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Support to the National Security Council and the Coordination Bureau for Security Services

The National Security Council was formed in 2007 upon the adoption of the Law on the bases regulating security services of the Republic of Serbia, as a body for considering issues of relevance for the national security as well as for directing the security services’ work.

The Bureau for Security Services’ Work Coordination (the Coordination Bureau) was established for the operational synchronization of the security services’ activities, and the Office of the National Security Council and Classified Information Protection, as the Government’s expert service was assigned with the task of providing administrative and technical assistance to the the National Security Council and Coordination Bureau’s activities.

The security services’ work is subject to the democratic control of the National Parliament, President of the Republic, Government, National Security Council and other state authorities in accordance with the law.

Pursuant to Article 5 of the above law, the National Security Council ensures the national security by:

  • considering issues in the field of defense, internal affairs and operation of the security services;
  • considering mutual cooperation between the competent authorities responsible for defense, internal affairs and the security services and their cooperation with other competent state authorities, as well as cooperation with the authorities and security services of foreign countries and international organizations;
  • proposing measures for enhancing national security to the state authorities;
  • considering proposals for enhancing national security as submitted by the competent authorities for defense and internal affairs and by the security services and other competent state authorities;
  • considering issues of relevance to the national security falling within the remit of the public administration bodies, autonomous province, municipalities, cities and the City of Belgrade, and
  • examining other issues of relevance to the national security.

The Council also guides and coordinates the security services’ activities by:

  • considering intelligence security assessments and adopting conclusions containing priorities and guidelines for achieving the national interests pursued through intelligence security activities;
  • adopting conclusions concerning operations of the security services and the Coordination Bureau;
  • adopting conclusions that streamline the cooperation between the security services and foreign security services and international organizations;
  • adopting conclusions for the coordination of activities of the state authorities devoted to international cooperation in the field of national security and defense;
  • monitoring the implementation of adopted conclusions;
  • giving its opinion on draft annual and medium term work plans of the security services;
  • giving the Government its opinion on proposed budgets proposed for the security services, and monitoring the use of appropriated budget funds;
  • giving the Government its opinion on a proposal to appoint and dismiss the security services’ directors.

In addition, the Council takes care of the agreed implementation of regulations and standards relating to the personal data protection, as well as other regulations protecting human rights which may be threatened by the exchange of information or other operational actions.

The National Security Council is composed of the following state officials: the President of the Republic of Serbia, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Internal Affairs Ministers, Justice Minister, Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, and the Security Services Directors.

The National Security Council has its Secretary who takes part in the activities of the Council without the power of decision, and ensures the implementation of the Council conclusions and perform other tasks as defined in the Rules of Procedure and other Council documents. The Council Secretary is appointed and relieved of duty by the President of the Republic.

The Coordination Bureau is responsible for the operational synchronization of the security services’ activities and implementation of the Council conclusions on the issues falling within its remit. More specifically, this body has a duty to:

  • set assignments to be carried out through the operational coordination of activities of the security services and of other state authorities, and shall coordinate their activities according to such assignments;
  • determine the method of operational coordination in particular cases;
  • form joint working groups for operational assignments to be carried out through operational coordination of activities, and set their tasks;
  • analyze the result of the operational coordination and report to the Council on it, as appropriate, but at least once in six months.

The Coordination Bureau activities are regulated in more detail by its Rules of Procedure. It is composed of the security services’ directors and the Council Secretary. The following officials may participate in the Coordination Bureau activities by invitation:

  • the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • the Director of the Police and Heads of the Police Administrative Units;
  • the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia;
  • the Director of the Customs Administration, and
  • the Heads of other public authorities, organizations and institutions.

The NSC Office performs expert, administrative and other activities to serve the needs of the National Security Council, in particular:

  • activities relating to convening and preparing the Council sessions;
  • technical activities relating to monitoring and implementation of the Council’s guidelines and conclusions;
  • activities providing the administrative and technical support to the Coordination Bureau;
  • keeping Council’s reports and other documents and making them available to the Council members;