Following the latest Shadow Governance Intel analysis on political exposure in the Serbian Armed Forces (SAF) (see “Serbia-Russia Military Cooperation: Vučić’s Wider Power Plays”, 29.08.2017), the Serbian government has adopted draft laws on amendments to the Law on Defence and Law on the Serbian Armed Forces which are likely to make Serbia’s security sector less accountable and more exposed to the political agenda of the Vučić government.

Impact

  • Under the new proposed laws, the Military Police, subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, would be legally empowered to detain civilians within military facilities. In a worst case scenario, this capability will expose the Military Police – in the same vein as civilian law enforcement - to the political interests of the ruling elite, ultimately turning it into a de facto Praetorian Guard.
  • These amendments also threaten to further increase the opacity surrounding Serbia’s security sector, making it less democratically accountable, and exposing the military industry exclusively to the political interests of the government.