October 2019 | ISSUE No. 44 | Price 350 RSD
WE NEED TO CHANGE THE LABOUR TAXATION SYSTEM VLADIMIR NOVAKOVIĆ
Chairman of NALED's Managing Board and CEO of Apatin Brewery
THE DAY OF GERMAN UNITY
POVERTY AND LANGUAGE UNITE US RAJKO GRLIĆ
Film director and screenwriter
FIRST TIME IN NOVI SAD – ‘CHARITY DINNER NEAR MILETIĆ’ FOR CHILDREN'S VILLAGE
PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY
RETURN OF THE EMBASSY KHIEU RITHYA
REGINA DE DOMINICIS
H.E. TOMÁŠ KUCHTA
Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia
UNICEF Representative in Serbia
S P E C I A L
MILESTONE FOR BILATERAL RELATIONS
E D I T I O N
Hungary FOCUS ON
H.E. ATTILA PINTÉR Ambassador of Hungary
Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia
SECRET FORMULA OF COMMUNICATION
Guernica Every time I see Picasso's "Guernica" at the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid, I think about the Spanish Civil War and how much it remains unfinished, 80 years since Franco's victory in 1939. In the adjoining halls, museum visitors can also see documentaries related to the Civil War, but also those made after Franco’s victory, which celebrate “the restoration of the country”. In 2011, we met an old man in the town called Guernica, in the Basque Country. He was sitting in a café next to the school playground. He told us how they hid as children in the basement of the school, while “German planes were throwing bombs”. This war is the oldest large-scale war with living veterans – 42 Republicans and 11 Francoists, to be precise. Naturally, we always cheered for the Republicans. However, when I went to Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Morocco, which was Franco’s base for invading Spain in 1936, I visited the Legion Museum and saw a memorial dedicated to Franco’s victory. Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" - who himself fought on the side of the Republicans - contains eerie descriptions of the massacre of landowners and wealthy people by these very Republicans at the beginning of the war. No civil war is black and white and this is one of the very few in which "winners did not write history". Picasso painted “Guernica” in Paris in 1939. The painting travelled the world to eventually find its home in MoMA in New York. It was Picasso’s wish for the painting to be exhibited at the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid which finally happened in 1981, six years after Franco’s death, which Picasso did not live to see. A friend of mine went to Valencia with the football club a few years ago and asked a dinner host what he thought of Franco. Of the seven people at the table, six had a positive opinion about him, while one was neutral. They also mentioned the strange ritual that the Republicans had whereby they took the skeletons of bishops, priests and nuns from church graves and exposed them in the streets for the passers-by to scoff at. Was this "the most romantic of all wars" just a rehearsal for both Stalin and Hitler of what would come in Europe half a year after Franco won in Spain? How can we be sure of the correctness of our political ideas and attitudes about the current global events when, 80 years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, we are still not clear on what happened there? We need to consider what all parties have to say and all their arguments, as well as maintain a historical distance to reach the proper judgment. And these are exactly the things we miss so much in today's modern age of social networks, quick reactions and short fuses.
PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY REGINA DE DOMINICIS
WE BROUGHT COMPANIES TO OUR FACULTY Professor DRAGAN LONČAR
UNICEF Representative in Serbia
Faculty of Economics in Belgrade
MILESTONE FOR BILATERAL RELATIONS H.E. TOMÁŠ KUCHTA
Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia
RETURN OF THE EMBASSY KHIEU RITHYA
Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia
WE NEED TO CHANGE THE LABOUR TAXATION SYSTEM VLADIMIR NOVAKOVIĆ
Chairman of NALED's Managing Board and CEO of Apatin Brewery
THE OPPOSITION HAS BECOME A DEMOCRATIC DECORATION KREŠIMIR MACAN Manjgura Agency
POVERTY AND LANGUAGE UNITE US RAJKO GRLIĆ
Film director and screenwriter
AMBASSADORS OF THEIR COUNTRIES FOR 50 YEARS IN BELGRADE DRAGAN MARIĆ
Director of Children's Cultural Center Belgrade
ROBERT ČOBAN Director
www.diplomacyandcommerce.rs TANJA BANKOVIĆ
Editor in Chief
SANJA ŠOJIĆ Journalist
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Much Talk, and a Little Action, at the UN Climate Summit Politicians and business leaders announced new steps to fight climate change. But much remains to be done Those concerned about global warming change had a clear message for the leaders attending the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23rd. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist, led protests in New York imploring politicians to act now to limit rising temperatures, and warned leaders at the summit: “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you.” Instructions from the UN’s secretary-general were more specific. In the run-up to the summit, António Guterres had urged governments to present plans in areas such as carbon pricing and reforestation, with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. “I don’t pretend that I rule the world,” Mr Guterres acknowledged. “My role is to tell the world what the world needs to do." The one-day summit concluded with a torrent of new announcements. These included the commitment by 66 countries, 93 companies and more than 100 cities to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Germany and Slovakia were among those to join an alliance to halt the construction of coal plants; in total 32 countries are members. Companies and industry groups announced measures to reduce emissions from shipping, buildings and more. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, set a new 450-gigawatt target for renewable energy capacity, more than five times the current level. Mr Guterres highlighted its successes. “Today, in this hall, the world saw clear ambition and concrete initiatives,” he said. Some announcements were promises of future announcements. 59 countries said that they would shortly be unveiling more ambitious commitments under the Paris agreement, which aims to keep global temperatures “well below” 2°C above those in pre-industrial times; a global round of such increased commitments is to be negotiated next year. “These are useful steps,” says Nathaniel Ke-
THE ONE-DAY SUMMIT CONCLUDED WITH A TORRENT OF NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS ohane of the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group. “However they are useful only to the extent that they are built upon and turned into action.” Even if all the pledges are acted on, though, the gap between what the summit promised and what needs to be done remains a chasm. America, China and India, the world’s three biggest emitters, were not among those to set tar-
gets for reaching net-zero emissions. At the same time as India invests in renewables, its statebacked banks are propping up its coal sector. Russia at last announced that it is ratifying the Paris agreement, but the targets for action which it has set itself are very low. President Donald Trump, who announced that America was withdrawing from that agreement shortly after his election, made a
brief appearance at the summit but did not speak. Activists remain deeply unsatisfied. Ms Thunberg and other children filed a complaint charging that five countries had violated their human rights by failing to halt the climate crisis. They filed their petition against Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey—five countries that allow such complaints to be brought against them under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty. As the Climate Action Summit wound down at the UN, nowhere was the gap between stated intention and present reality more apparent than in a gathering that afternoon of oil and gas companies across town. The chief executives of the world’s supermajors sat in the airy Morgan Library for a forum organised by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, their joint effort to invest in technologies that will help mitigate climate change. For more than two hours, the bosses of companies including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP defended their record as partners in the fight against rising temperatures. They vowed to limit methane emissions and highlighted their support for research into new technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration. But they also explained their decision to continue investing in new extraction projects; no supermajor has yet said it will reduce emissions from its products on an absolute basis. “As frustrating as it may be for some people who would like to see us declare that we intend to go out of business,” said Mike Wirth, the chief executive of Chevron, “we are meeting a demand for a product that makes the quality of life in the world better.” The protests on September 20th will not be the last. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
Partnerships are Key Climate change, rapid urbanization, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, protracted conflict and humanitarian crises, forced displacement, digitalization and multidimensional and inter-generational poverty are changing childhood rapidly
REGINA DE DOMINICIS UNICEF Representative in Serbia
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). “Since its adoption, the most ratified Convention in the world has inspired countries to change laws and policies and make greater investments in the wellbeing of children. The number of stunted children under 5 years of age dropped by over 100 million. The number of children missing out on primary school has been reduced by almost 40%. The practice of child marriages has decreased by 15% and better systems have been put in place to protect children from violence and exploitation. More children exercise their right to participate and even lead change. The rise of digital and mobile technology and other innovations have made it easier and more efficient to deliver critical services in hard-to reach communities and to expand opportunities, including for girls”, says Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative in Serbia. The world is different now than
three decades ago. What are the challenges the children of today are facing?
— Climate change, rapid urbanization, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, protracted conflict and humanitarian crises, forced displacement, digitalization and multi-dimensional and inter-generational poverty are changing childhood rapidly. Today, as temperatures increase and water become scarcer, it is children who are impacted the most. 15,000 children under 5 still die every day,
acquiring skills relevant for the changing market needs is not being met. The digital divide is often deepening existing inequalities and has also a gender dimension. The time spent online is growing shaping relationships and interactions, creating new opportunities but also demanding for urgent development of critical thinking an online protection. Mental health is a growing concern amongst adolescents and violence still persists in different settings. How is UNICEF using innovation to accelerate solutions for new challenges?
— UNICEF has a long history of experimenting and using innovation. Partnerships are key. For us innovation is about taking emerging approaches and tools and testing how they can be applied
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IS OFTEN DEEPENING EXISTING INEQUALITIES AND HAS ALSO A GENDER DIMENSION mostly from treatable diseases and other preventable causes, while at the same time we are facing an alarming rise in overweight children. The number of countries experiencing conflict is the highest it has ever been since the adoption of the CRC. 75 million children and young people have migrated across borders or been displaced. Whilst the numbers of children in school are higher than ever, the challenge of achieving quality education and
across contexts. If successful, we scale them to accelerate results. UNICEF has already successfully implemented drone corridors that are delivering vaccines to children living in settlements in non-accessible areas and we are leveraging data science to predict the spread of epidemics in South America and Africa, by gathering data from different sources and using machine learning to do the actual mapping. Nowadays,
we are working on “magic box”, combining satellite imagery and machine learning to map every school in the world and show their connectivity in real time. The data generated will help identify where the gaps and information needs are, serve as evidence when advocating for connectivity and help governments optimising their education systems. It will also allow us to measure vulnerabilities and strengthen emergency response and resilience against natural disasters and crises. UNICEF is also collaborating with Microsoft and the University of Cambridge to develop a ‘learning passport’ – a digital platform that will facilitate learning opportunities for children and young people within and across borders. The learning passport is being tested and piloted in countries hosting refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons. We are now eagerly awaiting applications from Serbia teams for our global UNICEF Innovation Fund call. We hope to map and understand what kind of frontier technologies and ideas can be developed to address new educational challenges. Absolutely exciting work! But beyond technology the key to our innovation efforts is identifying and designing solutions that directly involve the children and young people. Human centered design has always played a central role in UNICEF work. How does UNICEF empower children and youth to know and claim their rights?
— Participation is both a right and a process. UNICEF works systematically to convene and engage young people in decision-making; in their schools and communities to influence legislation, policies and services and more and more online. In Serbia, UNICEF has worked with adolescents as part of the consultative process in the drafting of the new National strategy on violence against children, on the SDG agenda and ensured their full participation in the Voluntary National Review that the Government of Serbia presented this year. Moreover, hundreds of young people from all over Serbia are engaged within the framework of the regional Dialogue for the Future programme, implemented with other UN agencies and government partners, to strengthen trust and peace across the region. Through UNICEF Youth Challenge, we are bringing together bright young minds to solve problems in their communities - I am always amazed by their creativity! Hope we will be able to partner with the young Serbia diaspora abroad to circulate even more ideas and talk more about “brain gain” than “brain drain” in the future. We are currently establishing and piloting the online U-Report platform that allows adolescents to express their opinions on issues that matter to them. More than 1 in 3 children globally are thought to be regular users of the internet and a digital footprint composed of thousands of pieces of data is accumulating around them. The era of ‘big data’ has the potential to transform – for the better – the provision of efficient, personalized and responsive services to children, but it also has potential negative impacts on their safety, privacy, autonomy and
UNICEF WORKS SYSTEMATICALLY TO CONVENE AND ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE IN DECISIONMAKING; IN THEIR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES TO INFLUENCE LEGISLATION, POLICIES AND SERVICES AND MORE AND MORE ONLINE future life choices. The challenge facing us all today is to ensure that we design systems that maximize the positive benefits of big data and artificial intelligence, while preserving privacy, providing protections from harm and empowering people – including children – to exercise their rights. And we are beginning to see action: governments are strengthening regulatory frameworks; private sector providers are recognizing their role; and educators are thinking about how to equip children with the
tools to navigate the online world safely and participate responsibly. It is a start. UNICEF has a long history of collaboration with the business sector globally? How does it look like in Serbia?
— UNICEF has an over 50-year long history of partnering with the private sector and is accelerating this agenda in order to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We are partnering with companies with common shared
values, that lend their ideas, resources and innovation to the vital cause of improving and serving children lives. UNICEF also advises businesses on their approaches to children rights and the impact they can make on children, from the promotion of pre-schooling to parenting, from the overall engagement of employees to social and environmental impact analysis... Business people today know that doing good is a good business, and their engagement for the cause of children is growing. In Serbia, our partnerships with the business sector are a source of inspiration and we are proud that Serbia has been chosen as one of the few countries in the world to model a UNICEF’s new initiative “Business for Results”. This initiative should help expand UNICEF's engagement with the business sector, but also aggregators such as multi-stakeholder platforms and industry bodies, business leaders as influencers and/or philanthropists, and corporate foundations. This approach includes focusing on the critical links between the business and the public sector, including exploration of public-private partnerships for social services and innovative financing. UNICEF needs accelerators and works with companies across the board of their activities – their products and services, their business operations, and their foundations. Our collaboration with Nordeus, Telenor and other companies, as well as with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and other business associations and networks will help move together and faster results for children and young people in line with both the SDGs agenda and the EU accession process.
