THE LONGEST JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP
LEAVING THE EU, NOT EUROPE H.E. DENIS KEEFE Ambassador of The United Kingdom to Serbia
Founder and Chairman I&F McCann Grupa
SEPTEMBER ’16 / ISSUE No. 143
Minister of State Administration and Local Government
AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, WE ARE ALL ALWAYS AT THE BEGINNING
interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD COMMENT :MIŠA BRKIĆ
Prosperity Does Not Come Immediately NATHALIE TOCCI, SPECIAL ADVISOR TO EU HR/VP FEDERICA MOGHERINI
EU’s Response To “The Time Of Monsters” IVAN REČEVIĆ, WEB ANALYTICS
A Keen Eye Over The Forest Of Data
JOHANN SCHNEIDER-AMMANN PRESIDENT OF THE SWISS CONFEDERATION
Peace And Development -
E XC L U S I V E
THE BEST CURE FOR TERRORISM
COVER JOHANN SCHNEIDER-AMMANN, President of the Swiss Confederation
Peace and Development THE BEST CURE FOR TERRORISM
Every European country, including Switzerland, realises just how fragile the values that we all share and cherish are, such as peace, democracy, freedom and stability. At the same time, we should not allow ourselves to fall into a state of anxiety, not only because fear is a bad advisor, but also because the terrorists’ goal is precisely to cause terror and weaken our confidence, says Johann Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation
PROSPERITY DOES NOT COME IMMEDIATELY Miša Brkić, Journalist
PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT - THE BEST CURE FOR TERRORISM
FACES & PLACES
NORDIC COUNTRIES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 2016
Johann Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation
THE LONGEST JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP Ana Brnabić, Minister of State Administration and Local Government
AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, WE ARE ALL ALWAYS AT THE BEGINNING Srdjan Šaper, Founder and Chairman I&F McCann Grupa
EU’S RESPONSE TO “THE TIME OF MONSTERS” Nathalie Tocci, Special advisor to EU HR/VP Federica Mogherini
LEAVING THE EU, NOT EUROPE
H.E. Denis Keefe, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Serbia
WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE
A KEEN EYE OVER THE FOREST OF DATA
Ivan Rečević, Web analytics expert and co-owner of consultancy agency Gaia Consulting
MEETING POINT OF WORLD CULTURES Ivan Medenica, Artistic Director and Curator of the 50th BITEF Festival
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Prosperity Does Not
Come Immediately The new-old prime minister made a ministerial cabinet to suit his tastes, the National Assembly confirmed that taste and Serbia finally gained a government. Will things be better for us and when? Not any time soon MIŠA BRKIĆ, Journalist
lot of water must pass through the Sava and the DanThat’s because the system is bad. And the system is bad ube for citizens to feel an improvement. Only the nabecause one man has become the system. He is the investigaïve still believe that the economy is the same as the tor and judge and prosecutor and the Stock Exchange and the lottery - you buy a lottery ticket, draw a premium and Securities Commission and the Antimonopoly Commission and it’s immediately better for you. Economics is a process, a lot the Central Depository for Securities and the Business Regishas to originate and sweat has to elapse for things to be better ters Agency and the Development Fund and... for everyone individually and collectively. The Prime Minister is trying in vain to prove that ordinary What to do? people are already living better because Serbia has a higher The Serbian Prime Minister made his inaugural speech for economic growth rate, an indicator that the prime minister six hours in Parliament and before the TV cameras, leaving the particularly praises. impression of a ruler that has a general idea that Serbia should But the economy is not a lottery. be a prosperous country, but that it’s not really handling the The growth of the economy of a country does not immeditools with which to achieve this. ately generate a better life for individuals. Renowned American The authorities shouldn’t promise anything more, especialeconomist Richard Ran, head of the Institute for Global Economly not to bid for the introduction of a better life in Serbia. Never ic Growth, calculated that if the state, for example, has annual and nowhere, except in socialism (which is growth of two per cent, the income of a citiwhy it failed), does the government make zen can only double in 35 years. So, if Serbia The authorities in the people happy. I suppose that’s why they had GDP growth of two per cent in the comsay “everyone is responsible for their own ing years, current annual income of 4,200 euSerbia need only to happiness”. ros (12 average monthly salaries of 350 euros) complete reforms The authorities in Serbia need only to would rise to 8,500 euros only in 2050. and create an complete reforms and create an environIf, however, GDP grew at a very decent ment in which everyone can find their way annual rate of four per cent then the averenvironment in which age income of citizens would double in 17.7 as they know and are able. everyone can find The lessons of those countries that have years. Thus, the income of citizens can quamanaged to develop a better life are crysdruple within the average lifespan of cititheir way as they tal clear and simple – reduce public spendzens of Serbia. know and are able ing because it is still much higher than the The Serbian economy is currently growoptimum level, reduce tax rates in order for ing at a rate of about one per cent, and if interested individuals to launch businesses and remove all reguit continues at this tempo it will take 69.7 years to double the lations and state intervention, because they suppress the freeincome of the individual – almost an entire lifetime. dom of entrepreneurship. Serbia needs an environment in which What is the conclusion? there is freedom of contracting, in which people will be able to Without moderately high growth rates (not less than four work freely on the market without too much interference from per cent), there is no chance for citizens “in the short term” the State. Foreign investment means nothing to Serbia; they are to notice prosperity. This is the regularity of the economy but not the only thing that’s important. Serbia needs a good sysalso a problem for politicians whose mandate lasts for four tem (environment), because institutions create wealth, and not (and maybe eight) years. They would like a quick solution in the money. If there is no good institution, then only some people short term. (those close to the authorities) will have money, while the maAnd to ensure there’s no dilemma, Serbia also needs high economic growth in order to reduce the national debt, jority of the population will live as poorly as it has to date. That’s to maintain some kind of modest network of the health and why ordinary people do not understand what the prime minister was saying – he claims that ever more investments are coming pension systems, to create more jobs and for its citizens to have higher real wages. ■ to Serbia, but the citizens do not feel the positive effects. 6 |
Peace and Development -
THE BEST CURE FOR TERRORISM JOHANN SCHNEIDER-AMMANN PRESIDENT OF THE SWISS CONFEDERATION
Every European country, including Switzerland, realises just how fragile the values that we all share and cherish are, such as peace, democracy, freedom and stability. At the same time, we should not allow ourselves to fall into a state of anxiety, not only because fear is a bad advisor, but also because the terroristsâ€™ goal is precisely to cause terror and weaken our confidence, says Johann Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation
I 8 |
n the latest series of terrorist attacks in Europe, Swiss citizens were also recently hit in Nice. For Swiss Confederation President Johann Schneider-Ammann this is yet more proof that, regardless of cooperation and the engagement of security services, the risk of terrorism cannot be reduced to zero. In this interview for CorD, Schneider-Ammann
I want to stress here the dramatic situation faced by the hundreds of thousands of people on the move, risking their lives on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as along the Balkan route, to seek a safe haven
Switzerland is a safe country and remains an extremely attractive location with outstanding educational opportunities
In 2014 Switzerland was the single largest bilateral foreign investor in Serbia, which shows that Switzerland has the potential to become a leading investor in the country
says that it is precisely because of this that it was insisted at the spring conference in Geneva, organised in cooperation with the United Nations, that prevention is the best answer to extremism. “The best chances of preventing violent extremism exist when there is peace, security, sustainable development, the rule of law and human rights,” said SchneiderAmmann. Here we also speak to the President of the Swiss Confederation about the talks with the leaders of the European Union aimed at reaching common positions on the issue of immigration policy and ensuring that Switzerland stays in the EU’s single market.
there is always room for improvement. However, it is important to bear in mind that there is no such thing as zero risk, even with very well-coordinated and effective intelligence services. It must be ac-
■ Mr President, this summer
started with terrorist attacks around Europe, leading to an atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety all over the continent. How do you see the current situation?
- The situation is worrying, as Europe is facing terrorist attacks with seemingly random targets. Every European country, including Switzerland, realises just how fragile the values that we all share and cherish are, such as peace, democracy, freedom and stability. They must therefore be constantly reaffirmed. At the same time, we should not allow ourselves to fall into a state of anxiety, not only because fear is a bad advisor, but also because the terrorists’ goal is precisely to cause terror and weaken our confidence.
Prime Minister VUČIĆ and President AMMANN
The best chances of preventing violent extremism exist when there is peace, security, sustainable development, the rule of law and human rights. There is a need to foster inclusive political solutions where communities feel politically, socially or ethnically marginalised
■ Do you see enough coordination in Europe and worldwide when it comes to fighting terrorism?
- A lot has already been done in this regard, but
knowledged that terrorism cannot be tackled by security measures alone. That is why Switzerland co-organised a conference last April in Geneva with the United Nations on preventing violent extremism , where States exchanged views on the importance of dialogue and conflict prevention, as well as on respect for human rights, with the aim of reducing the appeal of violent extremism and tackling its direct and structural causes. The best chances of preventing violent extremism exist when there is peace, security, sustainable development, the rule SEPTEMBER
of law and human rights. There is a need to foster inclusive political solutions where communities feel politically, socially or ethnically marginalised.
■ A new wave of refugees is coming to Europe. A record number of people are trying to seek refuge in Switzerland. How serious a problem is this for Switzerland?
■ Do you think the situation could worsen in light of political tensions in Turkey?
- It is certainly a little premature to evaluate the consequences on the refugees of the current political situation in Turkey. This will have to be monitored carefully in the next months. ■ It appears as though Switzerland and the EU are still
not on the same page regarding immigration policy. Brussels is warning that Switzerland might lose access to the single market if it goes ahead with plans to impose controls on the free movement of EU citizens. What would be your response?
- The Federal Council continues to seek a mutually agreed solution on a safeguard clause with the EU regarding the implementation of the new constitutional provisions on immigration. A mutually agreed solution would not only secure Switzerland’s future access to the single market, but also ensure legal certainty for the Swiss economy. With a population of more than 507 million, the EU is Switzerland’s most important trading partner by far. Switzerland exports more than half of its goods to the EU, and almost three quarters of Swiss imports come from the EU. Switzerland, in turn, is an important trading partner for the EU, occupying third place after the United States and China. A mutually agreed solution is therefore in the interests of both parties. A unilateral decision to control the immigration of EU citizens remains a measure of last resort, as it could strain our future relations with the EU.
With a population of - First of all, I want to stress here the dramatic more than 507 million, situation faced by the the EU is Switzerland’s hundreds of thousands of most important trading people on the move, riskpartner by far. ing their lives on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Switzerland exports more along the Balkan route, than half of its goods to to seek a safe haven. Our the EU, and almost three humanitarian duty is to quarters of Swiss imports ensure that these people can live in dignity, safety come from the EU and peace. Switzerland is ■ Do you believe that the Swiss-EU committed to fulfilling its presidential meeting in Septeminternational obligations, by offering protection to ber could lead to a sustainable solution without those whose lives are threatened. Switzerland regresulting in a rift with the EU? istered about 40,000 asylum requests in 2015, the - During my last meeting with European Commishighest number for many years. At 25 per cent, the sion President Jean-Claude Juncker in July, he exproportion of foreign nationals in Switzerland is pressed the European Commission’s willingness to higher than in the EU. Apart from helping individufind a mutually agreed solution with Switzerland. Since this meeting, discussions with the EU have als in need of protection, it is also essential from been intensified on a technical level. Jean-Claude our point of view to continue assisting the counJuncker and I will evaluate the results of these distries in crisis. We have to provide assistance on site and help to prevent people from leaving. cussions at our next meeting in September. 143
■ How are businesses reacting to this outcome so far, given that the EU is Switzerland’s most important trading partner?
- It is important for Swiss businesses that the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons can be upheld. Conditions which simplify the international mobility of labour result in a more efficient use of resources, making it easier for Swiss firms to recruit staff with appropriate qualifications for any particular job. Swiss businesses are dependent on regulated and stable relations with the EU, which is our most important trading partner. Switzerland is a safe country and remains an extremely attractive location with outstanding educational opportunities.
do you see the prospects of closer partnerships with those countries?
- Switzerland sees great opportunities in strengthening partnerships with countries in this region, particularly in terms of business cooperation, education, innovation and research. My official visits to Singapore and South Korea in July provided an occasion to present and discuss Switzerland’s
■ How has Brexit impacted on
EU-Swiss negotiations related to curbing the influx of foreigners?
- Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit referendum, the Federal Council strives to continue the ongoing discussions with the EU on the implementation of the new constitutional provisions on immigration. During the meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in July, we both acknowledged, however, that the outcome of the UK referendum had complicated efforts to find a solution within the timeframe set out in the constitution. ■ ZEW experts believe that the
Brexit vote is partly responsible for the decline in Swiss economic sentiment. What are your expectations over the longer term?
President AMMANN and President PARK GEUN-HYE were greeted during a welcoming ceremony In South Korea in July
It is not easy to foresee the long-term consequences of the outcome of the UK referendum. What is decisive is the time it takes to eliminate the legal uncertainties, which are a direct cause of the referendum
- It is not easy to foresee the longterm consequences of the outcome of the UK referendum. What is decisive is the time it takes to eliminate the legal uncertainties, which are a direct cause of the referendum. It is clear that legal certainty is critical for the economic prosperity of our country, but I stress once again that Switzerland is an outstanding location for doing business. ■ This was a busy summer for you, during which you travelled to the countries of the Far East. How
dual-track system of vocational and professional education with my counterparts, who showed great interest in further developing cooperation in that area. Incidentally, I also had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Prime Minister Vučić during my last visit to Belgrade in October 2015 and at our meeting in Bern in June of this year.
■ The EU and NATO are struggling to fix their
relationship with Russia. In your opinion, how important is communication with Moscow, especially in terms of the fight against global terrorism?
- As a neutral state with a long-standing tradition in mediation, Switzerland is committed to promoting international law and cooperative security. Switzerland believes that dialogue should remain a key component in international relations, inSEPTEMBER
cluding with regard to Russia. The OSCE is an important instrument to address European security challenges together with Russia and to restore lost confidence. Communication and coordination are especially necessary in the fight against terrorism, as terrorism is a global phenomenon that needs to be tackled collectively.
In addition, Switzerland promotes regional integration and cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans, notably by promoting research or by contributing to regional structures, such as the Regional Cooperation Council instituted under the Southeast European Cooperation Process. As part of its peace policy in the Western Balkans, Switzerland also encourages reconciliation efforts, notably by promoting transitional justice and by supporting political dialogue, and remains present with the Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Kosovo. Last but not least, Switzerland has concluded migration partnerships with several countries in the region, including Serbia, to help the authorities manage migration flows. This cooperation proved to be extremely useful during the migration crisis in 2015, allowing us to provide swift support to Serbia in accommodating stranded migrants. ■ You have also stressed the im-
portance of stability for attracting foreign investments. How do you see Serbia in that respect?
- Stability is key for any country wishing to attract foreign invest■ You have said that the ment, and Serbia is no exception. As a neutral state with a What also seems to have been Western Balkans is one long-standing tradition key in Serbia’s case is its comof the priorities of Swiss in mediation, Switzerland mitment to improving its macpolicy. What are the main roeconomic figures, its efforts to priorities? is committed to undertake a series of structural - Switzerland supports promoting international reforms and adopt new laws that the process of the Westlaw and cooperative have improved its business cliern Balkan states towards security. Switzerland European integration, mate, thereby attracting new forwhich has contributed to eign investors. In terms of Swiss believes that dialogue stability and prosperity in investment in Serbia, allow me to should remain a key the region. I would like to remind readers that in 2014 Switcomponent in recall that there is a sizezerland was the single largest biinternational able diaspora from this lateral foreign investor in Serbia, region, including from relations, including with which shows that Switzerland has Serbia, living in Switzerthe potential to become a leading regard to Russia investor in the country. Also, Swiss land, and this naturally exports increased by 22 per cent reinforces Switzerland’s in 2015. The establishment, back in 2014, of the interests in and exchanges with the Western BalSwiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, comprising kans. To this end, Switzerland has developed an some 60 members, also contributes to our vibrant important cooperation programme in the region, bilateral trade. That said, further measures to imwhich focuses on five main pillars: 1) Democratisation, decentralisation and local governance; 2) Ecoprove legal certainty and simplify the country’s tax system would be welcome and would certainly help nomic development; 3) Vocational training and emto continue attracting foreign investment. ■ ployment; 4) Water and energy supply; 5) Health. 143
The Longest Journey Starts
WITH THE FIRST STEP ANA BRNABIĆ MINISTER OF STATE ADMINISTRATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Ministry that I have taken over has a good basis for reform set in place, so in this department there will be continuity between the previous and this government, which is very important
na Brnabić, Serbia’s new Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government, is confronted by major challenges, from the establishment of the Academy of Public Administration, the implementation of the Law on Administrative Procedure, implementation of the Law on Inspection Oversight, amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government, to the implementing of a transparent system for financing local government, a system of work , personnel structure and a way of financing and reducing the administration.
■ In one of your first statements for the press you said that you have your top list of 15 priorities. What’s on it? - It is of essential importance for the commenced changes to be implemented properly and at full capacity. When I talk about administrative reform, I am primarily referring to a change of the relations between the government and public officials towards citizens and the economy; we are awaited by education in order for public servants to do their job better and provide a service to users, and for citizens in terms of learning about the rights that they have and how they can take advantgae of these rights. In order to have continuous and professional training of the state administration, it is important for us to establish the Academy of Public 14 |
Administration, which will actually be a national academy for professional training in public administration, and this is certainly one of the priorities. Another major priority is the full implementation of the Law on General Administrative Procedures, which is a reform law per excellence and will greatly ease the daily lives of people. In addition to that, we are awiated by changes in the working methods of inspections, connecting in a single system all the relevant services and working to improve the safety of operations through the implementation of the Law on Inspection Oversight. All of this also falls under the umbrella of the development of eGovernment and providing as many electronic services as possible to citizens and businesses. On my list of priorities are also amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government and finding the right key for the division of competences between State and local authorities, as well as greater intermunicipal cooperation. We must also find a sustainable and transparent way to finance local government and this reform has not been completed with new amendments to the Law on the Financing of Local Government. It needs to be in step with the initiatives of the Ministry of Finance on solving problems with para-fiscal levies through the Law on Fees, and we will be a good partner in that business. There is also the completing of the reform of the salary system in public administration. I’d say that’s a lot of responsible work. I am ready. ■ You have been entrusted with one of the most challenging processes in the mandate of the new government: reform of public administration, or the civil service. What sequence of steps can we expect in this area? - The reform of public administration is a complex process that has no time limit. Just as you finish one job, another is just beginning, and that is a permanent system of mutual harmonisation. Our task is to get the wheel of change moving, in order for public servants to themselves move towards
The reform of public administration is a complex process that has no time limit. Just as you finish one job, another is just beginning, and that is a permanent system of mutual harmonisation
Non-governmental organisations can direct their energies and capacities towards educating citizens and raising awareness of important issues and changes
I congratulate NALED on everything that has been achieved and also want to encourage this great organisation not to allow its successes to blur the picture
meeting them, because we must continually on modernisation if we want citizens and businesses to be satisfied with our work. For now it is important for us to focus primarily on changing the system of work, personnel structure and financing. Reducing administration is one of the elements, but is certainly not the only one that has to be tackled. Taken altogether, this is a complex system that must be changed from the roots. If we say that the longest journey starts with the first step, then that step is the introduction of a good system of planning, coordination of public policies, as well as the introduction of mechanisms to evaluate whether we have done things in the right way.
Oversight was adopted at the request of our businessmen, and apart from the fact that, thanks to it, we will have coordinated, transparent and modern inspections, we also have to think about whether we have enough capacity to bring to life a more efficient and equitable system. Simultaneously with the increase in the number of inspectors, which is necessary on the one hand, on the other hand it has to be financially viable, because it will ensure a reduced grey economy and higher budget revenues, so we need to equip
■ It was suggested that the previous minister made slow progress in her work, because she was a non-partisan candidate and did not have a strong party backing her up. As a new nonparty candidate, do you fear that you could be left without adequate support when you encounter the party interests of staffing? - The very fact that I took over the department from the person who laid the foundations for my work shows that the job was previously done thoroughly. And that’s a word I would use to describe the work of the previous minister - thoroughness. Kori Udovički followed systemic logic and implemented a framework for the solution of problems which have existed for decades, and in so doing she did not look at the clock. Public adthem and complete work on making a uniOur task is to get the ministration reform is not something I can do alone, it wheel of change moving, fied e-Inspector information system. is a process which demands that I consult with all colTo a certain extent, citizens are already in order for public leagues in the Government, heads of local authorities, freed of the obligation of personally acservants to themselves quiring various documents, such as birth independent bodies, the NGO sector and the general certificates, proof of citizenship, place of public. I have political support, simply in the fact that move towards meeting residence, and that is finally being done as non-party figure I have been entrusted with such an them, because we for them by the state authorities. This is important portfolio. I entered into this consciously; I must continually on an important step towards reducing buknow what awaits me and I’m sure my results will be modernisation if we want reaucracy, developing electronic services the best guarantee of the support that I have. I want and introducing European standards in to say that in addition to the prime minister, who has citizens and businesses public administration. However, in order shown trust in me beyond any doubt, I also feel that to be satisfied to achieve full implementation of the Law support from other members of the Government and on General Administrative Procedure, we must harmonise other laws with that’s why I constantly reiterate that the government is a team. this law, implement bylaws and train officers in how to apply the law. ■ In the economy expectations are high when it comes to further reform of inspection work and enforcement of the Law on ■ Journalists reported that you said you realised “after just one General Administrative Procedure. What are the prerequisites day, that reforms that require changes in the economy or civil necessary to ensure a good law is applied well? society often have to wait because when you run a country you - The economy strongly supported the passing of these laws, because the also have other priorities”. What sort of priorities can a country government has shown that it cares about the way business is done and have that are not simultaneously the priorities of the economy about reducing red tape. But now we must also use implementation to and the interests of citizens that NGOs represent? prove that our will does not remain only on paper. The Law of Inspection - Our goal is the same, but priorities in the steps that lead to that goal SEPTEMBER
may vary. Sometimes something requires more time, not because someone is avoiding work, but rather because there are things that need to be resolved before that. When you work as a minister you have to emphasise the bigger picture, which shows that there are other priorities which are defined by rigorous deadlines or newly emerging issues that are urgent, and we all know the kind of capacity with which the state administration works. And we must work on raising the capacities of the administration, in order for us to reach those goals that we share as soon as possible. Given that you come from the civil sector – in your opinion, what is the role in society of non-governmental organisations and associations such as NALED, and what should the relationship be like for the government and citizens towards the NGO sector? Initiating and strengthening dialogue, even when we disagree. I will insist on a constructive dialogue between all interested parties. Civil society is a mirror of every government and it must have a corrective role and, above all, be constructive, with the aim of finding solutions in the best interest of citizens. Non-governmental organisations can direct their energies and capacities towards educating citizens and raising awareness of important issues and changes, as well as on the importance of taking responsibility. The government, with the strong support of NALED, has managed to improve the state of the competitiveness of our economy and achieve significant progress for Serbia on the World Bank’s Doing Business list, by as much as 32 places. For me, this is an example of good practice in cooperation between the Government and civil society.
government very much wants to hear the voice of the civil sector, which, in principle, is a mechanism that does not deviate from the right path.
■ NALED is one of the organisations that approached the government with proposals for concrete solutions to problems in the functioning of the state administration. Is there something in that respect that you can now, in your ministerial position, immediately “unpack” from that suitcase? - In the last ten years NALED has strived to build a position as a critical partner of government, and now the political will has matured to entrust such people with direct political responsibility. I was always driven when we mobilised our energies to help and work together in order to make things move. Our initial positions were often significantly divergent, only for us to use dialogue to bring these positions closer to one another and thus reach a solution that neither side considered as being imposed. That’s precisely why I will insist on dialogue in my work. That is my position and everyone who works with me is well aware of that. What I do not accept is criticism without a proposed alternative solution or at least a guiding idea on how to move from the status quo. In my department there is also the development of e-Government and, as you know, NALED founded the Alliance for e-government and devoted a large part of its time to this specific topic. I believe that significant progress can be made in this area, in improving the business environment, primarily through the networking of institutions, electronic data exchange and the In order to have completion of electronic procedures. In that way continuous and we reduce costs, citizens and businesses will not professional training of the waste valuable time on unnecessary procedures, and the state will significantly reduce opportunistate administration, it is ties for corruption. We will take care to ensure important for us to that, through individual actions, we show citiestablish the Academy zens the faster effects of the professionalisation of Public Administration, and modernisation of the administration. NALED also gave recommendations on this topic. which will actually be a
■ What kind of message is sent by the fact that a person from civil society has been appointed as a minister in the government; what does that mean for our country? - I think it is important to emphasise that I am at the very least a person from the civil sector. I am primarily a person from the business sector, who participated in the establishment and national academy for operation of some civil society organisation, but ■ From your position at NALED, you reprofessional training in cently responded very sharply to the who did so from the position of someone who public administration, and Fiscal Council in connection with their has a regular job in the economy. My involvement in the formation of NALED and the Mancriticism of online fiscalisation as being this is certainly one of agement Board of NALED is certainly something an excessively expensive and inefficient the priorities that makes me very proud, because NALED is solution for combatting the grey economy. On the other hand, NALED believes one of the most potent tools for change in Serbia. However, it is important to note that several ministers from the civil secthat the introduction of an electronic system is the best way to tor in the government clearly shows the intention and political ambition to ensure more effective control of the issuance of fiscal receipts bring to the right places people who have shown with their previous work and making checks on compliance with regulations. With a view that they have the knowledge and energy to change things. The priority is to to the government budget, do you think there will be room for make change for the better, and not to divide mandates exclusively among these and other ideas related to the fight against the grey economy, and what will be your priorities in the National Programme political leaders. I honestly feel that the Prime Minister has shown that this 16 |
for Combatting the Informal Economy? - The grey economy is a complex problem that requires a systemic change, and here I mean in particular greater efficiency of the Tax Administration, Inspection, Customs Administration, prosecutors and courts. Only in this way will cases of illegal operations be more effectively detected and sanctioned. Most of this complex work is in the hands of my colleague Minister Vujović, who knows that he has my support and willingness to help. When it comes to my contribution, the focus will be on improving the work of all inspections. Inspections are faced with an inadequate number of inspectors and a chronic lack of resources. It is important to know that serious training for inspectors has commenced, because they are now for the first time carrying out oversight of non-registered entities, which contributes significantly to combatting the grey economy, but also increasing the number of newly registered companies and new employees. It is necessary to continue work on an electronic system through which inspectors would exchange information on companies, which will form the basis to carry out risk analysis and the categorisation of risk. As for the Fiscal Council, I greatly respect the professionalism, knowhow and experience of these people, and although we do not always agree, I follow their criticism and suggestions with great care. A few days ago I received their opinion on the amendments to the Law on the Financing of Local Government, and although we have a somewhat different attitude on this issue, the opinions they sent me contain legitimate criticism that will serve the ministry as great guidance.
the fact that NALED is seen as one of the most important participants in reforms, and that we have two ministers in the Government who in some way came from NALED. Could you have imagined that five years ago? This is a great achievement, great responsibility and a challenge. This is success that may not be visible at first glance, but the active participation of representatives of civil society in the government testifies to how committed this government is to the interests of citizens. Direct results of the efforts exerted by NALED could be seen in the passing of the National Programme to Combat the Informal Economy, the introduction of an electronic system for issuing building permits and, of course, in the fact that Serbia has improved by 32 places on the World Bank’s Doing Business list. But I must note that these results were achieved thanks to the fact that we worked on them together with the Government. The only thing I would have liked is for some things to have flowed more quickly, but I must admit that I can now see that some delays were essential, which I did not see at the time.
