Social & Economic rights

Monday, 31 July 2017

An Informative Meeting with Media Representatives Held in Kraljevo

On 28 July 2017, an informative meeting was held with media representatives in the premises of the Kraljevo City Administration. The aim was to highlight the importance of public administration reform and the role of the media in this process. The meeting was held as one of the activities of the project Contributing to Public Administration Reform in Kraljevo, implemented by Praxis as part of the Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform (WeBER), financed by the European Union and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Marija Dražović, Praxis Legal Advisor, informed the participants about the importance of public administration reform in the EU accession process. She also stressed that it was one of the priority tasks that Serbia had to perform successfully in that process. It was noted that the EU enlargement criteria recognised and emphasised the need for building a national public administration that would have the capacity to pursue the principles of good governance and effectively transpose and implement the acquis communautaire.

Taking into account the significance of the role of the media in monitoring of and reporting on the complex process of administration reform, its progress and challenges, the SIGMA Principles of Public Administration were presented and media representatives were invited to get acquainted with the content of these principles and the monitoring framework, which facilitated the monitoring of progress development over time.

Jasmina Miković, Praxis Deputy Executive Director, spoke about the role of civil society organisations and the media and emphasised their importance in raising awareness and knowledge of citizens about the progress of reforms and their significance for the European integration process through responsible and informed monitoring and reporting.

If we take a look at the stage of legislative drafting, as the main policy instrument, we shall notice  that it is often performed without sufficient preliminary analysis and regulation impact assessment, without a public hearing and citizen involvement. Research indicates that a public hearing is held for every tenth regulation only, while the percentage of law adoption by urgent procedure exceeds 70, which cannot be justified with the pace of the European integration process. In this regard, it is noticeable that there is a narrow space for the participation of civil society organisations, and there is also an impression that public authorities recognise their importance only because of the need to fulfill the EU’s expectations, and not because they consider it a condition of functional democracy.

The role of the media, as an initiator of public debate, is not sufficiently developed in the area of public administration reform, either due to financial instability or insufficiently conducive environment for investigating specific topics, which particularly applies to the local media.

Finally, media representatives emphasised that they recognised the importance of their participation in the process of public administration reform, but also the low level of awareness among citizens about the effects of successful reforms on their everyday lives.

It was concluded that the civil society and the media faced numerous challenges in the reform of public administration, and therefore it was very important to strengthen their capacities in order to be efficient "monitors" and active participants in the reform process.

Download: Invitation letter and Agenda 

Media coverage:  Ibarske novosti

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Praxis means action