CHILDREN VIOLENCE Violence is one of the challenges that persists and evolves. How’s UNICEF responding to violence against children and adolescents? — Violence against children is a complex social phenomenon in terms of its drivers, its causes, forms and manifestations. As such it needs to be addressed comprehensively and set as one of the key priorities in national policies. Data indicate that violence against children in Serbia is widespread. For instance, the number of cases involving a child victim of family violence reported to centres for social work in 2018 was 7,741, which is 19% more than in 2015; while the number of peer violence reported cases reached 1,727 in 2018 . UNICEF is working with all relevant national and
municipal actors to support the strengthening of systems’ capacities for violence prevention and also for timely and effective response when violence occurs. Concretely, we support the improvement of policies and regulations as well as their implementation, by helping centres for social work, health care institutions, schools, judicial professionals and the police to act in a synchronised and timely manner. Our activities also include monitoring to better understand the problem on the ground, which will help to formulate further response. With an aim to comprehensively address prevention of violence against children, UNICEF puts also specific focus on social norms and values, better understanding of parenting skills and child disciplining.
Milestone for Bilateral Relations Huge potential for increase of mutual economic relations
H.E. TOMÁŠ KUCHTA Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia
In September, Czech President Milos Zeman visited Belgrade. A month later, the Serbian guest was the Speaker of the Czech Parliament. This shows that the relations between Serbia and the Czech Republic are at the highest level today, which is what we are talking about with H.E. Tomáš Kuchta Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia. The Speaker of the Czech Parliament recently visited Serbia. What are the results of that visit?
— The visit of H.E. Radek Vondráček was a milestone for bilateral relations between the two countries. For the first time in our modern history had the representative of the Czech Republic the honour
to give a speech in front of the members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. He confirmed longstanding excellent relationship and expressed many thanks to the Serbian people for strong support during the most difficult times for our nation in 1938 and 1968. He also underlined our strong support to Serbia during its
The Serbia-Czech Republic Business Forum was held in Belgrade in September during the Czech President Miloš Zeman's visit to Serbia. What agreements were concluded at the forum? Are there new investments planned?
— First of all, let me mention that we feel a huge potential for increase of mutual economic re-
THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS IN THE CZECH EXPORT TO SERBIA ARE MOTOR VEHICLES FOR TRANSPORT OF PERSONS, I.E. THE PRODUCTION OF THE COMPANY ŠKODA AUTO integration to the European Union. Members of the National Assembly highly appreciated his speech. He had also very fruitful meetings with the President Mr. Aleksandar Vučić, the President of the National Assembly, Mrs. Maja Gojković and the Prime Minister, Mrs. Ana Brnabić.
lations. This was very visible at the Serbia-Czech Business Forum during the Czech President Miloš Zeman´s visit. Czech companies had a chance to meet more than 190 registered Serbian partners and that is why I do not have any doubt that there were running very
fruitful meetings about the future cooperation. I cannot go to the details but let me indicate that we see main perspectives in sectors of infrastructure, energy, transportation, water management, real estates, etc. How much interest do Czech business people show for Serbia and how often do they turn to the Embassy for advice as to how to reach the Serbian market?
— Well, I can confirm that we are in a contact with Czech businessmen permanently, on daily basis. They can contact Economic and Commercial Section of the Embassy or they can use services of the export promotion agency CzechTrade which has an office in Belgrade (Communication is running through emails, but also personally). One of very successful forms of support to Czech companies are business missions, which we prepare in a close cooperation with
Last year, a successful, international company Urban Developers and Investors Ltd. Group (UDI), with the headquarters in Prague, joined the Serbian real estate market. UDI is a fully integrated company focused on development and construction of commercial, residential, retail and logistic projects and it has been active in the Central European market for over 25 years. The companyâ€™s teams of professionals manage the complete development process from design, preparation, project documentation, budget control to construction, authorisation and comprehensive project supervision. By directly selling and leasing their products UDI has acquired a perfect understanding of clients and their requirements, and is thus able to adopt to the requirements and specifics of the various markets. The company provides
assistance and support to their clients during the purchase process, based on its knowledge and expertise. UDI is dedicated to following the latest trends in construction and using sophisticated architectural and technical solutions when creating living space for families and individuals. All the projects are built in respect to the existing buildings and the surrounding environment, to provide the greatest possible comfort for living, work and leisure. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, UDI has over 100 developed projects and over 1,000,000 square metres of constructed commercial and residential space. During 2018, UDI expanded their presence to Serbian, Polish and Hungarian markets with several new projects currently under development. Diplomacy and Commerce magazine will have the privilege of announcing their first project in Belgrade in one of the upcoming issues.
Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. For example, this year we had such a mission in April, in May and the last one was accompanied the President in September. Beside those activities our experts also organize territorial seminars in the Czech Republic. One of them will be organized soon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague and one day later another one in the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Pardubice. The Czech Republic is one of Serbia’s most important trade partners. How developed are our economic relations and is the trade between the two countries satisfactory?
— The turnover of Serbian-Czech bilateral trade is more than 25 billion of Czech Crones (CZK), i.e. more than 100 bil. RSD. The Czech export has a share approx. 15.3 bil CZK and import from Serbia is approx. 12.6 bil. CZK. These figures are very high from my point of view. Could you imagine that the Czech export to Serbia is much higher than our export to big foreign countries in the world like Canada, Brazil or Australia? Let me add that there is a very important fact link to the future. We have a positive progressive trend in Czech-Serbian bilateral trade. In the period 2010 – 2018 the Czech export to Serbia increased by 145 % and import from Serbia to the Czech Republic increased even more – by 260 %. What goods the two countries export the most to each other?
— The most important items in the Czech export to Serbia are motor vehicles for transport of persons, i.e. the production of the company Škoda Auto and from some other automobile factories located in my country - Hyundai, TPCA (Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen), etc. The other export items which can be find in the statistics are electricity, coke and semi-coke, telephone sets, insulated wires and cables, radio-broadcast receivers,
Miloš Zeman, Czech President and Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian President
IN THE PERIOD 2010 – 2018 THE CZECH EXPORT TO SERBIA INCREASED BY 145 % AND IMPORT FROM SERBIA TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC INCREASED EVEN MORE – BY 260% monitors, automation data processing machines, craft paper and paperboard, batteries and electric accumulators, bars of iron or steel, chemical products, machinery and appliances. From Serbia we import seats and convertible seats into beds, electricity, copper, electric apparatuses, artificial guts of hardened protein, flat-roll steel products, household refrigerators and food freezers, pneumatic tires, motors and generators, etc. An increasing number of Serbian citizens have been leaving the country for the Czech Republic, looking for better jobs. What kind of job profiles does your country lack the most?
— You are right. We register the high interest of Serbian citizens to work in the Czech Republic and therefore we launched a special governmental programme which should enable applicants to have a work permit in the Czech Republic in a flexible way. I see this as a very
useful instrument, which is beneficial for both countries. At present, there is a demand for more than 200.000 employees in the Czech Republic. There is a steady lack of hospital staff, as well as blue-collar professions, drivers, chefs and production operators. However, the list of professions in need of workforce is expanding and one of the most visible demands is for IT experts. The Czech Republic is a country that best utilized its accession to the European Union. How important is the Czech experience to Serbia and what can we learn from it?
— EU membership represents a big opportunity. Serbia has a great potential in its highly educated and hard working people. EU membership will give its citizens the opportunity to reach higher standard of living thanks to foreign investments and attractive jobs. I see for this country and its people very bright future. Try to
learn from us, we will help you. Our example could be a good motivation for You. For instance, the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic is only 2,6 %. Serbia and the Czech Republic also have strong cultural and historical ties. What is the cooperation like in other fields and how does your Embassy promote the Czech Republic in our country?
— I don´t think we have enough space to describe cooperation in all other fields. We have many agreements on cooperation not only between governments, but also between regions and cities. During the visit of our president Mr. Milos Zeman in Belgrade one month ago we signed agreements on cooperation in the field of defense and in the field of innovations and artificial intelligence. Our Embassy is very active in promoting our country. We organize concerts, seminars, exhibitions, festivals. Only in the month of September we participated in several promoting events (for example Food Planet in Novi Sad) and organized concerts at the Embassy. In October we invite all of your readers to attend the Czech Film Week which will take place from 16 October in Yugoslavian Kinoteka.
BETTER COOPERATION In which segments can Serbian and Czech companies establish better cooperation? — There is a wide range of sectors for future cooperation. Naturally, we wish to use all good references, which we have thanks to previous contracts for big investment plants, including power stations. The Czech Republic is known in Serbia for means of public transport, i.e. locomotives, wagons, trains,
trams, trolleybuses, etc. We should continue our cooperation also in the sectors where we supported bilateral development cooperation projects. I would like to emphasize that Czech Republic implemented many development projects in a total value of 575 mil. Czech crowns, i.e. approx. 2,7 bil. RSD. Therefore, we wish to continue the cooperation for example in water management and health sector.
Return of the Embassy
The re-opening of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade will lend a new impetus for advancing practical cooperation in all spheres of common benefit of our two peoples. Nowadays, both sides are working closely on the fields of tourism, investment, cooperation between our two diplomatic academies as well the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia in 2017 and 2018, which had identified the courses of new concrete steps to foster across-the-board partnership between the two counties and we expect to have the 3rd the said meeting in Belgrade, the Republic of Serbia later this year. Serbian President invited Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen to visit Serbia. When is this visit planned?
— We are aware that at the moment both leaders are very busy with their duties. Through diplomatic channels, we are coordinating closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia to seek the most convenient time for both leaders in order to make the visit happens. You almost had a meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dačić. What did you arrange?
KHIEU RITHYA Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia
Cambodia has almost reopened its embassy in Belgrade. It is worth noting that the Royal Government of Cambodia has opened a proper royal embassy in three foreign countries, including Turkey, Serbia and Bulgaria. We talked to Mr. KHIEU Rithya, Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia, what this means for our relations and what our plans are. What do our diplomatic relations mean opening the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia? In which segments we need to deepen our cooperation?
— Despite the geographical distance and test of time, Cambodia attaches its importance to the traditional ties with Serbia based on
shared interests, equality, mutual respect and historical friendship, which was nurtured by the late King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and the late President Josip Broz Tito of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Royal Government of Cambodia sincerely thanks the Serbian government for support and intervention in secur-
the fields of tourism, investment, cooperation between our two diplomatic academies as well. How do you assess the current cooperation between Serbia and Cambodia?
— Cambodia cherishes its long-standing friendship and good cooperation with the Republic
CAMBODIA CHERISHES ITS LONG-STANDING FRIENDSHIP AND GOOD COOPERATION WITH THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA OVER THE YEARS BASED ON SHARED INTERESTS, MUTUAL RESPECT AND NON-INTERFERENCE ing Cambodia’s diplomatic property in Belgrade. The re-opening of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade will lend a new impetus for advancing practical cooperation in all spheres of common benefit of our two peoples. Nowadays, both sides are working closely on
of Serbia over the years based on shared interests, mutual respect and non-interference. We note with satisfaction the outcomes of the last two rounds of political bilateral consultation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of
— Yes, it was my honor and pleasure to have such a conversation with the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ivica Dačić in July 30, 2019. During the talk which was lasted almost one hour, we raised many fields of interests, we touched the topic of the visit of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the Republic of Serbia in the coming period. The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Serbia always support each other on the international arena. Both countries have struggled to protect our national sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and stability in our own country as well as in the whole region. Kingdom of Cambodia remains consistent in its position not recognizing the unilateral declaration of Independence of Kosovo and opposing it in any international organization. How much did you know about Serbia before coming here?
It seems to me that Serbian tourists are interested in traveling to Cambodia. What would you recommend them to see? And how much do you think Serbs know about Cambodia?
— I can’t say I know Serbia well. In fact, before coming to Serbia I served as Director of the Department of Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Department of Europe is dealing with all bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and all countries in Europe, especially who has the diplomatic relation with the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Serbia is one of them. I was surprised to learn that I have been assigned to be here and now I can see how beautiful Belgrade, stable and secure and happy to be here. What are your plans for working in Serbia?
— Beside the renovation work of the Embassy’s premise, we have set up our temporary office using as the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade, meanwhile we open our consular section to issue visas for tourists, who wishes to go to visit Cambodia. We still have a lot of things to do to follow up other pending issues in order to boost the cooperation between our two countries, to unlock some potential fields of cooperation.
KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA REMAINS CONSISTENT IN ITS POSITION NOT RECOGNIZING THE UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO AND OPPOSING IT IN ANY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
— Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochinese peninsula. It is bordered in the north-west by Thailand, in the southeast by Vietnam and in the north by Laos. The coastline of about 450 km in the south borders the gulf of Thailand. Cambodia is the “Kingdom of wonder”, we have lots of things to see and visit, we have cultural heritages, monuments such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Banteay Srey temples and other ancient monuments located in all various provinces of Cambodia, scenic places like beautiful beaches in Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep and Koh Kong provinces, you can see sun rise and sun set on Bakheng mountain, Siem Reap province, water fall in Mundulkiri and Ratanakiri provinces… I hope they would love and like it. I have been here for a short period of time I met a lot of people, Cambodia is known by most of Serbians and now they are happy that Cambodian representatives are here in Belgrade.
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ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
New Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Republic of Serbia
Aida Smajić born on May 11th, 1962. in Maglaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1986. graduated on Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo. In 2015. Magister of Science degree on Faculty of Political Sciences in field of European Integrations. In her diplomatic career to date Smajić worked in Department for Bilateral Relations (Neighbouring countries) and Department for Multilateral Relations ( OSCE, Council of Europe and Regional Initiatives). In diplomatic missions of Bosnia and Herzegovina abroad, worked in Embassies in Tunisia, France and Romania, actively participated in numerous seminars organized by Ministriy of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
State Department of United States of America, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia. Attended seminars organized by ENA (French school for Public Administration) and other seminars held in Directorate for European Integrations of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Presidency of Bosnia and Hercegovina appointed Mr.sci. Aida Smajić as Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Serbia in April 2019. and Credential Letters presented to H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, President of R.of Serbia, on September 4th, 2019.
