Good communication as driving force behind social dialogue and citizen engagement in public policies

Sep 28, 2014

3rd SEECOM conference ends in Montenegro

Good public sector communication that fosters meaningful dialogue between public authorities and civil society and enables citizens to actively participate in policies is invaluable for the development and progress of the countries of South East Europe, said participants in the 3rd South Eastern Europe Public Sector Communication Conference SEECOM 2014 which concluded in Budva today.

The SEECOM 2014 conference brought together senior public sector communicators from ten countries of the region, as well as some of the most prominent communication experts and practitioners from Europe and the United States.

The conference entitled “Communication of Deeds” was supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Media Program South East Europe, Regional Cooperation Council, UNDP Montenegro, British Embassy Podgorica and the City of Budva.

In order to promote its mission and activities in South East Europe, SEECOM adopted two key programs.

The first, “Transparency, Accountability and Public Participation” program, seeks to provide public sector communicators in South East Europe with knowledge and skills on how to promote government transparency, accountability and public participation in policy making through effective communication practices.

The objective of the second program, “Communicating European Integration Affairs”, is to improve the knowledge and skills of public sector communicators in South East Europe on how best to inform, educate and engage citizens in European integration affairs.

Mr Ognian Zlatev, Head of EU Representation in Bulgaria was elected as SEECOM’s next chairman.

SEECOM conferred honorary membership on the conference keynote speaker UK Government’s Director of Communications Mr. Alex Aiken and former SEECOM Steering Committee member and co-founder Ms. Nadica Dujović, for their exceptional contribution to the Association’s mission and activities in South East Europe. 

The conference featured a presentation of the UK Government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative, an online platform for a broad public dialogue aimed at eliminating complicated administrative procedures and redundant legislation that burden businesses and citizens in the UK.

Furthermore, Fund for Active Citizenship – fAKT announced a small grant opportunity for Montenegrin civil society organizations to develop a local communications platform aimed at reducing red tape at national and local administration.

The goal of the SEECOM 2014 conference was to promote the role of public sector communications as a catalyst for dialogue and collaboration between public authorities, civil society and citizens, aimed at improving public policies and creating new economic and social value.

Participants in the Conference – senior public sector communication officials from countries of South East Europe –used this opportunity to establish and renew contacts with their peers from the region, showcase best practices and engage in debates with some of Europe’s and world’s leading communications experts on issues of engaging citizens in public policies, communicating European integration affairs and building a common public diplomacy vision for South East Europe.

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