■ NALED this year celebrates ten years of its existence. Is something being prepared to mark this occasion, and what would you single out as the greatest contribution that this organisation has given to changes in Serbia? - The biggest change brought by NALED is that the voice of the other side is treated as equal, and the fact that you do not have to sit in Nemanjina 11 in order for them to hear you. If at any time you want to get personally involved and take direct political accountability in the The government, with the implementation of changes, you know that strong support of NALED, there can be a place for you, regardless of the ■ Now that you are viewing the whole thing from the perspective of the state, fact that you are not wearing a party uniform. has managed to how do you see the relationship between This is a change that I am proud of: the voice improve the state of the NALED and the government? How will of credible and competent people is heard, not competitiveness of our you feel if your department ends up bemuted. On 6th September NALED will hold a economy and achieve ing criticised by them? reception at the White Palace for members, - I expect criticism to come from NALED, and partners, most government officials and instisignificant progress for as long as it is constructive I will acknowledge Serbia on the World Bank’s tutions, representatives of the international community and organisations and the media, to it and see NALED as partners to the Serbian Doing Business list, by as commemorate its anniversary – ten years of exgovernment. I will regularly call and talk with much as 32 places. For me, istence, during which Serbia has seen intensive representatives of the civil sector and will rely on the mechanism that they have: to be correcthis is an example of good change on the reform path to changes. I contive, constructive, objective and independent. gratulate NALED on everything that has been practice in cooperation Constructive criticism can only contribute to achieved and also want to encourage this great between the Government organisation not to allow its successes to blur the quality of work. and civil society the picture, but rather to act as an incentive for ■ You are one of the founders of NALED new initiatives and projects that will help us all and you spent many years on the Management Board of this aswork together to make Serbia a good place to live. ■ sociation - which of its results are you personally proud of, and what could be better? *Read the rest of this interview with Minister Ana Brnabić in the special edition on NALED, marking 10 years of this alliance’s work, which - I am most proud of the team, which never stopped believing and investing energy in change. This energy and positivist approach brought us to will be published alongside CorD on 1st October SEPTEMBER
EU’s Response to
“THE TIME OF MONSTERS” NATHALIE TOCCI SPECIAL ADVISOR TO EU HR/VP FEDERICA MOGHERINI
Member States acting alone or in an uncoordinated manner will be unable to tackle the security threats within and beyond the EU. It is only through deeper cooperation and integration in this field that we can make a positive difference, says Nathalie Tocci, one of the authors of the new EU Common Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy
he New Global Strategy of the EU for its foreign policy and security (Common Foreign and Security Policy) received the green light in Brussels just a day after the referendum in the UK on exiting the Union. Officials say that the date of the vote on the new basis of which European foreign and security policy will be guided was determined earlier, but that after Brexit the adopting of the strategy symbolically served to show that the EU will survive and that the vast majority still believes in unity. The new strategy was developed at the request of the Commission by the team of HR/VP Federica Mogherini, while CorD Magazine’s interlocutor Nathalie Tocci was one of the leaders of the expert team. Tocci is an advisor to her compatriot, head of European diplomacy, an expert in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and also works as deputy director of the Institute for International Rela18 |
tions in Rome. The new strategy of the European Union seeks to refute the thesis that the EU is an “economic giant but a political dwarf”, but also to comply with the wishes of the vast majority of EU citizens who say that they want the Union to have a greater and stronger presence on the international scene, said Tocci. The aim of the strategy is to increase coordination among EU member states and European institutions and thereby strengthen the foundation from which the EU can more effectively respond to global challenges, such as terrorism and migrant crises, but also to get involved in the fight against poverty, unemployment or the struggle to preserve the environment. Insisting that the new era requires a new approach, Federica Mogherini’s team sought to refute the suspicion that the new strategy is one of the documents adopted by Brussels bureaucracy, without being particularly attuned to the interests of citizens. The strategy is therefore harmonised around the EU – through an exchange of information with Member States, at debates with experts, representatives of civil society organisations, with the youth etc.
Member States acting alone or in an uncoordinated manner will be unable to tackle the security threats within and beyond the EU
The EU is living through a difficult moment and it will take several years for the dust to settle
The main challenge the EU has is that of getting its own house in order on the question of migration and asylum
Over 50 experts from around the world gave statements on the final text of the Strategy before it was sent for adoption. For the countries of the Western Balkans the Strategy is important as the latest document of the Union in which the continuation of EU enlargement is mentioned in context. In documents accompanying the Strategy its authors confirm the commitment for the admission of new members into the EU, despite growing scepticism about enlargement and the crisis that has shaken the Union itself. Speaking at the presentation of the Strategy in Belgrade (organised by the ISAC Fund), Tocci also reiterated that the future of Serbia and the Western Balkans is in the European Union, but that membership also means accepting the obligations, one of which one – controversially in Serbia – is harmonisation with EU foreign policy when it comes to Russia. ■ Can you comment on the recent terrorist attacks in France and Germany? Do you share the fear that the violence could escalate further? - The attacks, attackers and methods used are largely uncoordinated and very much the product of lone wolves. This makes any prediction about the future extremely complicated. The wave may escalate or reduce, but the problem is unlikely to be resolved altogether, and resolving it means tackling the violent ideologies and networks which lie at their heart.
■ In order to explain recent events, some analysts already use terms like ‘World War III’ or ‘the clash of civilisations’. How would you explain them in context? - I believe we are in a period of transition between two world orders. And as Gramsci once said “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters”.
- The fight against terrorism is very much part of the strategy. When we talk about what the EU must do internally we talk about deepening cooperation and information sharing between our intelligence agencies and deepening our common work on countering violent extremism through communication, education and culture. When we talk about our neighbours, near and far, we also include deepening CT cooperation. But, also, when we think about the global level, we must seek to build a wide coalition against ter-
I believe we are in a period of transition between two world orders. And, as Gramsci once said, “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters”
■ It seems that EU Member states still struggle individually with security threats. Is there a need for a joint EU reaction, and what would that look like? - Member States acting alone or in an uncoordinated manner will be unable to tackle the security threats within and beyond the EU. It is only through deeper cooperation and integration in this field that we can make a positive difference.
■ The EU recently adopted the New Common Foreign and Security Policy Strategy. It is said that the Strategy aims at defining a more coherent EU foreign policy approach in a world that is changing rapidly. To what extent does the Strategy contribute to the global fight against terror?
rorism including the UN, states, regional organisations, as well as the private sector and civil society.
■ The Strategy was adopted as the first document dealing with foreign policy challenges since 2003. The document came after the EU was seriously shaken by the Eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis, conflicts in Ukraine and estrangement with Russia... Since the world is changing rapidly, what changes are needed in the EU’s approach to foreign policy and security? - The EU must take greater responsibility in foreign and security policy and engage the wider world, standing united and in partnership with others. While we must engage more and do so more responsibly, responsibility must be shared with our partners near and far. ■ You mentioned that a greater EU presence in the global arena is something EU citizens expect from Brussels. How does the Strategy respond to that? - EU citizens expect the Union to play a greater role in the world. This is the single area that is immune to Euroscepticism. The Strategy does not conSEPTEMBER
stitute a shopping list of things to do, but rather paints a broad strategic direction for the EU’s priorities and how to achieve them so as to respond to citizens’ expectations.
■ It seems that global terrorism and a new wave of the migrant crisis might become the first challenges for HRVP Mogherini’s office. How do you view the growing number of refugees heading towards EU countries once again? - It’s all relative. One to two million refugees in a Europe of 500 million does not constitute a crisis, certainly not a crisis of numbers. It is going through, and has been though, a crisis of values and reputation. The main challenge the EU has is that of getting its own house in order on the question of migration and asylum.
the enlargement process be halted for the moment. How serious are those calls? - The EU is living through a difficult moment and it will take several years for the dust to settle. And the accession process will also last a few years, given the complexity of the process and the work that the Western Balkan countries still need to do. What is important now is to continue with the work, make sure it delivers and that the process is credible, but without making too much noise. Once the work is done and the EU resurfaces from the current crisis I am confident that further enlargements will be possible.
■ Do you think that instability in Turkey might jeopardise the agreement with the EU that reduced the number of refugees fleeing to the EU? - As things stand, two weeks after the attempted military coup, I believe the EU-Turkey deal is likely to hold.
■ The New Strategy was presented just a day after the Brexit results were known. How do you see future relations between the EU and the UK? - It is impossible to tell, as negotiations have not even started, and they are unlikely to start possibly well into next year. I hope and believe that a constructive relationship can be forged between the two. I am convinced that the best possible result will nonetheless be a net loss for the UK, but it is our duty to make sure that the best is made of an objectively bad situation.
When we think about the global level, we must seek to build a wide coalition against terrorism that includes the UN, states, regional organisations, as well as the private sector and civil society
■ The Strategy is not limited just to the most serious problems of the world, or those the EU faces. It stresses the importance of the EU’s engagement in various other areas, like addressing unemployment, energy security, trade, environmental projects and development aid. How important are those domains of so-called “soft power”? - While security and defence is key, and it is certainly the area in which the most homework is necessary, the truth is that the bulk of foreign policy is actually about aid, trade, diplomacy, mobility, energy, climate etc. In these areas the EU is very well equipped, but more efforts must be exerted to ensure these policy areas work in synch.
■ For Serbia and countries of the Balkans, the Strategy is important because it reaffirms the commitment to enlarge the EU. However, there are strong voices within the EU suggesting that 20 |
■ At a conference in Belgrade where the New Strategy was also presented, you were asked if, in relation to the New Foreign and Security Policy, the Balkan region is seen as “EU’s front yard” or just foreign countries. In other words, do you see countries like Serbia as potential partners in addressing certain global challenges, such as the migrant crisis? - Whether the enlargement policy is, or should be, part of foreign policy may be a controversial question. I believe that while it is aimed at making the outside come in, so long as the candidate countries are outside the EU, and therefore the enlargement policy applies, they belong to the remit of foreign policy. Furthermore, there are other forms of foreign policy which apply to the Western Balkan countries, including migration, energy, infrastructure, research and education, and much more. In these policy areas cooperation must be strengthened within and beyond the remit of the enlargement policy as such.
■ The media and public in Serbia are particularly interested in your message that Serbia, as a candidate for membership, must harmonise its foreign policy with the EU. It seems that many in the EU see that imposing sanctions on Russia as a step Serbia has to take immediately. How do you take arguments coming from the government in Serbia that such a measure would not serve the interests of citizens? - Italian citizens would certainly also think that sanctions against Russia do not serve their interests. But being in the EU means also showing solidarity towards those Member States that feel legitimately threatened by Russia. This is what the EU is all about. This said, solidarity is, and should be, a journey, and the EU cannot expect a candidate country to behave as an EU Member State when its membership is still years away. It is a gradual process of approximation and harmonisation across different fields, including foreign policy. ■
By L JUBICA GOJGIĆ ■ Photo by ZORAN PETROVIĆ
Leaving the EU,
NOT EUROPE H.E. DENIS KEEFE AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED KINGDOM TO SERBIA
The stability of the Western Balkans region is important for global stability and the stability of Europe as a whole. We all share the task of making sure that the horrors of the 1990s never happen again, says UK Ambassador Denis Keefe
n the build-up to the commemorating of the 180th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Serbia (2018), British Ambassador Denis Keefe says that bilateral relations are strengthening and that a key interest of the UK is the stability of the region, which was also insisted upon by the Prince of Wales during his recent visit. Commenting on the exchange of protest notes between Serbia and Croatia, Ambassador Keefe says that some statements made during August were “regrettable and unhelpful”, adding that regional stability depends on the ability of local leaders to turn to the future and to cooperation. The fact that the UK will leave the European Union does not mean that it will withdraw from the region, insists Keefe, adding that “leaving the EU will give fresh impetus to our bilateral relationships on a broader level”. Ambassador Keefe also says that Serbia can count on support for the comprehensive and ambitious plan of the government for the period ahead, which Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić spoke about in his inauguration address, adding that he was “particularly interested to hear more
The stability of the region depends on an improved political climate. Some of the statements and events of early August were regrettable and unhelpful
We are leaving the EU, but we are not leaving Europe. Shared values and standards are part of our heritage as a European country
Every country takes the issue of migration and border control very seriously. I’m afraid that I can’t offer any news on visas for Serbian citizen
about the economic reform agenda. And recognition that Serbia can still do more in regard to the rule of law, support to the work of the independent institutions, and the promotion of freedom of expression”.
remain strongly committed. These values contribute to building the environment where business and trade can flourish. Your PM has made it clear that attracting foreign investment and boosting trade is a major priority for him. By helping Serbia to reach international standards in areas such as the rule of law or freedom of expression, we are working together on this important joint task.
■ Your Excellency, both Serbia and the UK recently gained new governments, while the UK also gained a new prime minister. What kind of relations do you expect between the two cabinets and what will be the bilateral priorities? - Our bilateral relations with Serbia are on an improving trend and I look forward to that continuing. We’re seeing more and more senior visits in both directions – including the first visit of HRH Prince of Wales to Serbia since 1978 – and an increased volume and quality of contact between our businesses, academic, arts and culture communities. We are also witnessing enhanced levels of cooperation in important areas such as justice and home affairs, migration, the fight against extremism and organised crime, and defence etc. Governments in both countries are now formed and they have important business to deal with. Serbian Prime Minister Vučić has presented a comprehensive and ambitious plan for the continuation of reform across key areas. I was particularly interested to hear more about the UK Government policy economic reform agenda. And recognition that is clear and it has been Serbia can still do more in regard to the rule of law, support to the work of independent instituconsistent. The stability tions, and promotion of freedom of expression.
■ You announced recently that the stability of this region is a particular interest of the UK. How would you comment on the latest of the Western Balkans tensions and the series of protest region is important for notes exchanged between Serbia ■ Many British scholars with deep knowledge and Croatia? of the Balkans claim that, after Brexit, the UK global stability and the - The stability of the region depends has neither a political nor an economic interstability of Europe as a est in the region. How do you see the future of on an improved political climate. whole. We all share the the UK’s business engagement in the WestSome of the statements and events ern Balkan region? task of making sure that of early August were regrettable and - There are other observers who voice different unhelpful. Regional stability also dethe horrors of the 1990s pends on work on reconciliation. This opinions... But the official UK Government policy is clear and it has been consistent. The stability process is far from being completed never happen again of the Western Balkans region is important for and the countries of the Western Balglobal stability and the stability of Europe as a kans need to find a mature way to adwhole. We all share the task of making sure that the horrors of the dress these issues. Long-term stability will ultimately depend on 1990s never happen again. regional leadership and an ability to look into the future. DiscussIt is also in our national and economic interest to work biing practical cooperation, for example under the umbrella of the laterally within the community of values we share, to champion Western Balkans leaders’ summit most recently in Paris, or the human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The values of a EBRD meeting in London in February, is the only viable way formodern, democratic, open society are something to which we ward for this part of the world. SEPTEMBER
a running commentary on every twist and turn of these negotia■ When it comes to the EU, you have insisted that the UK tions. Nonetheless, there are clear principles from which we are is still a member state, with all obligations and rights. starting the process. How does that function now, post-Brexit? You are not As we conduct our negotiations, it must be a priority to regain attending meetings in Brussels? more control of the numbers of people who come to the UK from - What I said is true. Britain will in due course be leaving the EU. Until Europe – but also to allow British we do so, we will meet all our legal companies to trade with the single obligations and enjoy all our rights. market in goods and services. And while we remain a member of While the ability to trade with the EU we will continue to play our EU member states is vital to our role and represent the interests of prosperity, there is clearly no manthe British people. The UK has relindate for a deal that involves acceptquished the rotating Presidency of ing the free movement of people the Council, currently scheduled for from Europe. Our Government will the second half of 2017, as we will be set out further detail in due course. prioritising the negotiations to leave the European Union, but that does ■ Is the economic cost of Brexit not affect the principle. today more clearly estimated Whatever international organiand what does the governsation we are part of, we take our ment’s appraisal say about posrole in it very seriously. After leavsible winners and losers among ing the EU, we will continue to be businesses and citizens? an influential member of the main - Because of the decisions this international institutions. We are a Government has taken, the funpermanent member of the UN Sedamentals of the British economy curity Council, of NATO, of the G7, are strong and will continue to be the G20 and the Commonwealth. strong. Employment is at a record Our voice is prominent on the high, there are almost a million new world stage. businesses in our country since As the Foreign Secretary has 2010 - and the budget deficit has said, we are leaving the EU, but we been reduced by almost two thirds. are not leaving Europe. Shared valAlready there are a number of ues and standards are part of our positive signs coming through that heritage as a European country. The question of the single market we can make a success of Brexit. For We fully expect to remain closely is going to be one of the dominant example, Japanese technology firm aligned with our European neightopics during the negotiations. We Softbank announced a record £24 bours and partners on key issues. billion investment into the UK as it are not going to provide a running moved to buy Cambridge-based mi■ When do you think it is realiscommentary on every twist and croprocessor manufacturer ARM. tic to expect the start of negoGlaxoSmithKline have announced a tiations about Brexit? turn of these negotiations. £275 million investment in the Unit- Brexit means Brexit and we are goNonetheless, there are clear ed Kingdom. The Australian Prime ing to make a success of it. But this principles from which we are Minister has made clear his desire process will clearly not be brief or to proceed ‘as soon as possible’ on a straightforward. It would be wrong starting the process new trade deal with Britain. to set out timelines and deadlines before entering into a negotiation. ■ Do you believe that London could lose its role as a leadOur Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she will not be ing financial centre, considering that many other countriggering Article 50 until we have decided on the UK approach tries were prepared to take over some of the stakes even and clear objectives for negotiations. This won’t happen before before the Brexit vote was known? the end of 2016. - The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has rightly said that our capital is unique in the world because of its diversity, creativity, in■ As a possible challenge of new relations between the ternationalist and entrepreneurial vibe and the opportunities it EU and the UK, the issue of the conditions under which offers. Millions of people from all over the globe live and work in the United Kingdom could remain part of the common London, contributing to every aspect of life in our capital, and I market has already imposed itself. In Brussels they say can assure you that the London ‘openness’ is not going to go away. that this will only be possible only with respect for the I hope that everything I’ve said in this interview confirms that rights of the free movement of people and goods. Will we see Brexit as a huge opportunity for London and the entire UK. that be acceptable for the UK? Our country remains open for business. We are the same outward- The question of the single market is going to be one of the domilooking, globally-minded, big-thinking country we have always been. nant topics during the negotiation. We are not going to provide 24 |
■ There are debates that the World Bank will have to renegotiate many of its international economic relations (trade agreements etc.) after the UK formally leaves EU, and that its policy could turn towards either being more open or more in favour of protectionism. What do you see as the government’s most likely stance? - Leaving the EU now offers us an opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world. The British Government will negotiate our own trade agreements and will continue to be a positive and powerful global force for free trade.
eration. These are all areas where the UK has a strong, globally recognised footprint. We have expertise and knowledge that we are willing to share. Over the course of this year, we have developed the Good Governance Fund as the framework for collaboration. In this financial year we’ll invest approximately £3.5 million into capacity building and direct support to Serbia. Some specific examples of support that will benefit the lives of all Serbian citizens are the programme of transformation of Serbian Tax Administration, the resolution of non-performing loans or Serbian Railways’ restructuring.
■ Returning to bilateral relations, next year will mark the 180th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Serbia. You have said yourself that these relations are complex, while one local historian in Serbia described them as “a reluctant alliance”. How do you see these relations today? - Apart from the opportunity to negotiate new trade deals with our partners overseas, leaving the EU will give fresh impetus to our bilateral relationships on a broader level. So, while I am familiar with the quote in question, I would rather focus on great people and positive examples of bilateral contact (from Crnjanski to Pekić, from Dositej Obradović to Slobodan Jovanović), as well as future opportunities for collaboration. For us working with Serbia, next year’s anniversary is a very important one. It is an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to hunI’d also like to dreds of people from all walks of life who have Because of the decisions this mention our vibrant worked on promoting this relationship over Government has taken, the and growing cooperamany years. fundamentals of the British tion in the field of new It is also an opportunity to continue the information technolpositive trend in our relations. We should work economy are strong and will and particularly together to make them even stronger. Let me continue to be strong. Employment ogies ICT in education. More give you two current examples. is at a record high, there are almost and more companies In September the Museum of Contemporary and individuals are Art in Novi Sad will host an exhibition of the a million new businesses in our getting involved in work of Damien Hirst, one of the most promicountry since 2010 - and the budget this exciting knowlnent modern British artists. This will be the deficit has been reduced by edge-sharing exercise, first Hirst exhibition in Serbia. which is shaping the In 2017 we will continue to commemorate almost two thirds future. We are curthe most important episodes of our shared rently working on WW1 history. It’s the centenary of the death of preparations for the third conference and fair in Belgrade in FebruDr Elsie Inglis, medical pioneer, an advocate for women‘s rights, ary 2017, larger and more ambitious than ever before. the leader of the Scottish Women‘s Hospitals in Serbia. A road in Edinburgh is set to be named after this impressive woman, who ■ Serbian citizens would probably be very pleased if the was ‘made a saint’ by her Serbian contemporaries. I visited her anniversary of diplomatic relations saw the abolishing memorial when I was in Edinburgh in June with the descendants of visas. Why has that proved to be impossible for more of the Serbian boys taken in by George Heriot’s School after the than a quarter of a century? evacuation to Corfu. This is a living link that demonstrates the - Every country takes the issue of migration and border control shared history values of our two countries. very seriously. I’m afraid that I can’t offer any news on visas for Serbian citizens. We are continuing to look for ways to improve ■ In which areas do you see the most room for improvethe visa customer service. I’m glad that so many Serbian business ment in cooperation? visitors, students and others are able to travel to the UK. Each one - Justice and home affairs, rule of law, economic and public adof them contributes to our growing relationship. ■ ministration reform are all areas with great potential for coopSEPTEMBER
“There’s a long history between our two countries, the United States and Serbia, not all of it good. Some of it painful, but I’m proud the United States and Serbia have started a new chapter in our relationship, grounded on the shared ideas of mutual respect.” - Joseph Biden, U.S. Vice President
NEW GOVERNMENT OF SERBIA ELECTED Photo: B92
▶ On 11th August the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia elect-
ed the new Serbian government in a special session, with Aleksandar Vučić in the office of the Prime Minister and a total of 19 ministers, eight of whom are new compared to the previous makeup. Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister; Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Nebojša Stefanović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure; Rasim Ljajić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications; Dušan Vujović, Minister of Finance; Goran Knežević, Minister of Economy; Branislav Nedimović, Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection; Aleksandar Antić, Minister of Mining and Energy; Nela Kuburović, Minister of Justice; Ana Brnabić, Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government; Zoran Đorđević, Minister of Defence; Mladen Šarčević, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development; Zlatibor Lončar, Minister of Health; Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs; Vanja Udovičić, Minister of Youth and Sport; Vladan Vukosavljević, Minister of Culture and the Media; Jadranka Joksimović, Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration; Slavica Đukić-Dejanović, Minister without Portfolio, and Milan Krkobabić, Minister without Portfolio
NATIONAL DAY OF LIECHTENSTEIN CELEBRATED
PRINCE ALOIS, Heir tothe throne of Liechtenstein, with his wife PRINCESS SOPHIE and HANS-ADAM LL, PRINCE of Liechtenstein
POPE FRANCIS CONSIDERS TO ORDAINING WOMEN AS DEACONS ▶ Pope Francis appointed a special commission to examine the role of female deacons in the Church, in a potentially historic opening on the possibility of women joining the clergy. The 13-member commission, made
▶ The National Day of Liechten-
stein has been celebrated since 1940 and is closely connected to the birthday of Prince Franz-Josef II On 15th August Vaduz hosted a huge celebration attended by thousands of Liechtenstein citizens and guests from many countries. The National Day began with the State Act held on the lawn in front of Vaduz Castle, including speeches by the Prince Alois, Hereditary of Liechtenstein, and the president of the parliament. Following the conclusion of the official act of state, an aperitif hosted by Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein was held at Vaduz Castle and the entire population was invited to attend. 26 |
up of seven men and six women, will study the question of female deacons with a particular focus on the history of women having played this role in the early years of the Church, the Vatican said in a statement. The move follows a pledge made by Francis in May during a questionand-answer session with members of female religious orders. Advocates of women serving as deacons have long argued that they are pitifully under-represented in the Church’s hierarchy and decisionmaking processes.
TOKYO ELECTS FIRST FEMALE GOVERNOR ▶ Voters in the Japanese capital elected their first woman governor, after two predecessors stepped down over scandals that clouded the city’s preparations to host the 2020 summer Olympic Games. Yuriko Koike (64), Japan’s first female defence minister, beat former bureaucrat and fellow member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s party Hiroya Masuda, as well as liberal journalist Shuntaro Torigoe,
according to an exit poll by public broadcaster NHK. The sprawling city of some 13.5 million people faces a plethora of problems such as an aging population, daycare shortage, and the ever-present possibility of a big earthquake.
CUBA CELEBRATES FIDEL CASTRO'S 90TH BIRTHDAY ▶ Cubans celebrated former president Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday by partying on the Malecón seafront in Havana as an electrical storm lit up the night sky. On the stroke of midnight a band played Happy Birthday on a plaza outside the new U.S. embassy, while fireworks exploded on the other side of the bay. Colourful floats carrying dancers and salsa bands stretched for miles down the Malecón as Havana’s annual carnival was combined this year with Castro’s birthday concert. Tributes have ranged from the conventional, such as photo exhibits about his life, to the outlandish, such as the longest cigar in the world, measuring 90 metres, rolled in Castro’s honour. To make the giant cigar, the factory used about 80 kilograms of dry tobacco leaves from Pinar del Rio, west of Havana, where the famous aromatic plant is cultivated.
“We will cooperate on the issue of migrants and the refugee crisis, in which Serbia has taken a huge responsibility. It is very good that Serbia and the prime minister are also very careful about developing good relations with the neighbourhood.” - Stefan Loefven, Swedish Prime Minister
THE OLYMPIC GAMES BOW OUT IN STYLE ▶ A blustery storm, a touch of melancholy and a sense of
pride converged at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics, as Brazil breathed a collective sigh of relief at having pulled off South America’s first Games. Samba dancers, singers, drummers and a giant plumed macaw float mixed with hundreds of athletes in the storied Maracana Stadium while a final volley of fireworks lit up the night sky. The city handed over the Olympic flag to Tokyo, site of the 2020 Summer Games, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared in the stadium dressed as popular video game character Mario, tunneling from Tokyo to Rio. “These Olympic Games are leaving a unique legacy for generations to come,” he said. “History will talk about a Rio de Janeiro before and a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games.” For all the troubles before and during the Games, Rio will surely be remembered for some great sporting moments. But a big issue in the campaign was the 2020 Olympics, which Japan hopes will spur its economy, struggling to escape decades of deflation. After the resignations of the city’s two previous governors, Koike will be responsible for saving Tokyo’s reputation as host for the games.
EMPEROR AKIHITO SIGNALS WISH TO ABDICATE ▶ In an unprecedented prerecorded video message last month, Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed
concern about how his advanced age is affecting the performance of his public duties. The speech was widely interpreted as conveying his wish to abdicate in the near future. The 82-year-old Emperor carefully avoided discussing any specific ideas to revise the Imperial
succession system, which does not allow an emperor to step down before he dies. But he did point out that he has already had two operations and now has the keen feeling that his strength has decreased.
leather high heels designed for a “victorious walk into the White House”, the factory announced.
“SHOE OF SUPPORT' TO MELANIA TRUMP
▶ The famed Los Angeles Playboy
▶ Marinko Umičević, technical director at the Bema footwear factory in the Bosnian Serb Republic, pledged to craft two pairs of shoes for Melania Trump as a long-distance show of support for her husband’s presidential campaign. He wants to counter what he describes as a “dirty campaign” against the Trumps in the U.S. election battle, the local Nezavisne Novine site reports. With an eye on campaign practicality, one pair of shoes will have comfy memory foam insoles so that Mrs Trump can “walk across America”, while the second will be
HEFNER SELLS HIS PLAYBOY MANSION FOR $100MLN mansion belonging to Hugh Hefner (90), founder of the Playboy empire, has been sold for $100 million, and Hefner will live in the mansion for the rest of his life, a representative for the buyer said in a news release. The property was bought by Daren Metropoulos, a principal at private equity firm Metropoulos & Co., for half of the $200 million it was initially listed for earlier this year.
Metropoulos said Hefner’s 1927 Gothic Tudor-style mansion, which has an area of 20,000 sq. feet (1,858 sq. metres), had a “rich and storied legacy” and is a “masterpiece in design.” The property was purchased by Playboy in 1971 for $1.1 million. SEPTEMBER
A Keen Eye Over
THE FOREST OF DATA IVAN REČEVIĆ WEB ANALYTICS EXPERT AND CO-OWNER OF CONSULTANCY AGENCY GAIA CONSULTING
When serious competition exists, when a match exists, when brands and companies fight to take a slice of the pie and when bonuses depend on results, then pragmatism, risk-taking (not too much) and a keen eye over the forest of data, begin to emerge and digital marketing yields real results
n the past eight years, the ICT industry has increased threefold, and this year it entered the top three “products” that contribute to reducing the foreign trade deficit. Yet we still more often here about agricultural subsidies than about incentives for the development of the ICT sector. This month we spoke about this and other issues with Ivan Rečević, a specialist in web analytics and co-owner of the consultancy agency Gaia Consulting.
■ Why agriculture and not ICT? - It is far easier to sell raw materials and not bother about making the final put or even half-finished products rather than creating the final product. Minimum control, a simple process and it’s all over - as far as the state is concerned. Although it has grown, the ICT industry currently has similar problems to agriculture with the sale of raw materials. We have companies that create finished or complete products. Then there are so-called outsourcing companies that are branches of foreign companies or corporations and, finally freelancers. They all contribute to the growth of the ICT industry. However, much of the money is not visible to the state or to the tax authorities, due to an undefined legal framework that would allow individuals to legally receive money in a simple way. Individuals keep money in foreign banks (which is illegal), they pay some other taxes and withdraw money at ATMs and pay for goods under better conditions compared to domestic banks. 28 |
They say that a baby who does not cry does not receive food. It is the same with the ICT sector. Although due to the history of the slowness of the National Bank of Serbia, as well as the legislation that should enable the introduction of the modern movement of money, the legal framework of doing business - gathering and organising payment that the state will hear and based on which they will react, companies do not want to waste time. It is easier to open a company abroad (U.S., Estonia, Ireland) and in that way do business easier and simpler. Transfer enough money to Serbia in order to deal with the essential expenses and keep the rest elsewhere.