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New Marketing Manager of HEINEKEN Serbia
Neda Đokić was appointed as the new Marketing Manager HEINEKEN Serbia, effective as of September 30th, 2019. In her new role, Neda will continue the successful development of the company portfolio, shaping further new opportunities within and close to beer category, reinforcing leading position of the Company in Serbia. Neda has started building her marketing career in Unilever in London, in 2000, and continued in L’Oréal and Estee Lauder. Since 2012, she worked in Coca Cola Hellenic Serbia (CCH) on various positions, such as Noncarbonated
tart of the War of S Independence
Beverages (NCB) Manager, Marketing Manager, and in 2018, as Sales Manager, she led the team, successfully creating and executing the sales strategy that enabled further business and people growth. Using her rich experience and through innovative approach, creativity and passion for quality, together with the talented and successful employees at HEINEKEN Serbia, Neda will contribute to many surprises and consumers’ delight, as well as further spreading the messages about responsible consumption within the company “Brewing a Better World” strategy.
BELGIUM King's Day
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We Need to Change the Labour Taxation System All NALED surveys show that reducing the tax burden on wages is the first and foremost demand of businesses and that as many as 79% of businesspeople consider that labour costs are the main cause of the shadow economy
VLADIMIR NOVAKOVIĆ Chairman of NALED's Managing Board and CEO of Apatin Brewery
Following the traditional NALED September meetings, we took the opportunity to speak with the Chairman of NALED's Managing Board, Vladimir Novaković about further plans and the business environment in which Serbia's economy currently operates. You were appointed Chairman of NALED's Managing Board over a year ago. What was your biggest success since the appointment and what deserves more work?
— I am more than pleased with everything NALED has achieved in the past year. I came at the moment when the implementation of the new electronic real estate cadastral registration procedure (eŠalter) began, through which almost 335,000 applications have been submitted so far. A simplified procedure for registration of seasonal workers in agriculture has started, and as many as 24,000 seasonal workers have been registered this year through via this portal and a mobile application. Together with the IT and eGovernment Office and companies Mastercard and Visa, we launched a competition for towns and municipalities called “Champions of Cashless Payment”. In the two months since the launch of the competition, as many as 4,000 fees and taxes have
been paid with payment cards at local government counters. We are nearing the completion of the flatrate taxation system, which should bring significant administrative alleviation for some 117,000 small business owners. These are all big figures that were generated together with the Government of Serbia so I think we just need to maintain the current pace. Do you have any information about the effects of tax exemptions for beginners in business and eŠalter in the period since their implementation?
— The implementation of the new electronic procedure for registration of real estate in the cadastre (eŠalter) started in July last year and although we can always do better, we are pleased with the
that these figures will be even better in the future as it takes time for both users and institutions to get used to the new way of working. As for the tax exemption measure for beginners in business, it was launched in October last year and has been redefined in the meantime. Data from the Tax Administration as of June show that the measure was used by about
THE REQUEST FOR TAX AND CONTRIBUTION REDUCTION IS ONE OF THE 10 PRIORITY RECOMMENDATIONS IN NALED'S GRAY BOOK results. As I have mentioned, the data for the first 13 months show that almost 335,000 applications were filed through eŠalter or notaries, and the good thing is that it only took nine months for the number of applications submitted via eŠalter to exceed the number of applications filed via clerk's office. eŠalter has also significantly shortened the resolution of cases, although there are individual cases that still take an inexcusably long time to be resolved. We are sure
800 citizens who opened a small business or a limited liability company. Together with the Government of Serbia and the German Development Cooperation, we plan to launch a promotional campaign with the aim of better acquainting the citizens with it, but in addition to promotion, it is important to extend the scope of the measure to maximize its impact. Tax exemptions in the first year of business can be used by persons who have graduated from college or high
school in the previous year, as well as by persons who have been registered as unemployed with the National Employment Service for more than six months. There are over 117,000 small business owners (taxi drivers, lawyers, software developers, hairdressers, etc.) who pay flatrate tax but who are important taxpayers. However, they have to deal with a series of bureaucratic inconsistencies and obstacles that put them in unpredictable business circumstances. What is happening to the flatrate tax reform?
— We expect the improvement of the flat-rate taxation system to take effect from January 1st, 2020. This will be another major positive change in our country's business environment. As foreseen, the existing procedure whereby tax administration officials produce up to 300,000 tax assessment documents on paper per year will be replaced with software that automates this process. The idea is that anyone who wants to start their own business in a flat-
rate tax system or have already done so, can electronically check whether they are eligible to operate in that regime, calculate for themselves their tax obligation for several years in advance and a receive a tax assessment document electronically. What NALED's position regarding the recent increase in the minimum monthly wage given that the Serbian public has different views of this?
— Our country needs a change in the payroll tax system and that would be the answer to your question. All NALED surveys show that reducing the tax burden on wages is the first and foremost demand of businesses and that as many as 79% of businesspeople consider that labour costs are the main cause of the shadow economy. When NALED made a comparative analysis of the tax burden on wages, it turned out that we were at the European average when it comes to taxes on the average wage. However, we are the fifth country in Europe in terms of the lowest wage tax burden. When we consider that the current median salary is about 41,000 dinars, it means that 50% of employees in the country have a salary that is equal to or lower than that amount. And therein lies the problem. The request for tax and contribution reduction is one of the 10 priority recommendations in NALED's Gray Book. The claim has been in the book since 2013 and is one of the most enduring recommendations in our publication. Finding room to reduce the tax burden is even a bigger question. Several models need to be considered and this should be the subject of a comprehensive public-private dialogue, to which the State has committed itself through the National Programme for Suppression of the Shadow Economy. Whether we decide to progressively tax, abolish or drastically reduce some
WE ARE NEARING THE COMPLETION OF THE FLATRATE TAXATION SYSTEM, WHICH SHOULD BRING SIGNIFICANT ADMINISTRATIVE ALLEVIATION FOR SOME 117,000 SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS of the contributions or increase the non-taxable portion of our earnings (the so-called census), the decision must be carefully weighed in favour of citizens, businesses and faster economic development. NALED has defined six key goals for the period up to the year 2021. The priorities are the reduction of the shadow economy, modernization of the tax system, improvement of e-government and e-business, reforming cadastre and planning and construction procedures, facilitating
conditions for the development of agriculture and food industry, development of the healthcare sector, as well as boosting international competitiveness and regional cooperation. Which of these goals is the most difficult to implement and why?
— The priorities we have embedded in the strategic plan have been chosen by our members, who recognized the key areas for faster economic development. At the same time, they expressed their commitment to contributing to the implementation by joining our
alliances - expert working groups. Alliances are tasked with formulating policies, defining priorities and concrete initiatives for the Government and THE Parliament. Through participation in alliances, members invest their professional capacities, resources and reputation in the pursuit of common goals while respecting the general interests of society. In line with strategic priorities, the Fair Competition Alliance, the E-Government Alliance, the Healthcare Alliance, the Food and Agriculture Alliance and the Property and Urbanism Alliance have been formed so far. Each of the selected priorities has its specificities. For instance, to combat the shadow economy, it is crucial to ensure cooperation and coordination of a large number of institutions, from ministries and inspections to courts, which is often not easy. When it comes to the development of e-government, the biggest challenge is to change the way administration works and overcome resistance. Agriculture is a good example of a traditional sector where a greater degree of digitization is required, while in the healthcare sector it is necessary to achieve a greater level of optimization or better use of existing resources. In terms of regional cooperation, the biggest challenge is to ensure its sustainability. NALED has launched an initiative to establish a Business Friendly Environment (BFE) platform that would connect the Western Balkan countries in areas that are crucial to improving the competitiveness of the region and allow for the exchange or replication of good reforms that we are known for (e-building permits, e-cadastre, e-space, digital fiscalization, seasonal workers, etc.). Such a platform would help fulfil the commitments we have undertaken through the Berlin Process and contribute to the better positioning of the region of Southeast Europe on the global investment map.
PLANS FOR 2020 What will NALED focus on in 2020? Tell us about your plans. — NALED is involved in several major reforms in the areas we have identified as priorities and we believe that 2020 could be a very successful year when it comes to improving business conditions. Our priorities are to set up a public-private dialogue laboratory where the economy, civil sector and government institutions would work together
to develop public policies and define reforms (PPD Lab), as well as set up electronic services - aArchive, eSpace, eProcurement, eAgiculture. Then there is the labour law reform regarding seasonal and part-time jobs, work via online platforms and freelancing, automation of flat-rate tax, healthcare financing reform, and resolving property issues - conversion, land consolidation, cooperative assets.
We Brought Companies to Our Faculty The Faculty of Economics can boast that, in the last 10 years, it enabled students to do their work practice in the best companies in Serbia
Professor DRAGAN LONČAR Vice Dean for cooperation with the business sector and organization at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade
A unique programme implemented at the University of Belgrade that will allow students to get acquainted with real business problems in auditing, marketing, banking, tourism, management, was launched at the Faculty of Economics in early October. Ekof Business Lab will give young people a chance to do their practice not in a company, but at the Faculty, for the first time. We spoke with Dragan Lončar, Vice Dean for Cooperation with the Business Sector and Organization of the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, about what this programme entails. A lab for young economists was launched at your faculty in early October. Can you tell us more about this programme?
— Ekof business lab is conceived as a unique project at the University of Belgrade, which will provide students with an unusual training programme this autumn. Through the mentoring process and inhouse work practice, done at the Faculty of Economics, they will acquire skills that will make them even more desirable candidates in the job market tomorrow. The mentors will be representatives of reputable companies, engaged in different business activities and will rotate every month, while the trainees will be able to acquire various knowledge and information.
The mentors will assign students with tasks that reflect the real-world problems that a company faces daily. The first month, EY will be the host of the Ekof Business Lab, so accounting and auditing students will discover the secrets of this business. In addition to the desire to provide students with top-notch knowledge in the field of economic science, we have made a special effort in recent years to fully equip them for the business world. This practice will develop practical thinking in students and provide them with useful business experiences. How did the idea for this programme come about?
— The Faculty of Economics can boast that, in the last 10 years, it enabled students to do their work practice in the best companies
in Serbia. This time around, we wanted to reverse the situation and bring businesses to college for students to get better acquainted with the business world. The most important thing is to allow them to study and see what real business looks like in our country, as well as to learn about the situations that await them when they graduate and start working. You are the Vice Dean for cooperation with the business sector and organization at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade. How would you rate your cooperation with companies and what do you think of the new law on dual education in higher education?
— The Centre for Cooperation with Businesses at our Faculty provides professional development for students thanks to its strong cooperation with the business sector. The Faculty has signed cooperation agreements with over 500 domestic and foreign companies operating in our country. I am very proud
STUDENTS NO LONGER HAVE TO LOOK FOR WORK PRACTICE; NOW, COMPANIES COME TO THEM
of the fact that we have come a long way in this process. It is projects such as the Ekof Business Lab that promote hands-on work, workbased learning and ultimately lifelong learning. The principles of the dual education system and the way this system is implemented in European countries in the education sector have brought great benefits to students, which in the end, has a positive impact on the economy of the country. Regarding our educational system, we will have to make numerous adjustments for everyone in this process to be winners. Ekof is known for its innovative programmes that are an addition to regular education. Do you have another project in the pipeline?
— In addition to the Ekof Business Lab, we have a project that promotes student initiative, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking called Startup Centre. In this centre, students develop their ideas and turn them into a business. For the last two years, Economics and Finance has been one of the most popular programmes at our faculty which is implemented in line with the programme of the renowned London School of Economics (LSE). The good news is that the Faculty of Economics is developing its cooperation with the LSE and, as of this year, is introducing another subject in the English language with a strong focus on business called “Business and Management”. Students who choose these programmes will receive two degrees at the end of their studies - one from the Faculty of Economics and the other from the London School of Economics, which explains the huge interest in these studies.
By: MARIJA MILOŠEVIĆ
Joint Solidarity Campaign for Raising Awareness Campaigns, like raising money for medical treatment via text messages, are promoted as the only means of solving social problems, but they divert attention from the causes of society's demise by shifting responsibility to personal ethics group of architects experienced in designing temporary housing who provided their assistance. Plus, Uroš Arsić, a photojournalist, documented the events that transpired since the accident.
MARIJA KAUZLARIĆ Initiator of the DoMiraj campaign
When a slum in the Vuk Vrčević Street in Belgrade was destroyed in a fire last year, which caused several families to lose their homes and security, the enthusiasm and goodwill of a few good people restored faith in humanity for the victims. The artist Marija Kauzlarić and her friends have launched the DoMiraj charity campaign, and invested a lot of effort into re-enforcing the elementary right of every human – that is to have the roof over their heads. The exciting, somewhat unexpected and emotionally charged story of solidarity, support, togetherness and sometimes forgotten humanity served as an example and has become an inexhaustible inspiration to many, justifiably so.
How did you come up with the idea of launching this charity campaign?
— The DoMiraj project was launched by a group of friends gathered around the Mileševska 7 art studio. However, humanitarianism is not a role in which we recognized ourselves. Campaigns, like raising money for medical treatment via text messages, are promoted as the only means of solving social problems, but they divert attention from the causes of society's demise by shifting responsibility to personal ethics. However, the direction in which society has been developing for decades implies that meeting human needs is not a goal in itself, but a stepping stone in profit-making activities. We are thus witnessing paradoxical phenomena such as megalomaniacal construction ventures and the simultaneous inability of society to protect itself from disasters.
