LONDON – Fostering talent in law enforcement agencies in the Western Balkans is the key request of civil society organizations from the region at the London Summit.

Civil society organizations from the Western Balkans and experts formulated recommendations on security issues that will be presented to the leaders from the region at the London Summit on 10 of July 2010.

The Summit is the fifth meeting under the Berlin Process umbrella aiming to boost cooperation in the Western Balkans and European integration of the region. Civil society organizations from the Western Balkans participate in the Process through the Civil Society Forum.

Security issues in the region were one of the topics discussed through the Forum with a specific focus on policing.

Director of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy Sonja Stojanović Gajić in an op-ed for the Civil Society Forum emphasized that politicization of human resources in the Western Balkans police services influences investigations conducted by the police.

“The existing hiring and promotion procedures in the Western Balkan police services are not competitive. This is due to the lack of procedures for human resources management, the weak professional capacity of human resources departments, and high political interference in day-to-day human resources decisions. Such practices affect police effectiveness”, explained Stojanović Gajić.

This is one the reason why civil society in the region proposes to the leaders at the London Summit that the reform of police organization should be a benchmark for all candidates and potential candidates for the European Union.

“Further support for the professionalization of police services and building organizational and individual integrity of law enforcement needs to be supported through independent monitoring by the civil society from the Western Balkans and the European Commission”, highlighted civil society organizations in recommendations for the London Summit.

Moreover, the integrity of police services should be significantly improved through the strengthening of internal control and external oversight mechanisms.

Regional networks of competent civil society organizations and investigative journalists focusing on police reform should be supported to continue independent monitoring of reforms.

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