■ In Serbia, at least in public, we rarely hear discussion of disruptive technologies, although it is today considered that less developed countries are provided with a unique opportunity to leapfrog technological gap thanks to innovative start-ups. How great are our institutional capacities to make such a leap? - Let’s be clear - disruptive technologies are there to skip the pain of changing the hardware of a society (roads, construction, institutions) with the use of software. It is the software that enables a simpler and streamlined process to which we are accustomed. The Tesla (car) is fantastic hardware whose software changes overnight. Why should they have to change and make multiple versions of the car when it is necessary to make a vehicle that is technologically a few generations ahead of all and then change the software?
a unicorn or a company with a product demands time and is a real marathon endeavour. Start-ups lack perspective – what the path they walk looks like, what will be waiting for them and what they need to resolve at the beginning – so as not to fail or hit the marathon “wall” before the end of the race. Then, when these things are faced by an initial team, they consider ■ Considering that you provide pro bono consulting services to well whether or not they want to proceed. Maybe I have sometimes helped Serbian start-ups until they develop a product or service, can or hindered some teams, but it is my duty to you tell us what their chances are of bepresent to them the reality of the business into coming, if not unicorns, then companies The amounts that which they are entering. with significant valuations? circulate in the ICT - My suggestion to every start-up: make a global ■ It has long been said that, with good product and work with foreign clients. On the industry are far greater training, a large number of people regisother hand, there is a chance for some local comthan the official level, as tered with the employment bureau could pany to become world-famous (we have examples - Nordeus, Mikroelectronika, Seven Bridges much of the money come be trained to work in the IT sector. Deetc.) organically. In other words – only focused spite that, we give subsidies to companies into the country via work on a product that is required by a client that make cables here for the automotive outside Serbia. In order for such companies to alternative channels that industry - low technological level. Are survive scaling from 3 to 10, then to 30 or 100 these promises of the “mass production” the state is not aware of of a middle-ranking IT workforce unrealispeople, it is essential to constantly change processes within the company and inevitably cretic or do they not appeal to the education minister and the government in general? ate a sector, and the workforce within that sector, development of a human - Good training is the key thing, which is not just a decision. Anyone can resources sector that should be accompanied by both the values of the decide to make people from the bureau literate. The question is what founders and the culture of the environment, by providing quality space, those people will be willing to do after that training. the logistics that it brings to that area, as well as 1,000 small details that In order to have quality programmers who can work in a development enable employees to work qualitatively – not to mention finding quality centre - we’re talking about software engineers – years are required (3+), managers who are top performers in their work. and who are just starting to work. In order to reach a senior position (proSuch examples exist, and certainly do not emerge overnight. Creating Our institutional potential exists, just look at the Business Registers Agency. Things can change – it’s only a matter of the willingness to change things. Offer companies and people an option that should make their lives easier and they will use it.
grammers – not managers) a minimum of 3-4 years is required. Such a programmer is valuable anywhere and their education is costly. If the ministry will make people literate to use a computer, open a document, write a letter or access public information via a computer or mobile phone, then we can expect to create a workforce that is ready for call centres. I have nothing against call centres, if that is the strategy. Let it be clear to the people who are in these offices – what kind of knowledge they will get and for what kind of job. Let us be aware that this is the ultimate achievement and vision that the government has, reconcile with that and continue to develop our businesses and the people in our own way. We must be aware that we are no longer limited by what the state in which we live has to offer us. Mass production of the programming code that has some purpose, quality, quality control and real application in the real world exists in Serbia, where more than a thousand people work. Those companies are hungry for new engineers who are not there. It is not that they do not exist, but rather that the part of the population that is interested in this kind of engineering has no place (college) where they can learn the right things. Closing down the department for “data scientists” at the Novi Sad FTN is an example of not considering the needs of the market. Colleges fail to hold on to expert assistants for more than a year, and sometimes they spend only one semester at universities that have the basics of this type of engineering. ■ At the same time, this period is considered the “golden age of marketing”, relying on “big data”. To what extent is that part of the business policies of our companies? - I know of three companies in Serbia that are doing that, either because they have internal teams of people or great agencies that can manage data in such a way. The problem with “big data” is that someone has to have imagination, an idea, a concept for wthich they want to use such systems and whether there are real needs for such systems. I don’t think there are companies that are ready to use and trust the data, interpret the information in the right way and make business decisions based on facts. For something like this you need to have stable sales, a realistic business model, for a company to reap substantial revenue from online sales channels, on the one side, and a person with the vision and awareness of what they want to achieve.
Mass production of the programming code that has some purpose, quality, quality control and real application in the real world exists in Serbia, where more than a thousand people work. Those companies are hungry for new engineers who are not there
■ In our country a lot is said about digital marketing - at least in the industry’s circles - but they still mainly resort to classic forms of advertising on TV. Is that a logical or mistaken approach in a country where marketing budgets are extremely small? - I don’t believe in any kind of conspiracy, but I believe that human nature is such that it refuses to change. Take, for example, this picture from 2009. Digital marketing enables access to a far larger number of channels of communication, each of which is its own story. If we include the possibility of two-way communication, where the buyer/consumer/customer can publicly express their satisfaction (which we all seek) or dissatisfaction 30 |
(which clients really don’t like), a marketing director with some 10 years of service has a serious problem getting to grips with that the amount of information and the methods of communication that new channels bring. Why would they simply not continue to work with television, radio, print and advertising outside the home (OOH)? Why wouldn’t they drive known things while they can? Human nature is difficult to change – though television is no longer what it was. So many cable channels and micro-niches of people represent the capacity to overcome that which the classic old-school marketing manager can comprehend. Hence come the digital marketing specialists who have little impact. Although human nature changes from the moment bonuses or salaries depend on the results of this marketing. Pragmatism, risk-taking (not too much), a keen eye over the forest of data - begins to emerge. Then, when serious competition exists, when there is a game, when brands and companies fight to take a slice of the pie and when bonuses depend on results - unbelievers start to preach. ■ Although today everyone who has a website and a Gmail account has access to a rudimentary form of Google Analytics, we are very often insufficiently literate to understand what these figures tell us. Is that just a local problem or a global plague, and for which businesses does investment in these skills make sense? - This is a global plague. Our companies are not alone in the problems of interpreting data. The thing is that medium-sized companies in the United States have over 300 employees and turnover some 20 million dollars. There are many such companies and those that want to advance will find an individual with vision or an agency with knowledge. For me, the problem is in the size of the market. In second place, you have a lot of fish and few fishermen. In such places you can more easily find a client.
■ You worked in a large system, Schneider Electric, and then entered into a private business. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both of these solutions for someone who wants to build a career in this field? - The corporate environment can bring new knowledge that it would be difficult to get at college. Also – corporations bring the opportunity to get a real mentor, especially if that is a foreigner who wants to transfer knowledge. There are people out there who want to be and do things in order for somebody else to tell them that they are okay. Some seek that and probably like that. My road to private business came after two corporations (Schneider Electric and Capgemini) and I am very grateful for all the opportunities that we are opened for me during that period. I learned a lot and gave myself a lot for those same corporations. I think we’re even. Through private business you form a company according to the values you consider important and in a way that fits the business you are in. There is no one to sets standards for you – rather you’re there alone (or with someone) to make something from scratch. ■
SEPTEMBER BUSINESS LEADERS’ MEETING POINT
AMNON GLID Director and Proprietor of Dead Sea Beauty d.o.o.
DIANA GLIGORIJEVIĆ Regional Director of Marketing & Sales at TeleGroup d.o.o.
Dead Sea Treasures in Belgrade!
Quality And Efficiency in The First Place
VIOLETA JOVANOVIĆ Executive Director, NALED
MARIJA TASIĆ Lawyer, Law Office Tasić& Partners
A Decade of Dialogue For a Better Serbia
Internationally Recognised Expertise in PPP Projects
GRANIT INVEST IS PRESENTING GREEN SQUARE
Ideal Home For Your Business
AMNON GLID, DIRECTOR AND PROPRIETOR OF DEAD SEA BEAUTY D.O.O.
Dead Sea Treasures in Belgrade! It is well known that the Dead Sea is the biggest natural spa in the world. There is information that the Queen of Sheba knew about the healing effects of Dead Sea mud. Beneficial agents from the Dead Sea were even used during the time of Cleopatra’s empire to produce medicines, cosmetics, perfumes and soap in ways that we still use
ecause of the high concentration of mineral salts, there are positive effects on our skin. That is why products containing Dead Sea mud are successful in treating many skin conditions, such as psoriasis, muscle pain, water retention and eczema, as well as other dermatitis conditions. It is also used for anti-aging, because it stimulates circulation in the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and with a younger appearance. ■ You have opened a luxury beauty salon and thus brought to Belgrade unique Dead Sea minerals from Israel. What was the rationale behind this business venture? - My objective is to create a luxury mini spa that will make every woman and man feel special – and happy with the results on their skin and in themselves. The Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, is extremely rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, many of which cannot be found anywhere else. The goal was to bring a complete Dead Sea experience to Belgrade, due to the great demand of friends in Serbia, who knew about the wonderful benefits of Dead Sea cosmetics. I wanted to give women and men in Serbia the opportunity to feel pampered, just like travellers 32 |
who visit the Dead Sea in Israel. After thorough research with our professional and dedicated team, we have created a wide range of unique treatments. Together with our skin specialists, you will find the perfect treatment to fight your skin concerns. Our treatments include full facial and body care, depending on the wishes and needs of our clients. We have carefully selected two leading world-renowned brands. Those are Black Pearl from the Sea of Spa Company and Minus417, both of which are already very popular in the biggest cities in the world.
We are here for those of you who adore pampering yourself with unique treatments, specific to your skin type. And after those treatments you can get extended home care and instructions.
■ Your beauty salon, Dead Sea Beauty, is already well-known in Serbia. How do you feel in our capital city? - I have felt very welcome in Belgrade, both personally and as the owner of Dead Sea Beauty. The people in Belgrade are very warm and they have made me feel at home, from the very first day that I came. Belgrade is one of the best cities for foreigners to live in. From the first day that I came I fell in love with the city’s vibe. The city is very lively and full of beautiful people and smiling faces. It’s the place where you can never, at least from my experience, feel like a stranger. It offers you everything and does not ask for a lot. When you feel like that, it is obvious that you want to stay here forever and keep that feeling. To me, the fact that I grew up in a family that immigrated to Israel after World War II from the former Yugoslavia makes it an even more special and exciting place in which to live. Due to these wonderful feelings, I wanted to give back something unique to the people of Belgrade. I wanted to bring something special from the place where I grew up, and so I chose the Dead Sea, because there is nothing more special than the benefits it provides.
■ Who is the typical ■ What sets the treatments at the customer of the Dead Dead Sea Beauty salon apart from the Sea Beauty salon? treatments in other beauty salons? - The plan from the - Our concept and idea was to bring start and what we see people Dead Sea treasures and their now are a bit different. benefits, from the lowest spot in the The treatments and world. Our treatments were carefully crecosmetics that we use ated by our beauty therapists, with a lot are helpful to everyone. of love for every need of our clients. It is The concept was to invery important to say that our therapists have a lot of experience in the beauty dulge women first, from industry and have great knowledge the ages of 20 to 60. about every product we use. Before evIt is also exciting that many men are now askery treatment our clients need to fill out a lifestyle and health consultation form ing for facial and body and speak with a therapist about their treatments as well. concerns and problems. Based on that, Due to the wide range of treatments, we will recommend the best treatment such as massages, facial treatments, for you and your needs. and detox treatments, everyone can find We are fully spa orientated. Our something beneficial. clients are our priority. From the moThe clients that we have are usually ment you enter, our therapist will take you through the whole journey Together with our skin of your chosen treatment. We are dedicated and committed to all the specialists, you will find the needs of our clients. perfect treatment to fight your From the other side, we have skin concerns. Our treatments the best products, with very high include full facial and body quality and providing miraculous results. Dead Sea Beauty is the care, depending on the wishes first and only mini spa based on and needs of our clients. the great benefits of rich care from a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals from the Dead Sea, businesswomen and men who want to marine collagen and elastin and pure look and feel good. What they love about natural oils. Our products are not us is that they will receive helpful and easy tested on animals and do not contain to use extended care to treat themselves parabens and synthetic oils. and have consistently good results. They love to treat their skin with something unique and receive superior results, without having to travel to the Dead Sea. They receive that experience with us. There are customers who travel a lot and know our products. They love that they can now get those products more economically. Our aim is to indulge our customers with a complete service. We do
not care only about what treatment they will have. We connect with them, making them feel very comfortable and satisfied. We offer membership as well. When our customers become members, with their personalised membership card, they get more special treatment, better prices and active promotions. ■ If you compare beauty and health regimes here with those in the rest of the world, how do they differ? - There is something really exciting about what we offer. The most luxurious collection that is on the world’s market is the 24karat gold Cleopatra mask, 24karat gold day cream and serum. It is concentrated 24karat gold and Dead Sea mud, whose beneficial effects have been well known from the time of Cleopatra, who used gold to keep her skin looking younger and brilliant. We are offering it for extended home care and as the most luxurious treatment. Next to the GOLD collection you can find in our store PURE hyaluronic, PURE collagen and the incredible new technology of the Gravity mask. Gravity black mud mask is based on the force of gravity - the perfect G Mask. I cordially invite you all to visit and experience the unique Dead Sea Beauty in Belgrade! ■
www.deadseabeauty.rs Phone: +381 (11) 328 59 95 Adress: Obilicev venac 26 SEPTEMBER
“The annual progress report of the EC on Serbia could be expected by the end of October and it will be concrete and positive, but with constructive criticism on issues where there is room for improvement in the country’s EU talks process.” — MICHAEL DAVENPORT, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia
ment of the supply of the market with high quality and affordable products. Hemofarm CEO Ronald Seeliger highlights the fact that by taking over the company’s portfolio it will round off its rich range of OTC products. “In short, I see this acquisition as a gain for the employees of both companies, but also for the Serbian economy, especially for users of products,” said Seeliger. The signing of this agreement by Hemofarm, a member of Germany’s Stada Group, represents a significant step forward in further development and progress, following global pharmaceutical trends.
Hemofarm Takes Over The Assets of “Ivančić i sinovi” Regional pharmaceuticals leader Hemofarm AD has taken over the assets of company Ivančić i sinovi (Ivančić and sons) in Stari Banovci, including company’s employees and intellectual property. This business move was initiated, among other things, with the desire to further help the health system of Serbia through the improve-
GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX
Serbia in 65th Position on the List of the Most Innovative Economies The list of the world’s most innovative economies is dominated by European counties, and Serbia has managed to stay in 65th position, among 128 countries included in this year’s Global Innovation Index, which make up 97.9 per cent of the global economy. The Global Innovation Index is a project of the World Organisation for Intellectual Property, Cornell University and Insead Business School. The list takes into account several areas, such as infrastructure development, the stability of institutions, market and business sophistication, creative production and research. Among Serbia’s neighbours, better results were achieved by Slovenia (32) and Hungary (33). Croatia (47) Montenegro (51) and Macedonia (58), while Bosnia-Herzegovina takes 87th position.
German Leoni AG Expands its Production in Serbia Based on the Contract between Government of Serbia and Leoni, signed on 5th August, the German company will start a third project in Serbia - the construction of two new production facilities and the employment of new workers in Prokuplje and Doljevac. Leoni will invest €22 million. Leoni has been operating in Prokuplje and Doljevac since 2009, as part of the Germany-based LEONI AG, producer of car cable sets.
Travel Luxuriously to Luxury Destinations Awarded “Best Airline in Europe” for six consecutive years, and being the carrier with the most extensive country coverage in the world –291 destinations in 116 countries- Turkish Airlines offers you the experience of the luxury of the travel to the Maldives and Mauritius already onboard and with excellent prices. You can now travel in Business Class to Maldives at a fare of €2,700 for two persons (“companion rate”). Two persons can travel together in Business Class to Mauritius for a fare of €3,700 for both passengers. Flying twice a day from Belgrade to Istanbul,
passengers can fly with a short connection to Maldives daily. The connection to Mauritius is available three times a week. The important addition to our passengers comfort is CIP Lounge at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Depending on one’s mood and needs, it is a place of quiet relaxation, a place to shower and revive, a place to snack, dine or watch food presentations, a spot for children to play. Turkish Airlines is launching the first flight to Seychelles on 31st October 2016 and tickets can be bought at promotional fare of €588 (economy class, with all taxes included).
“The talks he had with Serbian officials show a general aspiration for expansion of cooperation between the two countries and my country will support the cooperation with Serbia within the Eurasian Economic Union.” — NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV, President of Kazakhstan
Immofinanz Opens its 3rd Retail Park in Serbia
Austrian real estate company Immofinanz has opened the STOP.SHOP retail park in Valjevo. This STOP.SHOP retail park, Immofinanz’s third in Serbia, is worth €7 million and has 6,100 sq m of leasable area, The company’s first retail park in Serbia was opened in Čačak in April. Immofinanz said earlier that it plans to develop up to eight retail parks in Serbia within the next three to four years. The retail parks will be developed under the Austrian company’s STOP.SHOP brand - a flexible concept for regional shopping centres in central locations with catchment areas of 30,000 to 150,000 residents.
Niška Pivara Exits Bankruptcy, To Restart Production
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H.E PHILIPPE GUEX
New Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia Philippe Guex graduated in economic sciences at the University of Fribourg in 1983, where he also acquired his Ph.D. in economic sciences, in 1988. Until 1989 he was a visiting scholar in political sciences at Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. In 1989 Mr Guex joined the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne, carrying out his diplomatic training at the Swiss Embassy in London, and in 1991 he was appointed as a diplomatic officer in the Economic and Financial Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Berne. In 1996 he became economic and financial counsellor at the Swiss Embassy in Paris. Two years later he was appointed Head of Unit iatn the European Integration Bureau in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs / Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Berne, followed by a posting as deputy head of the Swiss Mission to the EU in Brussels in 2002. In December 2007 he was appointed Swiss Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and as of August 2012 Mr Guex has served as Assistant Secretary of State, Head of the Americas Division, at the Department of Foreign and Political Affairs in Berne.
H.E. RADKO VLAYKOV
New Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Serbia Mr Vlaykov graduated from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia with a Master’s Degree in International Relations. A career diplomat at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) since 1991, Ambassador Vlaykov held the post of official Spokesman of the MFA consistently during the tenure of five governments. Over the course of seven years, he was also Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Ministry. Between 1991 and 1994 he was Head of the Political Section of the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague and prior to his appointment in Belgrade Vlaykov served as Special Coordinator for Public Diplomacy Affairs at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He speaks English, German, Czech, Slovak and Russian. He is a married father of two sons and one daughter.
H.E. ALONA FISHER-KAMM
New Israeli Ambassador to Serbia
Mrs Fisher-Kamm was born in Tel Aviv, where she graduated in political science at Tel Aviv University in 1989 and where she also obtained her Ph.D. in 2015. She began her diplomatic career in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1992, after which she served as First Secretary at the Israeli MFA’s Latin American Department (1995-1998). From 1998 to 2002 she was Media Advisor and Spokesperson at the Embassy of Israel in Paris, followed by a posting as Deputy Director of the Multilateral Peace Talks Department until 2004. From 2004 until 2008 Fisher-Kamm was deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Israel in Madrid, and from 2009 to 2016 she worked at the National Security College, firstly as director of the Training Department and then as Head of the Training Bureau. Ambassador Fisher-Kamm speaks four languages (Hebrew, English, French and Spanish) and is a married mother of four children.
H.E. MARCO ANTONIO GARCÍA BLANCO New Ambassador of Mexico to Serbia
Serbian brewery Niška Pivara will be able to resume operations after the commercial court in Niš ended its liquidation procedure, a court official told SeeNews recently. The 130-year old brewery in the city of Niš has been undergoing bankruptcy proceedings since 2013. The company was bought in August 2015 by Bulgarian businessman Stefan Stefanov through his company Grupa Kapitalni Projekt for 130 million dinars (€1.05 million), local media reported then. The new owner invested in the recovery of the business and the overhaul of its production lines.
Mr García graduated in International Relations at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), after which he earned his Master’s on the topic of national security at the Mexican College of National Defence. He was a fulltime professor of international public law and international private law at UNAM. During the 34 years of his diplomatic career at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico he has amassed considerable experience. He was an advisor to the Ambassador or the Special Mission for issues of the Caribbean; Consul of Mexico in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Deputy Chief of Mission with the rank of minister in the embassies in Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela. In 2012 he was appointed Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria and, on a non-residential basis, to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as a Permanent Observer of the countries of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). He comes to Belgrade as Mexican Ambassador to Serbia and non-resident Ambassador to BosniaHerzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. He is married to Eloisa Beatrice Mendes Gutierrez, with whom he has two children.
COMMENT VIOLETA JOVANOVIĆ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, NALED
A Decade of Dialogue For a Better Serbia The idea of creating NALED came from the visionary Steven Rosenberg, former director of USAID’s MEGA programme, which encouraged the development of municipalities and introduced the concept of local economic development to Serbia in a big way. NALED thus emerged as an innovative development platform for supporting the development at the local level, and at that time probably nobody expected that it would survive and, as an amalgam of Serbian defiance and American pragmatism, become a kind of benchmark in terms of the sustainability of organisations created under the auspices of international donors
life in Serbia and the seeking of practiactive and loyal to the NALED idea today. hanks to its extremely unusual cal solutions that are never one-sided It seemed to me then, as the first name and concept, the organand which go through the filter of the and only employee, that NALED was misisation aroused interest from private, public and civil sectors. sion impossible, and that I was the conthe very beginning, but also We want Serbia to be a better place ductor of an orchestra that had to sound encountered misunderstanding about to live and work, and we do not hesitate harmonious and trained, although it had what is and what it serves, as well as to get to grips with the most demanding no musicians and no instruments. But disbelief that it would be successful besystemic deficits in the business environwhat we did have was a powerful idea cause it brings together under one roof ment, in order to help in realising that and a unique concept of cooperation those who normally aren’t together – goal. And I would say that this is where between the public and private sectors businesses, municipalities and citizens, we are different. We’re not barren and do so on the basis of the shared critics, rather agile and constructive task of improving the business enviThe heterogeneous partners who are ready to straighten ronment in Serbia. membership of NALED their back and help solve major probThe initiative was supported with unerringly places in focus the lems at the local and national levels. enthusiasm in its first wave by the most current topics of economic That’s why it is a special privilege for then U.S. Ambassador and President me that I am the coach of the NALED of Serbia, who signed a declaration on life in Serbia and the seeking team and that I lead our team to new the establishment of NALED in March of practical solutions that go medals in the contest for a better 2006, with the MEGA programme through the filter of the private, business environment. serving as an incubator and providing public and civil sectors Introducing electronic building support to devise courses of action, permits, shortening procedures form an office and create a managefor maternity leave and eliminating that clearly leads us to a vision of a difment board, all with the aim of strengthunnecessary bureaucracy in 70 other ferent Serbia. We ignored the inevitable ening the organisation and enabling it to proceedings to be handled by the state, suspicion of the environment and placed recognise its niche in the differentiated eliminating 138 para-fiscal levies and ourselves in the service of the public market of business associations. improving the position of Serbia on interest, in order for the NALED formula And before we knew where we were, the World Bank’s Doing Business list – to come to life in practice. it was no longer possible to put off the these are just some of the results that Our programme and reform priorities obligation of making the organisation were contributed to by our nearly 240 are the common denominator of all of independent, and so as of January 2008, members who have demonstrated that our members, which is reflected in the ready or not, it began to operate indepensuccess goes hand in hand with responstrength of NALED, as heterogeneous dently on the market, in a rented space in sibility, and that the general interest can membership unerringly places in focus Belgrade’s Skadarlija Street, with around and must be ahead of the individual’s.■ the most current topics of economic thirty members, most of who are remain 36 |
“These days there is a debate in Croatia about how to legally arrange the use of the Ustasha greeting ‘For home ready’, with the desire to allow its use. This is a clear indicator of the state of affairs in Croatia, an EU member, that is rehabilitating the fascist Ustasha NDH.” — IVICA DAČIĆ, Serbian Foreign Minister FYR MACEDONIA
Balkan Petroleum to Takeover Makpetrol? The London based Balkan Petroleum Holding company submitted information on market concentration to the Committee to Protect Competition (KZK the antimonopolly commission) in its ongoing bid to takeover Macedonia’s largest fuel retailer Makpetrol. Makpetrol owns over 120 petrol stations in Mace-
donia, by far the largest network in the country, and is also a major natural gas importer, and the importer for Honda vehicles and other brands in Macedonia. Months ago, Balkan Petroleum Holding began offering Makpetrol shareholders, many of whom are current and former employees, significantly higher bids for their shares and the prices keep rising. Long standing Makpetrol management is trying to fight off the bid, mostly through a media
Bankers Petroleum Posts Record High Losses Canada-based Bankers Petroleum, the country’s largest oil producer, posted record high losses of about $34 million in the first half of this year ahead of its expected acquisition by a Chinese company which has been delayed by late September. The company’s huge losses were a result of a sharp cut in international oil prices affecting production, sales and royalties to the Albanian government. The losses are the worst Bankers has incurred during more than a decade of operations in Albania and come after China’s Geo Jade is about to conclude the takeover of Albania’s largest oil producer and exporter for €392mln. The takeover has been held back by a final approval by the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Bankers Petroleum, says failure to receive the final approval by 30th September would entitle the Canadian company to $20 million in compensation for the termination of the preliminary deal signed last March.
Tourism Revenue Set to Exceed €8bln in 2016 Croatian tourism revenue is expected to exceed a record-high €8 billion this year, Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in an analysis published end last month
This year is set to be a record tourist season for Croatia with records already broken up and down the coast as well as in the capital Zagreb. Over 16.5 million tourist nights were recorded in the first half of 2016, up 4.4% from 2015, Croatian Statistics Bureau (DZS) confirmed. RBA says over night stays are expected to continue to grow throughout the remainder of 2016, making it the 7th year in a row that there has been positive growth. Retail trade in June hit a record high and was the 22nd consecutive month that there had been growth. Excellent tourism results and higher salaries were the main factors behind the growth.
10 THINGS EMPLOYEES WANT MOST
Mercedes-Benz To Open 2nd Plant In Hungary Mercedes-Benz will expand its operations in Hungary by investing approximately €1 billion into a new plant, in Kecskemet. Once it kicks off production by the end of the decade, the factory, which will have a body shop, paint shop, final assembly, and supplier park, will create around 2,500 new jobs and focus on the manufacture of front- and rear-wheel drive cars, with an annual capacity of 150,000 units. “The additional investment in the new plant with flexible production is a proof for the know-how of our highly motivated employees in Kecskemet “, said the Head of Production Planning within Mercedes-Benz Cars, Rainer Rueß. The Kecskemet facility, where the four-door CLA is being produced since 2013, followed by the CLA Shooting Brake two years later, has turned out to be a successful investment for the 3-pointed star, as both vehicles are produced exclusively in Hungary for customers around the world.
Here are 10 things that could keep your employees happy.
1. Employees want purpose. 2. Employees want goals. 3. Employees want responsibilities. 4. Employees want autonomy. 5. Employees want flexibility. 6. Employees want attention. 7. Employees want opportunities for innovation. 8. Employees want open-mindedness. 9. Employees want transparency 10. Employees want compensation
“Instead of sending protest notes to Croatia, the Serbian authorities should inform their public of strong criticisms by the Hague war crimes tribunal about war criminals continuing to be glorified in Serbia.” — MIRO KOVAČ, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
IKEA Group Buys Another 12,800 Hectares of Forests
New CEO of Victoria Group The Supervisory Board of Victoria Group has appointed Ivica Smolić as the new CEO of the company. During more than 20 years of professional experience on the Serbian banking market, Smolić spent 11 years as chairman of the Executive Board of Komercijalna Banka and was director general of Serbian regional banks in the period from 2001 to 2004, while he built his career at Investbanka, Somborska Banka and Vojvođanska Banka. Having amassed many years of cooperation with international financial institutions, such as the EBRD, IFC and others, Smolić has extensive experience in strategic management, corporate governance and risk management in business. He achieved exceptional business results in management and restructuring processes during the transition period.
New General Manager Of Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel In Belgrade
Swedish IKEA Group has taken over 12,800 hectares of forests in Iasi and Neamt counties through IRI Investments, the subsidiary that controls its portfolio of forests in the country. The company did not mention who was the seller. Following the latest acquisition, IKEA controls 46,700 hectares of forests in Romania. IRI Forest Management said that it had finished its first afforestation campaign in February, planting over a milion seedlings in 10 counties across Romania. The company added that it had started the forest exploitation with contractors that met its standards.
