The curriculum of the first year will focus on an area that has been at the forefront of both citizen interest and a number of recent regional developments. Along with economic development, progress in the fields of justice and security has been the measuring rod for the success of democratisation processes across the region, and it will continue to be a core determinant of whether or not these processes can sustain popular support in each country.
Corruption in particular has hurt the ratings of virtually every government in the region since the beginning of the transition, and persistence of organised crime continues to be a high priority area for the countries’ EU integration as well. On the other hand, reforms undertaken in this area have already yielded considerable benefits – not least with visa liberalisation in most countries.
With respect to security, the Balkans have come a long way from the recent history of violent conflicts and can today assume a partner role in global developments.
The objective of the first year is to familiarise emerging political leaders in depth with the most pressing global, European, and regional issues in security and justice, and the national and supra-national responses to them. A number of these issues necessitate a regional approach, and the participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for governing in a regional community striving to achieve lasting peace and justice for its citizens.