“The Economist: World in …” is organizing the “Color Media Communications” event for the seventh time in a row in Serbia and has already become recognizable as an event that closes the current year with conclusions on the business and political environment of Serbia and raises issues of importance for the country’s development next year.
Conference “The Economist: The World in 2019” will be held on December 13th at the House of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade. As every year, the leaders of the Government of Serbia, the Government of Vojvodina, ambassadors, economists and leading businessmen from Serbia and the region will gather.
The conference aims to give opinions, analyzes and reviews to the economic environment, the investment climate and the future steps that await Serbia on the road to EU accession, implementing reforms of both legislation and society through a constructive dialogue between representatives of the Government of Serbia, representatives of the economy and diplomatic corps. in whole.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Maja Gojković, will also hold a welcome speech this year, with whom we talked to the conference and she said:
“We will do our best to preserve peace and stability, but the situation in which we find ourselves is extremely difficult. Bearing in mind all these circumstances, the National Assembly will continue to contribute to stability and security of the country, cooperation in the region, as well as economic development of the country under no easy circumstances.
The Parliament of Serbia has shown political maturity and responsibility to support all important reforms for the country, as well as hard measures that were crucial to save the country from bankruptcy.
The laws that we have adopted in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia created the conditions for Serbia to have an economic growth of 4.5 percent, investments close to three billion euros which is 10.7 percent more compared to last year. This has led to the fact that today we have the lowest unemployment rate in the last 30 years and that we can increase salaries in the public sector as well as pensions. We will conclude this year with the adoption of the development budget for 2019, because the planned growth of capital investments is of 30% compared to the previous budget, for the construction of road and railway infrastructure, for investments in technological parks and health institutions. All this confirms that Serbia is on the safe and good road.”
What would consider applying, from the experiences and working conditions of other parliaments you have had a chance to get acquainted with?
– I had the opportunity to get acquainted with parliamentary practices, especially in the countries of the European Union, bearing in mind that our priority is full membership in the EU. When the President of the Slovak Parliament was here, who recently adopted the new Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, we also discussed their experiences, and I received a comparative analysis of all the Rules of Procedure in the EU. The analysis show that there are no uniform solutions and unique models, and that our Rules of Procedure are not lagging behind theirs. During the recent visit of the President of the Parliament of Austria, Mr. Sobotka, within the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, we have agreed to implement the project in cooperation with civil society in the field of the Rule of Law and familiarize citizens with the work of parliamentarians, as well as an implementation of a project during which the administration of the National Assembly would meet with the functioning of the Austrian Parliament.
In your opinion, how many members of the Assembly are connected with their electoral base and are ready to be the voice of citizens in the Parliament?
– It is extremely important for the Members of the Parliament to be ready to vote at all times, as this creates a greater degree of trust. For the fourth time this year, we organize the Week of Parliamentarism, precisely in order to bring our Parliament closer to citizens, especially young people, and to introduce them to the process of passing laws. Therefore, together with citizen associations and schools, we will organize a series of meetings with deputies. We will also organize a traditional Children’s Day at the Assembly of Serbia which will be an opportunity for students not only from Belgrade, but from all over Serbia to visit the highest legislative body, learn about the tradition of parliamentarism in Serbia, as well as about the work of deputies. In addition to this event, the work of deputies from the cities and municipalities they come from is important as well as the possibility of asking questions to representatives of the executive, who often raise questions and suggestions that they receive from the citizens themselves. In the end, the citizens evaluate our work at elections.
In your opinion, what will 2019 be like for the Parliament?
– We finish this year with a good budget, the economic indicators were never better, which means we can enter 219 with optimism. However, there will be many challenges for our country, primarily in terms of preserving regional peace and stability, especially bearing in mind the irresponsible move by Pristina, which does not want to abolish unlawfully imposed taxes on our goods. Their announcement of forming the army for December 14th is even more dangerous, contrary to the constitution that they themselves have brought, as well as all the agreements that we have with NATO, which puts the entire region at the highest level of danger. We will do our best to preserve peace and stability, but the situation in which we find ourselves is extremely difficult. Bearing in mind all these circumstances, the National Assembly will continue to contribute to the stability and security of the country, cooperation in the region, as well as economic development of the country under no easy circumstances. Another important task is the continuation of harmonization of our legislation with the EU acquis.
In 2019, the Serbian Parliament will host the 141st session of the Interparliamentary Union. After 56 years, more than 150 parliamentary delegations from all over the world will gather in Belgrade, which will be a great opportunity for promotion and for even better positioning of Serbia in our country.
See the official website for the complete program, participants and the way to apply for participation