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Workshop: “Private Security Companies in the Western Balkans”

Workshop: “Private Security Companies in the Western Balkans”

Date: 21-23 April 2015

Venue: Sirius Hotel, Prishtina

IDM researchers Mr. Arjan Dyrmishi and Ms. Ola Cami attended the third workshop in the framework of a three year project “Private Security in the Western Balkans” funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), led by Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). This project brings together researchers from DCAF and four partner organizations in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe to develop research outputs on private security company (PSC) regulation in Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Serbia. Other organizations included in the project are Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP),  Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS) and Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD). This workshop was hosted by KCSS.

Project partners gathered in Prishtina to discuss the project development, common challenges in proceeding with the delivery of the first outputs, solutions to overcome these challenges. In addition the team has discussed the outline of the third product – the draft concept of the third product in the framework of this project. In particular the aim, and the format of this product. The group identified possible incidents that could be further explored in the case study and decided to further expand the case studies.

Invited in this workshop was also, Mr. Ekrem Dreshaj – Executive Director of Delta Security to provide local, first-hand, practical expertise on the issues surrounding PSCs in the region. Historical overview of the private security sector in Kosovo, mandate of PSCs, challenges and questions about PSCs including legal framework, public procurement, professional background of PSC personnel in Kosovo and human rights were part of his presentation. In addition, Mr. Jess Damewood – former Civilian Police International, Black Water USA shared his experience on private security sector.

An integral part of this workshop was the discussions on the outreach strategy for this project. Invited to share his experience was Radomir Cvetković, Communications Officer from BCSP. Mr. Cvetkovic provided advice on communication strategy on the basis of a case study. Participants are provided with concrete ideas on the most successful outreach. This session was followed by discussions and working groups aiming to identify target groups for the dissemination of the findings. Then, identify the most appropriate strategies to reach out to these different target audiences.

Next workshop in the framework of this project is expected to be held in Belgrade, followed by a panel discussion in the Belgrade Security Forum 2015 (BSF2015).

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