Serbia: Law on Lobbying stepped into force on 14 August 2019

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On 9 November 2018, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted a Law on Lobbying (the "Law"), which introduces a normative framework in the field of lobbying in the Republic of Serbia.

The Law regulates the conditions, manner and rules for lobbying – a legal way of influencing state officials or state bodies in delivering various decisions or laws in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

The law, the application of which began on 14 August 2019, also regulates other issues of relevance for lobbying in the Republic of Serbia.

In this regard, the Anti-Corruption Agency (the “Agency”) is competent for the implementation of the Law. The Agency is also authorized to issue public calls, organize trainings, issue certificates, perform registration in the official Register of Lobbyists, and, most importantly, to control the implementation of the Law in practice.

Interested future lobbyists will be able to apply to the Agency for training, which is required for obtaining certification and for registration in the official Register of Lobbyists.

Also, in order to implement the Law, the Anti-Corruption Agency has adopted a set of by-laws.

The main aim of the Law is to provide transparency, i.e. publicity and fundamental protection of the public interest in the processes of influencing on state officials and state bodies.

For example, one of the key solutions prescribed by the Law is that the lobbied person will not be allowed to receive any compensation.

Information, reviews and opinions on laws and other regulations published in the media, as well as citizens' initiatives sent to the authorities on the proposed solutions of laws and other regulations, shall not be considered as lobbying

By adoption of the Law, Serbia fulfilled its international obligations and also realized some parts of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which will be complemented by entry into force of the Anti-Corruption Law.

Breach of the Law carries misdemeanour charges, with fines ranging from 50,000 to two million dinars.