Gabriela Ditetova, born in the Czech Republic, replaces Thomas Swiec as the head of the Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel in Belgrade. With more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry, Gabriela brings to this position a wealth of experience in sales and marketing, management and operational management. Prior to her arrival in Belgrade, she built her career in a number of management positions in hotels in Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. She arrives in Belgrade from the senior management position at the hotel Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ditetova will be responsible for the operation of the hotel with a focus on the growth, development and future of the company in Belgrade.
Manager Partner of company EY for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina Company EY (formerly Ernst & Young), has appointed Ivan Rakić as the new managing partner of the company on the territory of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. He will replace Stephen Fish, who will continue his career within the company as one of the partners. Rakić graduated from the University of Belgrade’s law faculty and has gained his entire professional experience developing the department of tax consulting at company EY. With his 15 years of experience, Ivan Rakić brings to his new position a wealth of experience in management and operational management of the tax department of EY. Rakić will be based in Belgrade in his new position and will lead the operations of audit and consulting company EY on the territory of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Kresna – Sandanski Stretch of Struma Motorway to Begin in September
Construction of the Kresna-Sandanski stretch of Bulgaria’s Struma Motorway, that will run to the Greek border, is to begin in September 2016, The stretch will be 24km long and is officially designated as Lot 3.3 of the Struma Motorway, which when completed will be 156km long. The contract to build the Kresna-Sandanski stretch was signed in September 2015 and is worth close to €144 million. The process of selecting a contractor for the Zhelenitsa tunnel has begun. This would be the longest tunnel in Bulgaria, of 2200m and there would be two large viaducts of 700m at each end. Seventeen companies are bidding for the business. SEPTEMBER
DIANA GLIGORIJEVIĆ, REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & SALES AT TELEGROUP D.O.O.
Quality And Efficiency In The First Place What differentiates TeleGroup from many systems of integrators of various ICT technologies in the region is precisely the dedication and commitment for any solution and system for the user to be designed, implemented, operated and maintained in the most optimal and efficient manner ics in our environment, and TeleGroup can note with pride that in 2016 it is working on high profile projects regarding Cloud services, IPTV, ITS, ICT Security, etc.
eleGroup can be proud of the fact that it not only follows current trends in the field of ICT technology, but also often manages to be among the first to implement innovative solutions in our region. The ICT technological landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. ■ From your position, how would you assess current trends on the ICT market in Serbia and the region? - In the past decade, the main and only trend was so-called ‘phase connectivity’, the task of which was only to provide connectivity to locations with the largest possible flow. Now the roles on the ICT scene are far more challenging and complex – the race has begun for innovative solutions. We are witnessing the beginning of so-called Cloud technologies and services, which is often defined as the fourth stage in the evolution of telecommunications in the past half-century, which implies growth in the exchange and amounts of data, and thus leads to new terms in ICT technologies: Big Data, Internet of Things, Digital Transformation, Software Defined Networking, etc. This is the near future that Serbia and the region have to tap as soon as possible. The digitisation of society, automation and virtualisation, the processing and protection of data, the revolution of video content, mobility, intelligent transport systems, smart sensors – these are all current top-
■ TeleGroup is a British company that is recognised among corporate customers in the region for the quality of your services, based on the “turnkey” principle. Which of your services are most in demand on the market? - Apart from the aforementioned, I would also add FFTx projects, which are on the increase on the regional market. FTTx is the idea of bringing high-speed internet networks, digital television and telephone services to users’ residences using fibre
The roles on the ICT scene are far more challenging and complex – the race has begun for innovative solutions optic cables. Following the development of new services, such as IPTV, IP telephony, elearning, remote management and sensing devices, videoconferencing and telemedicine, requirements for high capacities arise. Optics to users provides a long-term solution for the problem of infrastructure “bottlenecks” and ensures the ability to provide advanced multimedia services. ■ To what extent are your services – from consulting to installing complete systems – able to influence an increase in the efficiency of companies? - What differentiates TeleGroup from
many systems of integrators of various ICT technologies in the region is precisely the dedication and commitment for any solution and system for the user to be designed, implemented, operated and maintained in the most optimal and efficient manner. There are various generic solutions that a system integrator must adjust to the user in order to ensure the expected results. The most important prerequisites for that are experience and knowledgeable professional staff in all segments. A practical example is the implementation of some ICT Security solution that our experts further adjust and combine with existing infrastructure so that customers receive the highest possible protection. Another example is the software for business process modelling and monitoring ICT infrastructure. These are complex and sophisticated software solutions whose positive results on the effectiveness of companies that use them are multiple, and sometimes immeasurable when you take account their preventative effect in the timely overviewing of potential faults and failures. ■ Where do you see the space for the faster development and broader application of ICT in the business environment of Serbia and the region? - We see the space in the aforementioned intelligent transportation systems that provide a range of options for better utilisation of the capacity of transport networks, improving the overall performance of the transport system, as well as raising the level of traffic safety, for monitoring, control and automatic management. ■
CORPORATE MARIJA TASIĆ, LAWYER, LAW OFFICE TASIĆ& PARTNERS
Internationally Recognised Expertise in PPP Projects Through engaging in public-private partnership (PPP) projects, law office Tasić&Partners has already become internationally recognised and has been admitted into the “International Financial Law Review”for the field of energy and Infrastructure in 2016, where the office of Tasić& Partners is ranked as one of the leaders in this area
oreign investors always seek a clear legal framework and a guarantee of the protection of their investments, as one of the most important criteria for the assessment of the business environment of the market they are coming to. In this sense, inconsistency of the legal framework of PPP projects certainly influence the adoption of a final decision. ■ Law Office Tasić& Partners is one of the few which has specialised, among other things, in public-private partnership. How do you assess the effectiveness of implementation of these laws in practice? - Although the institutional and regulatory framework for PPPs was set back in 2011, with the aim of creating an adequate environment to attract private investment, implementation of the law has had a relatively limited application. So far, 30 small and mediumsized PPP projects have been approved in various municipal areas -public transport, energy, waste, etc., while major infrastructure projects, implemented on the basis of bilateral agreements, bypass the existing legal framework. Analysis of PPP projects implemented so far, bearing in mind that these are not all of the projects that have been approved, shows that the maximum efficiency has been achieved in the field of public transport, where it seems that a model has been found that improves the
quality of services, and whose creation also included participation of the office Tasić&Partners through the pioneering PPP project implemented in the city of Niš. ■ A large number of companies, especially foreign investors, show interest in various forms of public-private partnerships, but these arrangements have not yet fully come to life in Serbia. As experts in this field, where do you see the main stumbling blocks?
We offer our clients in private and public sector a whole package of services and legal assistance at all stages of PPP projects, to the final phase of specific project - Foreign capital always seeks a clear legal framework and a guarantee of the protection of investments. In this sense, inconsistency of the legal framework that touches PPP, vague and contradictory interpretations of regulations, are certainly influential when it comes to the adoption of final decisions on investing. What further complicates this matter is the unpreparedness of local government (primarily a lack of staff and a clear institutional structure) to select and also effectively manage all aspects of PPP projects.
■ The Serbian government expects these projects to be among the leaders of the future development of Serbia. How do you assess the potential of these projects? - From the initial relatively “timid” approach to this way of financing projects, progress has been made when it comes not only to the number of approved and implemented projects, but also the diversity of the areas in which they have been launched. In this regard, the potential of the projects is exceptionally high, if it is understood that PPP provides the ability to simultaneously achieve savings in the budget and implement public needs for the reconstruction of infrastructure and improvement of services and savings, all of which can lead, directly or indirectly, to improving the living standard for citizens, and without additional government borrowing. ■ What does Law Office Tasić& Partners specifically offer its clients in this and other forms of corporate affairs? - We offer our clients in private and public sector a whole package of services and legal assistance at all stages of PPP projects, to the final phase of specific project. Our commitment and dedication in representing clients in PPP projects have been recognised by the international independent guide IFLR1000 (International Financial Law Review) for the field of Energy and Infrastructure in 2016, where our office is ranked as one of the leading law firms in the field. ■
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — MICHAEL JORDAN, former NBA player SLOVAKIA
COSCO Completes Piraeus Port Takeover
Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) announced its new 11-member board of directors after China’s COSCO completed the purchase of 51 per cent of the organisation, with another 16 per cent to be transferred in the future. COSCO president Wan Min was appointed OLP’s
chairman, while Captain Fu Cheng Qiu, who heads the Chinese firm’s subsidiary at the Piraeus container terminal, took on the position of chief executive officer. COSCO paid €280.5 million for its 51 per cent stake in OLP and is due to invest another €88 million for the 16 per cent share that has been set aside. The Chinese firm is also due to invest some €300 million in improving the port’s facilities. A recent study suggested COSCO’s investment in Piraeus will boost Greek gross domestic product by 0.8 per cent and create 31,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2025.
Travel Agencies Cash in on 'Poke tourism' Just like countless other countries, Spain has been hit so hard by the Pokemon Go craze that travel agencies are seeking to cash in on the global phenomenon with specialised tours. Such is the interest that Junior Travel, a company based in the southern city of Granada, has been overwhelmed with applications from players looking to work as guides for groups hunting the game’s cartoon monsters, just days after posting a job ad. Candidates must be players who have reached level 20 out of 40 at least, and the firm has already received more than 2,000 applications to guide tours that will take place in various parts of southern Spain and the cities of Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid.
Leoni 'A Victim of Massive Fraud' German wire manufacturer Leoni has reported that it has been targeted by cybercriminals, who made off with approximately €40 million, using falsified documents. Its IT infrastructure reportedly remains unaffected. In an ad-hoc announcement for investors, Nuremberg-based technology company Leoni said it had become the target of criminal activities. “Leoni realised it had become the victim of fraudulent activity with the help of falsified documents and identities and the use of electronic communications channels,” the firm said. It noted that sizeable corporate funds had been transferred to accounts abroad. Founded in 1917, Leoni has become a world leader in global wiring systems and cable technology. It has a workforce of 76,000 people employed in 32 countries around the globe.
Budamar Expands Into The Balkans
Slovak company Budamar Logistics has bought a stake in Croatian open access freight operator PPD Transport, as part of its plans to expand into the Balkan region. Budmar is mainly targeting Croatia and Serbia, where it plans to provide rail and logistics services to major industrial companies. Bratislava-based Budamar was established in 1997. It owns Slovakian private freight operator LokoRail, which was founded in October 2004, and collaborates with state operator ZSSK Cargo. It recently become a co-owner of logistics company Smart Cargo SK
NO ONE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS
Starting a business is an incredible and awesome journey, but there are things no one will tell you to watch out for. Here are 10 Things No One Will Tell You (Ever) About Starting a Business.
1. You’re good enough to start, but not good enough to win 2. You have to make yourself a priority 3. You have to be your own first customer 4. You have to be your own biggest fan 5. It will take more work than you realize 6. There will be things that you have to give up if you want to win 7. Your first idea probably won’t be your best idea 8. Your product isn’t for everybody, and not everyone is your customer 9. You have to guard your calendar with aggressive intensity 10. You will have to leave people behind
CORPORATE GRANIT INVEST IS PRESENTING GREEN SQUARE
Ideal Home For Your Business “Granit invest” is a company with a rich tradition in the construction industry of Serbia and the wider environment. For more than 50 years of business, “Granit invest” has developed into a successful business system that has designed and realised numerous residential and commercial buildings
reat competence and experience of its engineers and technicians who follow and apply the latest technological achievements of construction and materialization allows to maximally meet the needs and requirements of customers. One of our latest projects is the office building “GREEN SQUARE” on Vracar.
We are very proud of this building. It was a big challenge to make the building in which is going to be reflected an edifice as the Temple of Saint Sava and at the same time to adequately respond to quality issue, considering its position. Every part of this building is built to the highest standards of A + class valid for commercial buildings. By providing such a facility to Belgrade, we opened
doors to many people for participating in its construction to gain new experience and to provide our customers with a unique and different experience of space where they will work and we hope in this way to enhance the work atmosphere. Multiplicity of positive things that “Green Square” brings, are just an invitation to visit us in our new premises, where we can present how high class office space should look like. ■
01 AMBASSADOR TO BECOME HONORARY CITIZEN OF BELGRADE
As a sign of gratitude for all the support after 2014 floods which hit Serbia, the Norwegian Ambassador in Serbia H.E Arne Sannes Bjornstad Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia has been nominated for the charter of the Honorary Citizen of Belgrade. Ambassador Bjornstad is likely to become the second Norwegian on the list. On the initiative of the Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic, the ambassador has been nominated for the charter of the Honorary Citizen of Belgrade. “The city of Belgrade wants to repay to His Excellency for the great assistance of the Kingdom of Norway to Belgrade and Serbia after floods in May 2014, and to further strengthen the excellent cooperation and friendly relations,” says Belgrade mayor Sinisa Mali. “True friendship is not just about celebrating success together. It is also helping each other when help is needed, and this is what Norway has done. To be nominated as the representative of Norway to this honour is a great token of gratitude and friendship to Norway from the people of Belgrade and Serbia, “ said Mr. Bjornstad The City assembly is due to officially declare him an honorary Belgrader at its September session.
H.E. ARNE SANES BJERNSTAD (left) and SINIŠA MALI, Mayor of Belgrade
H.E. ARNE SANES BJERNSTAD
08 EMBASSY OF MALAYSIA DONATES TO
THE NAŠA DECA ASSOCIATION
The Embassy of Malaysia in Belgrade has handed over a donation from proceeds raised at the 2016 Malaysian Charity Bazaar to the Naša Deca (Our Children) Association from Belgrade. Aiming to support the Association’s efforts in helping disabled children to develop their artistic talents and enable them to strengthen their sense of self-worth, the Embassy of Malaysia made the donation in kind, comprised of renovation works done to the Association’s premises, supplying new furniture, appliances and raw materials required by the association.
NIK ADY ARMAN NIK MOHD KAMIL, Charge d'Affaires a.i., delivers donation
CYCLE OF CONTEMPORARY SPANISH FILM
Instituto Cervantes in Belgrade has this year again organised the cycle of films “Cinema under the stars”, which provides a panoramic overview of the most significant recent achievements of Spanish cinema, including films covering different themes, in order to show the diversity of film offerings, as well as contemporary society in Spain. Four interesting titles comprised this year’s programme, which was implemented in cooperation with KC Grad for the third consecutive year. Screenings were organised in the garden of KC Grad, with the programme consisting of the following titles: “People around us”, “The dead are all around us”, “Flowers” (Loreak), and “Missed trains”. All films included Serbian subtitles and admission was free of charge.
BEER FEST HELD WITH BEST MAN JEZDA & LAV POPCORN
The biggest beer event in our country, Beer Fest, opened its doors to all lovers of beer and good music, while at the opening LAV organised a social event with its famous Best Man Jezda for all visitors to the LAV stand! This year’s Beer Fest was held at Belgrade’s Ušće confluence, and LAV prepared for its fans something more than simply drinking great beer. The new LAV, which consists of four gifts of nature – barley, hops, water and yeast – was ready and chilled for all visitors of its stand. All guests of the Beer Fest who visited the LAV stand received the gift of a bag of LAV popcorn for every three LAV beers purchased!
“GANG, WHO’S DRIVING HOME?”
The traditional campaign “Gang, who’s driving home?”, which has been organised for the fourth consecutive year by company Heineken within the framework of the Belgrade Beer Fest, made it possible for more than thirty thousand visitors to this event to reach their destination in Belgrade, while free transport in both directions was also provided for visitors from Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac. This year’s campaign was organised in cooperation with the Agency for Traffic Safety, Belgrade Beer Fest, City Transport Company GSP and the Road Traffic Business Association “Srbijatransport”. Biljana Bobić Subin, corporate relations manager at HEINEKEN Serbia, states that the basic message of the campaign “Gang, who’s driving home?” is for people to behave responsibly, both towards themselves and towards others. “Our wish – and we are pleased that we succeeded in that – was for visitors to this festival to enjoy themselves responsibly and return home safe and secure. As in previous years, not a single incident was recorded,” says Bobić Subin.
20 TOURIST FESTIVAL “VISITING WITH THE
The tourist festival “Visiting with the Ukrainians”, organised by the Embassy of Ukraine to mark the occasion of 25 years of the independence of Ukraine, has opened at Kalemegdan Fortress Park with the cutting of a traditional Ukrainian cake. The exhibition was opened by H.E. Ukrainian Ambassador to Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovych and Belgrade’s Deputy City Secretary for the Economy, Maja Bajagić. Those in attendance were able to taste traditional Ukrainian cuisine, see folk costumes and view an exhibition of photographs. The Ambassador said that this festival is the first event of its kind to represent the Ukrainian culture in Belgrade in a comprehensive way. The Ambassador also thanked the City of Belgrade for its assistance in the organisation of the festival.
H.E. OLEKSANDR ALEKSANDROVYCH and MAJA BAJAGIĆ
HOMECOMING FOR SERBIAN OLYMPIANS: YOU WON IT ALL!
Some 20,000 citizens gathered in front of the National Assembly of Serbia in Belgrade to welcome home the Serbian Olympic team. Serbian athletes won eight medals in Brazil, including two golds, two bronze medals and four silvers, representing the best ever performance of the country’s team at the Olympics. The athletes were first greeted by dozens of citizens, along with their friends and relatives, at Nikola Tesla Airport, where impressions were offered by lady taekwondo fighters, the women’s volleyball team, and the men’s basketball and water polo teams. The series of Serbian medals in Rio began with gold for wrestler Davor Stefanek, after which the men’s water polo team also became Olympic champions. Silver medals were won by 18-year-old Tijana Bogdanović in taekwondo, kayakers Milenko Zorić and Marko Tomićević, the women’s volleyball team and the men’s basketball team, while bronze medals went to long jumper Ivana Španović and the women’s basketball team. Of the 103 representatives competing in the Rio Games, in the end fifty four Serbian athletes returned with medals!
BUILDING A BRIDGE FROM EDUCATION TO A CAREER
The American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia (AmCham) and the Belgrade Open School (BOŠ) organised a business breakfast under the heading “Work practices: building a bridge from education to a career”, during which AmCham members, managers in human resources, discussed the importance of professional work placements for young people, the unemployed and all those who want to gain work experience, and all with the aim of reducing the generally high rates of unemployment in the country. The common messages from this meeting are the necessity of creating a more efficient regulatory framework for carrying out working practices and the need to raise awareness of the importance of providing a programme of work placement practices, as an unavoidable factor in the development of young people, increasing their chances of quickly and effectively engaging in the labour market and becoming competitive on that market.
BOJAN VELEV, MILORAD BJELETIĆ AND MILICA SAMARDŽIĆ, Business Breakfast BOŠ
BUSINESS BREAKFAST BOŠ
MUSICAL SPECTACLE UNDER THE STARS
Tašmajdan Stadium saw 80 young, top performers of the Regional Children’s Philharmonic perform a real spectacle of music under the open sky. The repertoire included unforgettable compositions from famous films, while the mesmerising energy of young musicians from all over the region introduced visitors to the world of classical music in an original way. “The young musicians were delighted that they had a chance to perform in front of a full Tašmajdan. “The Night of Music” is a magnificent end to our tour, following concerts in Zagreb and Ljubljana,” said Marina Uzelac, manager of the Children’s Philharmonic Great support for the realisation of the concert was also provided by Piraeus Bank. The organisers of the event under the starry sky stressed that their desire is for “The Night of Music” to become a traditional event and another of the symbols of summer in Belgrade. SEPTEMBER
B y M A JA V U K A D I N OV I Ć
Meeting Point of
WORLD CULTURES IVAN MEDENICA ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CURATOR OF THE 50TH BITEF FESTIVAL
The problem axis of the Main Programme comes down exactly to issues such as the refugee catastrophe, the closing of borders, the erecting of walls…The productions do not address these topics directly only: they research, problematise and shed light on their causes
his year, the Belgrade International Theatre Festival marks a great jubilee of 50 years of existence. One of the oldest, most relevant and most prestigious cultural events in the country, BITEF has been building our country’s intellectural ties with the world and the world’s ties with us. On the occasion of BITEF’s jubilee and the programme that will be presented to the audience from 24th September to 2nd October, CorD talks to Ivan Medenica, Artistic Director and Curator of BITEF Festival. The festival has changed its face through the decades, but the common thread has remained the same: the geopolitical context was as important in its beginnings as it is nowadays. Medenica explains: - Half a century ago, when Mira Trailović and Jovan Ćirilov conceived BITEF, Belgrade, Serbia and Yugoslavia were on “no man’s land”, between the two parts of the ideologically deeply divided Europe and the world as a whole: on the boundary between the Western and the Eastern Bloc. Among other things, it enabled BITEF to become, on a worldwide scale, a unique meeting and exchange point of artists who could hardly come together in a different context. That is where BITEF drew its international social significance, strength and reputation from. Our interlocutor continues: “When the Berlin Wall fell, we believed with a great deal of sincere enthusiasm that it meant the end of ideo48 |
logical divisions, and even the “end of history”, but it turned out that, historically speaking, it was a very short-lived illusion. Of late we have become horrified witnesses to the rage of the bull which carried Europa away on its back in the ancient myth. Not only through a fault of its own, Europe is splitting up again, digging trenches and putting up barbed wire fences. Serbia and Belgrade are in a similar position again: as a boundary - except that this time it is the boundary between the rich and the self-contained.” As Medenica implies, BITEF again could be the meeting point for world cultures. The position that Serbia has should be used for a new intercultural dialogue in the field of theatre. These intentions are completely in line with the theme of the Main Programme of the 50th BITEF, as suggested by its subtitle “On the Back of the Raging Bull”. - The problem axis of the Main Programme comes down exactly
Bitef and Cultural Diplomacy
As a part of jubilee festivities, an international conference will be organised on Bitef and Cultural Diplomacy:Theatre and Geo-Politics, chaired by Milena Dragićević-Šešić. This gathering should show, among other things, how big the contribution of BITEF, or specifically of Mira Trailović and Jovan Ćirilov, was in the field that would later be theoretically defined as ’cultural diplomacy’. In addition to renowned professionals from the country and abroad, some of the leading world players in the field of cultural policies should also take part.
tional conference entitled “Newness and Global Theatre: between Commodification and Artistic Necessity”. Also the prestigious Thalia Prize of the International Association of Theatre Critics will be awarded to Nigeria’s Femi Osofisan, one of the leading African playwrights, directors and scholars. A small show case of Belgrade theatres will be presented within the framework of the congress to show to foreign guests the highest artistic achievements of these theatres. Medenica, long-standing theatre critic himself, says it is very important that about a hundred critics from all over the world will see our productions and write about them in their media, thus making Belgrade theatre life internationally visible. Summarising the significance of BITEF, we asked Medenica to tell us
BITEF CONTINUOUSLY SEEKS THE NEW That said, the main BITEF tradition, the one that evolved from its very beginning, is the search for “new theatrical tendencies”. However, as Medenica suggests, in the 1960s and 1970s, the period when BITEF emerged and made its major push forward, it was rather easy to distinguish the artistic newness, the determining features of the modern, from the traditional forms. “Today, at a time when even the post-modern is a passé con- 1 BITEF (1967): Antigone Troilus and Cressida cept, it is much more difficult. BITEF, nonetheless, may not crumble under such challenges; it needs The Main Programme in what BITEF means to him personally.“It to re-examine over and over again the very possiseems to me that I realised the true sigthe jubilee year will bility of thinking the newness in modern theatre nificance of BITEF when I started to write include projects in the and performing arts in general.” As Medenica told about it as a young critic at Politika. I felt field of drama theatre, us, the festival has to continuosly seek the new and great responsibility and prepared thoroughly. As a student, I couldn’t underdifferent, if not on a global level, then on a micro contemporary dance, stand its significance. Today, as a profeslevel, in certain environments. documentary theatre, sor of Theatre and Drama History, I show The Main Programme in the jubilee year will performance-lectures, the best BITEF performances to students. include projects in the field of drama theatre, video installations, Many young playwrights and directors contemporary dance, documentary theatre, performance-lectures, video installations, musical have told me after graduation that watchmusical theatre… ing these performances helped them in theatre…The production of 6&7 from China will their understanding of classic drama.” be shown during the opening ceremony.“Likewise, the idea of newness will also be articulated in a different, symbolic plane. Contrary In the end, Medenica recalls the words of Jovan Ćirilov, who said to probable public expectations, the BITEF Main Programme shall that BITEF primarily contributed to the development of our theatre audience. Then, the festival was historically very important for the develnot include productions by any director or choreographer who has opment of our theatre criticism. As Ćirilov argued, BITEF contributed already participated in the festival.” the least to the development of all theatre professions, where acting The idea of newness is very visible in ancillary programmes. One of remains the last. the areas emphasised is the relation between theory and practice in the In the years ahead the BITEF team will not only continue to critiperforming arts. This year, the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC-AICT) will hold its 28th congress in Belgrade to mark 60 years cally appraise newness in theatre, but will also work on the democratisation of the festival. This intention should bring more and a diverse since its foundation. It will bring together more than 100 critics from 40 audience to enjoy in performances worth remembering. ■ countries. The main segment of the congress will be a two-day internaST
Photo: Bitef Archive
to issues such as the refugee catastrophe, the closing of borders, the erecting of walls…This set then extends to a kindred topic, that of the “neo-colonial attitude” of the West towards other cultures: projection of a desirable image of these cultures, their ‘exotisation’, construction of stereotypes etc. The productions in the Main Programme do not address these topics directly only: they research, problematise and shed light on their causes. Medenica points to the fact that this concept questions relations between the West and other societies. The audience will have the opportunity to see productions of Lebanese, Chinese, African, Singaporean and Indonesian artists within the Main Programme. In many ways, the dialogue between cultures will be established. “Another reason is our desire to take BITEF in the year of its jubilee back to its original international character and overcome the European and regional framework which has predominated recently.” Medenica recalls that the first show of the first BITEF was Kathakali, a traditional theatre from India, and this year Asian theatre will be presented with performances of contemporary dance.
Duo Retrouvailles 24 – Sava Centre – 20:00
Piano duet “Duo Retrouvailles” comprises Bojana Zdravković and Donka Angatschewa Maraszto, two prominent female artists who discovered their shared love of music during their studies in Vienna. Their increasingly attended joint concerts, presenting their charisma and unique mutual energy, attract and win over a large number of music lovers at their performances. At the heart of their music making is an immense need to represent many musical influences in their authentic form and the presentation of intercultural relations. Programme Dmitri Shostakovich Concertino op.94 Carlos Guastavino Romance del Plata, sonatina Astor Piazzolla La muerte del angel Pablo Sarasate Habanera op.21 Manuel de Falla Two Spanish dances from “La Vida Breve” Carlos GuastavinoThree romances, romance No. 1, Las Ninas Astor Piazzolla Historia del Tango Camille Saint Saens Danse macabre op.40
25 – Sava Centre – 20:00 Ethno experience Traditional, Oriental and ethno music The Rocher music institution was created in 2008, based on the idea of Radmila Vardalić - violin and Dejan Rokvić - viola. What began as Duo Rocher later expanded into the String Quartet Rocher and the Rocher Band. Today all of these ensembles form the institution Rocher.
The repertoire of Music institution ROCHER includes numerous works ranging from classics, via popular miniatures to film music, ethno, jazz, tango and evergreen standards. The Duo Rocher released their first CD with works of classical music, followed by a five DVDs live from different concerts, while they are also preparing a CD recording of the band Rocher with tango and jazz standards. The Rocher Chamber Orchestra emerged in 2014, with its debut concert at Belgrade’s Sava Centre. Programme: Balkan ekspres, Lullaby for Kamila, T4.2, One Voice, Tribute to Maria, Ederlezi, Time 4 Time, Eden, Kazimierz, Hajde Jano, Jovano Jovanke, Dafino
The ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival 2016 1-16 October Agata Szymczewska, violin, Poland Lukas Pohunek, conductor, Slovakia Radio Symphony Orchestra
The 2016 ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival has a particular focus on developing inter-regional cultural cooperation between Serbia and the Western Balkans, and the Višegrad Countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. The audience of the 2016 ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival will have an opportunity to hear several outstanding ensembles and artists from the Višegrad countries, including the Kamerata Janacek, violinist Agata Szymczewska, Lukas Pohunek, conductor from Slovakia, and famous Hungarian cellist Istvan Vardai. The programme will include performances with the Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ljubica Marić Chamber Orchestra, the ArtLink – Societe Generale Youth Chamber Ensemble and many young soloists from Serbia, the Western Balkans, Austria and Italy. Programme: Saturday, October 1, 20.00 Kolarac
Damien Hirst: New Religion 2-14 – Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad “New Religion” is the first exhibition of Damian Hirst works in Serbia. Take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the works of one of the most important contemporary artists in the world. You can visit the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad from 2nd September to 14th October. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge. Damian Hirst is one of the world's most famous living artists and the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (YBAS). “New Religion” explores the complex relationships between mortality and faith and the fascination with science and technology – central themes in the long career of Hirst, who is an intriguing and sometimes controversial artist. After being first displayed in the Paul Stolper Gallery in 2005, “New Religion” has been presented in Oslo, Moscow,
Venice, Sofia, Woking, Gdansk and in the church of All Hallows in London. The project is implemented by the British Council in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina and the Paul Stolper Gallery. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Vojvodina Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Public Information and Relations with Religious Communities and the Department for Culture of the City of Novi Sad. The exhibition is being implemented with the support of KPMG.