What set this tragedy apart in the sea of others and motivated
Thanks to the donations of many people and your involvement, you have built a home for a mother and her two children. What was the experience of contributing to such an endeavour like?
PEOPLE WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND WE JUST NEED TO FACILITATE THAT INVOLVEMENT you to do everything you could to unconditionally help the homeless families?
— Over the past few years, we have developed great friendships with the people who live in the Vuk Vrčević neighbourhood because we have collaborated on projects related to young Roma people in Belgrade. Each time we were received as if we were part of their immediate family. Calling a friend and offering them help when you hear they're in trouble
is the most natural thing.
You and a group of your friends have been able to incite a large number of people and encourage them to assist you in this campaign. How did that work out for you? — Sometimes it is enough to ask the person next to you for help. You never know where that will take you. People from the initiative „Krov nad Glavom“ were the first to join us, as were TIM8, a
— In fact, besides the house where Vesna, the single mother, now lives, we have renovated several other houses with donated materials. We organized real flash mobs on several occasions. The works were led and supervised by an experienced craftsman from the neighbourhood, and every one of us learned at least one construction skill. I had the opportunity to learn how to work on a cement mixer.
After the campaign, an exhibition was staged as a tribute to the strength and beauty of human solidarity. What scenes were the most memorable in this emotional process?
— We got a call from the Street Gallery (Ulična Galerija) and they offered us an exhibition date. This was a good opportunity to help our cause and to mention just about every person and organization that had helped us. The cement mixer was chosen as our mascot. It has become a symbol of the idea that everyone has the right to a dignified life.
They say that this initiative has restored faith in humanity for many people. How do you feel about that?
— If they said so then that's a little scary because it seems to us that faith in humanity has never diminished. People want to get involved and we just need to facilitate that involvement. It's doesn't take much and it feels good to know you're not alone. Photos: Uroš Arsić
The Rise of Open-Source Computing It is good for competition—and may offer a way to ease the tech war To the average capitalist “open source” software may seem like a pretty odd idea. Like most products, conventional computer software—from video games to operating systems—is developed in secret, away from the prying eyes of competitors, and then sold to customers as a finished product. Open-source software, which has roots in the collaborative atmosphere of computing’s earliest days, takes the opposite approach. Code is public, and anyone is free to take it, modify it, share it, suggest improvements or add new features. It has been a striking success. Open-source software runs more than half the world’s websites and, in the form of Android, more than 80% of its smartphones. Some governments, including Germany’s and Brazil’s, prefer their officials to use open-source software, in part because it reduces their dependence on foreign companies. The security-conscious appreciate the ability to inspect, in detail, the goods they are using. It is perfectly compatible with making money. In July ibm spent $34bn to buy Red Hat, an American maker of a free open-source operating system, which earns its crust by charging for ancillary services like customer support and training. Now the model is spreading to chips. risc-v is a set of open-source designs for microchips that was initially developed a decade ago at the University of California, Berkeley. These days it is attracting attention from many big technology firms, including Google, Nvidia and Qualcomm (see article). In August ibm made its Power chip designs open-source. These moves are welcome, for two reasons. The first is economic. The chip business is highly concentrated. risc-v competes with closedsource designs from Arm, a Japanese-owned firm which monopolises the market for tablet and smartphone chips, and is a dominant presence in the fast-growing “internet of things”. ibm’s Power will challenge Intel’s grip on desktops and data-centres. A dose
OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE RUNS MORE THAN HALF THE WORLD’S WEBSITES AND, IN THE FORM OF ANDROID, MORE THAN 80% OF ITS SMARTPHONES of competition could lower prices and quicken innovation. The second reason is geopolitical. America and China are waging a technological cold war; it threatens to damage a computer industry that has become thoroughly globalised. The open-source model, were it to be widely adopted, might help defuse these tensions, by giving both sides at least some of what they want. Start with China. In May Amer-
ica blacklisted Huawei, a Chinese tech giant which makes both smartphones and mobile-network equipment. That underlined, to other Chinese firms and to the country’s leadership, the risks of a model in which Chinese tech firms build their products on American software and hardware designs. Under the label “Made in China 2025”, the country is investing billions to try to boost its domestic capacity. Open-source components of-
fer an alternative supply chain, less subject to any individual country’s control. Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, has already shown off a machine-learning risc-v chip. Xiaomi, a maker of smartphones and other consumer gadgets, is planning to use risc-v chips in its fitness bands. Were Android not open source, Huawei would be in an even deeper hole than it already is. Other countries are interested, too. India’s government has been investing in risc-v development in the past year; it is also keen to develop a technology ecosystem that minimises foreign dependence. In an effort to reassure the companies using its technology, the risc-v Foundation is moving from America to neutral Switzerland. Many in the West, meanwhile, see China’s growing technological prowess as a malign development. One worry is that Chinese products may be Trojan horses, allowing a repressive dictatorship to steal secrets—or, worse, to sabotage societies that are increasingly dependent on networked computers. Here too, open-source technologies can begin to change the mood. Most Chinese products remain closed-source “black boxes” containing software and hardware whose inner workings are unknown. Particularly for software, and to some extent with hardware, an open-source model would give buyers the ability to compare what they have with what they were promised. To the extent that they can verify, they will not have to trust. The tech war is a battle for influence between an incumbent superpower and an aspirant one. A complete rupture would be extraordinarily costly and force most countries to take sides. Opensource computing can help calm tempers. That would be good for everybody. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
For the First Time in Novi Sad – ‘Charity Dinner near Miletić’ for Children's Village
The International Day of Older Persons Marked in Belgrade On Monday, September 16th, for the first time ever, Color Media Communication organized an outdoor charity event, modeled after the Long Table from Graz, with all the guests involved in helping the Children's Village in Sremska Kamenica. The representative of the City of Novi Sad, President of the Color Press Group, Robert Čoban, Director of Children's Village, Mirko Jankelić and Vukašin Grozdanović, the Coordinator of OPENS 2019,
H.E. Nada Al Akl, Ambassador of Lebanon
addressed the guests. The guests also enjoyed a great music programme performed by the opera soloist of the Serbian National Theatre from Belgrade, Nataša Rašić, as well as the performance of the Ladies' Choir of Novi Sad, the Music of the Heart Choir and Jovana Lazić. Coca-Cola was the event’s partner. The Gastro Planet restaurant was in charge of the dinner, while beverages and flower arrangements were provided by the Kovačević Winery and Samanta Flower Shop respectively.
Igor Mirović, Head of the Government of the AP Vojvodina
The Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, in collaboration with Color Media Communications, marked the International Day of Older Persons on September 30th at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Suzana Paunović, Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Serbia, Zoran Djordjević, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs, Nadežda Satarić, Chairwoman of the Managing Board of the Serbia for All Generations - Amity (Srbija za sve generacije) civil association spoke at the event, as did Aranka Medješ, a representative of elderly women from Kucura and a representative of a retired woman from Vračar. “Elderly people in Serbia mostly live alone. Of the approximately 450,000 households with elderly people, an elderly person lives alone in more than half of them. Only a third of the elderly lives in the same household as their children. We must not forget this information and we must not forget that loneliness is a problem that the elderly often face,” Suzana Paunović, Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Serbia, said on September 30th, marking the In-
ternational Day of Older Persons. The "oldest" area in Serbia is its southern and eastern parts, where as much as 25% of the population is over 60 years of age, Paunović said, adding that analyses show that, by 2080, 28.7% of the EU population will be elderly. She also said that the trend of the growing number of elderly people was noticed in our country as well - it is estimated that, by 2040, the elderly will make between 23.6% and 25.2% of Serbia’s population. According to her, the care of the elderly people is a priority of the whole Government which will continue to actively support the elderly and improve their financial position. “Financial support for pensioners is one of the Government's priorities, as we want our country to be a country for all generations, as reflected in the slogan of today's event,” Suzana Paunović added. The event was attended by senior cities and municipalities from all over Serbia - Novi Pazar, Uba, Trstenik, Bor, Kragujevac, Sremska Mitrovica and Kucura - as well as elderly people from Belgrade municipalities. The Smilje Choir, from the Bežanijska Kosa home for the elderly, sang Serbian anthem “Bože Pravde” on the occasion.
Smiljka Jovanović, Provincial Secretary of Finance and Boško Vučurević, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vojvodina
Text: SANJA ŠOJIĆ
The Opposition has Become a Democratic Decoration
Vučić does nothing different to what every woman does in the morning,and what we, men, do more or less - he "grooms”himself, hiding his flaws and emphasizing his virtues KREŠIMIR MACAN Political marketing expert, director and owner of Manjgura Agency
Politicians' backstage activities are one of the favourite topics in the domestic and international film. Still, our interviewee says that what happens in reality is sometimes more interesting than a movie. We talked to Krešimir Macan, one of the best political marketing experts in the region, about the changes in this segment that have never been so fast and how politicians adapt to new circumstances. Social media have created a new way of functioning that politicians need to adapt to, but the question is whether they are ready for it. We also spoke to Mr. Macan if what was portrayed in the regional series “Novine” was a reflection of the reality. “Every good series has to be have footing in reality and of course, for dramaturgical purposes, some parts are amplified and made up. “Novine” is the Croatian version. HBO’s “The Loudest Voice” about the Fox News founder Robert Ailes is also fascinating. If people look at both series they will understand what reality is. We do not live in an ideal world, and we have to know that these kinds of things have been happening since the beginning of time,” Krešimir Macan says the beginning of our conversation, adding that he started to engage in political marketing because of the BBC’s original series “House of Cards” . How much effort to the politicians in our region invest in controlling the media and how much do they interfere with social media?
— There have always been attempts to control both the messages and the messengers. You can control the message, but it’s doubtful how many messengers you can control. In our region, the situation varies from country to country, and I have worked in every one
IN SERBIA, THE BOT SYSTEM IS NURTURED LIKE A GARDEN of them. Until recently, Macedonia and Serbia were good examples of attempts at complete control, while allowing a small segment of media freedom; a portion of garden, if you will, that you show guests when they come around. It was a lot easier in the black-andwhite world behind the Iron Curtain where everybody knew which side they were on. Corporate interests are often stronger than political interests. In the series “Novine”, you will find para-intelligence services, business and corruption and all of it is intertwined. The principle is the same - information is traded for interest.
Social networks have brought change, Facebook has become an infrastructure. Facebook allowed independent media and movements to develop on its platform. Everything has escalated with the election of Trump in 2016 and the question of whether the Russians have funded the process. The world is changing more and faster than ever before and we need to adjust accordingly. What was done in terms of online political marketing before Trump is no longer valid. We have the largest communication channel where anyone can publish what they want, not just professionals. There
are more challenges than ever for politics and the media. The only thing that will remain the same are marketing persuasion techniques and that’s how it’s going to be in the next 100 years. Still, everything else is changing dramatically. In Serbia, social networks are not as important for politics as they are in Croatia, with movements and parties being born on the social media platform. The global phenomenon where political movements emerge on social networks has been a reality in Croatia for some time. We constantly have about 20% of dissatisfied voters who would know what to say if a communication channel opened for them. I think that is yet to happen in Serbia. In Bosnia and Herzgovina, Naša Stranka (Our Party)communicates like that. In Croatia, I see a growing dissatisfaction that can be articulated through social networks. Every fifth voter has an alternative because Facebook cannot be controlled and the younger people do not even consume news from television but primarily from online sources. This is where politicians feel insecure for a good reason because they do not know how to function in the new reality. Television is still the primary channel for politics, but it will not be so in five to ten years. You mentioned elections in America, which were based on social networks. How much are we lagging behind the world?
— We're not lagging behind. Everything they did in America, I did the same with the Democratic Party in Serbia in the parliamentary elections the same year. Likewise, in the 2014 presidential campaign, we, in Croatia, had an escalation of fake news, where we saw anonymous web portals from foreign servers emerging. Trump knew exactly in which states he should win. He knew he had to demotivate black voters to go to the polls. For the first time ever there was polarization - the media
split into left and right. Trump addressed only his audience; he did not care about others. All this leads to the polarization of the society and to communication no longer being a coincidence. Believing that someone will support someone because they have good ideas, that’s just naive. Is this the reason why the number of right-wing movements is growing in Europe and the world and are coming to power? Did they master their target group?
— They are trying to. The point is that classical parties do not do their job - this is happening in Croatia, but also in many other countries such as Italy. Today, everyone says that the user is a God, because today users have tools to influence decisions. The problem is that the parties don’t spend every day in the market, but rather every four years. They will disappear if they do not adapt. The old parties in Serbia are merely existing, except maybe for the Socialists. Serbia is the typical case of planned early elections. After that,the cycle is further extended and change comes more slowly.
goals. If their lives were miserable, people would take it to the streets. Vučić works strategically and he takes advice from the best of the world. He grew an oneline bot system like a garden. Hierarchy-wise, this is the lowest level, but this is also a way of working with young people. In Croatia, many parties have lost young people entirely because they live differently than they used to. Vučić found a way to win them over, although the main draw here is perhaps the possibility of party-sponsored employment.
day-to-day and some think strategically. If journalists define your agenda, then you are definitely lagging behind them. I wanted to do the same in the Croatian Government with Plenković; I wanted to set strategic long-term goals.Truth be told, the things that Vučić is doing now, the previous government did too, only that they did not have such a large majority that they could push through everything on their own - they had a coalition. The opposition has become a democratic decoration today. Of course, it is much harder to work from the
THE PROBLEM LIES IN PARTY-SPONSORED EMPLOYMENT AND NEGATIVE SELECTION
Do politicians respect knowledge and do they seek advice?
