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International Communications Academy in South East Europe
UK government shares knowledge and experience with counterparts from South East Europe.
The International Communications Academy delivered by managers of the UK Government Communications Service and attended by senior government communicators from nine countries of South East Europe (SEE) took place in Budva, Montenegro on 13-14 October 2016.
The Communications Academy, the first of its kind in this region of Europe, was organised by SEECOM, South East Europe’s association of public sector communicators, based in Budva, Montenegro, with the support of the British Embassy Podgorica. During the intensive two-day training programme, government communications managers from South East Europe learned about the UK Government’s advanced methodology and best practices in planning and delivering public campaigns, public communications and media relations.
Purpose of this event was to provide support programme to institutional development and capacity building of Montenegrin civil service, by enhancing its transparency, accountability and effectiveness, with a special emphasis on setting the UK expertise (Government Communications Services) as the benchmark.
Attendees of the Academy were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
UK Deputy Ambassador to Montenegro Gavin Vessey welcomed the continued cooperation between the British Embassy Podgorica and the SEECOM association in promoting the highest standards of government communications and good governance across the region. At the occasion, Mr Vessey said:
The UK strongly believes that powerful public communication should be at the absolute heart of effective policy making and it is only through effective public communication that we can really make policy work and do the things that citizens care about.
Director of Campaigns at 10 Downing Street Mr Conrad Bird said that British experts were happy to continue sharing their know-how, experience, and best practices with their colleagues in South East Europe. Noting the crucial importance of communication with citizens for the success, understanding, and acceptance of public policies, Mr Bird highlighted that communicators’ job is “actually to save lives, create jobs and make lives better for our citizens.”
Head of the Government of Montenegro’s Public Relations Service Mr Srđan Kusovac welcomed the colleagues from the UK and the region to Montenegro and voiced hope that South East European communications professionals will be able to apply the skills acquired at the Communications Academy towards aiding public policies and offering good services to citizens.
Mr Vuk Vujnović, SEECOM Secretary-General, thanked the British Embassy for its support in hosting the Academy, and underlined the importance of the event for the organisation and the region, given that professionals from nine countries in the region have had the opportunity to learn from world’s top experts in the area.
SEECOM is an international professional association, established in Budva in 2013, whose aim is to promote highest ethical and professional standards of public sector communication through the exchange between public sector communicators in South East Europe.