Bogdan Đorðevic 5 – Novi Sad Synagogue – 20:00 Bogdan Đorđević is a pianist born in Novi Sad. He graduated in the class of Professor Kemal Gekić. He completed his Master’s and postgraduate studies in the class of Professor Rita Kinka at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad and is employed at the “Isidor Bajić” music school.
Programme: J. S. BACH (1685-1750) Čakona d – moll (Partita br. 2 za solo violinu BWV 1004, transcription for piano: Ferucco Buzoni) W. A. MOZART (1756 – 1791) Fantazia KV397 d - moll Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Prelid op. 32 br. 10 h – moll
Tuesday, October 4, at 20.00 Kolarac Kamerata Janacek, Czech Republic Programme: Dvorzak, Mozart Wednesday, October 5 at 20.00 City Hall Belgrade Raphael Severe, clarinet, France Friday, October 7, at 20.00 Kolarac Manuel Mayer, Trombone, Austria Jakob Wenigwieser, tuba Alisa Bešević, piano Sunday, October 9, at 11.00 Kolarac ArtLink – Societe Generale Youth String Ensemble Monday, October 10, at 20.00 Instituto Italiano Chamber Music Concert Sunday, October 16, at 20.00 Belgrade Philharmonic Hall Istvan Vardai, cello, Hungary Ljubica Marić Chamber Orchestra Johannes BRAMS (1833 – 1897) Intermeco op. 118 br. 2 A-dur Franz LIST (1811-1886) Balada br. 2 h – moll Hungarian rhapsody No. 15 A - dur “Rakoci’s march”.
Encounters 1-21 – Great Gallery of Serbian Army House “Susreti” (Encounters) is the title of an exhibition of paintings and sculpture works of Serbian and Russian self-taught visionaries from the collection of the Museum of Naïve and Marginal Art of Serbia and the collection of the Moscow Museum for the art of outsiders, which is today located in Bar, Montenegro. The authors of the exhibition and the text in the catalogue are Nina Krstić and Vladimir Abakumov. The exhibition opens in the great Gallery of Serbian Army House on 1st September at 7pm and will be open until 21st September. The exhibition is being organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia. The organisers of the exhibition are the Museum of Naïve and Marginal Art; Art brut - Outsider art centre and the Media Centre “Odbrana” (Defence).
Photographic exhibition “Open Mouthed” unveiled 27 – Instituto Cervantes – 18:00 “Open Mouthed” is a retrospective photo exhibition of Spanish artist Cristina Garcia Rodero, which encompasses one of the themes of her oeuvre, beginning with her first photographic project at the end of the seventies until today. The exhibition examines the diversity of behaviours, feelings and emotions of being human, shown through the mouth, from the first painful scream at birth until death, via laughter, shouts, singing, stories, tenderness, love, happiness, anxiety, fear, surprise, boredom, sensuality, sexuality, joy ... In other words, the feelings that are revealed by life itself. Cristina Garcia Rodero has preserved this exhibition over the course of forty years, only to now leave us “open mouthed”.
Cristina Garcia Rodero is the only Spanish photographer of agency Magnum. She is a professor of photography at Complutense University of Madrid, where she completed her studies in painting. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Award for Photography or Word Press Photo. She has exhibited in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), at the Venice Biennale, in Madrid’s Prado Museum, in the George Pompidou Museum of Contemporary Photography etc. The works of Cristine Garcia Rodero display her essential interest in human behaviour, her studies of the customs and traditions that have survived the centuries, as well as new social beliefs and behaviours.
16th Festival of Street Musicians 1-3 – Petrovaradin, Novi Sad
This year’s 16th Festival of Street Musicians will be held from 1st to 3rd September in the Lower Town of Petrovaradin Fortress, the so-called “Gradić”, in Novi Sad; when, like every year, the spirit of street art and the culture of the communities of artists from the country, the region and around the world will awaken new, fresh energy of the city. The festival will this year be at a new location - in the lower town of the fortress, in order for it to come even closer to the elementary objectives of this event, such as ennobling streets and general urban spaces that carry valuable architectural heritage and that now – through the decentralisation of cultural offerings – make a specific cultural contribution to the local community. This festival has always targeted clean, acoustic and chamber spaces that allow intimate contact between performers and the audience. As such, the ambiance of the Lower Town is very suitable for these kinds of events, because they contribute to the creation of direct links between cultural heritage, public space, street performing arts and visitors.
As in the previous 15 years, the programme will include the participation of performers from Serbia, the region, Europe, America and other geographically distant countries, and will encompass musical performances, performing art, environmental performances, film and video screenings, art installations, interventions in spaces, but also workshops, conferences, lectures, organised tours etc. Many partners and friends have already got involved, so the new concept, programme and appearance of this year’s festival has been devised in cooperation with the associations Scenatoria and Suburbium from Petrovaradin, as well as the Faculty of Technical Sciences (Centre for stage design, architecture and technology). The festival will take place at the following locations: Beogradska Street, Bishop Nikolaja Square, Štrosmajerova Street with side streets, Rampin Way (pathway that extends from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Vojvodina to the steps of the fortress) and Barutana “Josif” and its surroundings.
FACES & PLACES 28.07.2016
Meeting of Directors of The International Visegrad Fund Under the auspices of the presidency of the Visegrad Group, the Polish Embassy in Belgrade has organised an informative meeting with the director of the International Visegrad Fund, Beata Jaczewska, and Director of the Fund for the Western Balkans, Gjergja Murry, with representatives of Serbian NGOs. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the Office for European Integration, diplomats of the embassies of the Visegrad Group of countries and Albania in Belgrade, as well as representatives of the media. The meeting was opened by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Poland, Hanna Dalewska-Greń, and in her opening address she presented the priorities of the Polish presidency of the Visegrad Group, with reference to the policy towards the Western Balkans.
National Day of The Kingdom of Morocco The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Abdallah Zagour, hosted an official reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate the National Day of Morocco, commemorating the 17th anniversary of the accession of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, to the throne. Over 400 guests attended the reception, which was marked by the presence of members of the Serbian government, members of the National Assembly, representatives of the diplomatic corps, as well as the Serbian business community and civil society, together with the Moroccan community based in Serbia. As his mission in Belgrade is coming to an end, Ambassador Zagour expressed his thanks and gratitude to government officials and all responsible people in Serbia who contributed greatly to the development of SerbianMoroccan relations during his mandate. 52 |
H.E. ABDALLAH ZAGOUR and Mrs ZAGOUR with IVICA DAĆIĆ, first deputy prime minister of Serbia (middle)
Mrs and Mr ZAGOUR
723rd Anniversary of Swiss Confederation
H.E. PHILIPPE GUEX, new Swiss ambassador to Serbia (left), and H.E. JEAN-DANIEL RUCH
The Swiss Embassy hosted a reception at its residence in honour of the 723rd anniversary of Switzerland. Swiss Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Jean-Daniel Ruch, gave a welcome speech in which he remarked, “Switzerland and Serbia have been nurturing traditionally good relations thanks to mutual understanding”. The reception took place in the garden of the Embassy’s residence in Senjak and guests included the highest state officials, numerous public figures, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Belgrade, economic and business leaders and representatives of religious communities in Serbia.
ASEAN Flag Raised in Belgrade In conjunction with the 49th Anniversary of the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and to commemorate the first year of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a 2016 ASEAN Day flag raising ceremony was held at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Belgrade. The Ceremony was co-hosted by the heads of ASEAN Embassies based in Belgrade: H.E. Harry Richard James Kandou, Indonesian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. U Myo Aye, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and Nik Ady Arman Nik Mohd Kami, Charge d’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Malaysia. Since its establishment in 1967, ASEAN has been successful in facilitating the economic prosperity, political stability, security and socio-cultural cohesion of the countries of the Southeast Asian region, which encompasses a market of over 622 million people.
H.E. JEAN-DANIEL RUCH’S farewell speech
FACES & PLACES 17.08.2016
Indonesian National Day Commemorated The National Day of Indonesia has been officially celebrated in Belgrade, marking the 71st anniversary of the country’s declaration of independence. The host of the formal reception was H.E. Harry Richard James Kandou, Indonesian Ambassador to Serbia. Ambassador Kandou reminded those in attendance that Indonesia is a country with 255 million inhabitants, the fourth biggest in the world, and has the largest economy in Southeast Asia. In addition to the highest Serbian officials and representatives of the diplomatic corps, the reception was attended by friends, business partners and representatives of cultural and public life and religious communities in Serbia.
H.E. HARRY RICHARD JAMES KANDOU and Mrs KANDOU
“Spiritual Code of Ukraine” Exhibition Opens
BOJAN BRKIĆ, RTS (left) and H.E. OLEKSANDR ALEKSANDROVYCH
The exhibition “Spiritual Code of Ukraine” has opened at the RTS Gallery with a traditional setting of “pisanki” (large Easter eggs), as part of the Festival “As guests with the Ukrainians”, which is being organised by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade in the coming days. The exhibition was opened by H.E. Ukrainian Ambassador to Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovych. The organiser is the Embassy of Ukraine and the host is Radio Television Serbia. Decorating Easter eggs in Ukraine is a tradition that develops folk art and spreads the culture of this country beyond its borders.
TONY VERHEIJEN, World Bank Country Manager, visits the exhibition with his family
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 2016
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I think it is impossible to be a politician of modern times and to perceive the world through national or administrative borders that are ornaments of the past. I believe that a region is the smallest area that a modern leader should have in mind when making decisions and facing the challenges of this time, in the sense that regions are not defined by administrative boundaries, but rather by nature, culture and mentality
ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ, PRIME MINISTER OF SERBIA
Working Jointly Leads to Progress 4
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achieve little in the modern economy without hen I say this, I mean the territory working jointly with their neighbours. By joinlarger than a state, such as the ing forces it is easier to overcome common Balkan region that is the home of problems that occur in global markets and my country, Serbia. I am also a firm believer in learning from conquer new technologies. the best, and I do not see a better model to When it comes to the work ethic, I am learn from than the Nordic, or Scandinavian, proud of the fact that Serbian workers have as we popularly refer to it in Serbia. I truly bebeen working for Nordic companies and learning from them for more than two declieve that the mentality of the people in the Balkans needs to be overhauled, which is also ades. These companies include pioneers of in line with the differences between Northern foreign investments in Serbia, such as Tetra European and Mediterranean nations. The Pak, or the largest individual investor in Serepicentre of this change is the work ethic, as bia, Telenor, and Tikkurila Group in Šabac that well as the relationship between the state is raising company Zorka Colors to a new opand its citizens. erating level, and ending with the latest enIn the Nordic countries, patriotism is demtrants, like IKEA and PKC, whose investments onstrated by paying taxes and contributing to the country, for which Nations that wish to progress and leap into the future have one expects in return a modern already faced the fact that they can achieve little in the modern education and protection, ranging economy without working jointly with their neighbours. By joining from health and legal, all the way to safety and security. In our region it forces it is easier to overcome common problems that occur in is more common that an individual global markets and conquer new technologies will look for any possible way to circumvent the system, to avoid liabilare a seed for the whole region. All of them ity, but still expect benefits from the state. were evangelists of a new attitude towards This includes the battle against corruption, work, examples of someone who needs to which in Scandinavia is based on the principle level out our differences in mentality and lead of zero tolerance that I am working diligently us into the future. to apply in our country. Not only politicians, I would like to finish this editorial by conbut even kings have not been spared from that fight in Nordic countries, and tycoons do not centrating on our similarities rather than our even need to be mentioned. In societies that differences. I do not see a greater similarity cherish the middle class, voters consistently between the Balkan and the Nordic countries vote out the greedy, or politicians that they than in the courage of the people. In the past, believe are not working in the public interest. this Viking-like courage was best demonAnother fundamental lesson that I think strated in war, and I do not see a better modpeople from the Balkans should learn from ern battlefield to display this courage than by the Scandinavians is teamwork. In the Balchanging ourselves and our habits. This perkans we often wish bad luck upon our neighsonal change in mentality is the most difficult bour, which is a retrograde legacy of the forchange to make and I am grateful to you for mer time and small-town mentality. Nations being a guiding light that we can follow on our that wish to progress and leap into the future endeavour. ■ Welcome to the Serbia of the future! have already faced the fact that they can
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New Opportunities For Business Cooperation Are Coming The main objective of the Nordic Business Alliance is to become a one-stop-shop for potential Nordic investors as well as Serbian exporters to Nordic region. According to recent trends in mutual trade and extended investments of Nordic companies in Serbia, we are on a slow but steady path to growth
JASMINA VIGNJEVIĆ, CHAIRPERSON OF THE NORDIC BUSINESS ALLIANCE
e spoke with Jasmina Vignjević, Chairperson of the Nordic Business Alliance, about the possibilities for the further development of business ties between Serbian and Nordic economies.
• How close are we today to the figure of one billion dollars in trade between Serbia and Nordic countries? - According to data provided by Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, the value of foreign trade between Serbia and the four Nordic countries amounted to US$ 700 million in 2014, with an upward trend. We still do not have access to data from 2015, but based on this, our expectations are that the value of foreign trade has increased. If the Government continues along the EU path and pushes further reform, I am convinced that amount of one billion could be reached very soon.
• Which long-standing members of Nordic Business Alliance are seen as the main potential for the expansion of foreign trade and investment in Serbia? - Serbia is usually perceived as an economy that is traditionally oriented to agriculture, however it is growing fast in the IT sector in recent years. Nordic investors are mainly long-term oriented, it is not easy to attract them, but once they decide to make investment decisions, they usually stay and invest here for a longer periods. From my experience, they really appreciate recommendations of reliable partners who have already invested in Serbia. • To what extent do the laws in Serbia follow newer business models that are close to companies in Nordic countries? - We believe that laws and regulations in Serbia should stimulate innovations for which Nordic countries are well known. For example, being in digital era, it is very important for the new law on electronic commerce to introduce a more flexible and simplified digital signature, so companies can do most contracts and payments on line.
• Do you regard the imminent opening of IKEA as symbolic, or is it the opening of real opportunities to increase the linking of partners in the Nordic countries with domestic companies? - Ikea’s launching in Serbia is a very imporIn order to stimulate innovations for which Nordic countries are well tant event and definitely serves as a symknown, the Government should adopt laws and regulations that are bol that presence of Nordic business is becompatible with the digital era, lose state monopolies and regulate coming stronger in Serbia. Definitely, new opportunities for business cooperation cross-border data traffic transfer as per EU benchmarks are coming - now Serbian companies will have an opportunity to compete with manBreaking state monopolies on infrastructure, for example enabling access ufacturers and suppliers from around the world in order to become Ikea’s supplito fibre to other players, is critical in today’s digital era where we are moving er. Regarding that, Standard Furniture Serbia is a successful example how a local from voice to data world. Monopolies in this area, signalled by the protectioncompany can supply Ikea's global network. ism of state ownership in infrastructure, should be abolished. Something similar Telenor, which is celebrating 10 years of successful business in Serbia this happened in Nordic countries when the state opened its infrastructure. And look September, is one of the good examples of Norwegian confidence in Serbia. Telwhere they are now – investing in ICT all over the world. enor’s investment in launching Telenor Banka with initial investments of 40 milFinally, in order for Serbia to become a part of new regional business modlion EUR underscores this. els and even potential headquarters for the companies with regional footprint, Of course there are other possibilities for making connections between Norcross-border data traffic transfer needs to be regulated as per EU benchmarks. dic and Serbian companies. Over 40 Nordic companies are members of the NorThe Government will have this possibility in the new Law on Electronic Commudic Business Alliance and when somebody comes to us with business idea, we nications, which is in the pipeline and in line to be adopted by the end of 2016. ■ are willing to recommend a potential partner among our members.
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Nordic countries are a group of countries in Northern Europe. These countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and the territories of the Aland Islands and the Faroe Islands. Though often confused as such, Scandinavia is not equivalent to the Nordic countries
Finland was gradually incorporated into the Swedish kingdom in the 12th and he part of the world that we now call the Nordic Region first came 13th centuries. into contact with the rest of Europe during the Viking era (approx. AD 800–1050), as pagan seafarers from the north ravaged, traded with After the Second World War the politicians of the time strived for strongand settled in many areas of Europe. er international co-operation. This was the time when the United Nations was Christian Europe responded with intensive missionary work. The Nordic established, the Council of Europe created and the first steps were taken tochiefs soon saw the advantages of adopting the new faith, which bolstered wards the EU. At the same time there were many discussions on much closer their power and offered easier access to the Continent. The missionaries Nordic co-operation. As a result the Nordic Council was formed in 1952. wanted the new territories to be ruled by Christian kings who would help to Today, all of the Nordic countries have a higher GDP per person than the strengthen the church. EU. In Norway the GDP per person is double the size than that of the EU. NorThe earliest history of the Region is shrouded in mystery – and only hinted way is at the top, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark are number two, three and at by the sagas – but we know that by the end of the 11th century, the ScandiToday, all of the Nordic countries have a higher GDP per person navian lands had been divided between than the EU. In Norway the GDP per person is double that of the the three newly established kingdoms of EU. Norway is at the top, while Sweden, Iceland and Denmark are Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ranked two, three and four, with more or less the same figures It was their waterways that held the three kingdoms together. Denmark arose at the entrance to the Baltic and incorporated Jutland, Scania and the four with more or less the same figures. many islands in that area. Norway means “the north road”, i.e. the waterway The Nordic countries have a long-standing tradition of working together from the River Göta and the Oslo Fjord around South Norway and to the north. on matters related to nature and the environment. Many positive results have Sweden's core areas skirted the Baltic Sea coast and the large lakes at the already been achieved, but they are not enough in a globalised world. Nordic centre of the country. co-operation on environmental matters covers everything from health to the Outside of Scandinavia (i.e. modern-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), marine environment, outdoor life and sustainability. Iceland, the Faroe Islands and south-west Greenland gradually became part of Nordic Safe Cities aims to promote security throughout the Nordic Region the Norwegian kingdom after they were colonised by the Vikings. Modern-day by preventing radicalisation and violent extremism. The programme is a part of
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Norway and Sweden. Again, this gives a new, wider, definition which includes a larger Nordic Council of Ministers’ program for Democracy, Inclusion and SeNorway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. curity, and it includes networking, knowledge-sharing and communication for Culturally and historically, the north of Europe has been the political playpoliticians, senior executives and professional practitioners from Nordic cities. Gender equality is also a key area of co-operation for the Nordic counground of the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Finland was a part of the kingdom of Sweden, and Iceland belonged to tries. It has contributed to the Nordic Region being one of the most gender Norway and Denmark. Besides a common history, politically and economically equal regions in the world. these five countries have followed a similar model known as the Nordic welAlthough in the rest of the world the words "Scandinavian" and "Nordic" are happily used in a similar manner and are interchangeable, in northern fare state since the 20th century. ■ Europe they are not. Indeed, Europeans love to magnify even the smallest differFinland was a part of the kingdom of Sweden, and Iceland belonged ence between neighbouring countries to Norway and Denmark. Besides a common history, politically and and you will probably be corrected if you economically these five countries have followed a similar model don't use the words in their appropriate known as the Nordic welfare state since the 20th century context. The true problem is discovered when even Europeans (or Scandinavians) themselves cannot agree on the meaning of "Scandinavian" and "Nordic"... Geographically speaking, the Scandinavian peninsula is the area shared by Norway, Sweden and part of northern Finland. In this view, the Scandinavian countries would therefore focus only on Norway and Sweden. Linguistically, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish have a common word called "Skandinavien". That word refers to the ancient territories of the Norsemen: Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This definition is considered to be the most commonly accepted definition of "Scandinavia" at the present time, but this interpretation can easily change across different regions. So we focus on the territory of the Norsemen. However, Iceland was also one of the Norsemen's regions. In addition, Icelandic belongs to the same linguistic family as Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. And so do the Faroe Islands. Therefore, you will find that many non-Scandinavian natives connect Scandinavia to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. H.E. JAN LUNDIN, H.E. PERTTI JUHANI IKONEN, MORTEN SKOVGAARD HANSEN (Head of Mission), and H.E. ARNE SANNES BJØRNSTAD And, finally, Swedish is used partially in Finland just as Finnish is spoken in
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Positive Economic Developments Good bilateral relations between Serbia and Denmark are now further strengthened by increasing trade and the rising interest of Danish companies to invest in Serbia MORTEN SKOVGAARD HANSEN
HEAD OF MISSION FOR THE EMBASSY OF DENMARK IN BELGRADE
enmark benefits due to its strong economy and close ties with both the EU and the United Kingdom. It advocates for a reformed Union focused on growth, job creation and security, which also contributes strongly to Balkan stability.
• What do you see as the precondition for tighter bilateral and economic cooperation between our two countries? - We already see a positive development. In 2015 we saw substantially increased exports from Denmark, and we see new investments. In our contacts with Danish companies interested in the Serbian market, rule of law is an issue which has their attention. Strengthened rule of law, including reform of the judicial sector and the fight against corruption, could lead to increased commercial ties. Serbian exports to Denmark are also increasing. As the Serbian private sector becomes more competitive, in parallel with the reform process, there is room for further exports – not only to Denmark, but also to other EU member states which are already Serbia’s most important trade partners. Denmark is pleased to have supported economic development in Serbia through various programmes. I would like to highlight our ‘Fruits and Berries’ project in Southern Serbia, which has contributed to an impressive increase in Serbian production and exports of raspberries and other fruits.
• What are the major goals of the Nordic leaders when it comes to restoring the EU spirit of togetherness? - In many ways we live in challenging times and that also goes for the EU. Important work lies ahead for the European leaders. The Danish Prime Minister has stated that the European Union is Denmark’s best option for influencing the world, and also emphasised how dependent Denmark and our economy is on European cooperation. Our Minister for Foreign Affairs, after the referendum in the United Kingdom, stated that “the referendum shows that the EU is in need of reform and increased focus on delivering tangible results to citizens. I believe that the EU should focus on growth and job creation, cooperation in controlling migration and security in the form of close police cooperation and combating terrorism.” I would add that Strengthened rule of law, including reform of the judicial these areas are also important in our relations with Serbia. sector and the fight against corruption, could lead to Countries like Serbia, which are applying for membership in increased commercial ties between our two countries the European Union, also remind us of the origins of the European Union, focusing on peace and stability and the important contribution the EU still gives to that. • What do you see as the most important tasks for the new Serbian government? • Being strongly tied to both the UK and the EU, how has the Danish econ- With the importance the Government gives to the EU accession process, we omy fared following Brexit? of course hope to see progress in the related reform process. The government - Denmark has strong ties with the UK and will continue to have. Regarding has given a high priority to strengthening the economy and we already see some Brexit, it is too early to say what the consequences will be. Denmark has positive results. Hopefully that will provide a good basis for further improvements and reforms. Looking at the EU accession process, which in general supthe benefit of having a strong economy. Through continuous reforms over ports reforms that are to the benefit to the population, rule of law should be the years we have secured an effective public sector and a competitive innovative private sector. That provides Denmark with a good basis for fumentioned as the most important area. However, also in areas such as the enviture challenges. ronment important reforms will have to be implemented in the coming years. ■
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Happiest People in The World
Denmark took the top spot on the United Nation's World Happiness Report, 2013 & 2014 & 2016, and came in third in the 2015 report. Even though the weather can be dreary and in winter it’s dark most of the day, Danish people are considered to be the world’s happiest
he word ‘Denmark’ dates back to the Viking age and is carved on the famous Jelling Stone from around 900 AD. Today though Denmark is very different from its historical past. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Denmark was a superpower whose influence was as powerful as that of the largest European countries. Today, the current size and influence of Denmark is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land, surrenders and lost battles. For a small country though, Denmark still punches above its weight in many different areas including design, architecture, farming, green technology and pharmaceuticals.
The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties can be represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterized by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament. The basic principle of the Danish welfare system, often referred to as the Scandinavian welfare model, is that all citizens have equal rights to social security. Within the Danish welfare system, a number of services are available to citizens, free of charge. This means that for instance the Danish health and educational systems are free. The Danish welfare model is subsidised by the state, and as a result Denmark has one of the highest taxation levels in the world. When people talk about the Danish labour market they often use the term
“flexicurity” to describe the model which is successfully managing the challenges of globalization and securing steady economic growth and employment. Studies show that Danes are positive about globalization and do not fear losing their jobs. Rather they seek opportunities for new and better jobs. This is partly ascribed to the flexicurity model which promotes adaptability of employees and enterprises. Flexicurity is a compound of flexibility and security. The Danish model has a third element - active labor market policy - and together these elements comprise the golden triangle of flexicurity. The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties can be represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterized by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament. Since 28 June 2015, the Government has consisted of the Liberal Pary (Venstre), Lars Løkke Rasmussen is the Prime Minister. Danes are proud of their queen and their royal monarchy. Queen Margrethe is widely respected for her intellectual prowess and her artistic abilities including working as an illustrator, set designer for the theatre and textile artist. Along with the Prince Consort, the Queen has translated French literary works into Danish and vice versa. ■
HM QUEEN MARGRETHE II of Denmark
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Tradition – Basis For The Future Carlsberg bases its business worldwide on standards related to concrete operations, primarily in the field of responsible communication, business ethics, investment and the community, respect for human and labour rights and, of course, efficiency of operations JOVANA MLADENOVIĆ
COMMUNICATION MANAGER AT CARLSBERG SRBIJA AND MANAGER OF THE CARLSBERG AND DUNĐERSKI FOUNDATION
arlsberg Group, headquartered in the famous Carlsberg Vej street in Copenhagen, Denmark, will next year mark 170 years since it produced the first bottle of “probably the best” lager. During all this time, from a small brewery to a multinational company with over 40,000 employees, the staff members have remained committed to maintaining existing standards and advancing new standards in the production of beer, but also in corporate social responsibility.
• Carlsberg Group employs more than 40,000 people in over 150 countries in the world and sells more than 115 million bottles of beer every day, and next year marks 170 years since it produced the first bottles of the famous lager. On which principles and standards does such a great system function? - At first glance, when you read all those numbers, it seems that Carlsberg is just one of many leading international companies with the ambition to grow and conquer new markets. However, it is less well known to the general public that a completely different story hides behind the operations of this brewing “giant”. And that is that the largest shareholder in this company for more than a hundred years, according to the wishes of its founder, Jacob C. Jacobsen, is the Carlsberg Foundation, headquartered in Copenhagen, which deals in investments in science and education. J.C. Jacobsen was a passionate brewer with a vision to create the perfect beer, but also to contribute through his work to the betterment of the society in which he lived. That vision is woven into the DNA of our company even today. On the one hand, it is reflected in the fact that with all our efforts in the field of brewing we strive to make a
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better quality product and we are constantly working on its improvement. On the other hand, a significant part of the profits generated by Carlsberg on the global level of the foundation goes to the development of science and education, and thus we help the development of the society in which we live and operate. I can say that these are the two basic principles underlying our work, while a set of standards related to concrete operations, primarily in the field of responsible communication, business ethics, investment and the community, respect for human and labour rights, enables us to live the same in our organisation on all markets and with tens of thousands of employees. We are proud that, unlike many companies that build their vision over time, Carlsberg has had its vision since the emergence of the company and has been nurturing it for 170 years. • To what extent can the standards and procedures of the Danish Head office be transferred and used in the current business environment in Serbia? - The standards and procedures that are closely related to the internal functioning of the organisation are in most cases fully implemented. In a way they also define the culture of the company itself, so that is very similar in all Carlsberg companies, whether in China, Russia, Western European countries or in Serbia. However, that part of the business that directly or indirectly involves external stakeholders requires harmonisation with local legislation, and sometimes also the culture of the nations, and it adapts according to the needs of individual companies.
