SEECOM 2014 conference ends in Montenegro

Good communication as driving force behind effective social dialogue and citizen engagement

Budva, September 28th 2014 – 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 the 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 Zalatev, Head of the 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 Alex Aiken, and former SEECOM Steering Committee member and co-founder Nadica Dujovic, 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, the 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.

South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM) is an international non-for-profit professional association, based in Budva, Montenegro, which seeks to promote the highest ethical and professional standards of public sector communications and good governance through professional exchange between public sector communicators in South Eastern Europe.