There is a phenomenon in Serbia of the SNS and President Vučić being engaged a perpetual campaign. What do you think of that?
— If he works purposefully every day and he does, he informs those who care about him. He wants to gain masses of voters; he doesn’t want intellectuals. There were lists of reputable intellectuals in Serbia who supported him. I don’t think that Vučić is only after gaining mass following.
— That’s what his image misses. Every great leader, or an autocrat, wants to have his or her circle of intellectuals around him. This is accomplished in various ways. I must say he did manage to win over Belgrade. He failed to do so for a long time, but it turned out that he still knew how placate Belgrade, while others lived off the old success thinking that "the intellectual Belgrade" voted smart. Well, it didn’t, because only one in five voters are considered intellectual and educated voters. So, 80% can vote as you wish if you exercise a smart policy. You say people don’t like Vučić but where is the proof of that? It seems to me that he is very selective in choosing what to give and to whom. He has set certain
via negative selection in all parties and those who possess the knowledge disappear quite quickly. If you manage to keep the key people in the party, you have the basis for growth. In 2016, Vučić was chasing one goal - 50% of the vote. He has accomplished all his goals so far. We need to acknowledge the importance of communication in all segments. The problem lies in party-sponsored employment and negative selection.Speaking long-term, that would be the most detrimental to the SNS, so at some point, it will start to fall apart because it will not have the quality staff. The parties have to be a bit autocratic, that's why there are these so-called party whips that discipline MPs. You cannot rule unless you have governing technology. In the world, the political communication market is much better developed. There is neither knowledge nor critical mass here.
You say that he does certain favours to citizens which is why they are voting for him. The question then is, can political marketing also do a disservice?
— Yes, but not all the time. This has to fall apart at one point, which is why it is missing that element when people are not afraid of speaking up, and point out to negative things in the government. Vučić does nothing different to what every woman does in the morning, and what we, men, do more or less - namely, he "grooms”himself, hiding his flaws and emphasizing his virtues. Tony Blair did that first, i.e. conducting a permanent campaign which started on the first day of his re-election. Opponents are so tired because they have no money to continue. And therein lies the difference - some run the business
opposition, but let's not forget that they get money from the budget to be the opposition. What are they doing with that money? Are they are preparing the system for the next elections or they claim they can’t do anything so they will boycott the elections? Their overall assessment would be much worse than Vučić’s and I think that voters share that sentiment. Do you think that the opposition is seriously engaged in political marketing?
— Everyone underestimates it because the awareness of its importance is not sufficiently developed. I think that people are only now becoming aware. If you ask me, Vučić would get a straight “A” from me. Generally speaking, political parties do not know enough about this; politicians are chosen
— The best answer to that would be to say that no-one is invincible. Alexander Kwaśniewski, a young atheist who was the sports minister in Jaruzelski’s government, won the Polish presidential election against Lech Walesa. This could be likened to the Milošević-Tudjam dynamic, speaking in historical terms. It's a historical example of how anything is possible if you know what you're doing. Politicians often want a magic wand, but it does not exist. I often have to tell candidates that they were going to lose. We have to tell the client the truth, even if sometimes they don't want to hear it. We have arguments for everything. I have to explain here that we, as a profession, cannot predict elections; we only measure trends, according to which we change our approach to the campaign. Surveys are like a perfume, you can smell but cannot try, said Jacques Séguéla, who led Kwaśniewski to victory. We don't know the result either, because surveys are conducted to enable us to change the result. If Trump had not been losing at certain point, according to the statistics and previous results, he would not have pressed the gas pedal and win in the end. If you remember, until the last moment, everyone claimed that Hillary was winning. On the election day you don't know who's will participate and how they're going to vote. It's the only day when politicians are really scared of voters.
TELENOR BANKA BECOMES MOBI BANKA
EUROPE’S MOST SUSTAINABLE BEVERAGE COMPANY
Dow Jones Sustainability Index – a leading global benchmark for sustainability in business – has rated Coca-Cola HBC Europe’s most sustainable beverage company. This is the 6th time in 7 years that the company has been ranked number 1 in the index and the 9th year in a row that it has been ranked in the top three Global and European beverage companies. Maximum scores in 11 categories and positive improvements in 9 others contributed to an overall score of 90, which ranked the company second in the global ranking. Commenting on the achievement, CEO Zoran Bogdanovic said: “We are honoured and proud that the commitment of our employees and
partners to sustainable practices has again resulted in this recognition. We are well aware though that this is just a snapshot. In reality, the work never stops and there is always more to be done. That’s why we put so much focus on the consistent, long-term delivery of our sustainability goals.”
UniCredit Banka Serbia
THE BEST BANK IN „LOAN FINANCE“ CATEGORY
UniCredit has won across several categories in the 2019 Euromoney Real Estate Survey- UniCredit Banka Serbia awarded for the best bank in „Loan finance“ category. Euromoney published on 9th September the results of the Euromoney Real Estate Survey and UniCredit has been awarded in several
categories. In the “Bank” category overall, UniCredit has been recognized in the CEE region at large, as well as in Czech Republic and Hungary specifically. Furthermore, in the “Loan finance” category the bank was awarded in Austria, Hungary, and Serbia and in the “Equity Finance” category in Austria and Slovakia. Spas Vidarkinsky, Head of Corporate and Investment banking at UniCredit Bank Serbia, said: “This acknowledgment serves to demonstrate and once again confirm the strength of our service offering. We are very happy that Euromoney, our peers and clients surveyed recognise UniCredit Bank Serbia as a best in class provider in real estate services”.
Telenor banka continues its business operations under the new name, Mobi Banka. This comes as natural next step in the development of the first mobile and online bank in Serbia, after it was acquired by PPF Group in February 2019. The business name change will be accompanied with bank’s new visual identity. “The new name, Mobi Banka, completely reflects our strategic commitment to continue developing advanced digital products, accessible to clients primarily through mobile and online banking. The bank will also remain focused on its synergy with Telenor Serbia. It is with great pleasure that we share the Bank’s new name and visual identity with more than 450,000 of our clients. In the years to come, we will strive for Mobi Banka’s innovations to actively contribute to the further transformation of banking in Serbia, which will be increasingly mobile, direct, immediate and simplified for the clients”, said Miloš Brusin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Mobi Banka.
MASTERCARD'S DONATION TO NURDOR'S BIGGEST PARENT HOUSE TO DATE
OFFICIALLY BUYS SOCIETE GENERALE SERBIA
Societe Generale Srbija continues doing business with the new name – OTP banka Srbija AD Beograd, and its priority will remain client orientation, innovation drive and dedication to further development, now with strong support of OTP Group. Merger with Vojvodjanska banka, member of OTP Group is planned in 2021. OTP Group announced the completion of the procedure for the purchase of Societe Generale Bank in Serbia. The bank will continue doing business with the new name – OTP banka Srbija AD Beograd, while Societe Generale Osiguranje changes its name into OTP Osiguranje ADO Beograd, and Sogelease becomes OTP Leasing Srbija d.o.o. With this transaction successfully closed, OTP
Group – which is also the owner of Vojvodjanska banka – further strengthens its market position in Serbia as the integration process of the two banks will result in creating the leading banking institutions on the Serbian market by size of assets, number of branches and loan and deposit portfolio. In the next period, both OTP Group member banks’ main focus will be to maintain the highest level of service quality, while working with clients, and the successful implementation of the integration process.
The national donation campaign, initiated by Mastercard for the benefit of NURDOR as part of the first stage of the long-term cooperation, is finished with Mastercard donating € 250,000 to NURDOR's new Parent House. By doing so, Mastercard will contribute to finding a permanent solution for providing the required capacities for the Parent House in Belgrade, as the biggest medical diagnostic and treatment centre in Serbia. The national importance of this campaign is also validated by the fact that most children in Serbia and the region are treated in Belgrade. Mastercard's campaign titled "Together for the house that every superhero deserves" is the biggest local socially responsible campaign launched by Mastercard in Serbia so far. The campaign has both national and regional importance because Belgrade is considered the largest diagnostic and therapeutic centre not only in Serbia but also by Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL CONDUCTED THE 6th VISIT TO EU INSTITUTIONS IN BRUSSELS With series of successful meetings with representatives of the European Commission, delegation the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) finalized its visit to Brussels, sixth in a row. Thus, the FIC continued to support the process of European integration of Serbia, being a reliable partner both to the Serbian Government and the European Union. During a two-day visit, FIC delegation met with representatives of 8 directorate generals of the European Commission: NEAR, ECFIN, TAXUD, EMPL, TRADE, CNECT, SANTE and GROW. In addition, meeting with the Serbian Ambassador to EU Ana Hrustanovic was also held.
WHY DO ATHLETES BELONG TO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEES?
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appreciated. If you are still not a member of our large family of satisfied users and you would want to, you can find all the necessary information on https://fitpass.rs/, in the section for business users https://fitpass.rs/kompanije. Also, if you have any questions or want more detailed information, you can contact our customer support at email@example.com which will get back to you as soon as possible.
CELEBRATED ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY IN SERBIA
THE LOGISTICS CENTER HAS HAD A GALA OPENING
Phase one of the 17,000 m² “KLP” logistics center has been completed, and the most modern KLP logistics center in Simanovci has had a gala opening. The KLP facility has an attractive location in Simanovci, right next to the E-70 highway in the industrial zone. It has been built in accordance with the highest quality standards, FM Global and LEED standards, and, together with the other location criteria, it belongs to the class “A” of modern industrial facilities. The facility has been built for rent purposes to future tenants in the field of logistics and it represents a major shift in logistics standards in Serbia. Marking that occasion, a gala opening ceremony of the logistics center took place, together with a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by the general contractor, the Konstruktor company, and the managing director of the KLP logistics center, Mr. Kosta Ginic. In addition, on that occasion and at the same location, Konstruktor, the general contractor, celebrated company’s fifteenth anniversary.
The international company UnitCargo, one of the leaders in logistics and transportation of goods in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, celebrated its first anniversary of operations in Serbia. The celebration was
attended by UnitCargo CEO Davor Sertic, Ambassador of Austria in the Republic of Serbia Nikolaus Lutterotti, as well as representatives of relevant government institutions and many guests from the world of economy, business and media. UnitCargo CEO Davor Sertic announced that company, which has been operating in six European countries for 15 years, plans to open a modern logistics warehouse in Serbia in the next three years, to employ up to thirty workers and reach a turnover of ten million euros.
BEST OF THE 100 GREATEST AWARDS Under the auspices of the 100 Greatest in Serbia project, the Hilton Hotel hosted a ceremony at which the best companies in terms of revenue, profits, staff, and exporters were honoured. At the ceremony, which brought together representatives of more than 220 companies from Serbia, civil servants, ambassadors, the representatives of local businesses, art and media, the following companies were awarded - NIS, Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), DIPOS, Porsche Belgrade, Gradina, DIS, MOL, IMLEK, Matijević Meat Industry, Clover Serbia, Krupnik, GIM, Nelt, Knez Petrol, AURA, Coopservice, Gigatron, Matis, Nissan Serbia, Lovo Traffic, Don Don, DTD Ribarstvo and Agropromet. The 100 Greatest project was first realized in Serbia in partnership with Addiko Bank this year, under the slogan “Multiply opportunities, share success”. The companies that were awarded are recognized as
an example of successful business and an active participant in creating better conditions and business climate in the local market. Of the 434,990 active companies currently in Serbia, a total of 108, 083 companies submitted their balance sheets in 2018 and they were considered for the 100 Greatest project. 1,186 companies met the project criteria in 16 categories and 15 industries. Apart from revenue, profit, number of employees and export activities, the companies were divided by size into large, medium, micro and small.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
09 THE HONORARY SEP
CONSULATE OF MEXICO OPENED IN NORTH MACEDONIA
The Honorary Consulate of the United Mexican States (Mexico) has opened in North Macedonia. The Honorary Consulate will be chaired by Enver Maliqi, who officially assumes the title of the Honorary Consul of Mexico in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Honorary Consulate will work to promote co-operation between the two countries and launch joint activities in several areas. The opening ceremony of the Honorary Consulate was hosted by the Mexican Ambassador, H.E. Marco Antonio García Blanco.
Enver Maliqi, H.E. Marco Antonio García Blanco and Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia
17 FIGHT AGAINST SEP
HATE SPEECH AND INTOLERANC
French Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Jean-Louis Falconi held a reception at his residence on the occasion of a three-day conference titled "Fighting Intolerance and Promoting Equality". The conference marks the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe and
the 25th anniversary of the European Commissions Against Racism and Intolerance. Conference participants, diplomatic corps, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the EU, NGOs and institutions dealing with these issues, as well as public figures were the reception guests
H.E. Sem Fabrizi, EU Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Thomas Schieb, Germany Ambassador to Serbia and H.E. Carlo Lo Cascio, Ambassador of Italy
H.E. Jean-Louis Falconi
18 THE BSBA SEP
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS EVENING
The Belgian-Serbian Business Association organized another Annual Members and Friends Evening to thank the members and partners for their support and contribution to the work of the Association. The event took place at the IN Hotel,
Lounge Bar INcognito. H.E. Koenraad Adam, Ambassador of Belgium to Serbia, and Mr. Hugo van Veghel, President of the BSBA, welcomed old and new members and friends, wishing them successful networking.