• In your opinion, what would contribute to the improvement of the brewing industry in Serbia, and which would also benefit the state and customers and the industry itself? - Regular dialogue with the government on legislative issues, primarily tax issues that have a significant impact on the operations of brewing companies in Serbia, is of utmost importance to the stability of the entire industry. We will always fulfil our obligations towards the state, and we are certainly aware of the economic situation and the measures that are sometimes inevitable, but if we were notified on time or, better yet, actively participated in the discussion when implementing the same, we believe that in many cases the outcome would be more favourable both for the state and for us, and ultimately also for the consumers. We are sure that nobody has the goal of the industry collapsing, because that would – both indirectly and directly – impact on the employment of a large number of people and, of course, the influx of money into the budget. You need to find such a measure in determining the levies for manufacturers in order for our market to continue to remain attractive for further investment, because that is the only guarantee for the long-term success of the industry and the Serbian economy in general. • Carlsberg is known for its constant innovation in the production, promotion and marketing of its many brands. Which brand has the most fans in Serbia? - That is certainly LAV beer. LAV is the largest brand in our portfolio and one of the most popular beer brands in Serbia. It is true that Carlsberg is also known for its innovative approach when it comes to different tastes, but also modes of communication and promotion. World trends in brewing are also increasingly present in our country and monitoring them is a necessity for survival. The latest example of a brewing trend is craft beers and the various flavours they offer. Craft brewing is expanding incredibly worldwide, but also in our country, albeit not to the same extent, people increasingly want to try these “special” types of beers. In this regard, we have developed a portfolio of the most diverse brands that offer consumers black wheat beer, sunshine bright beer, as well as some craft brands.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS OF DUNĐERSKI FOUNDATION
• The operations of Carlsberg Group are dedicated to providing a positive contribution to society and the environment through CSR activities, and in Serbia also through the Carlsberg and Dunđerski Foundation. How much do these activities differ in Denmark and Serbia; in this sense, what has marked the previous period and what are you announcing for the coming months? - Investing in the betterment of the community has been part of the global vision of the company since its inception. In Denmark, the Carlsberg Foundation leads social responsibility activities, while in Serbia we work through the Carlsberg and Dunđerski Foundation. Apart from the volume of projects, which is certainly smaller in our country, the areas of operation of both foundations are largely the same. Unlike the foundation in Denmark, whose focus is on the development of science and education, in Serbia we also support the preservation of cultural heritage, environmental initiatives, responsible alcohol consumption, the local community
We are proud that, unlike many companies that build their vision
over time, Carlsberg has had its vision since the emergence of the • How satisfied are you with the professional qualifications of newly employed workcompany and has been nurturing it for 170 years ers and how does the internal training system function? of Bačka Palanka (primarily Čelarevo, where our brewery is located), but - The best proof that Serbia has quality staff who are absolutely qualified to also current social issues in the society. In 2016, we signed a three-year cowork in the global headquarters of international companies are some of our operation agreement with the Faculty of Economics, Law and Technolocolleagues who today hold very important positions at our HQ in Copenhagen, gy in Novi Sad, and rewarded the best students of this faculty with annuor in the seats of individual functions across Europe. I think that high quality al scholarships. We assisted sporting and cultural activities in Čelarevo, as manpower certainly exists in Serbia, but I would nevertheless add that, in adwell as educational institutions, and by the end of the year we will impledition to expertise, the profile of a person who comes into the company and ment, together with the Municipality of Bačka Palanka, a project of comtheir ability to fit into the company’s culture is as important a parameter in the pletely arranging the town square and parks. Budgets are a measurable elselection of a new member of the team. ement that is most often mentioned when giving donations, but also the When it comes to internal training at Carlsberg, what has been in focus for benefit that you leave for generations to come, and which in the first inyears, especially since the organisation has been growing rapidly and becomstance are often intangible, though that testifying to what you have truly ing more complex, is training connected to the broader considering of business, done for the community. Although every year it seems that there is growwhich is essential in order for the decisions we take at the sectoral level to be the ing awareness among us as companies and the entire nation regarding the best for the business as a whole. All decision-makers at any level must know the impact on the environment in which we live and work, the truth is that we financial implications, the impact on sales, but also on the external stakeholders, are still awaited by a long road. ■ with every business move. In this sense, internal training helps significantly. • NORDIC ALLIANCE &SERBIA •
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INFOSTUD AND ALMA MEDIA
Four Years of Partnership
Cooperation between these Serbian and Finnish business groups has improved their internet business, but also enabled mutual familiarisation with their culture
innish media group Alma Media has since 2012 been a partner of Subotica-based company Infostud, one of Serbiaâ€™s most successful internet companies. Alma Media owns a 25 per cent stake in Infostud, which has a dozen different sites in the areas of employment, the auto sector, education, tourism and insurance, almost all of which are leaders in their respective areas of business. This now four-year partnership between these two successful groups has enabled the mutual exchange of knowhow in the internet business and the development of joint projects. Regular meetings of employees are held in Finland, Serbia or in other European countries where Alma Media also operates. The closest cooperation has been developed between the Finnish and Serbian sites for the sale of used cars, autotalli.com and polovniautomobili. com, as well as sites for employment within the Alma Media Group - profesia.sk (Slovakia), monsterpolska.pl (Poland), poslovi.infostud.com (Serbia), www.cvonline.com (Lithuania), www.prace.cz (Czech Republic), www.posao. ba (BiH), www.moj-posao.net (Croatia) and www.monster.hu (Hungary). In addition to the exchange of business knowledge, another great advantage offered by this group is the opportunity to get to know different cultures. Thanks to cooperation with Infostud, Finns have familiarized themselves better with Serbia, especially Belgrade and Subotica, while on the other side colleagues from Serbia have visited Tampere and Helsinki several times, thus becoming familiar with the Finnish culture. One of the special wishes of the Infostud team is also to visit Lapland and the workshop of Santa Claus and reindeer farm located there. Otherwise, Finland is not the only Nordic country with which Infostud cooperates. All Nordic embassies in Belgrade, as well as a large number of companies from these countries, employ staff through the site poslovi.infostud.com. Moreover, Infostud also recently expanded its business to the field of insurance, launching the site Osiguranik.com, and the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade became one of the clients of this site. â–
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Finland is Committed to Supporting Serbia Economic relations between Finland and the Western Balkan countries are currently at a relatively low level. However, there are many opportunities for improvement, as the interest of Finnish companies in the region is growing H.E. PERTTI JUHANI IKONEN AMBASSADOR OF FINLAND
longside other current challenges that are confronting Europe, migration needs to play a central role in the EU’s external relations, especially in the dialogue with the countries of origin and transit
• How do you see prospects of further EU integration after Brexit and the possibility of new members being accepted? - It would be too early to estimate the full impact of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU, as many key questions – including the timetable – are still open. Understandably, the situation may have raised some questions or caused some concern, but the enlargement of the EU will continue and Finland encourages all applicant countries to continue with the reforms needed for accession. The better a country fulfils the criteria for joining the EU, the stronger a member state it will be.
opened so far. Of course, more work is still needed in order for Serbia to fulfil the criteria of EU membership. Finland is committed to supporting Serbia on its road towards the EU, as we know that the negotiation process is a huge effort for any country. So far, we have had many Finnish experts, for example in the transport and education sectors, to assist Serbs in their EU integration, and we are ready to share our expertise in the future as well. • Where do you see the best opportunities for Finnish companies to improve current trade figures in Western Balkan markets, and what are the major hurdles? - Economic relations between Finland and the Western Balkan countries are currently at a relatively low level. However, there are many opportunities for improvement, as the interest of Finnish companies in the region is growing. Traditionally, industries with the most potential in the Western Balkans are the automotive, textile, metal and food processing sectors, as well as the fast growing ICT sector. More recently, sectors such as energy and environment have become increasingly interesting for Finnish companies. Furthermore, large investments are needed in these sectors. Looking at Serbia, increasing confidence in the stability of the Serbi-
• What do you see as a sustainable solution for the migrant crisis and the restoration of security in the EU? - Since 2015, Europe has been experiencing unprecedented migratory flows that are expected to continue and possibly intensify over the coming years. The current situation is not only a European challenge, but a global one – as this irregular migration is driven by historical, political and economic problems in the countries of origin. In finding solutions to the current challenge, a broadLooking at Serbia, increasing confidence in the stability er perspective, cooperation with key partners and longof the Serbian market is based on ongoing reforms and term commitment are essential. Migration needs to play a the EU integration process central role in the EU’s external relations, especially in the dialogue with the countries of origin and transit. The EU an market is based on ongoing reforms and the EU integration process. needs to intensify the use all relevant EU policies, instruments and tools, Here, the focus should be on trade cooperation between small and mediincluding development and trade. The Partnership Framework from June um-sized companies in Serbia and Finland. When we manage to improve 2016 offers a comprehensive and strategic approach for the work moving forward. and activate contacts between these companies, both imports and exports will grow. • How does Finland support Serbia's EU accession process? Obviously, there are also challenges in the Western Balkan markets, - Serbia has put a lot of effort into reforming its society during recent but they are similar to anywhere else. The opportunities for growth in the years and the results can be seen. One indication of the remarkable Western Balkan countries clearly outweigh the challenges and we can progress Serbia has made is the negotiation chapters that have been learn a lot from each other. ■
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The Land of a Thousand Lakes Finland is called 'the land of a thousand lakes', as inland lakes and rivers make up 10 per cent of the country. Large areas of forest cover almost two thirds of the land mass. Only six per cent of Finland is arable
inland has a population of 5.5 million, around a million of whom live in the area in and around the capital city, Helsinki. Finland is a republic. The president, who is directly elected by the people, has real power over foreign affairs, EU policy and major military decisions. In all other matters, the parliament is the country's highest authority. Finland is a member of the EU, and its currency is the euro. The country is not a member of NATO. The forestry, technology and metal industries are Finland's most important revenue sources. Finland is the world's biggest producer of mobile phones. Finland has transformed its economy in a matter of decades to become one of the richest countries and most stable societies in the world. In the
1950s the Finnish economy was still largely based on primary production and an agrarian workforce. Today Finland is leading or near the top of most international comparisons in terms of growth and development in the economic, technological and social spheres. The largest sector of the Finnish economy is services at 65%, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31%. Primary production is at 3%. Finland’s main industrial products are paper and board, electronics and metal products. Engineering and high technology industries are the leading branches of manufacturing. Finland also enjoys the highest possible status with the global credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and Moody’s as Standard & Poor’s ranks Finland AA+. According to the latest report from Fitch, Finland’s AA+ status “is un-
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derpinned by sound public finances, a solid external position, high income per capita, demonstrable political and social stability and an impeccable debt service record”. Finland enjoys one of the world's most advanced and comprehensive welfare, designed to guarantee dignity and decent living conditions for all Finns. The Finnish social security system reflects the traditional Nordic belief that the state can intervene benevolently on the citizens' behalf. Core to the system are social insurance (ex. pensions, sickness & unemployment benefits, workers' compensation), welfare (ex. family aid, child-care services, services for the disabled), and a comprehensive health system. Ssocial security is divided into residence-based social security and employment-based, earnings-related social security. Residence-based social security is financed by tax and administered by Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Earnings-based social security is financed by contributions to private insurance companies and pension funds, and administered by the Finnish Centre for Pensions. It is said "to know the heart of Finns, you must read The Kalevala". First published in 1835, The Kalevala is Finland's national epic and draws from a rich oral tradition of folklore and mythology. Physician and philologist Elias Lönnrot travelled the Finnish-Russian borderlands recording the ballads and charms sung by the rural people. From these he assembled a fantastical tale of spells, love, war and revenge - a mythic history of the ancient Finns which fired the imaginations and national consciousness of the Finnish people, and became a foundation of Finnish cultural identity. ■
INTERVIEW: LAWYERS ALEKSANDAR PETROVIĆ AND ALEKSANDRA NIKOLIĆ, LAW OFFICE PETROVIĆ & GLOGONJAC
That which Nordic companies insist on in particular is zero tolerance for corruption, the efficiency of operations and increasing social responsibility
nvestors who come to Serbia from Nordic countries quickly adapt to the Serbian legal system, especially since they use the legal system in order to forestall the emergence of conflicts.
• What are the most common legal disputes that companies from northern Europe have in Serbia and the region? - Companies from northern Europe, in our opinion, have less legal problems in Serbia and in the region than other foreign investors. This does not mean that there is less work for lawyers, because they have learned to use legal services to ensure that problems do not occur. For every business move they first carefully study the legal side, which most commonly eliminates the possibility of problems. It should be noted that Nordic companies have high expectations in relation to the legal system when it comes to respect for the acquired rights, which has sometimes been known to be a problem in this region. As they respect their obligations that arise from the law, they want to freely use all the rights that they are guaranteed by these same laws. I think that all governments in Serbia in the last fifteen years have recognised that and thanks to that we do not know of the emergence of any significant legal problem for Nordic investors.
• You have a lot of experience working with companies of the Nordic countries. How do these companies manage the legal system of Serbia? - We have been working with Nordic companies in Serbia and Montenegro since 1999. Nordic companies fit well in the business environment in this region. They have a highly developed business culture in the sense that they respect the laws and customs of the host country, which is why they are welcome foreign investors in the region. The fact that the Nordic countries and Serbia have never been What has been emphasised in recent years is zero tolerance in political or any other conflict throughout history for corruption, continuous efforts to reduce operating has, in our opinion, contributed to Nordic investors costs and increase the social responsibility of companies, being accepted in the best possible way by both the and therefore the arrival of Nordic investors in a country authorities and the citizens of Serbia. Nordic comcontributes to the overall economic environment panies understand Serbian laws well. In contract law the Anglo-Saxon practice has prevailed in recent decades, so that contracts are almost the same regardless of whether they • What type of legal assistance is most commonly offered by law firm are made in Belgrade, Oslo or Stockholm. Petrović & Glogonjac? - Those are numerous different legal services, from the founding of a company to complex legal transactions in the telecommunications sector. Al• Companies that come from the Nordic countries are known for their most all Nordic companies are very interested in the high quality regulathigh standards of management and operations. To what extent are ing of employment relations and the optimal understanding of tax regulathese standards harmonised with standards in Serbia? tions. We provide individual Nordic companies with complete legal servic- It is known that Nordic countries are leaders in business ethics, the ores in all areas of law, i.e. our involvement represents a kind of outsourcing ganisation of management and standards of labour rights. However, the of legal activities. That is very important for new companies that are just Nordics are also “living people” and, just like in our country, those standards have advanced in the last twenty years. What has been emphasised starting their operations in Serbia and who want fast and efficient way to in recent years is zero tolerance for corruption, continuous efforts to refit into the legal and economic system. In addition to the aforementioned, we provide services regarding acquisition of companies in Serbia, prepaduce operating costs and increase the social responsibility of companies, and therefore the arrival of Nordic investors in a country contributes to ration of legal due diligence reports and, in the end, if required, representation before the courts. ■ the overall economic environment.
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Nurturing Lasting Friendly Relations Serbia and Norway have been nurturing friendly relations since before the First Balkan War in 1912, which continued during the Second World War, when Norwegians helped Serbian prisoners of war, and today's confirmation of good relations is the Charter of the Honorary Citizen of Belgrade, which will be presented to H.E. Arne Sannes Bjørnstad this month
H.E. ARNE SANNES BJØRNSTAD AMBASSADOR OF NORWAY
espite complex international political and economic relations, which have a negative impact on the Norwegian economy, Ambassador Bjørnstad expects a greater inflow of investments into Serbia and a continuation of support to the countries of the region.
• How has sliding petrol prices impacted on the Norwegian economy and the country’s involvement as a donor in the region? - With oil prices now a third of what they were only two years ago, the Norwegian economy is facing difficult times. More than 30,000 oil related jobs have been lost since the prices started dropping. Due to the fall of the price of oil and gas, the value of the Norwegian Krone, NOK, lost a quarter of its value against the euro in recent years. Compared with many other oil and gas exporting counties, however, we are faring better, thanks to an innovative and competitive industry with world leaders in ICT, medical technology, finance/insurance, shipping and environmental technologies. Despite these difficult times, Norway will continue to support countries in the region.
• How has the Brexit referendum result affected the Nordic Region’s relations with the EU? - Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has increased the challenges faced by the governments in the Nordic Region, especially Norway and Iceland. Our trade and investment relationship with the UK is very important. Last month the IMF said that Britain’s vote to leave the EU could hurt Norway's exports to • How would you assess economic and overall bilateral relations with Serbia? Britain and hit the profitability of the Nordic country's banking, insurance and - Serbia and Norway have been nurturing friendly relations since before the property sectors. First Balkan War in 1912. When the war broke out in October, a group of NorweHowever, Norway has continued its cooperation with the EU as its top priority, while Britain now needs to negotiate its own deal with the Union. As non-EU member states, Norway and Iceland have access The number of Norwegian companies working in Serbia to the single market from their membership in the European Ecois increasing, and I am sure this trend will continue nomic Area (EEA). • What is your stance regarding the migrant crisis and, in that respect, how do you assess the probability of the Western Balkan route reopening? - Since the migrant crisis broke out in the summer of 2015, Serbia has shown great responsibility and efficiency in dealing with the crisis. The next step is adopting a new Law on Asylum, which will regulate the field of asylum policy and provide protection for migrants. The draft Law is underway. Some of the embassy’s grantees have been actively involved in this. Despite being officially closed in March, refugees and migrants still use the Balkan route, albeit in smaller numbers. Unfortunately, the closure has created a market for criminals engaged in trafficking. If the EU-Turkey deal fails and the Balkan route starts operating at full scale again, I am sure that Serbia will work with the EU to introduce tighter control on the border crossings and take stronger measures against traffickers. As a friend of Serbia, Norway will continue to support the country in facing these challenges.
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gian medical personnel working with the Red Cross deployed voluntarily to Serbia. The latest example of such relations is the Charter of the Honorary Citizen of Belgrade, which I am very honoured to be receiving in September. When it comes to economic relations, Telenor has been a pilot showing other Norwegian companies the way to the Serbian market - not least by spreading a word about the positive sides of doing business in Serbia. The number of Norwegian companies working in Serbia is increasing and I am sure this trend will continue. The economic reforms undertaken by Serbia have made the country attractive to invest in, and this is all the more so as Serbia moves closer to the EuroAtlantic community of countries and thus reduces the perceived risk of investing in Serbia. The Embassy has contributed to this by assisting, together with the Serbian Embassy in Oslo, in the establishment of the Norwegian-Serbian Business Forum, aimed at companies or persons searching for information on how to start doing business or develop their business in Norway or Serbia. ■
Beacon for Freedom of Expression The unification of Norway was achieved in 872AD, the year the Kingdom of Norway was founded, with Harald Fairhair as its first king. From 1319 to 1905, the Kingdom of Norway existed as a union with Denmark, Sweden, or both. The modern Kingdom of Norway has only existed as an independent entity since the dissolution of the personal union with Sweden on 18th November 1905
oday, Norway is a constitutional monarchy. King Harald V has no real political power, and the parliament, Stortinget, is the country's highest authority. Norway has been a member of NATO since 1949. Voters have twice rejected membership in the European Union, but Norway is a party to a European Free Trade Association agreement. Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservative Party was elected in September 2013 and leads a center-right coalition minority government. Norway is one of the world’s most prosperous countries. Fisheries, metal, and oil are the most important commodities. Norway saves a large portion of its petroleum-sector revenues, including dividends from the partially state-owned Statoil and taxes from oil and gas companies operating in Norway, in its Government Pension Fund–Global, valued at $900 billion. The Norwegian economy’s strong competitiveness is built on openness and transparency with policies that support dynamic trade and investment. The quality of the legal and regulatory framework is among the world’s highest, institutionalizing the effective rule of law. The planned tax reform bill focuses on lowering the corporate income tax rate from 27 per cent to 22 per cent by 2018. It has a mixed economy with the government owning about 32% of the listed shares on the Oslo stock exchange, and holding shares in around 10–15% of Norwegian industry (as of 2005). State ownership is most dominant in the oil, hydroelectric, and mining sectors. At consideraTHEIR MAJESTIES KING HARALD V AND QUEEN ble expense, the government SONJA OF NORWAY
provides subsidies for industry, agriculture, and outlying regions. About half of the total goes to agriculture. The largest revenue sources for Norway are the extraction and export of oil and natural gas from the ocean floor. However, the metal industry, shipping and tourism are also important for the country's economy. It is the world’s third largest exporter of gas and tenth largest exporter of oil. Almost all Norwegian gas is sold on the European market. Norway is the EU’s second largest supplier of energy products (after Russia), including crude petroleum, natural gas and gas liquids. In Norway free expression is a widely accepted and popular idea and has been since censorship was abolished in 1770 but has had intense periods of suppression in the past. Today, Norway clearly allow more transparency and uninterrupted expression more than ever before and more so than in 177 other countries Norway is one of the world’s least corrupt countries, ranked fifth out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. Well-established anti-corruption measures reinforce a cultural emphasis on government integrity. The judiciary is independent, and the court system operates fairly at the local and national levels. Private property rights are securely protected, and commercial contracts are reliably enforced. ■
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Nordic Way Of Life Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland & Iceland are pretty much model students when it comes to ethical living and are also pro at tackling social issues to the bone. They're basically the top badass countries we should all be looking to right now in terms of inspiration, so feel free to take notes on the Nordic way of life...
innish students have topped all educational scores for more than a decade. Coincidence, you reckon? It’s crazy but true: kids usually don’t spend more than 30 minutes each day on their homework. This leads to happy students getting more freedom to develop independence, practice other skills or simply enjoy life, which ultimately results in scoring higher grades. The perfect balance of work and leisure is the secret recipe for success in Nordic countries. Equality The Nordics were the first in giving women the right to vote. For decades, they have been dedicated to integrating more females into positions of power and although the salary gap is still existent, it’s amongst the lowest in the world. Security is Key No wonder these Northern countries score highly on education, happiness and so much more: citizens have access to a large social safety net which allows them to feel more secure in their daily lives. Sure their taxes are high (approximately 20% of income), but
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let’s look at the benefits most of these countries get as a result of higher taxes… Public schools are free (which means everyone has access to a decent education). Public healthcare is free or relatively cheap depending on the Nordic country. Maternity leave is super generous (up to twelve months), paid AND often shared among the couple (it’s up to them to decide) – we told you they don’t joke about equality. The government helps you get back on track if you lose your job by assisting you financially for a certain period of time (In Denmark for example, it’s 90% of your salary for up to two years). Love of Nature The Nordic regions don’t just get that we have ONE planet earth, they actually act like it too. All 5 nations are in the top 10 eco-friendly countries of the world and it doesn’t surprise anyone. In a nutshell, most of the locals are avid bicycle riders, eco-living advocates and renewable energy users. Mother nature is clearly thankful since every Nordic country resembles a green temple of
wildlife where breath-taking landscapes continually tempt the residents to step outside. Healthy Living Bring it on rain, clouds, snow and thunder – these people can take it all. No matter what the weather these warm-blooded sports fans will hop on their bikes, stretch out for their morning jog, trek in the wild or casually do a wife-carrying competition (you read that right). And when it’s time to relax, a nice steamy sauna is their perfect ritual remedy. This extra hot bath offers real health benefits. Diet wise the Nords are totally on-point with healthy meals, stocking up on fish, vegetables and whole grains for an exemplary diet. Together Life is Better Nordic residents are truly considerate of others and value the social aspects of life by embracing small encounters and taking the time to meet like-minded individuals or their neighbours next door. In Denmark, this way of life has a name of its own : Hygge. Locals use this word to describe a moment spent within a warm, cosy atmosphere with loved ones, which is regarded as essential
to their culture. The main “rule” of Hygge is to be mindful of others and always act with respect – a mentality that should naturally be applied worldwide if you ask us. The Prison System is Geared Towards Low Reoffending Rates Norwegians have cleverly concluded that when prisoners are treated inhumanely they are less likely to adopt a positive lifestyle and attitude once they’re released. For this reason, they treat those in prison fairly and teach them how to live within a community. Prisoners work on a daily basis but during their free time they can take educational or training courses, go fishing or swimming in the summer, practice an instrument, cook for themselves or even watch television. Usually, four to five convicts are placed together in wooden cottages so that they learn how to live in harmony and become more independent. Thanks to all this, Norwegian jails hold the lowest reoffending rates in the whole of Europe because prisoners feel like they can re-integrate into a life of normality more easily. With all this positivity, it’s no surprise Nordics are happy people, live longer and feel safe on a general basis.■
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Nordic Model: A Role Model For Serbia Nordic companies enjoy a good reputation in Serbia. They are visible, and have a footprint due to their habit of sharing knowhow and innovating with local stakeholders. This is something that Nordic companies pride themselves on globally, and Serbia is not an exception ANDREJA PAVLOVIĆ, DIRECTOR, NORDIC BUSINESS ALLIANCE (NBA) IN SERBIA
erbia’s business community would benefit greatly in the long term if it nies present is likely to increase. That being said, the challenges that remain are were to adapt Nordic business practices to its own brand of particular of a various nature, though if we were to pick a particular issue that interconnects circumstances and habits, especially considering that the strengths with all facets and sectors in Serbia’s economy it would be unpredictability. Unof the “Nordic business model” lie in the exact areas where Serbia predictability leads to hesitation in decision making on the side of companies that could use support. are looking to invest or expand. If we were to look at it across the board, Nordic companies are usually at In developing countries like Serbia, where the government and societal inthe forefront of their respective branches in terms of standards of quality, busifluences are stronger than in developed markets, unpredictable business factors are a norm, and, as such, represent the main opponents of business. That ness ethics, competitiveness, social awareness and sustainability. Deconstructis why the Nordic Business Alliance is focusing its efforts in this area, proing the base values of the Nordic business culture would be the best way to deviding a service to companies looking at Serbia as an option for investment. cipher the way it is already influencing our day to day way of doing business, Whether through advising on the mode of entry, explicating the regulatory both in Serbia and beyond. Lines of communication between management and employees are very often short. Nordic companies take care of their employframework or matchmaking with relevant stakeholders, we are focused on asees – everyone is significant and their voices are worth listening to. Deliberate sessing needs and providing support. and ambitious actions to support sustainable development are integrated at all Business follows business, and as such, having many and lasting success stolevels in the business enterprise. Detailed process analyses in terms of enerries in business provides a country like Serbia with the best brand possible. The Nordic Business Alliance recognises this and is playing its part in promoting Sergy consumption, raw materials, chemical use, recycling etc.; transparency, trust bia by providing a framework through our projects and activities. A good examand honesty; a very low level of corruption in international terms. At the same time, the main drivers in decision making are a longterm perspective, efficiency and performance. In partnership with the Government of Serbia and the Embassy There are numerous similarities between Serbia of Finland in Belgrade, the NBA is organising the “Nordic and the Nordic countries, which mean that that examInnovative Business in Serbia” event at the Residence of the ples of good practice could be shared and adapted for Ambassador of Finland on 6th September 2016 Serbia’s own business habits and culture without too much effort. Much like Serbia, Nordic countries are all ple of our efforts in this regard is our next activity. In partnership with the Governsmall, open economies in which foreign trade has great economic significance. ment of Serbia and the Embassy of Finland in Belgrade, the NBA is organising the They have also evolved rapidly from undeveloped, agrarian countries into modern “Nordic Innovative Business in Serbia” event at the Residence of the Ambassador industrialised economies that are among the most competitive in the world. Due to the analogy, the “Nordic model” could be a good role model for Serbia to follow, of Finland on 6th September 2016. and the NBA will continue supporting this concept with its efforts. At this event we will address Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and We at the NBA are noticing a stable and continuous improvement of condioffer different innovative proposals for solving challenges and improving competitiveness, all with the goal of having a positive impact on the wider business tions in the general business discourse in Serbia. We are witnesses to continuous climate in Serbia. We will use the opportunity to share knowhow, to provide examgrowth of interest and activity coming to Serbia from Nordic companies. This is why we will continue providing support and will attempt to assist in overcoming ples of good practice and, finally, to follow up technically with our partners, all with obstacles with even greater effort in the coming period, as the number of compathe goal of making Serbia a better place for doing business. ■
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A Powerful Dream Our story starts more than decade ago, when two men who had never met shared a powerful dream. Separated by culture, language and nearly 8,000 miles, these two men dreamed of creating a company that would produce and distribute the highest quality mattresses available worldwide at a price that even the most modest of budgets could afford
oday this company, named “Healthcare”, is present in 42 countries and is successfully delivering the highest quality mattresses, pillows, and toppers from memory foam. We currently produce various types and densities of foam, including special environmentally friendly foam, such as air foam, bounce foam, gel infused and bamboo charcoal infused foam, according to the strictest European and U.S. standards. We produce only the purest and the best quality foam. We are present in Serbia as HealthCare Europe d.o.o. (Ltd.) The company HealthCare Europe d.o.o. was founded in 2012 in Novi Sad as the result of a joint investment by Danish company Everrest and Chinese company HealthCare Co. Ltd, which is the world leader in the production of
memory foam, and as such this investment is of paramount importance for the strengthening of the Serbian economy. The representative office of HealthCare Co. Ltd mainly produces pillows, mattresses and sofas from memory foam. Doubling its growth every year, in 2016 HealthCare Co. Ltd. has been included on the list of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Over the last few years HealthCare has strengthened its position worldwide through the work of its shops and retail brand - MLILY. The MLILY brand delivers the highest quality memory foam mattresses, toppers, pillows and accessories at the best prices available on the Serbian market. Products made from memory foam are absolutely safe. We carry the markings Certi Pur, Oeko Tex, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and BSCI, and from the start we approached production with respect for the highest industry standards and regulations required, including both Serbian and European. ■
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Sweden Supports Serbia Becoming an EU Member There are many Swedish investors looking at Serbia, and I hope to convince some to make the actual investment decision H.E. JAN LUNDIN
AMBASSADOR OF SWEDEN TO SERBIA
here are several regions in Europe that have a high degree of integration and the Nordic region is certainly one of them. Visa free travel has always been possible between the Nordic countries and the vicinity – in geographical, cultural and value terms – has enabled, indeed driven, integration efforts. • What makes the Nordic Region Europe’s most integrated region? - Nordic cooperation has a history of more than 100 years, beginning, if you want, with the agreement in 1914 of the three Kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway to declare Neutrality during World War I. The Nordic Council, as a venue for parliamentary cooperation, has existed since 1952, and since 1972 impulses to promote deeper Nordic cooperation are given through the Nordic Council of Ministers. It has an annual budget of more than €100 million, and a Secretariat with some 80 employees in Copenhagen. Today we even have co-located and partly integrated Nordic Embassies in some places in the world, e.g. Berlin, and the Nordic countries work closely together in various multilateral contexts.
