The Law on Lobbying, adopted last November is coming into effect today (August 14, 2019 ) meaning that interested future lobbyists can apply for training with the Anti-Corruption Agency, with all the details available on the agency’s website.
– The goal of the Law on Lobbying is to protect the public interest and further build the integrity of public officials, which is good for any rule of law and the functioning of the rule of law Dragan Sikimic, Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency told Politika daily.
The Anti-Corruption Agency has all competencies when it comes to implementing the law – from announcing competitions, training, issuing certificates, drafting regulations, to controlling in practice both the work of lobbyists, and those they lobby.
Sikimic said Serbia had acted in accordance with Chapter 23 requirements from its EU membership negotiations, and on the recommendations of GRECO (Group of States against Corruption).
He added that with the new Anti-Corruption Law, which would be implemented from September 1 next year we would make further progress in EU integration.
Sikimic replied affirmatively when asked whether he expects MPs, ministers and others to report their contacts with lobbyists without delay, as they were under obligation to do that within 15 days.
– In order to strengthen the integrity of those bringing general acts and the confidence of citizens in institutions, I expect that they will report those contacts, because that makes the difference between trying to pursue a legitimate interest of a particular party, and corruption as a criminal offense, said Sikimic.
He stressed that one of the key things was that the person being lobbied must receive absolutely no compensation. Information, views and opinions on laws and regulations published in the media, for example, are not considered to be lobbying, nor are citizens’ initiatives addressed to the authorities on proposed solutions to laws and other regulations.