Mr. Hugo van Veghel and H.E. Koenraad Adam
Selena Djordjević, HBA, Djordje Petrović, DSBA, Marija Radulović, CBC and Marijana Milošević Tufegdžić, Belgian Embassy
19 SLOVENIAN SEP
BUSINESS CLUB WORK MEETING
With EUR 1.1 billion, Slovenia is one of the ten biggest investors in Serbia, and the economic and political cooperation between the two countries is at an all-time high, Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali said on Thursday, September 19, at a working meeting with members of the Slovenian Business Club in Serbia, held
Siniša Mali,Finance Minister
Siniša Mali and Danijela Fišakov, President Slovenian Business Club
22 THE BOOK ABOUT MARINA SEP
ABRAMOVIĆ PROMOTED AT THE SWISS EMBASSY
H.E. Philippe Guex
23 TO SAY GOODBYE: SEP
in Belgrade. Today, investments go both ways – Serbian companies invest in Slovenia in several areas and at the same time, around 25,000 people in Serbia work in Slovenian companies. The trade between the two countries is constantly growing, and will soon approach the figure of 2 billion annually, Minister Mali said.
hosted a reception at the Swiss Residence. The event was attended by Marina Abramović, who is visiting Belgrade for the opening of her acclaimed exhibition “The Cleaner”.
On the occasion of the launch of the Serbian translation of the book “Psychoanalyst meets Marina Abramović” by Jeannette Fischer, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, H.E. Philippe Guex
H.E. Philippe Guex with his wife, Marina Abramović and Slobodan Nakarada, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art
FAREWELL PARTY BY US AMBASSADOR KYLE SCOTT
On September 23, US Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Kyle Scott hosted a residence farewell party called “TO SAY GOODBYE”. The farewell party of the US ambassador was attended by the public,
cultural and political figures. “Serbia has contributed largely to the world, and has yet many things to offer. Serbia is the world”, said US Ambassador Kyle Scott who is leaving Serbia soon.
H.E. Kyle Scott and spouse Nevena Scott
MORE PHOTOS ON
PEOPLE & EVENTS
24 4th ISRAELI-SERBIAN SEP
BUSINESS COMMUNITY NETWORKING COCKTAIL
Just before the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Embassy of Israel in Serbia organized an Israeli-Serbian business community networking cocktail. As this year’s New Year falls on 29th September, the Israeli Ambassador
to Serbia, H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm hosted the fourth business networking event. The cocktail party was held at the ambassadorial residence and gathered many members of the business associations, both local and international.
Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative in Serbia, H.E. Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm
H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm
26 53rd BITEF SEP
The play “Fear Eats the Soul” won the Mira Trailović Award at the 53rd Bitef. The Jovan Ćirilov Special Award was given to the play "Immoral Stories: Part 1 Mother House". The plays “Rare Birds” and “Invited”
officially closed the 53rd Bitef, with winners announced immediately after. Senior officials, representatives of the EU and other embassies, together with Bitef partners, attended the last performance the play “Invited”.
Ivan Medenica, Art Director of BITEF
01 90 YEARS OF OCT
Svetozar Cvetković, Actor
The BELGRADE – HELSINKI, 90 Years of Diplomatic Relations exhibition presents the history of relations between the two countries through official documents that marked the most important events. A special focus of the exhibition is on the friendship of two presidents, Josip Broz Tito and Urho Kekkonen. President Kekkonen visited
H.E. Sheikh Mubarak Fahad J.M. AL-THANI, Ambassador of Quatar, H.E.Mohammed Ambassador of Palestine and H.E. Hossein Molla Abdollahi, Iranian Ambassador to Serbia
Yugoslavia four times, while President Tito visited Finland twice. The exhibition is staged at the Yugoslav Archive, while the Urh Kekkonen Archive in Niinikoski, Finland, provided photographs taken during Kekkonen’s visits to Yugoslavia in 1963 and 1975. The exhibition will be opened to visitors every weekday until the end of October 2019.
The foreign ministers of Serbia and Finland, Ivica Dačić and Pekka Haavisto and H.E. Kimmo Lähdevirta, Finland Ambassador
02 CZECH EMBASSY OCT
HOSTS THE 30 YEARS OF FREEDOM EXHIBITION
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Belgrade hosted the exhibition titled “30 Years of Freedom”, at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The exhibition was staged on the occasion of the official visit to Serbia of Radek Vondráček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic.
Radek Vondráček,Speaker of the Czech Parliament and Maja Gojković, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament
The Czech Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Tomáš Kuchta recalled that the Czech Republic marked the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on 17 November this year. The event was attended by Maja Gojković, Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, as well as many members of the diplomatic community.
H.E. Tomáš Kuchta, Maja Gojković and Radek Vondráček
02 THE DAY OF OCT
GERMAN UNITY MARKED IN BELGRADE
The German Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Thomas Schieb hosted an event to mark the Day of German Unity at his official residence. Guests of the event included Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojković and Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Minister Zoran Djordjević, the EU Ambassador to Serbia Sem Fabrizi, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, business people, leaders of opposition political parties and cultural and public figures.
Princess Katarina Karadjordjević, Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister, Maja Gojković, National Assembly Speaker, Ivica Dačić, Foreign Minister, Aleksandar Karadjordjević, Crown Prince of Serbia and H.E. Thomas Schieb with his spouse
H.E. Sem Fabrizi, EU Ambassador to Serbia with his spouse
H.E. Thomas Schieb
Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade and Germany Ambassador
Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister and Dr Ronald Seeliger, President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) and Hemofarm CEO
Goran Trivan, Minister of Environmental Protection and Zoran Djordjević, Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs
PEOPLE & EVENTS
07 NATIONAL OCT
REPUBLIC OF KOREA DAY MARKED
The celebration on the National Day of the Republic of Korea took place at the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade. The South Korean Ambassador, H.E. Choe Hyoung hosted a number of guests - represent-
H.E. Choe Hyoung and H.E. Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia
H.E. Choe Hyoung
08 RECEPTION FOR THE OCT
DUTCH BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN SERBIA
The Dutch Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Gilles Beschoor Plug hosted a reception for the Dutch Business Community in Serbia and other economic partners from Serbian institutions, academics and partner embassies. In his speech,
H.E. Gilles, Beschoor Plug and Oliver Šarov, Senior Policy Adviser for Economic Affairs & Trade, Embassy of the Netherlands
10 INDONESIA OCT
H.E. Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, Russian Ambassador to Serbia
Ambassador Beschoor Plug underlined that he was looking forward to his time in Serbia and was enthusiastic about working toward further strengthening the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Serbia in the coming period.
Božidar Aleksandrović, Owner of Aleksandrović winery with his spouse and H.E. Gilles, Beschoor Plug
The Indonesian Embassy in Serbia hosted a celebration on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day and Armed Forces Day over the Republic. Indonesia declared independence on August 17, 1945, after which it was controlled by the Dutch colonial forces for three and a half
H.E. Sheikh Mubarak Fahad J.M. Al-Thani, Quatar, H.E. Abdelhamid Chebchoub, Algeria,H.E. Marco Antonio García Blanco, Mexico and H.E. Yousef Ahmad S. Abdulsamad, Kuwait
atives of the political, cultural and public life of Serbia, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps. This year, Korea's National Day celebrates 4,352 years since the establishment of the first Korean kingdom.
H.E. Mochammad Chandra Widya
centuries, and closed for three and a half years by the Japanese. Indonesia's Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Mochammad Chandra Widya played host to the representatives of the political, cultural and public life in Serbia, as well as the representatives of the diplomatic corps.
H.E.Mohammed Amine Belhaj and H.E. Mochammad Chandra Widya with his wives
3 Food Planet in Novi Sad rd
During the 22 festival days, 20 countries presented their national cuisine, culture and traditions The third national cuisine festival, Food Planet, organized by the Citizens' Association Subsidium, in cooperation with the companies Color Media Communications and Ninamedia, and with the support of the City of Novi Sad - City Administration for the Economy, was held from September 9th to 30th on Trg Slobode (The Liberty Square) in Novi Sad. During the 22 festival days, 20 countries presented their national cuisine, culture and traditions, while the festival visitors had the opportunity to taste gastronomic specialities every day from 5 pm, enjoy a rich cultural and artistic programme and find out more about the tastes and customs of different parts of the world.
The following officials gave speeches at the Festival – ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco, ambassador of
H.E. Tomaš Kuhta, Czech Republic
Stevia Idira Putri, Indonesia
H.E. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco, Mexico
H.E. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, Ukraine
Dragan Djurović, Montenegro
Michal Hrusik, Slovakia
Maayan Ben Tura, Israel
Ukraine, H.E. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, ambassador of Bulgaria, H.E. Radko Vlajkov, ambassador of India , H.E. Subrata Bhattacharjee,
ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Tomaš Kuhta, ambassador of Croatia, H.E. Gordan Bakota, ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Jan Lundin, Romanian Embassy Consul, Irine Nite, Second Secretary of the Embassy and Head of the Media, Culture and Social Affairs Department of the Indonesian Embassy, Stevia Idira Putri, Third Secretary of the Embassy of Slovakia, Michal Hrusik, Deputy Ambassador of Israel, Maayan Ben Tura, Honorary Consul of the Embassy of Tunisia, Professor Dragan Trivan, PhD, and Consul General of the Embassy of Montenegro Dragan Djurović. During the Festival, the central square in Novi Sad was adorned with T counters in the form of wooden houses selling souvenirs, handicrafts, food and drinks.
H.E. Gordan Bakota, Croatia
H.E. Jan Lundin, Sweden
H.E. Subrata Bhattacharjee, India
H.E. Radko Vlajkov, Bulgaria
Irine Nite, Romania
Professor Dragan Trivan, PhD, Tunisia
“Joker” is Not Especially Perceptive or Politically Sophisticated It may win Oscars nonetheless When the Venice film festival announced that it would screen a movie about a grinning, green-haired Batman supervillain—from the director of “The Hangover”, no less—it sounded like a joke. Comic-book flicks are not usually granted competition slots at prestigious festivals, and yet that very film, “Joker”, went onto win the top prize, the Golden Lion. Judging by the last two recipients of the same award, “Roma” and “The Shape of Water”, “Joker” could well win an armful of Oscars as well. To quote the title character, played by Joaquin Phoenix: “no one’s laughing now”. Actually, the people who are laughing—all the way to the bank, among other places—are the executives at Warner Bros, the studio which adapts DC’s superhero comics. Their attempts to copy the interlinked “shared universe” model of their rival, Marvel, led to such disappointments as “Justice League” and “Suicide Squad”, so Warner / DC has now opted to make more distinctive, standalone films instead. “Joker” is the first of these. Co-written and directed by Todd Phillips, it recounts how the Joker became the Joker. Unlike “Batman Begins” and other such origin stories, however, it does not include the standard-issue mentor to teach him the tricks of the trade, nor the standard-issue antagonist for him to defeat. Its setting is unconventional, too. “Joker” may take place in Batman’s time-honoured hometown, Gotham City, but it looks a lot like the rough and tough New York of Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy”. It pays explicit homage to these two urban classics by featuring Robert DeNiro as a talkshow host. The main effect of this homage, though, is to remind the viewer that everything done by “Joker” was done better by those other films 40 years ago. The protagonist, Arthur Fleck, is a mentally ill aspiring stand-up comedian who lives in a rundown flat with his ailing mother, Pen-
“JOKER” MAY WELL WIN OSCARS, BUT IT IS STILL VERY MUCH A SUPERHERO MOVIE ny (Frances Conroy). He pays the rent by working as a clown, but the only time he makes anyone laugh is when they are cornering him in a dark alley and beating him to a pulp. That would be enough of a creation myth for most self-respecting villains: in a typical Batman film, Arthur would be reborn as the Joker a scene or two after being beaten up.
But Mr Phillips spends the rest of “Joker” offering variations on that theme. The same thing happens over and over again. There is more bad luck, more humiliation, more harsh treatment by an uncaring society, more drab corridors with flickering lights, but nothing that really explains how a frail, bullied loner could blossom into a charismatic criminal mastermind.
The upside of this repetitive narrative is that there is plenty of time to admire Mr Phoenix’s creepy performance—particularly his dramatic, Oscar-friendly weight loss. The downside is that Arthur is obviously a hopeless case from the beginning, and just as obviously he is going to be a flamboyant killer by the end, so there is no tension. There is just a two-hour wait for him to put on his colourful suit, smear on his white make-up, and start shooting people. When this finally happens, the Joker is presented not as the malign agent of chaos he is in the Batman comics, but as a “V For Vendetta”-style anti-capitalist revolutionary. Several critics have condemned the film for lionising and inviting empathy with someone who massacres civilians and then blames his mental-health problems and personal hardships; they have expressed concern that it may inspire “copycat crimes”. But it is tempting to respond to this concern with another line spoken by the Joker, as played by Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”: why so serious? Because as gloomy as it may be, “Joker” is no more plausible, insightful or politically sophisticated than the Batman movie from 1997 which featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as the blue-faced Mr Freeze. The idea that it is scarier than most depictions of the character is questionable, too, given that Ledger’s incarnation jammed a pencil through someone’s eye and blew up a hospital. The notion that it transcends its pulpy source material is belied by the numerous geek-pleasing references to other events from Batman lore. Do not be fooled by the miserable mood and the grimy 1970s backdrop. “Joker” may well win Oscars, but it is still very much a superhero movie. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
Young Football Talents Have a Chance I’m very interested to see how the two Belgrade teams do in Europe this year, particularly against the English teams! Obviously we’ve had Vidić and Matić at United, who are two great players marrying technical expertise and a steely approach. I’ve also always admired Dušan Tadić, particularly last season in Ajax’s Champions League
all have very good technique but I think we’ve still been able to teach them a few things!