• To what extent have Swedish governments been able to safeguard the Swedish model during times of global economic slowdown? - The Swedish model is about a strong and competitive trade-orientated private sector, enabling a good social security network operated by an efficient public sector, open to private initiative and business also in traditionally government controlled areas, such as schools and care for the elderly. This is not so different from “models” elsewhere in Europe, including in Serbia, I believe. The Swedish standard of living, as well as life expectancy, is high thanks to a comparatively efficient economy and social system, but we have to constantly develop it and deal with the challenges that come with globalisation. Opening up to private competition through, for example, school vouchers and private tenders of running social care institutions some 15 years ago was in itself a response to globalisation and the need to make schools more efficient. This has created new problems which have to be resolved through additional reforms. • Given that you are fluent in Serbian, do you already feel at home in Belgrade, and what goals will you be pursuing in your new diplomatic post?
• What challenges is the migrant crisis posing when it comes to Swedish attitudes towards the EU and its economy? Sweden fully supports Serbia’s ambition of becoming a - The migrant crisis has indeed been a challenge; during 2015 member of the European Union Sweden received more than 160,000 asylum seekers, which is many times more per capita than, for example, Germany. A - Belgrade is a very special place for me personally, not least since my wife total of 35,000 of those were children coming alone. Therefore the GovernMilica grew up here. Belgrade has throughout history been influenced by ment introduced a number of restrictions on travel to Sweden, as did many many different cultures and has attracted ambitious and creative people. countries through which asylum seekers travelled to reach Sweden. This has Many, including my wife, are also charming and beautiful! greatly reduced the influx of asylum seekers, down to 2,000 people in May. For me, as a chess enthusiast, there are even chess boards in the city parks! The crisis negatively influenced attitudes towards the EU in Sweden, Belgrade has become an excellent tourist destination. judging from some opinion polls at the time. Since the situation has stabilised, those with a pro-EU opinion in Sweden have increased in numbers, howAs to my goals, I represent Sweden, which fully supports Serbia’s ambition of ever. The Swedish Government remains steadfast in its support towards the becoming a member of the European Union. During my years, I and the Embassy shall be focusing on this, not least the challenges in the Rule of Law EU and EU enlargement. We realise that the only way in which challenges field, which is crucial to investor confidence. IKEA shall open its first shop in of the kind posed by large-scale migration can be resolved satisfactorily is Belgrade next year, after many years of hesitation. This is great, but there are through European cooperation and burden sharing. The fact that the Swedish population of nine million is growing by some 100,000 people per year many other Swedish investors looking at Serbia and I hope to convince some has, despite the integration challenges posed, had strong and positive ecoto make the actual investment decision. In the other direction, we would also nomic effects, both short- and long-term. like to see increased Serbian exports to Sweden. ■
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INTERVIEW: KSENIJA PURKOVIĆ, COUNTRY DIRECTOR AT ASTRAZENECA, SERBIA
Health Sector According to The Nordic Recipe Apart from the financial aspect, AstraZeneca can contribute greatly to developing or implementing procedures and processes in the healthcare sector with best practices shared from the Nordic region, which is where healthcare is at its highest
fter decades of lagging behind in the use of innovative medicines, Serbia is finally launching initiatives to resolve this crucial problem in the health system of Serbia in accordance with international standards.
• AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical and biotech company, which operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. How do you assess the Serbian market when it comes to the use of innovative medicines for users of health insurance? - Unfortunately, Serbia is specific in terms of its limited access to innovative medications. Compounds that are considered a breakthrough, or offer a unique option for a rare disease, or have even become standards of care in the past few years in Europe, are not widely accessible to patients in this country. Currently there are almost 200 applications, 10 of which are AstraZeneca’s, that are waiting to be considered for reimbursement. This is a lag so worrying that it puts Serbia at the very bottom in terms of access to new medicines compared to other, even neighbouring, countries. However, recently a light appeared at the end of the tunnel when some positive initiatives from the State were seen emerging and we expect improvement in this area in the next several months.
• Pharmaceutical biotechnology is currently one of the key areas in the development of new medicines. In which direction is this area developing at AstraZeneca? - AstraZeneca invests in distinctive science in three main therapy areas: oncology; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; and respiratory and autoimmunity. Our science takes advantage of our rare combination of capabilities in small molecules and biologics, immunotherapies, protein engineering technologies and devices. The most exciting developments are happening in oncology, where AstraZeneca has a broad pipeline of next-generation medicines in principally four disease areas - breast, ovarian, lung and haematological cancers. These are being targeted through four key platforms - immunotherapy, the genetic drivers of cancer and resistance, DNA damage repair, and antibody drug conjugates, underpinned by personalised healthcare and biomarker technologies. • AstraZeneca often gets involved in various CSR activities in Serbia. Which of these activities would you highlight? - Being a pharmaceutical company that’s committed to helping people live longer and healthier lives means that we also have social responsibility. To start with, we’re committed to ethical business practices that affect our pa-
AstraZeneca invests in distinctive science in three main
• In which areas can AstraZeneca help the system to imtherapy areas: oncology; cardiovascular and metabolic prove the quality of healthcare in Serbia, especially in the disease; and respiratory and autoimmunity prevention and treatment of severe illness? - AstraZeneca has been helping in modernising Serbian getients, our customers and our employees. Furthermore, we believe in equalinetic labs and has just recently contributed to the purchase of a gene sety to care and are making it easier for people to afford our medicines. In that quencing machine that is used to identify women with a risk of developing sense, AstraZeneca has made efforts to substantially improve the affordabreast and ovarian cancer. Today the lab performs regular genetic testing for both patients and their immediate family members. bility of its innovative oral antidiabetic products, oral antithrombotic prodApart from the financial aspect, AstraZeneca can contribute greatly to deuct, and supports patient access programmes, which make cancer therapy veloping or implementing procedures and processes in the healthcare sectors available to patients. We will always support patients and try to contribute to the vision of equality in medicine access of patients in Serbia with patients with best practices shared from the Nordic region, which is where healthcare is at its highest. We are open to supporting such forms of collaboration and hope in the EU, while also hoping that the appropriate institutions will accelerate this will be recognised and welcomed by the new government. their participation in this great responsibility. ■
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Free And Open Society From 8,000 BC to 6,000 BC, Sweden as a whole became populated by people who lived by hunting, gathering and fishing, and who used simple stone tools. The Viking Age (800–1050 AD) was characterised by a significant expansion of activity, in Sweden’s case largely towards the east
oday, there are 9.7 million people in Sweden, of whom about two million are under the age of 18. Eighty-five percent of them live in cities. Sweden is a very multicultural country: 15% of Swedes were born in another country, while about one in five children in Sweden has a family with roots in another country. Less than 3% of Sweden’s land area is built up and forests cover 69% of the country. Sweden is long – some 1,574 kilometers from top to bottom – and can be divided into three major regions: Götaland in the south, Svealand in the middle and Norrland in the north. Sweden is a parliamentary democracy. The Swedish head of state since 1973 has been King Carl XVI Gustaf. He has no political power, but represents the country and performs ceremonial duties. Swedes study and work hard but they also take their rest and relaxation seriously. So the fika – a coffee break that normally consists of coffee or tea, cookies or sweet buns, but can also include soft drinks, fruit and sandwiches – is a social institution and an important part of the national culture. Sweden remains one of the world’s least corrupt countries, ranked fourth on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012. The scope of the term corporate social responsibility (CSR) has expanded dramatically over the years in Sweden and now covers aspects of business operations as diverse as corruption in supply chains and local environmental efforts.
KING CARL XVI GUSTAF
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Swedes hold nature in high esteem, which is one reason why environmental issues are so important. Only 1% of solid waste goes to landfill in Sweden – with the rest recycled or used to produce heat, electricity or vehicle fuel in the form of biogas. Renewable energy sources account for nearly half of Swedish energy production. Swedish environmental technology companies export their green knowhow to the rest of the world in technology areas such as biofuels, bioenergy, windpower, solar power and wastewater treatment. By any measure, Sweden is one of the world’s most innovative nations, and it has been called the most digitally connected economy. Swedes are early adop-
ters of new technology and the country’s non-hierarchical society creates a fertile environment for new ideas. The Swedish government invests a higher proportion of GDP in R&D than most other nations. Generations of innovativeness have led to a long list of world-changing inventions like the three-point seatbelt, the pacemaker, the adjustable wrench and safety matches. More recent Swedish inventions include Spotify and Skype. From Abba to Ingmar Bergman to Avicii, Sweden is a major exporter of culture, and the world’s biggest exporter of pop music in relation to GDP. Another global Swedish hit in recent years has been the so-called Nordic noir literary genre, led by Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Look backwards in time and you have cultural heavyweights like Bergman – widely regarded as one of the leading directors in the history of film – and August Strindberg, the respected and highly influential dramatist. ■
INTERVIEW: JOHANNES KJELLGREN, GENERAL MANAGER OF VOLVO TRUCKS FOR THE ADRIATIC SOUTH REGION
Volvo Trucks – Driving Progress With nearly ninety years of truck production experience, renowned quality, scope of production, development and implementation of advanced safety systems, fuel efficiency and cab comfort of trucks, superb after-sales service etc., Volvo Trucks is one of the world's leading brands – says Johannes Kjellgren, General Manager of Volvo Trucks for the Adriatic South Region
part from its already renowned quality, Volvo is distinguished among commercial vehicle producers for its exceptional care for the safety of drivers, vehicles and all other transportation participants.
support in any part of our continent is also very important, as Volvo Trucks has one of the largest networks of workshop services in Europe. A call to the Volvo Action Service will bring help on the road in the shortest possible time.
• The quality of Swedish goods and services is recognised around the world. What are the main advantages of Volvo trucks compared to other truck producers? - I would like to remind you that Volvo was a pioneer in the development and implementation of a series of safety systems. For example, in 1960 the new Volvo Trucks cab was introduced. This steel structure is unrivalled in terms of safety and comfort. Then, in 1996, Volvo Trucks became the first manufacturer in the world to present a Front Under-Run Protection System as an option for heavy trucks. Volvo Trucks is also a leader in the development of components and systems that ease driving performance and increase transportation efficiency. For example, in 2014 Volvo Trucks launched the first automatic dual-clutch transmission system for heavy vehicles on the market. With dual clutches, the gear changes take place without any interruption in power delivery.
• Taking into consideration that Volvo is selling new and used trucks, and considering the current economic circumstances, what are the advantages that costumers can count on? Volvo trucks are known for their quality, both new and used, so they can expect a quality product that is supported by a great team with expert knowledge. Basically, we support the customers as long as they have their Volvo. • Volvo was a pioneer in reducing exhaust emissions. How is Volvo taking care of the environment? - We are producing environmentally friendly trucks, but we are
• Which benefits can a Volvo customer receive when it comes to workshop services, spare parts and other Volvo The fact that every owner or user of Volvo trucks has support services? full service support in any part of our continent is very - We have several benefits. First of all, you are buying origiimportant, as Volvo Trucks has one of the largest nal parts and services. In Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia we networks of workshop services in Europe have daughter companies of the Volvo Group, which means that we can secure fast delivery of parts and services to our customers. Then, of course, we are offering a two-year warranty on spare also doing many things locally. Probably the most effective is driver training. This is a service that really makes a big difference on the environment, as the driver parts fitted in our workshops, which is quite unique in our industry. As a transport company, you are experts in moving goods between different places in a can influence this to a large extent. Further, this is very attractive for company safe and cost effective way, so why not let Volvo ensure that your truck fleet owners, as it is also saves costs just by training drivers to drive fuel efficiently, spends most of its time on the road and not in the workshop? Here our all-inwhich has a direct impact on the environment. We are constantly developing our clusive Gold Service contract is the perfect match. products and services in an environmentally friendly way and we would like to However, the fact that every owner or user of Volvo trucks has full service represent a sustainable solution for the next generation. ■
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The Smallest of Three Autonomous Territories
Fish and wild scenery are characteristic of the Faroe Islands, an island group in the North Atlantic
he Faroe Islands form one of the Nordic Region's three autonomous territories. The 18 large and small islands are linked by tunnels and ferries. The scenery is wild, with steep cliffs, grass-covered hills and sparse forest. At only 1,400km2, the Faroes are the smallest of the three autonomous territories. Out of a total population of 48,500, around 20,000 live in the capital, Thorshavn. The Faroe Islands are formally part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but enjoy extensive autonomy. The parliament, Lagtinget, is the highest authority. The country is not a member of the EU, but has entered into a fisheries and trading agreement with the Union. Fishing is the single most important industry in the Faroe Islands, followed by tourism and wool production. More than 97% of the islands' exports consist of fish produce. ■
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World's Largest Island The inhabitants of Greenland originate from Central Asia. The country is part of the North American continent, but geopolitically the island is part of Europe
The Archipelago With 6,757 Islands Åland consists of 6,757 islands situated midway between Sweden and Finland. Although the people of Åland speak Swedish, this autonomous territory is part of Finland
he archipelago is largely made up of coastal rock slopes and heather moorland, and has large areas of pine forests. Only about nine per cent of Åland is arable land. It is the smallest of the three Nordic autonomous territories with a population of 28,000. One third of the population lives in the capital, Mariehamn. The official language is Swedish. Åland is part of the Republic of Finland but has its own devolved parliament. In devolved policy areas it acts as a nation in practice. Åland is also a demilitarised and neutral zone. Lagtinget, the Åland Parliament, is the highest authority. Åland is a member of the EU and the currency is the euro, but its relationship to the EU is regulated in a special protocol: to maintain the important tax free sales on the ships which sail between Finland and Sweden, Åland remains outside the VAT area. Major sources of income on Åland are shipping and ferry services, tourism and the processing of agriculture and fisheries products. ■
reenland is the world's largest island and almost eighty per cent of this self-governed area is covered by an ice cap and many glaciers. The ice-free area is still almost as large as the whole of Sweden but only a very small part of this is arable land.
Greenland has less than 57,000 inhabitants of whom about 15,000 live in the capital Nuuk. Greenland is part of the kingdom of Denmark but has a great degree of self-government, which will be further expanded in 2009. This does, however, not include affairs of state which include foreign and security policy and foreign exchange policy. Greenland is not a member of the EU, but has a special fisheries agreement and was accepted as one of the overseas countries and territories with special association with the EU. Sealing and whaling, fishing and hunting are the predominant sources of income in Greenland. The country also has a growing income from tourism as well as some mining. ■
NUUK, THE CAPITAL OF GREENLAND
Fire. Ice... And Football
Iceland travelled to Euro 2016 as the smallest nation ever to reach a major tournament – not bad going for a lump of volcanic rock halfway to the Arctic with a population the size of the Belgrade municipality of Vračar. But that was not the end of the story...
t is a dream come true for us. We have grown up watching the Engplays the game. Everyone watches it. Iceland’s indoor football halls are a lish Premier League, and we have always wanted to play against wondrous spectacle: synthetic bubbles plonked down in the tundra-like England. We may not have players who all play for Barcelona and suburbs. But this is also a brittle kind of place, all shifting plates and sudden Real Madrid, but we beat England. Our faith and belief is what took spurts of activity. Nobody really seems particularly disturbed, or surprised, us so far – and some Icelandic pride. We do not back down from anyone, and by the idea that all this progress might not last. “We were very interested in that team spirit and belief helps us a lot,” said Ragnar Sigurdsson, the best banking, too,” is one slightly caustic observation. Iceland player speaking after the game against England. And yet here they are all the same. It is an Icelandic trait to take some small Here they come, the Icelanders. Offspring of elves and Vikings, from the task and essentially do it to death. Some say this mentality comes from the Iceland of social justice and sustainable power: Iceland always seems to be fishing traditions, a kind of survival machismo, the need to sit through every millimetre of briny discomfort until the catch is full. “When an Icelandic person is per capita kings, a place where nothing is wasted, only reproduced. destined to do something, they generally follow through,” Rafnsson says. “Some And now they’ve got football as well. Ranked 133rd in the world four years ago, the national team have risen a hundred places under Lars Lagerback, propeople would call it a disease. Sometimes you don’t even know when to stop.” gress given a compelling narrative form by the money and care poured into the After the match Iceland lost to former world champions and tournament game at the grassroots during the prehosts, France, thus ending their participation in EURO 2016, all French bust years, when the country had more spectators were relieved to welcome the victory of their team, but also to cash than it knew how to spend. This pay their respects to the talent, perseverance, courage and fighting spirit summer Iceland travelled to France as of the entire national squad of Iceland the smallest nation ever to reach a major tournament, not bad going for a lump of There seems to be a kind of hive-mind tendency here too. No doubt, volcanic rock halfway to the Arctic with a population of just over 300,000. but above all an indication of those dutiful collective habits Icelanders There is still an essential weirdness to this collective overachievement. have in their genes. Football has burrowed its way into the peat here and taken hold. Everyone
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In the past 15 years football became Here they come, the Icelanders. Offspring of elves and Vikings, from the an institutional obsession, seeded Iceland of social justice and sustainable power: Iceland always seems to be from the top down through the government, the FA and schools and individuper capita kings, a place where nothing is wasted, only reproduced…There als. For now the wheels are still turning, seems to be a kind of hive-mind tendency here too. No doubt, but above all an the production lines thrumming. At indication of those dutiful collective habits Icelanders have in their genes Euro 2016 the national team performed a miracle that wowed the entire world! And that brings us to Iceland as the smallest country at Euro 2016 and the biggest story. There may never have been a national cultural event as all-encompassing as Euro 2016 was for Iceland. Almost 10 per cent of the population travelled to France to support the team, and 99.8 per cent of Icelanders are reported to have watched the win over England. Iceland has commanded international headlines three times in the last 10 years. In 2008 they amazed the world with the spectacular scale of their banking crisis; in 2010 one of their volcanoes caused a shutdown of air travel throughout swathes of the Northern Hemisphere; and in 2016 they qualified for the quarterfinals of Euro 2016. After the match Iceland lost to former world champions and tournament hosts, France, thus ending their participation in EURO 2016, all French spectators were relieved to welcome the victory of their team, but also to pay their respects to the talent, perseverance, courage and fighting spirit of the entire national squad of Iceland. ■
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Maximum Style With Minimum Fuss
Scandinavian design is a term to represent a design movement characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark. While the term Scandinavia only refers to the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, it can be used colloquially to refer to all five of these countries
aximum style with minimum fuss is what Scandinavian/Nordic interior design is all about. Simplicity and function are the guiding principles that have shaped the design sensibilities of Nordic Europe, resulting in spaces suffused with light, airiness, serenity and a feeling of oneness with nature. A mélange of trends from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, Scandinavian interior design principles play up natural elements, favour neutral colour palettes, keep lines simple and squeeze optimal function out of every part of the décor. The simple chic of this fuss-free style has won converts the world over.
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Scandinavian interior design took the world by storm after the 1947 edition of the Triennale di Milano, a popular design exhibition in the Italian city of Milan. Furniture, glassware and home accessories from the Nordic countries were a sensation at the show and became a rage around the world soon after. Capitalising on this new popularity, the Design in Scandinavia show travelled across the U.S. and Canada from 1954 through 1957. Fascination with Scandinavian design ideas grew even more as a result. It’s interesting how differently Scandinavian trends evolved from design in the rest of Europe, which generally favored opulent and ornate décor inspired by the luxurious lifestyles of aristocracy and royalty. The Nor-
dic people charted a different design course, preferring the practical to the plush, picking function over frills. Life in the region was primarily responsible for shaping Scandinavian design. Long, harsh winters with very few hours of daylight kept people indoors for many months. Besides, most people lived in small houses. So it was imperative to make homes feel cozy yet airy, with every object in it reflecting as much ambient light as possible. Quite like the people, the emerging design sensibility was egalitarian, shunning the ornate and celebrating simple elegance that seemed accessible to all. The result was a style that masterfully combined beauty with practicality. Though the popularity of Scandinavian design waned somewhat in the 1980s, it soared again in the following decade when the style was reinterpreted. The 1990s saw designers in Scandinavian countries treating every object they fashioned for use in décor as individual units of design, creating bold and unique statement pieces. “Less is more,” wrote poet Robert Browning in the 19th century. He couldn’t have known then that he was unwittingly encapsulating the very essence of a design trend that would take shape in the Scandinavian re-
gion almost a hundred years later. A one-word definition of Scandinavian interior design would be minimalism. A quite noticeable trend in recent seasons concerns the Nordic style, which is increasingly appreciated and interpreted by many interior designers. The true Nordic home is itself a blend of various styles: it has a minimalist Swedish imprint, the romantic allure of Danish design, and the play on black and white contrasts typical of Finnish houses. The result: an environment that combines practicality, aesthetics and the well-being of its inhabitants. The Northern European countries teach us a lot about how to use light, and materials that allow you to capture and radiate it within a space. The Nordic design is highly complex, precisely because it is generally disguised in items of great simplicity, which has made it popular and widely present in our homes, giving a touch of comfort blended with elegance. Light, bright colours, simple and minimal lines…won’t everything be just a little “cold”? Not if combined with wood, the quintessential warm material. With a simple juxtaposition of two different souls the magic is made. A key principle of the true Nordic style is the respect for the environment, through the use of recycled raw materials which are in turn recyclable. ■
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INTERVIEW MY LIFE
At Any Given Moment,
WE ARE ALL ALWAYS AT THE BEGINNING SRDJAN ŠAPER FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN I&F McCann Grupa
I think I was fortunate being born surrounded by books, in a family where both parents were intellectuals, and very early, I started exploring the shelf with various literature. That was some kind of a “Search engine” of my childhood, so I had a chance to get interested in many things quite early. As a jest, I would also say that I was lucky to be born under the sign of Libra, a sign that is simultaneously interested in various seemingly incompatible things
y parents always supported my curiosity, which is constantly accompanied with certain indecisiveness, and that seems to be right while maturing. After High school, I enrolled medical school at the University. I was interested in psychiatry, especially Jung. However, halfway through my studies, I realised medicine demanded the whole person and that this was not the best option for me. I did not want to be an half-harted doctor, because I was interested in experienc-
ing other things, like music. So I dropped out of medicine and, at the age of 20, enrolled in directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. At the same time, I started to experiment with music and “Idoli” music band. ■ With what ideals did you grow up with? - My father was a university professor and a famous sports expert and my mother is a historian. They are both from Belgrade, with a developed network of social relations, and as a child, I was SEPTEMBER
lucky to meet a lot of people who marked the life of our city. I matured with the idea that the important things for life are knowledge, expertise, good will and teamwork. But at the same time, I was fascinated by our civilizational task, which I perceived through Rilke’s idea that we humans are those whose cosmic task is to use the imagination to appoint things and give them meaning through art. Therefore, poetry has always been the queen of all arts for me. One more thing I learned from my parents was that optimism can always contribute to better results.
■ Was engaging in music an expression of rebellion? A valedictorian in school, who decided to become an
Nebojša Krstić was my friend from medical school. At that time in Belgrade, he had an impressive collection of new wave records and was very familiar with all of the latest developments in music. The two of us set up my first band, which was called “Dečaci” (Boys).Vlada had the jazz-rock band “Zvuk ulice” (The Sound of the Street), and he felt it didn’t have serious prospects. So one day, in the autumn of 1979, the three of us decided to perform together under the name Dečaci. Sometime later we were invited to perform at the Palilula rock guitar festival “Rok gitarijada” ”, that was fun for us on condition that we figured out a ridiculous name for a single use. The name “Idoli” (Idols) sounded completely camp, and so we used it. However, we soon realised that this name had in fact chosen us, and it remained with us. ■ The band VIS Idoli is considered a pioneer of the New Wave in Yugoslavia. According to the opinion of many, your songs were considered provocative, many of them even for today. Were you wary of the reactions of the public? - We didn’t have any kind of fear, only excitement about what was going to happen. And lightning fast success happened for us and the entire New Wave in Yugoslavia. In less than three or four months we were in high demand throughout the country. We recorded four records and became more popular with each one. At that time, it was more difficult to make a record, but once it had been recorded, it was much easier to reach a large number of potential listeners. You had two programmes on national TV, Studio B, Beograd 202, Jukebox and a few other magazines.
geezer and shake off the imWhen you summarise age of a geek. How did your everything we have parents feel about that? experienced in the last - I went to the “Eighth Belgrade High School”, which, 40-odd years, I would unfortunately, no longer exsay that we have actually ists, and which was very spent our lives in an era liberal. Being valedictorian there had a positive connoof destruction, however tation - you had to be a suc■ The regional edition of Rolling it seemed that in some cessful student, but also be Stone Magazine declared the album “Defence and the Last Days” accepted by your peers. I had years, days and (Odbrana i poslednji dani) as the a large number of excellent moments that our days best on the territory of the forprofessors, but also friends were marked by creativity mer Yugoslavia since 1955. Did from that time. Vlada Divljan was in my class. We started you expect it to become a cult and construction album? hanging out by making music, - I did not think that “Defence and he played the guitar and we the Last Days” would become quite a cult album, but I sang together, something like Simon and Garfunkel. did hope that it would have a serious impact on our rock At that time we travelled every summer by “Inter-rail” music. We approached that album very meticulously. We and hitchhiking around Europe. We were backpackers thought about every detail, not only musical, but also of the ‘70s and often performed as street musicians textual, visual. It was a mixture of everything that was in European cities, thus earning additional money for happening to us or we were obsessed with, something our travels. We mainly performed folk songs, Serbian, like a diary of a creative autumn and winter. For listenMacedonian and others. So we actually started our musical careers at the age of 16. On the other hand, ers, that album marked different things, and naturally it 92 |
was accompanied by different interpretations and classifications, but for us in the band, it was significant to the extent that we wanted to see how far we could go in musical experiment, and how free we could be from any kind of rules. We wanted to be free. ■ Today, as an expert in marketing, what would you object to or add when it comes to the career of Idoli? Was that band a successful project? - Of course I still consider “Idoli” as my successful project! What I would maybe object to is that we did not last longer, because we would probably have discovered a lot more interesting things within ourselves. However, near the end, that wonderful feeling of freedom disappeared and we gave in to the burden of reality. So, parting was probably the best thing we could do under the circumstances.
tween serious art, so we established the so-called “permanent working community” under the name of Soda film. In the late ‘80s, I did hundreds of short musical themes for advertising and slowly stepped into the world of advertising.
■ You have been in advertising for more than 20 years. You got into the business when marketing was still in its infancy in our country and remained throughout those “restless” 1990s. Today you run one of the most successful communications systems. What were the biggest challenges during those times? Is it like in your advertisement “Either you are, or you’re not”? - The “Soda Film” working community lasted until the beginning of the war and the collapse of Yugoslavia. In the period from 1990 to 1995, we all got by however we could. Together with Branimir Dimitrijević Tucko, I ■ It is interesting that durtried to do some campaigns ing your exceptional popuin Greece, Russia and so larity as a musician, acton. At the same time I was ing in films “Šumanović, engaged in political camComedy of an Artist” and paigns in our country. That “Strangler vs. Strangler”, was party work because I you engaged in marketing. have been a member of the What was crucial for that Democratic Party (DS) since transition from the world of 1990. I worked on the first arts to business? campaign after the introduc- Very quickly after “Idoli” tion of the multiparty sysI began to work in martem, when the DS slogan was keting. Then I really did “Break it cleverly” (Prelodiverse things: I wrote mite pametno). Afterwards, film columns, worked on in 1993, I was the creative video essays for the show director of the campaign “Popovanje” (Preaching) “Fair” (Pošteno), after which on RTS, hosted some ra- IDOLS Zoran Đinđić became the dio shows. As for acting, party leader. Finally, in 1995, We were backpackers of the it was rather casual. This Branimir Dimitrijević and I was not acting really, but set up an advertising agency, ‘70s and often performed as rather acting-like particianticipating the end of the street musicians in European war and the lifting of sancpation in projects of some of my dear friends, Miša cities, thus earning additional tions. Of course, after the Radivojević, Šijan, Pajkić, Dayton Agreement it looked money for our travels. as though things would deHrvoje Horvatić and, finalWe mainly performed folk ly, Boris Miljković and Bravelop quickly and favournimir Dimitrijević Tucko. ably, and we set to work. songs, Serbian, Macedonian Just a few days ago, after Two years later, we decided and others. So we actually 20 years, I watched their to part ways and I launched TV movie “Šumanović PorMcCann. I actually created a started our musical trait of an Artist”, where I partnership agreement with careers at the age of 16 had an Alec Guiness-isan large global agency “McCann multifold role as Rastko Erickson” that has lasts to Petrović. I also composed music and solo songs for this day. Next year we will celebrate twenty years of “Šumanović”. That film is really exceptional. In their our establishment. Of course, we had a setback in 1999, second TV movie, “Russian Artistic Experiment”, I when the war and bombing discontinued our operaplayed constructivist painter Nathan Altman. At that tions. The period from June 1999 to October 5th, 2000 time I also started hanging around with Boris and was the biggest challenge for the survival of our agency. Tucko. We felt we could make advertisements beWe were left with just two or three local clients with SEPTEMBER
whom we worked in that period, and thus we survived as long as we could. With the democratic changes, the opening up of the country and the abolition of the external walls of sanctions, our industry gained great uplift, which lasted until about 2008 and the global economic crisis. Since then there has been a standstill in terms of marketing and media investments, both in Serbia and throughout the region. And there does not seem to be any change in this respect anytime soon. Of course, from a historical bird’s eye perspective, this entire time of our lives will probably be known as the “era of the breakup of Yugoslavia”. When you summarise everything we have experienced in the last 40-odd years, I would say that we have actually spent our lives in an era of destruction, however it seemed that in some years, days and moments that our days were marked by creativity and construction.
