have all, in the push to reform their security sectors, made significant progress in terms of setting up the necessary legal framework and oversight mechanisms, including parliamentary committees. However, when it comes to aligning their security sectors with the principles of democratic governance, they have had varying success.

Both the European Union and NATO have sought to promote democratic security sector governance as one of the criteria for their respective accession candidates. Consequently, the Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro and Serbia – have begun security sector reforms as part of their Euro-Atlantic integration. The overall objective of these reforms is to support the transformation of the security sector in accordance with democratic norms and the principles of good governance, rule of law, protection of human rights and efficient use of public resources. In this context, a special focus is placed on improving governance through greater civilian and parliamentary oversight of security processes. Since the 1990s, Western Balkan countries have all, in the push to reform their security sectors, made significant progress in terms of setting up the necessary legal framework and oversight mechanisms, including parliamentary committees. However, when it comes to aligning their security sectors with the principles of democratic governance, they have had varying success.