ROBIN VAN DER LAAN International Head Coach for Manchester United Soccer Schools
As an exclusive partner of Manchester United FC, Eurobank has brought one of the most prestigious soccer schools to Serbia, allowing its participants to learn from the best and to acquire practical and theoretical knowledge during the week 16-20th September. This week, children from across Serbia had a unique opportunity to practice in a world-renown soccer school along with local coaches who will continue sharing their knowledge to generations to come. In addition to the professional youth, this experience is brought also to the children of Eurobank employees and clients, partners, and homes for children without parental care including SOS Dečje selo Kraljevo and Dečje selo Sremska Kamenica, as corporate social responsibility is one of the main values of both partners – Eurobank and Manchester United. On the occasion of the official start of the Manchester United Soccer School in Serbia, Eurobank hosted Robin van der Laan, International Head Coach of Manchester United Soccer School. „The aim of the Manchester United Soccer School is to inspire all participants to enjoy learning, playing and coaching football the ‘Manchester United Way’. We are very proud to bring the Soccer
Does the concept of international MU Soccer Shools differ in different countries?
— Yes, of course. We have to adapt the schools based on different cultures and backgrounds and also it depends on the requirements of the partner who host the programme. It is also driven around the level of the kids that we are working with (grassroot or elites).
What do you think about Serbian football and football players?
ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE ALL LOVE FOOTBALL IS THAT BOTH TEAMS STAND A CHANCE IN EVERY GAME School to Serbia, as it is very important that talented youth players and coaches in Serbia are given an opportunity to learn from our experienced coaches, as well as learn from a United legend.” said International Head Coach of the Manchester United Soccer School, Robin van der Laan.
and the general football ability of the group. But we ensure that everything is built around playing football The United Way.
How does the training look like in Manchester United Soccer?
— I have to say that this has been a fantastically organized Soccer School so thanks to Eurobank for that. In terms of the kids, they’ve been very enthusiastic and have loved getting involved. The elite players we’ve been working with
— We try to replicate the training that our academy players would receive through the club but, of course, it varies dependent on length of the programme
Owing to the financial partnership between Eurobank and Manchester United, MUSS is in Serbia. What are the first impressions?
— At the moment, I don’t know too much but I’m very interested to see how the two Belgrade teams do in Europe this year, particularly against the English teams! Obviously we’ve had Vidić and Matić at United, who are two great players marrying technical expertise and a steely approach. I’ve also always admired Dušan Tadić, particularly last season in Ajax’s Champions League.
Does Partizan stand a chance against Manchester United in the Europa League?
— One of the reasons why we all love football is that both teams stand a chance in every game, however it will be tough. They’ve certainly got a better chance at home than away but there are no easy games in Europe. Ole needs to play a strong team and I’m sure he will.
Wes Brown, a Manchester legend, Slavica Pavlović, President of the Executive Board of Eurobank, Simon Hoppe, Head of Financial Services at Manchester United, Robin van der Laan, International Head Coach of Manchester United Soccer School
Text: SANJA ŠOJIĆ
Poverty and Language Unite us What is happening in Croatia and Serbia today, this anti-civilization march of nationalists and the church, this extensive revision of the past and this silence which only a handful of brave journalists are resisting, must be attributed to the shameful reticence of the intelligentsia and their fear of resisting pernicious primitivism filmmaking. The number of film collaborations and co-productions is on the up. What do you think of that? Do you think that we are in the same predicament since we both have very small funds allocated to culture?
RAJKO GRLIĆ Film director and screenwriter
In the 1990s he left for the US, escaping, as he calls it in his book „Untold Stories“(„Neispričane Priče“), „a black and white world on the edge of sanity where you can't do anything normal“. In late September, the celebrated film director and screenwriter, Rajko Grlić came to Serbia and we used this opportunity to talk to him about his new film, the collaboration with the writer Ante Tomić, his book „Untold Stories“, the situation in culture in the former Yugoslav countries and many other topics. You are making a new film called “Svemu Dodje Kraj” (“Everything has its End”). You experienced the end of Yugoslavia, the country where you were born. What kind of end do you expect now?
— The film, if it is made at all, will tell a story of a lawyer who, after spending twenty years in the service of a reputable citizen, tycoon, thief and murderer, who is very well-connected with the authorities, decided to say “no”, stopped working for him, publicly said what he thought of him and went against him. In short, it is a love story that questions whether it is possible to say “no” to power and money in this corrupt part of the world, and if one decides to do so, what are the consequences. As far as I'm concerned, I think it would be fitting for this to be the last film I ever direct. This “might happen” film bears this title for another reason; we believe that we should do something, speak up and stop putting up with those people who have so arrogantly usurped our lives. In the book “Untold Stories” you write that after the premiere of your film “Ustav Republike Hrvatske” (“The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia”) you told
WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING, SPEAK UP AND STOP PUTTING UP WITH THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SO ARROGANTLY USURPED OUR LIVES Ante Tomić that it might be good if the two of you were to stop collaborating. What changed your mind and made you decide to work together with him on the new film?
— It was Ante Tomić, who is writing the screenplay with me, who changed my mind, both forcefully and mercifully. As it happens, during the making of my last three films – “Karaula” (“The Border Post”), “Neka Ostane Medju Nama” (“Just Between Us”) and “Ustav Republike Hrvatske” (“The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia”) – I kept repeating that the film I was doing at that moment was the last
film I was ever going to do. So, I made three “last ever” films. I never declared any of them “the very last” so that everyone can have some pity on this old film director, but because I truly believed that I would no longer have the stamina to go through a three- or four-yearlong cycle of making a film in this part of the world. The worst part of this cycle is the one that lasts a year or maybe two during which you need to raise funds in at least four or five countries in order to make a small, low-budget film. Many things divide and connect Croatia and Serbia, including
— One of the common characteristics of the countries that were created following the disintegration of Yugoslavia is that they simply do not care about culture. They don’t need culture, to say the least. Big money can't be "supervised" in culture and you can’t engage in nepotism in culture. Ministries of culture exist to control state-run institutions of culture, more or less, and to prevent unnecessary scandals from occurring in the so-called free market. In short, they keep writers, directors, painters, journalists and others under scrutiny with the help of money which is so scarce in culture with the funds allocated to culture being the smallest in Europe. On the other hand, the tradition of cooperation, especially in the segment of film, goes far back in the past. We are also connected by what was a rather small and now an even smaller country, almost the same language and the opportunity to choose the best from the wide cast of actors and filmmakers regardless of their "nation, state and religion". This used to be called "an inter-republic cooperation" and nowadays it’s "an international cooperation" from which "minority co-productions" originate. The film “Karaula” I did in 2005 was the first such co-production of all ex-Yugoslav countries since the war. In short, poverty and the language unite us and ensure that the films we make have a much wider local market. This resembles collaboration that is so successfully cultivated by the Scandinavians. Speaking of your book that came out last year, I wonder what made you put your life and observations on the paper.
— In the past thirty years, since
moving to America, I have been writing various notes, stories, portraits and observations in my notepad. In early days, I called it "My Top 100 Best Movies I Will Never Make". So, I accumulated a bunch of stories; some based on real events, some derived from imagination, stories from others, as well as from my own life. In short, everything the writer writes in the hope that one day he would need these notes to work on a new project. The notes were never intended to become a book. These were just little snippets of life that could, at best, one day show my grandchildren what their grandfather went through, what he did and what he didn't do. A few years ago, I read them to Ante Tomić, a writer I've been writing scripts with for about fifteen years. Ante decided that I had to publish them, gave them to Marina Vujčić, a writer and editor at Henacom in Zagreb, who, after reading them, decided that she would publish them, with or without my consent. I had a weak character, they played on my ego and the book came out. Soon, Belgrade-based Laguna published it. Judging by the number of copies they printed, they were quite serious about it. Why did you decide against the original title “Kako Izvaditi Čep iz Grlića Boce” (“How To Remove A Bottle Cork”)?
— That’s again the aforementioned Ante Tomić’s fault. He claimed (and he wasn’t the only one) that nobody would buy a book with that title. Since Ante is the most popular Croatian writer, I believed him. Now, I regret not using that title, but it’s too late. To top it all off, the title is untranslatable in the English language without a detailed explanation of the play of words here - my surname Grlić means “bottleneck” in English. You said about your departure for the US – “I did not save my-
ONE OF THE COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COUNTRIES THAT WERE CREATED FOLLOWING THE DISINTEGRATION OF YUGOSLAVIA IS THAT THEY SIMPLY DO NOT CARE ABOUT CULTURE self permanently, but you are permanently damaged”. Did you change your mind in the meantime? Can we save our respective countries?
— If you take a closer look at how politicians in these countries have been diligently working on inciting national hatred and intolerance of everything else that is different in the last thirty years and how they use the cheapest vehicle there is – nationalist populism - for rousing the masses, i.e. to win election, then you have to ask yourself if anyone in this furnace can stay “normal”. Of course, it can, but it's a damn tough job. Enormous energy must be invested for a person and their loved ones to remain unpolluted. I told myself that I did not permanently save myself, especially since I split my time between Croatia and America half-half. “Saving oneself” is very difficult, almost impossible
at times, for those who are constantly hateful. You were mentioned in the 1984 “White Book” as one of the Yugoslav intellectuals that were branded “ideological enemies”. What do you think of today’s intellectuals and their activities in the 1990s?
— Yes, I made it to the White Book; this infamous list of Yugoslav intellectuals who were branded “enemies in culture”. I was equally proud of being included in the list of the cultural enemies of Croatia too, after the country gained independence. Perseverance, in my case, is clearly rewarded. In the 1990s, especially in Serbia, a large number of writers from that list, almost overnight, started swimming in the nationalist waters, with many becoming the militant voice of nationalism. I have to admit that this was a huge disap-
pointment for me. While fighting against "anti-freedom", they embarked on an even worse path and publicly called for war. Croatian intellectuals did the same, albeit a bit quieter. Everything in Croatia is done a bit quieter anyway. Croatia, however, was under attack until it came time to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina. They wholeheartedly supported the great nationalists, believing that they were helping to defend their country and that when the war was over, they would be able to peacefully terminate the Faustian bargain they made with the authorities. But, as we know, it is hard to get out of such a contract. What is happening in Croatia and Serbia today, this anti-civilization march of nationalists and the church, this extensive revision of the past and this silence which only a handful of brave journalists are resisting must be attributed to the shameful reticence of the intelligentsia and their fear of resisting pernicious primitivism. In conclusion of depicting this unfortunately not overly optimistic situation, I would like to say that that is the main reason for so many educated people leaving this area. They do not want to live in such an atmosphere.
BOOK TALK Rajko Grlić was one of the participants in the Book Talk conference, namely in the panel "Tell me what is better - book or film". He spoke at the panel about film adaptations. Grlić said that American films could be branded as adaptations and that there were more variations in Europe. He also concluded that the film industry would survive without adaptations, because, it has found its way and its place. "Adaptation is the wrong word because you are transforming one thought and emotion from one aggregate state to another. I have made movies from news stories. It happened twice. We find stories everywhere, even in other people's books. A novel is always my starting point; when reading a novel you make your movie and everyone who reads a novel has its movie. I first made
an adaptation with Dubravka Ugrešić with the film „U raljama života“. When I read it I thought it was a good point to travel somewhere and suggested that I should build the story around it and for her book to be a soap opera. Any serious writer will tell you that they want nothing to do with the adaptation, so Dubravka did the same. It's the same as asking me to make an opera out of my movie. You can but without me. I did the second adaptation with Borislav Pekić and it was my first English film. The third collaboration on film adaptation was with Ante Tomić. We had 12 versions of the film “Karaula”. We changed half the book. It was then that I realized that writers are happy when you do something else based on the book's theme. Film and book are two different games and completely different stories - said Grlić at this conference."
Ambassadors of Their Countries for 50 Years in Belgrade Our task is to continue to work hard on affirming children's creativity and to pass on to the future generations for the next fifty years the values that "Joy of Europe" cherishes from the very beginning - friendship, love, tolerance and acceptance of the other and the different
"Joy of Europe". We have received a recent letter from a Christian from Norway that starts like this: "I am looking for my friend…" He acquired the other one in 1976 in Belgrade when he came to our event and was a guest of certain Saša Andrić and his family from Belgrade. The friendship is not forgotten, because important things from childhood are remembered forever. That is why the story of "Joy of Europe" is essentially a story of love and friendship.
DRAGAN MARIĆ Director of Children's Cultural Center Belgrade
"The Joy of Europe is a festival of love and diplomacy of a true friendship. We should learn more from children", tells for Diplomacy & Commerce Dragan Marić, director of CCCB, the cultural insitution for children which has been the executive producer of this unique European children's festival for 50 years. Every October for half a century, Belgrade has been the children's capital of Europe. The founder and sponsor of the International Gathering of Children of Europe is the City Administration of Belgrade and the executive producer is Children's Cultural Center Belgrade. This year's festival was supported by "Forma Ideale" – the company with long-lasting tradition in supporting events regarding children. This year’s 50th anniversary Festival was also supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Dragica Nikolić
Foundation, The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, NIS Company, Ušće Shopping Center, Coca Cola and many other friends of the festival. How important is this anniversary not only to Belgrade and Serbia, but also to children from all over Europe?
As anniversaries are milestones, you had the task of summarizing impressions from the previous fifty festivals and laying the groundwork for the next fifty years. Did you have a plan for how to accomplish this?
