14.07.2011 Novi magazin 11

Why is no one taking care of the image of Serbia?

Why is no one taking care of the image of Serbia?
Serbia doesn’t have a law on lobbying, because why almost every activity whose purpose is influencing the decision makers can be seen as corruption. Mirjana Pantic investigated why lobbying isn’t regulated by law, why that activity still has a negative connotation in Serbia, and is the absence of lobbying networks one of the reasons for the slow recovery of the image of Serbia in the world.

Serbia is still headline number one thanks to the number one tennis racquet Novak DJokovic. The world press writes about the series of his successes, talent and hard work that got him to the throne of the white sport, but is he enough to radically change the shattered image and the creation of the 90’s in such a short period of time?

The answer is simple “You know what, it isn’t”, as a famous American comedian Chelsea Handler said with wonder to the thought that Serbs are allowed to go to concerts and have Facebook pages.

WHERE WER THE LOBBYISTS: One of the main supporters of many countries who have ambitiously undertaken the redesign of their image were not domestic athletes, but lobbyists. We can find in our neighborhood an example of accomplished ambitions.

Before it became independent, some twenty years ago, Croatia started creating a wide network of lobbyists in the USA and the EU.

„Transparent lobbying is the best form of the fight against corruption. Lobbyists obey the law and regulations and never get into business that would mean working in the grey zone”, says the first Croatian lobbyist Mate Granic, who recently spent some time in Belgrade with his colleagues.

Unlike the politicians who every so often get involved into some affair, lobbyists have clean records, with some rare exceptions. 

LOBBYING THE IMAGE CHANGE: In the last couple of years the Serbian Government has made a couple of deals with lobbying agencies residing in the US.

The aim was to remove from the American media an image of Serbia being a country of “the Balkan butcher and bad guys”, but also to influence the rise of the foreign trade exchange of the two countries and assure the American investors that Serbia is an ideal country for their money.

But, all those engagements were followed by numerous controversies.

author: Mirjana Pantic source: Novi magazin
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