Awards are, naturally, something that is very important in our world, and the two Cannes Lions we were awarded first in our region, testify to the fact that we are both successful and recognised. However, awards are primarily an expression of the creative culture that exists in the agency, and, on the other side, it is something that should always be in the function of realising the business results of our clients. Thus, that is our goal – business results through advertising, to make advertisements useful (“da bi od oglasa bilo vajde”)!
■ More than a thousand employees have passed through your agency. Many are successful in their trades, whether it is in marketing or business, culture, public life etc. Today, you employ more than 600 people. You are still committed to developing people. Why? Are you proud of giving a chance to young people? ■ Two years ago, agency - What is important for me is McCann Beograd was the hiring creative people who first to be declared the are able to do campaigns that most successful in the reare absolutely at the global gion. Last year, it was the level. The awards we won most successful in Serwere primarily due to their bia. You won the two most dedicated work. Everything significant awards in the we do, we do in the same way advertising world, Cannes as it is done by agencies in the Lions. You were awarded most developed countries. Of the Serbian Association for course we, have an opportumarket communications nity to use unique knowhow UEPS Award for Lifetime from our network, but we Achievement. Do awards really invest a lot in our own raise the bar for you to be SRDJAN WITH MATHER LJILJANA AND FATHER RADOMIR ŠAPER knowledge, strategies and even better? processes. In some technolog- I recently found an old adand digital applications, Sometimes you need to start; ical vert, probably by the first we have repeatedly been sometimes it’s better to miss more inventive than our coladvertising agency in Serbia, from 1890. The comout on something; sometimes leagues in Western Europe or North America. Like it or not, pany was naturally called what comes at the end is marketing is at the foundation the “First Serbian Advertisbetter than what was intended of every healthy economy. If ing Agency”. The office of the it wants to be economically agency, which was founded in the beginning, etc. strong, Serbia must have sucby two friends, was in Vasina There are many analogies. cessful marketing agencies in Street. The advert reads that order to create, define, and they exist to make adverThe essence is in the design products or services tisements useful (“da bi od challenge and market its brands in the oglasa bilo vajde”). I decided region or in the world. In my to put that at the entrance of opinion, we have people who know how to do that brilour agency, like some kind of motto, alongside the global motto of McCann, from way back in 1907 - Truth well told. liantly, but unfortunately there are still very few successIt seems to me that both of them sum up in the best way ful Serbian brands that could be competitive in the region the reason advertising agencies exist. In order to make or in Europe. Regarding your question, of course I’m very them useful like the “First Serbian Advertising Agency”, we proud of all 1,000 people who have passed through our create ads, work on media plans and placement of ads. We agency over the years, in a fatherly way. want to be both efficient and effective; and different, to cut through the forest of information that exists in the world ■ You started with one agency. Over the years, you today, and accurate and precise and creative and unusual. founded agencies in the region. Last year, you took 94 |
over agencies in Croatia. This year, you’ve expanded your operations to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Where does the idea to expand to Nordic regions come from? - While thinking about our company, we came to the conclusion that it should develop in every sense – geographically, in terms of quality and number of services, as well as in terms of the knowledge we can offer our clients. We would get weaker if we remained limited to our region alone. A company is like a large aircraft that must take off when it reaches the appropriate speed on the runway, it cannot give up on taking off. The opportunity to expand into the Nordic region arose and we accepted that challenge. IPG, Holidng Company, the owners of McCann Worldgroup, recognised us as long-term partners and gave us a chance to take over operations in northern Europe. The idea is to creatively intertwine the work and experience of our agencies in the south and the north of Europe. I believe some of our previous experiences and ideas will be valuable for the Nordic market, primarily when it comes to the perception of the power of the whole region. And we really have excellent people there, as well as here. We intend to create a flow of our people from north to south and vice versa. I hope the results will be inspirational.
efit from that. Finally, I hope we will be able to present to our existing and potential northern clients the benefits of investing in Serbia and our region. So, if we are successful it will be good for everyone. ■ Being more and more successful over the years is usually denied in Serbia. It seems that we keep denying and disputing someone’s success. What’s next? What motivates you to go on? - Business and art are very similar, in the sense that you are dealing with the future. You want to create something, and you have no idea whether you will succeed.
McCann Worldgroup, You are led by your skills, of course, knowhow, experience, ■ How did the employees in the recognised us as everything that makes you McCann agencies in the Nordic long-term partners and feel certain of your endeavour. region react to a new owner from gave us a chance to take But you will not succeed withSerbia? out inspiration and intuition. - Very positively. I think they liked over operations in Sometimes you need to start; my biography. They recognised northern Europe. The idea sometimes it’s better to miss me as a man who is ready to combine curiosity, action and entreis to creatively intertwine out on something; sometimes comes at the end is betpreneurship, in order to produce the work and experience what ter than what was intended a better result. In the end, it is of our agencies in in the beginning, etc. There interesting to arrive to Nordics are many analogies. The esfrom the Balkans after achieving the south and sence is in the challenge. For results here by enlarging, perceivthe north of Europe us it is being in the Balkans, ing a larger perspective and posbeing in northern Europe. Tosibilities, and not succumbing to morrow we may be somewhere else in this region or Balkanisation, i.e. process of breaking into pieces and in Africa. But not to be carried away by great ideas, all disintegration that is, unfortunately, named after our this can work only if we are good in our base, and if we peninsula and not necessarily by our fault. are aware that, at the beginning and at the end, are our clients and their success. Both business and art are do■ What does this combination of the European south mains that make you create in solitude, while the reand north bring to our region? sults are achieved only by many. And it’s nice that every - I believe the vast experience in branding, strategy failure always creates incentives for moving on. You are and design that exists there will be very important always at some kind of beginning, no matter how old for us in the south. Not to mention work, business and you are. In fact, in some ways we are all always at the human ethics and perception of the company’s value, beginning at any given moment. ■ business, environment, country. I feel we will all benSEPTEMBER
BURNING MAN 2016
WANT IT TO BE Asking people to describe Burning Man nets you as many answers as there are stars in the sky: “Freedom of choice”; “Community”; “Life-changing” or simply “Summer camp”...And so on and so forth
he reality is that there’s no way to adequately describe Burning Man in a few hundred words. At its heart, Burning Man is a weeklong event in a remote Nevada desert, where about 70,000 people congregate. They build elaborate camps, an airport, a medical centre dance stages and massive sculptures. A week later, it all disappears, only to be built again next year. Participants generally need tickets, which costs between $4001,000, more if you want to bring in a car. Burning Man organizers, who run the camp around 10 principles, require that everyone be selfsufficient. In fact, the only things you can buy here on the playa are ice and coffee. The ice is to keep food fresh, and the coffee helps spur community in the centre camp area. Proceeds get donated to local schools. Organizers also lay out the camp’s curving streets, commission artwork to be installed in the desert past the encampment, and ensure there’s enough portapotties to meet everyone’s needs. (You’re responsible for water and toilet paper, however.) Local law enforcement and federal rangers patrol the city, although Burning Man’s volunteer Black Rock Rangers generally keep the peace, help participants meet their community obligations and ensure nothing gets too out of hand. Parties with free food or drinks might start at 10 a.m. or 10 p.m. People have electronic dance music parties but it’s not like anyone tells
California and nearly 60 percent of the people here live in households earning more than $100,000 annually. Burning Man’s 2016 art theme is “Da Vinci’s Workshop”, inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of medievalism and into modernity.
them what time they can start. There’s an orgy dome and free massages and shamans doing reiki. Away from the camp, artists have dreamed up amazing things, from fire-breathing dragons to contemplative temples. Someone this year built a giant gramophone, and another group hauled the fuselage of a retired 747 jumbo jet out into the desert, which is known as the playa. The event itself tries hard to be egalitarian, but some obvious facts stand out: 80 percent of participants are white, 40 percent are from
Photo: Juan P Zapata
Burning Man’s 2016 art theme is “Da Vinci’s Workshop”, inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries
All that money means people can afford to give away food and drink. Some camps host open bars each day, while others give away waffles or grilled cheese or cold-brewed iced coffee. Participants adopt playa names and generally wear elaborate costumes, in part to block the ever-present dust. Other people wear nothing at all, or go around “shirt cocking,” which is when a man wears a shirt but no pants. There’s lots of bare flesh on display, and the community self-enforces against outright ogling or exploitative photography. Reporters even have to agree to Burning Man’s strict control on copyright, and get no special treatment. In short, the whole idea is to create a community where pretty much anything goes, without judgement or recrimination or guilt. ■ SEPTEMBER
By ZIVKO BAL JKAS
■ Photo by OKS
SHOW ON EARTH
Of the 207 Olympic teams from 206 countries and one composed of refugees from five countries, who performed under the banner of the International Olympic Committee in order to draw the world’s attention to one of the biggest problems facing the world, 87 won medals at XXXI Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, and as many as 59 won at least one gold medal, which beat all previous records
erbian athletes also had a record performance – 8 medals (2 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze) is the best ever medal haul of our Olympians since they have performed under the flag of Serbia, but also since 1988 and the Olympic Games in Seoul, the last time the team of Yugoslavia appeared. Upon its return to the Olympic stage after 96 years (Serbia made its debut at the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912) in Beijing in 2008 the team won three medals - silver for swimmer Milorad Čavić, and bronzes for tennis player Novak Đoković and the men’s water polo team, while at the last Games in London it won four - gold for Milica Mandić in taekwondo, silver for Ivana Maksimović in shooting and bronzes for the men’s water polo team and sharpshooter Andrija Zlatić. In the team won more medals than in the previous two appearances combined and the performances of 103 Serbian Olympians was defined as a success. It is true that this result could have been much higher, because 98 |
we had stronger, even the strongest, contenders for medals, and even the brightest, but the Olympic Games – more than other major competitions, such as the World and European championships and world cups – brings enormous pressure for each participant, even the greatest aces of world sport. Many were unable to resist that pressure, and among them were even some of our Olympians - World No. 1 tennis player Novak Đoković, top air rifle performer Andrea Arsović air rifle, two-seater kayak racers Novaković and Grujić, who had previously won medals at all major competitions, defender of gold in taekwondo Milica Mandić, defender of silver Ivana Anđušić Maksimović, but almost all other shooters, rowing duo Vasić and Beđik et al. And the shine of some of the medals won could have been brighter, had Ivana Španović managed to achieve the jump that she was ready for and whish she achieved with minimal effort, had kayakers Marko Tomićević and Milenko Zorić strated their pursuit of the German crew a little earlier, had 18-year-old Tijana Bogdanović not been
considering that with nine Olympic gold medals he equalled legends hindered by the judges in her final taekwondo duel... of athletics and sport in general, Finn Paavo Nurmi and American Carl Although our Olympians won the same number of medals in inLewis. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them in Rio was Simone dividual and team sports, it can be said that during the games, not Biles, the American gymnast who won four gold medals (including in only from our own, local standpoint, the Serbian national team was the all-round competition) and one bronze medal... marked for its performances in team sports – men’s water polo, men’s For the host nation of the XXXI Olympic Games, the most imporbasketball, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball. The men’s water polo team, under the guidance of coach Dejan Savić, following a tant of all 19 medals, and of all seven golds, was the one won in footseries of bronze medals and silver in Athens in 2004, during which he ball. In a Packed Maracana and an unprecedented atmosphere when participated as a winning player, arrived at the Olympic throne – for it comes to the Olympics, the country celebrated the first Olympic the first time since the triumph of the Yugoslav team in Seoul in 1988. triumph of its footballers. The men’s basketball team made their debut at the Olympic Games The other performances of Brazilian aces for Olympic medals under the Serbian flag, after two unsuccessful Olympic cycles, and also filled the stands of the Olympic venues, but for most other comreached the silver and the final against the U.S. national team. petitions the terraces were not full. The attendance for the athletics A similar thing could be said for our women’s volleyball team, competition was incredibly low for the “Queen of sports”, but also for who played China in the final and who completely outplayed their other sports. On the eve of the Games, many sports were declared opponents in the group stage, winning 3:0. In the final the Chinese High Demand Events, for which the terraces were expected to be women’s great serves completely dulled the possibility of organising the deadly attacks of the selection of coach Zoran Terzić and recorded a convincing victory that in no way detracts from the success of Serbian volleyball. The same is true for the Serbian women’s basketball team, which, under the guidance of coach Marina Maljković, performed for the first time on the Olympic stage under the Serbian flag. The bronze medal for the women’s basketball team could, after such a triumph at the European Championship, be declared a precedent, because it was won by the team of a country where there is almost no women’s basketball, which is also the case with our water polo... Thus the Rio Games were the most successful to date for Serbian sport, and that is also true for the The Olympic Games, filled, but these estimates proved to United States, the most successful country at the Rio have been exaggerated. Only for the Olympics, which – with 121 medals – surpassed its more than other major swimming finals was the number of performance in London in 2008 by 11 medals. Amercompetition, brings reporters limited, but that was beicans were only more successful as hosts in Los Anenormous pressure for geles in 1984, when the team took 174 medals, but cause there was little room in the each participant, even then a boycott meant there was no participation of journalists’ stands, for the basketball the USSR and other Eastern bloc countries, with the the greatest aces of world final between the U.S. and Serbia and, exception of Romania. course, for the football final at Masport. Many were unable of And Great Britain, second on the list of the most racana Stadium. to resist that pressure successful countries, was also more successful than Ticket prices, but also the prices at its own games in London in 2012, winning 67 of everything else (a glass of beer at medals – two more than four years ago. the venues cost slightly more than €4), were too high for the domestic The choice of the hero of the Olympic Games is as difficult as it audience, while travel prices, accommodation and tickets were too was in Beijing and London, more precisely since this title has been expensive for guests from abroad. contested by the best swimmer of all time, American Michael Phelps, The organisation of the competition was not as good as it had been and the fastest man in the world, Jamaican Usain Bolt. in London four years ago, and certainly not as good as it was in Beijing In Rio, Phelps added to his collection of medals with five golds in 2008. The nutrition of athletes in the Olympic village was poor and and one silver, so that he now has 28 medals, including 23 golds, so the Olympic missions of many countries had to set aside significant that he can now look down from a height at the other most successful sums to improve it, while for the army of more than 15,000 journalathletes of the world in the last 120 years. However, given that swimists the biggest problem was the transport, in which they spent an average of five and a half hours to go to two venues. And that does not ming and athletics are very different, many believe that Bolt winning include waiting for transport, and even the smiles and kindness of the three gold medals in the sprints (100, 200 and 4x400 m) at the third army of volunteers were unable to compensation for that. ■ Games in succession makes him the most successful. Even more so SEPTEMBER
CHILL OUT USA
'DUMPSTER POOLS' FOR SUMMER HEAT ▶ The U.S. city of Philadelphia is cracking down on “Dumpster pools” after a pair of residents devised the idea as a way to escape the summer heat. “It was lined with pool noodles and double tarped. It was a 21 and older thing, so we didn’t have to worry about any kids wandering in,” said one of the organisers. “The public loves it. I’ve seen so much good feedback and support.” The organisers successfully obtained a permit to acquire the Dumpster, but the Department of Licenses and Inspections later learned that an illegally opened fire hydrant was used to fill the pool. A department official warned that the use of the hydrant could leave less water for emergencies such as fires, while the extreme water pressure could cause serious harm to the water main, as well as the people around.
CHINESE TOURIST ENDS UP IN GERMAN REFUGEE HOME ▶ A Chinese tourist who lost his
STREET FOOD CHEF GETS MICHELIN ONE STAR AWARD ▶ Malaysian-born Chan Hon Meng, who is also the chef at Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Singapore, said he was dumbfounded when he got a call from the famous restaurant reviewers inviting him to an awards ceremony. And he was even more shocked when he was handed a prestigious
Michelin one star award for his work. Chan, who has been working in kitchens for 35 years. “When I received the invitation I was uncertain. I asked them, ‘Are you joking? Why would Michelin come to my stall?’” said Chan. Chan sells 180 chickens a day and serves Hong Kong -style soya sauce chicken noodles, regularly seeing queues of 100 people lining up to buy a portion of the meal. The hawker feast, priced at just over £1 per portion, is now the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world.
wallet in Germany signed the wrong paperwork and ended up being placed in a refugee home. The unidentified man’s troubles started in early July when he lost his wallet after arriving in the city of Stuttgart. Officials have figured out that, instead of going to police to file a stolen goods report, he somehow ended up at
an authority that presented him with an asylum application. From there, he was sent to Dortmund and on to the refugee home in Duelmen. “He simply did what he was told,” said Christoph Schluetermann, an official from the German Red Cross. With help from a translation app and then from a translator at a Chinese restaurant, it became clear that the man wanted to travel on to France and Italy, not seek asylum. It took German officials 12 days to put the story together and send the 31-year-old tourist on his way.
PIKACHU PARADE IN JAPAN ▶ Hundreds of Pokémon Go fans gathered in Yokohama, southwest Tokyo to join an annual Pikachu parade as the global phenomenon soars in popularity. Some 50 life-size Pikachu characters, the most famous from the Pokemon game, marched along the city’s waterfront street as visitors took mobile phone pictures and videos of them in scorching sunshine. Some participants said they attended the event to search for rare characters of Pokémon - a word short for “pocket monster” - for the megahit smartphone app, which was launched in July globally. “I came here all the way to Yokohama, hoping to find different kinds of Pokemon characters,” said Teruko Fujisawa, a 45-year-old woman working at a trading house. Pokémon Go is currently the number one app on IOS and Google Play marketplaces and has overtaken Twitter for daily active users.
OKTOBERFEST STARTS IN SEPTEMBER ▶ Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from September to the first weekend in October (Sep 17 - Oct 3, 2016) with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often simply called Wiesn, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event. UAE
UAE GOVERNMENT SELECTS 'HAPPINESS OFFICERS' ▶ The United Arab Emirates is to send dozens of officials abroad for five months of training in the science of happiness. Sixty people have been chosen as the country’s first “chief happiness and positivity officers”, and will be heading overseas in September. The trainees will undergo an
Minister of State OHOOD AL ROUMI
“intense” study programme in the UK and U.S., the government says, with stints at Oxford Univer-
sity’s Mindfulness Centre and the Greater Good Science Centre at the renowned University of California, Berkeley. Their training will all be focused on learning about happiness and how to spread it. The National newspaper has dubbed them “pioneers of positive thinking”. Ohood Al Roumi took up the role of the first minister of state for happiness in February, and says the new training programme is part of efforts to make it one of the happiest countries in the world.
SUPERMAN COMIC SOLD AT AUCTION FOR $956,000
ITALIAN ARTIST CREATES GIANT OLYMPICS TRIBUTE ▶ Just four days before the Olympic Games’ opening ceremo-
CRAZY ATTEMPT TO CATCH A PLANE ▶ This is the shocking moment a Ryanair passenger,
Bolivian national, ran across the tarmac at Madrid airport in an attempt to catch his flight — and made it on board. In the footage the traveller first appears to jump from the gangway to the plane which has already become detached from the aircraft. He then appears to try to hop onto an airport vehicle, but looks to be refused. Scrambling for his bag the man breaks into a run and is met by what looks to be two members of airport staff as a plane preparing to take off is seen on the runway behind. A Civil Guard spokesman in his destination — a Spanish island off the coast of Africa — said he was stopped when he reached his destination and reported for an airport security infraction. Incredibly, the crew finally let him aboard and flew him to the Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria
ny in Rio de Janeiro, an Italian “land artist” has used his tractor to create a huge work of art depicting the Brazilian city’s Christ the Redeemer statue. Dario Gambarin, from Verona in northern Italy, used the 40-year-old tractor to carve up 47,000 square metres of field in Castagnaro. The image is a total of 180 metres in length, five times longer than the actual statue, and Christ is shown holding the five Olympic rings. Gambarin has produced other notable works with his tractor, including portraits of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis.
▶ A rare copy of Action Comics #1, which marked the first appearance of Superman, was sold at an auction in Dallas for $956,000, surpassing the original estimate of $750,000. “As the bidding went higher and higher we were grateful bidders recognised this copy as the gem it truly is,” said Lon Allen, Managing Director of Comics & Comic Art at Heritage Auctions. “Few copies of this comic survive, let alone come to auction with such a bright cover. It displays beautifully.” The issue came from a private collection and was purchased from a dealer in 1998 for $26,000. The Certified Guaranty Company graded the copy 5.5 out of 10.
“What Should I Wear to Work Today? ” The summer holiday season is coming to an end and that September “back to the office” feeling is already encroaching on many of us
Saint Laurent Skinny Belt Black leather skinny belt from Saint Laurent featuring gold-tone hardware. PRICE: €295
Whether your office is a slick corporate building, an airy loft space, or wherever the next client meeting takes you, chances are that you are asking - and struggling to answer – the question of what you will wear several times a week. The dilemma is even greater if you have just returned from your summer break, when that transition from a bathing suit, light linen dress and sandals to the usual daily routine of your office represents a kind of shock to the system. Saying goodbye to the sun, sea and the freedom not to check your emails regularly can often feel like the end of the world. CorD is here to help when you most need it. So here are some suggestions until you get used to the routine once again.
Sateen Jacquard Dress The beauty of this look is that it can appear prim by day and, with a switch of styling, work perfectly at parties after dark.
Oversized T-Hinge Sunglasses A pair that will elevate your look instantly — this sunglasses feature a unique enamel 'T' hinge design and flattering gradient lenses, with a retro butterfly shape. PRICE: €149
Givenchy Pinstripe Blazer Black and white silk and wool pinstripe blazer from Givenchy featuring notched lapels, a front button fastening, a chest pocket, front flap pockets, long sleeves, button cuffs, a rear central vent and a full lining.
Saint Laurent Jaguar Print Wool Scarf
Kerr Pant It works with everything from basics to business wear — and looks great with its matching blazer, as seen at our fashion show. PRICE: €330
Fierce big cats are cleverly camouflaged among the spotted print of a chic scarf cut from featherweight Italian wool muslin. PRICE: €695
Leather Military Jacket
In neutral light gray, it makes an effortless day-toevening style — ideal with everything from tailored separates to casual denim. PRICE: €547,50
Julia Dress Cut from silk georgette, this standout look has a flattering below-the-knee hemline, finished with side slits so that it moves and flows with ease.
Marni 'Wallet' Shoulder Bag Jeane Shirt
A two tone design, a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap, an internal logo patch and two compartments with flap closure. PRICE: €1,350
A modern update to the timeless button-down, it’s done in smooth silk georgette, detailed with contrasting lattice-like guipure lace panels along the placket and cuffs. PRICE: €395
Wedge Sandal Great for transitioning the seasons, this sandal has endless styling potential. PRICE: €360 SEPTEMBER
Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Tie
G-SHOCK Black Resin Watch
Canali Solid Silk Tie
A charming print handsomely coloured Italian tie hand sewn from pure silk. PRICE: €110
GPS signal reception, world time, chronograph, countdown timer, tough solar power, shock resistant, full auto calendar, LED illuminator light, triple G resist, designerstamped bezel, gold tone trims.
A tasteful texture enriches a fine Italian-made tie cut from pure silk. PRICE: €90
Ray-Ban Sunglasses Lightweight aviator sunglasses with fine-wire frames are outfitted with smoky polarized lenses and adjustable nose pads for a perfect fit. PRICE: €175
BOSS Sharp Fit Plaid Dress Shirt Rich houndstooth plaid marks a fine dress shirt featuring a smart spread collar and rounded, adjustable button cuffs. PRICE: €70
Navy Linen Blazer Under-collar melton helps keep shape and adds style when the collar is turned up.
Ludlow Shoes The Ludlow shoe is US version of a bench-made dress shoe, and it's constructed using many of the same methods as the world's best shoemakers. PRICE: €350
Cotton-Linen Blazer Consider this blazer your new best friend this summer and autumn, whether you're lounging at the cabana or only dreaming about it. PRICE: €200
Mezlan Deerskin Belt
This is crisply tailored and exceptionally soft, thanks to multistep wash process. PRICE: €59
Well-grained deerskin leather shapes a versatile belt fitted with a sleek buckle.
Sekford Stainless Steel Watch Gold-plated Ronda 702 quartz movement, designer-stamped white face, rhodiumapplied indexing, black brass hands, mineral crystal glass. Water resistance: 3ATM PRICE: €825
Boss Trim Fit Navy Wool Suit
Giuseppe Zanotti Leather Backpack
Finely textured wool shapes a handsome, professional suit that features a two-button, notch-lapel jacket, subtle pickstitching and flat-front trousers.
Adjustable strap, faux buckle fastening, zipped bottom compartment, silver tone hardware, internal slip pocket. Comes with a dust bag . PRICE: €1,100
Kenton Suede Bucks Shoes that effortlessly span dapper and durable: The classic silhouette is recast slightly slimmer for a more modern feel and finished with a genuine Goodyear-welt construction. PRICE: €235 SEPTEMBER
Life is Full of Ups and Downs, We are There for Both There is a famous quote that says “If you choose the job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life”. Luckily, I am someone who simply adores their job and each and every aspect of it
NATAŠA KUZMANOVSKI Head of the Identity and Communication Unit at UniCredit Bank Serbia
ut, what I like the most is that I have the privilege of working with a team of true professionals who, over and over again, convince me every day that the word “impossible” does not exist and that there are no limits if we strive for the same goal. Since my school days, and later attending Belgrade’s “Sports Gymnasium”, I was trained to be a team player. As a member of a handball team, I learned that if we want to succeed we have to rely on each other, on the skills and uniqueness that we all possess. We could all be perfect, but if we do not dream together, we are just a group of individuals. The five years that I lived in the U.S., besides enabling me to enrich my education, gain international life experience and meet wonderful people, also shaped me as an individual. After this lifechanging experience, the next step was to return home. That is when I started my career at one of the leading agencies in the field of integrated communications in Serbia and the region, Executive Group, where I spent eight years, advancing from the position of Account Manager to Account Director and finally New Business and Client Service Director. 106 |
In 2012, when I joined the team at leading international bank UniCredit Bank Serbia, I found myself facing a challenge: not only to lead an already successful team of excellent professionals who have been working together for years, but also to achieve outstanding results in the field of brand management and communications, and to elevate them to an even higher level. At the very start it was clear to me that I didn’t have to tell any of my new team members what to do or how to do their job. What was expected of me was to transfer my previous managerial experience, support them to go beyond their limits, encourage them to be innovative and exploit new opportunities in the communication area and
I strongly believe that every manager, every leader, has to know and understand their people, has to understand how to motivate them and make sure that all of us are speaking the “same language” strengthen the brand. And that is what we did together. I strongly believe that every manager, every leader, has to know and understand their people, has to understand how to motivate them and make sure that all of us are speaking
the “same language”. And that is what I hope we have done together – just as our bank’s positioning: “Life is full of ups and down, we are there for both”. Now, more than four years later, I am proud of what we have achieved together. Despite a turbulent market environment in the previous few years, we managed to support our business and significantly increase awareness of the UniCredit brand on the local market, while at the same time improving its position in the PR field. We have not only managed to strengthen our bank’s position as a leader, but to bring innovation and benchmarks in communications, in a highly competitive market. Numerous awards, but also recognition by colleagues in the industry and competition, confirm that we have been successful. Even more so, what should make all of us communications professionals in Serbia happy is that when sharing our experiences with colleagues from other UniCredit banks, the work that we do, the innovation that we bring, is in no way lagging behind what is done in what we see as more developed markets. As a conclusion, as a professional, I could not ask for more – doing a job I love, living the excitement and challenges this job brings, and feeling the same energy and enthusiasm among the people with whom I work. Without these “ingredients”, you cannot be the best that you can.
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