Lobbying in Serbia

On 9 November 2018, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Lobbing Act, which is published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 87/18 from 13 November 2018 which will come into force on 13 August 2019.

This Act for the first time in Serbia regulates the matter of lobbying and persons who can be lobbyists.

The following groups of persons are listed as lobbyists:

  1. A natural person who is registered in a lobbyist register before of the Anti-Corruption Agency;
  2. A company or association that is registered in the register of legal entities that perform lobbying;
  3. A natural person who is not registered in a lobbyist register, if he is a legal representative or employed by a lobby user, or represents the interests of an association or company whose member is a lobby user.

It is defined what actions are considered lobbying – activities that influence the authorities in the process of adoption of laws, other regulations and general acts in order to realize the interests of lobbying users.

However, lobbying does not consider the following activities:

  1. information, views and opinions on laws, other regulations and general acts, proposals or draft laws, other regulations and general acts, published in the media and other media that have purpose to inform public;
  2. activities of persons who give in public their views, or submit proposals and expert opinions to the authorities, in order to initiate, prepare, consider, approve and give reasons for the proposed solutions to laws, other regulations and general acts or participate at the invitation of the authorities with or without compensation or within the framework of projects whose user is a public authority, in the preparation, consideration or giving of expert opinions on the proposed solutions of laws, other regulations and general acts;
  3. Civil initiatives addressed to the authorities on the proposed solutions of laws, other regulations and general acts;
  4. Activities of representative and employees in the authorities for initiation, preparation, consideration, adoption and giving explanations of proposed solutions to laws, other regulations and general acts.

The Act regulated the conditions that should be fulfilled by the aforementioned persons in order to be registered in the lobbyist register. Conditions are different whether a natural person or a company/association appears as a lobbyist. It is noted that beside local individuals, lobbying may also be performed by a foreign natural person registered for lobbying in the country of which they are citizens and if they are registered in special records on foreign natural persons engaged in lobbying in the territory Republic of Serbia.

Beside these items, the Law regulated the content of the Registry of Lobbying, as well as the implementation of lobbying.

In order to perform lobbying, the lobbyist must have a lobbying contract concluded with the lobbing user.

Also, the lobbyist is obliged, at the end of each year, to submit to the Anti-Corruption Agency a report on his work.