Research is the basis of all Group for Legal and Political Studies activities. Our public policy research is both independent and rigorous, as it strives to affect the agenda setting and to shape policy choices with a progressive, contemporary and innovative tone. We thus focus in four, broadly conceived, policy areas:
a. democratization and democratic institution-building – a concept requiring a political system that provides for the rotation of the government via free and fair elections, wherein citizens are an active part of the agenda setting and policy making process, and the government protects human rights (including the ethnic minority rights) and provides for an equal rule of law in the polity. In addition, citizens must have equal access to public services and administration, under which interest groups remain equally represented in the agenda-setting process; the governance is decentralized on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, with the local governments playing a key role in community development. Furthemore, the political scene does not allow for monopolistic leanings, and a qualitative party pluralism forms part of not only the political scene but also the parties themselves. Mechanisms to fight the unaccountability and abuse of power must be stable and provide for efficient reaction, with a special role attached to free and independent media and civic actors.
b. rule-of-law – a concept that requires governmental agents to be accountable under the law, wherein laws are equal, honest, clear, stable, efficiently implemented, fair, publicized and protect fundamental rights such as the security of persons and property. The process of enactment of laws should be freely accessible, fair and oriented for the common-good. In addition, the administration of justice should be legally certain and should include competent, independent (both subjectively and objectively), professional, efficient and morally-just mechanisms that are provided for with sufficient resources – thereby mirroring the community confidence in justice – whereas persons have efficient and free access to the justice system.
c. economic growth and development – a concept that requires established and efficient market mechanisms that fight monopolies, generate stable incomes, and provide for a just distribution of the wealth under an efficient competition policy; wherein, a regionally competitive business environment provides for the swift flow of foreign capital and investments. In addition, macroeconomic policy favours the business growth and offer space for a legally certain business environment and foreign direct investments, while also stimulating the improvement of the standard of life through supporting competitive production and services. Furthermore, the government should orient public investments toward underdeveloped sectors, with the aim of increasing the development of the economy in each policy sector, thereby providing for a fair a more equal distribution of wealth.
d. improved regional cooperation and foreign policy – a concept which requires that the polity choose efficient and competitive strategies to safeguard its interests and to reach its goals at the international level, via the promotion of good neighbourly relations, an increased presence on the international stage, and the promotion of peace, security and tolerance in bilateral and multilateral communications with states, international organizations and non-state actors. In addition, the government must choose/develop foreign policies to maximize the benefits of regional and international cooperation and to promote a positive image of the state in international relations, in light of the globalization trends and perspectives.
A wide range of policy reports, policy analysis, policy notes and working papers are published each year on these inclusive fields of policy. In addition, Group for Legal and Political Studies regularly hosts high-level speakers in both public discussion conferences and off-record saloons to discuss the developments and/or policy implications and progress in the abovementioned policy areas.