Research and publications:
Policy briefs

Policy briefs

CESS policy briefs aim to connect research to tangible policy recommendations for governments or/and donors.



Improving the information position of the Albanian, Kosovar and North Macedonian Parliaments

CESS Policy Brief no. 5, May 2021. By the Centre for European Security Studies (ed. Jos Boonstra)

Parliamentarians are overwhelmed with information and at the same time have difficulty in finding specific information to perform their duties. The Albanian, Kosovar, and North Macedonian parliaments are developing their own in-house information capacities, and they work with civil society. What steps can the three Balkan countries take to further boost the information position of their legislatures?
Download PDF: Improving the information position of the Albanian, Kosovar and North Macedonian Parliaments 


Strengthening Oversight of Intelligence in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia
CESS Policy Brief no. 4, February 2021. By DECOS working group & Merijn Hartog and Erik Sportel (ed.)

Establishing democratic oversight of intelligence is of vital importance for the reform processes in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. To get intelligence oversight right, it is first necessary to nurture a culture of oversight, update legislation, and build human and institutional capacity.
Download PDF: Strengthening Oversight of Intelligence in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia


The impact of Covid-19 on governance and democratic oversight The cases of Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia
CESS Policy Brief no. 3, November 2020, Jos Boonstra (ed.)

As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia have learned that their democratic institutions and civil societies are resilient in the face of crisis though fragile in dealing with practical problems. This policy brief – as an outcome of a working group of Western Balkans experts and practitioners – offers insight into the functioning of these young democracies under stress, while bringing forward ideas for strengthening oversight mechanisms.

Download PDF: The impact of Covid-19 on governance and democratic oversight The cases of Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia



Building institutional oversight capacity of the security sector in Ukraine
CESS Policy Brief no. 2, February 2020, Jos Boonstra

The first six months of the Zelenskyy government and the Servant of the People-dominated parliament show a mixed picture of reform efforts and inexperience. Regarding the security sector, not much has been done, as mistakes could prove costly for the new guard of politicians. This policy brief argues for a series of capacity-building measures to boost the institutional impact of democratic watchdogs in the security sector.

Download PDF: Building institutional oversight capacity of the security sector in Ukraine



Building civil society oversight capacity of the security sector in Ukraine
CESS Policy Brief no. 1, December 2019,  Jos Boonstra

Ukraine has a broad and active civil society that is involved in security and defence oversight. It could improve its capacity to impact policy by becoming more knowledgeable in performing oversight; experienced in working with parliament and other oversight institutions; and increasingly able through the development of new oversight tools and mechanisms. This policy brief aims to provide an overview of civil society’s role in Ukraine’s security sector and offer suggestions on how to strengthen its role.

Download PDF; Building civil society oversight capacity of the security sector in Ukraine



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