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Joint Programmes - Activities by Country
06 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 15498)  

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Title 3rd workshop for government public information officers 
Description - Original Location: Belgrade, Serbia (S&M) 
Status Completed 
Date 21/11/2006 
Location Belgrade, Serbia
Countries CoE Members: Serbia
  Joint Programme Activity - Media-Serb II
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Media-Serb II - Support to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of media in accordance with CoE/EU standards    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2006/DG2/JP/1648   Media-Serb 2 - To support the establishment of a regulatory framework for freedom of expression and for the media
Expected Result 1.2 - R.2 Public authorities are informed and trained on European standards on freedom of expression and information.
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
Line of Action ⇒ 2 – Human Rights in Public Policy
Programme ☆ 2.7  Freedom of expression and information
Project 2004/DG2/41 Legislative assistance, training, awareness raising
Expected Result 2 Public authorities are informed of and trained in European standards on freedom of expression and information

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Workshop (excl. training) 
Directorate (Service) DG II Human Rights (Media Division)
CoE Contact DERVISAGIC, Lejla   email
Web Pages
Documents & links
1 http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/media/Agenda_15498.asp  
Last Modified 23/11/2006 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 15498) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The specific objectives of the third workshop were to make conclusions from two previous workshops and to discuss with participants the topics (not yet discussed) of communication in time of crisis, based on an actual situation in Serbia. 
Output/Results During the three workshops in June, October and November key points regarding the functioning of public information in Serbia came forward. These points are:

• Greater awareness inside the Administration of the strategic position of correct professional public information is needed,

• The Administration is obliged to fully inform the public at large, properly and in due time about policy intentions and implemented policies,

• High ranking public officials have an outspoken negative attitude towards public information as a policy instrument. This brings about a lack of relevant information for public information officers at crucial moments,

• More attention has to be paid to the quality of public performances, also on radio and television,

• More effort should be placed on relations with the mass media,

• Media training of public authorities and politicians could contribute to this point,

• Governments should contribute to the improvement of quality of journalism among others by creating professional curricula,

• The proposal for a proper organisational structure of public information at state level should be elaborated upon.

During the discussion on communication in time of crisis, it was concluded that most of the so-called crisis situations are predictable and have no threat to the function of society or to the lives of people. By calling predictable political situations at the moment of appearance a crisis, they become too much of a burden to the workload of public information officers.
Conclusions/Follow Up This was the last activity of its kind planned within the framework of the Joint Initiative. The general conclusion was that this kind of activity is extremely useful. The participants were highly motivated during the workshop. It is a pity that the lack of human resources in the press offices of the ministries and the payments of the staff are an obstacle to develop a proper functioning corps of public information officers.

The same attitudes of public authorities in relation with public information appears in other countries in the region. This creates a problematic situation when trying to improve the quality of the profession of public information. Because there is a mutual dependency between public information and journalism, the situation also hampers the improvement of the journalistic skills. It would be useful to organise a workshop(s) in the region for their public information officers to exchange experiences and to formulate actions that can be taken to improve the situation step by step.
Participants Public information officers from different ministries 
Consultants/Experts Mr Fred GIJBELS, Director of Gijbels Communicatie and Advies, Amsterdam, Nederland
Mr David VAN DER HOUWEN, Director of Gijbels Communicatie and Advies, Amsterdam, Nederland
CoE Secretariat Mr Vladan JOKSIMOVIC, Council of Europe Office in Belgrade
Ms Lejla DERVISAGIC, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights
Total No. Participants 15 
Last Modified


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