— This year's event slogan was "Journey to the Center of Happiness," as a modification of the title of the Jules Verne adventure
THE LITTLE ONES EXPERIENCED UNFORGETTABLE SOCIALIZING AND MAKING FRIENDSHIPS THAT WILL LAST FOR LIFETIME — "Joy of Europe" at the time of its founding was a pioneer event in this part of the world. As a kind of friendship nursery, one of the festivals for children with the longest tradition in Europe, it has been able to recreate the emotional environment in which over 25,000 friendships have been created among children. In order to present the significance of the event for children, I will tell you the story of two boys, nowadays grownups, who have become a symbol and one of the most beautiful stories of
book. We came up with this slogan since in 2019 we looked back at all the happiness that had been emerging and developing among children from different countries and cultural backgrounds. At the beginning of the year, we made an exhibition of photos by famous photographer Branko Jovanović and his “Joy - Play - Friendship” photo collection, which showed a retrospective of joy. The project "Joy of Europe Digital!" was launched, a multi-year project of collecting, archiving, digitizing
and virtual presentation of processed material, related to the life of the biggest and oldest festival of children's creativity in our country. In order for the event to live visually for decades to come, we decided to do murals at several Belgrade elementary schools, bringing authentic children's artwork to the walls. At the end of the year, we plan to publish a book about Joy of Europe. Our task is to continue to work hard on affirming children's creativity and to pass on to the future generations for the next fifty years the values that "Joy of Europe" cherishes from the very beginning - friendship, love, tolerance and acceptance of the other and the different. What awaited the little ones who came to us from over twenty countries in Europe?
— The festival traditionally began with a carnival in the city center, a festive parade of all costumed festival participants. International Art Contest "Joy of Europe" exhibition, “Friendship Gatherings" concerts and Gala concert followed, at which children presented their music and stage performances. It was a great honor for us to welcome the ambassadors of the countries participating in the event this year, who, through their attendance at the concerts, gave real support to their young colleagues - children ambassadors, who brought the song, dance, customs and traditions of their countries. Most importantly, in addition to the interesting festival program, the little ones experienced unforgettable socializing and making friendships that will last for lifetime.
By: ROBERT ČOBAN
From Veli Lošinj to Standing in Front of a Firing Squad to Mexico to Manet’s Canvas The Experience of Lošinj on a bike
Veli Lošinj marina
It's not easy to get to Mali Lošinj. If you decide to fly from Belgrade to Rijeka, your ATR will land at the airport on the island of Krk an hour and a half after departure. To reach Mali Lošinj, you need to pass Krk, then take the Valbinska - Merag ferry to Cres, which is a 15-minute journey. After driving for one hour around Cres, you will come to a bridge in Osor, which connects the island with the neighbouring Lošinj. The bridge is only ten meters long and is mobile, or rather it rotates. It opens twice a day so that sailboats and tall boats can pass, so make sure you avoid the time when this happens, which is at 9 a.m. and 5 in the afternoon. Another, simpler way to reach Lošinj is by a catamaran from Zadar or Pula, which sails three times a week and stops in Mali Lošinj. But it will be difficult to match the time of the catamaran’s departure to the flights from Belgrade to Zadar and Pula, which run the same several times a week. There is also a small airport near Mali Lošinj for small planes that can take up 17 passengers which services only three destinations - Zagreb, Lugano and Venice. Whichever travelling mode you pick to finally arrive in Mali Lošinj,
you should definitely book a hotel room or a villa in the Čikat Bay. You will have a feeling that you have arrived in paradise. Tourism in Mali Lošinj has a long history. The first guest was officially registered here on January 21st, 1885, and the first hotel on the island - the Vindobona - was opened two years later. Thanks to a local botanist and scientist, Ambroz Haračić, who presented his findings on the ben-
eficial effects of the local climate on lung diseases and allergies in Vienna, in 1892, the Austro-Hungarian authorities decided to declare Mali Lošinj an "air spa". Summer tourism flourished 12 years later when villas and hotels began to be built in the Čikat Bay, along with a 17-kilometre long pedestrian and bicycle path. Today, you can get from the Čikat Bay to Veli Lošinj on the other side of the island on foot or by bicycle by us-
WHICHEVER TRAVELLING MODE YOU PICK TO FINALLY ARRIVE IN MALI LOŠINJ, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BOOK A HOTEL ROOM OR A VILLA IN THE ČIKAT BAY
Traces of the Austrian aristocracy: One of the villas from the early 20th century in the Čikat Bay in Mali Lošinj
ing a well-built concrete track that runs right along the coast, allowing you to dip in the sea wherever you want. From the Bellevue Hotel, where we stayed, the lovely villas belonging to the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy from the beginning of the 20th century are lined up on the left and right side of the Čikat Bay. The island was a part of the Venetian Republic until 1797. After the Republic was defeated by Napoleon and after the fall of the last Doge, Austria claimed the possession of the island. Mali Lošinj was under the Habsburg rule until 1918, when it was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy together with Istria and the surrounding islands. It was annexed to Yugoslavia and Croatia respectively only after the liberation of 1945, officially since 1947. Mali Lošinj experienced its peak in 1868 when the town had as many as 11 shipyards where the famous Lošinj sailboats were built. The merchant fleet here was the strongest out of all the Adriatic fleets, including that of Venice, Rijeka and Trieste. The invention of the steam engine led to the stagnation of the shipbuilding industry and the emergence of Peronospora, a grapevine disease, which
caused additional population displacement. As my bicycle jumps every single time it goes over the edges of the concrete slabs that make up the cycling path by the sea, I decide to continue in the direction of Veli Lošinj, which, although having the word “Veliki” (“Big”) in its name is actually smaller than Mali (Small) Lošinj. I intersect Mali Lošinj, climb the hill which features the church of Our Lady of Sorrows and descend the coast towards Veli Lošinj. After a half-hour drive, I see swimmers catching the last rays of the sun, some German women sunbathing topless, Italians noisily arguing with their children, and a little later, a place where passers-by, like in a pagan sanctuary, erected dozens of "towers" built of stones stacked on top of one another. I am amazed that no local drunks or hooligans have destroyed them as yet. Maybe there are no drunks or hooligans here. I reach the cape where the hotel and the Punta restaurant are situated. I was struck by the view of Veli Lošinj in front of me, which is one of the most beautiful small towns in the Mediterranean. The great Saint Antun the Abbot Church from 1774 dominates the harbour brimming with small boats. This is all reminiscent of the towns that make up Cinque Terre in Italy. I head down past the restaurants and pastry shops and secure my bicycle in front of the stairs leading to an impressive church that was also a cathedral in the early 19th century. For a long time, the seamen from Veli Lošinj have been donating valuable items to the church. Captain Gašpar Kraljeta was one of the more generous donors, known in Venice, at the time, as a great lover of art and an avid collector. He donated to the parish church, among other things, the marble altar of St. John with the rococo sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary, the work of G. Bonac from the late 17th century, as well as the particularly valuable painting of the Virgin Mary with the Saints by Bartolomeo Vivarini from 1475. Locals have been buried in and around the church for centuries. It has been estimated that about 20,000 people are buried there. You can just about see the top of a medieval tower behind the roof of one of the houses in a small town square. It is a fortress from the 15th century, from the first decades of Venetian rule on the
east coast of the Adriatic Sea. The tower protected the harbour for years and shielded the town from the attacks. It lost its defensive significance in the 19th century and is almost surrounded by houses around the square. Today, there is a museum here, in which I saw some pretty interesting things in addition to enjoying a great view of the harbour and the church from the top of the building. One of these interesting things is a photo of Ferdinand Maximilian Habsburg and his wife Carlota. Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, the younger brother of Emperor Francis Joseph, visited Veli Lošinj in 1856 as the commander-in-chief of the Austrian Navy, and laid the foundation for a breakwater at the entrance to the town. Eleven years later, in 1867, as a result of a bizarre and tragic set of circumstances, at the age of 34, he
found himself in front of a firing squad as the Emperor of Mexico. He was killed and his murder was depicted by the famous French Impressionist Manet in several paintings. Ferdinand’s wife Carlota, the daughter of the King of Belgium, died 60 years later, in 1927. They built the famous Miramare Castle near Trieste, where she was informed of Maximilian's death. The tower also contains interesting photographs and graphics of sailboats built in the shipyards here, pictures of famous captains and sailors from Lošinj, as well as the piano belonging to the popular doctor, Ana Jakša (age 96), born in Osijek, who temporarily had worked as a doctor and later as the director of the Children's Hospital in Lošinj, from 1925 until her death in 1988. Another museum, the one located on the Mali Lošinj wa-
Apoxyomenos in the location where it rested for over 2,000 years
MALI LOŠINJ EXPERIENCED ITS PEAK IN 1868 WHEN THE TOWN HAD AS MANY AS 11 SHIPYARDS WHERE THE FAMOUS LOŠINJ SAILBOATS WERE BUILT
Maximilian and Carlota Habsburg
Exhibition dedicated to one sculpture: The Apoxyomenos Museum
terfront, is certainly one of the best and most original themed museums in the world. It is a museum dedicated to one thing - the sculpture of Apoxyomenos from ancient Greece. In 1996, a Belgian tourist Rene Vouters discovered the statue near the island of Vele Orjule, resting on the sandy sea bottom between two rocks, at the depth of about 45 metres. The finding was reported to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia only in 1998, and divers of the Special Police and experts from the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Museum in Zadar brought the statue to the surface on April 27, 1999. We somehow missed this news because we were preoccupied with some other major events at that time. The museum comprises of several fantastic segments - the Black Room (which shows how the statue was discovered) and which temperature and interior are very much like the place where Apoxyomenos lay for two millennia, the Yellow Room (contains press clippings about the statue from the domestic and foreign print media), the Colorful Room (with a cinema surrounded with seafood-themed tapestry wherever you look which screens a half-hour long documentary film dedicated to the discovery of Apoxyomenos’ statue) and the Olive Passage which leads to the White Room. There, under the watchful eye of a security guy, you can see the statue of Apoxyomenos, a Greek athlete who is wiping a layer of oil, dust and sweat off his body after exercising. This motif was very common in ancient Greece. The statue has been in the sea near Lošinj for over 2,000 years and has been exhibited in this special museum in Mali Lošinj since 2016. As the curator told me, this exhibition will be part of the Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020 programme. Lošinj's Apoxyomenos Museum is also the recipient of the EU's Europa Nostra Award in 2006 for the preservation of cultural heritage. I would warmly recommend to all architects, museologists and people working on preserving cultural heritage to come to the Apoxyomenos Museum and see for themselves how Idis Turato and Saša Randić have created an exciting setting by preserving the exterior of the Kvarner Palace from the 19th century and transforming the interior into a spectacular museum space.
Vulfpeck’s Guitarist Comes to Belgrade Cory Wong will perform in Belgrade with his band for the first time in November
One of the most successful rhythm guitar players of today, and a member of the sensastion „Vulfpeck“, guitarist Cory Wong, will perform with his band in Belgrade on November 7th at the famous Bitefartcafe club as part of the, now regional concert series, Musicology Barcaffe Sessions. Cory was born in New York, but he grew up in Minneappolis, where he started out as a producer, playing in local jazz clubs, before joining one of the greatest funk sensations on the contemporary music scene, the band Vulfpeck. Known for his improvisational skills and a happy, easy-going spirit that is always present during his performances, he became also famous for his flexible right wrist, that brings out his specific, percussionist style of guitar playing. Always being an optimist, he goes through life with a giant smile on his face, saying that his goal is a lot stronger and bigger that people thinking he plays guitar well.
When he was 16, Wong suffered a head injury that resulted in loss of feeling in his right arm, which is interesting, taking in account that his flexibile right arm is what
will make him famous years later. Doctor’s prognosis were bad, but he managed to push through all the difficulties with his positive spirit, that can also be felt in his
ALWAYS BEING AN OPTIMIST, HE GOES THROUGH LIFE WITH A GIANT SMILE ON HIS FACE, SAYING THAT HIS GOAL IS A LOT STRONGER AND BIGGER THAT PEOPLE THINKING HE PLAYS GUITAR WELL
album „The Optimist“, that ended up in the top 20 jazz albums on Billboard’s list. Under the influence of Prince, Jackson, Metheny, Scofield and Frizell, he created a unique style that is melodic and gentle, while letting his funk out when the time is right. By combining electric and acoustic playing skills, he created an authentic style with which he gained respect of some of the greatest contemporary music artists, his colleagues and jammers. He released his new album, „Motivational Music for the Syncopated Soul“, which tells a story about him following his music path and decided not to be burdened by the idea of „having a real job“: „I woke up one day and realized that music really is what I was created to do. So I decided to go full speed into music and haven’t looked back since.” Cory Wong will peform in Belgrade for the first time his band, on 7th of November.
CALENDAR & NEWS
BELGRADE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
#BEETHOVENRULES 1 Grand Hall of the Kolarac Foundation
Conductor: Cristian Mandeal Soloist: Aleksandar Madžar, piano Cristian Mandeal
A student of Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and Sergiu Celibidache in Munich, Cristian Mandeal is considered to be the most important Romanian conductor nowadays, his activity extending without interruption over a period of four decades. As a symphonic and operatic conductor, Cristian Mandeal conducted hundreds of concerts in over 36 countries, his music making inspiring audiences worldwide.
Belgrade Philharmonic Hall
Conductor: Bruno Merse Narrators: Tamara Marinković & Slavica Perić
Our series of concerts for pre-school children (from ages 3 to 7) will be held at the Belgrade Philharmonic’s Hall, on weekdays, from 9-18 October 2019, beginning at 10 a.m. and 12 noon.
Grand Hall of the Kolarac Foundation
Conductor: Gabriel Feltz
The connection between Richard Strauss and Beethoven is very obvious and striking. The echo of Beethoven’s famous Eroica, which left an indelible mark in the history of music, can be heard in Metamorphoses by Richard Strauss. He wrote this work shock by the bombardment of German cities after the Second World War, particularly the destruction of theaters, which completely destroyed cultural life.