Vladimir Marinković, PhD, Deputy Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly and President of the Economic Caucus:

The Economic Caucus Has Made Parliament More Effective

"Anybody who employs people and pays wages and taxes in this time of crisis and turbulence is a hero worthy of the highest respect"

The Economic Caucus has brought together the parties in power and those in opposition in the National Assembly. By working together they have demonstrated that they do their job conscientiously and responsibly, to the benefit of the economy and everyone in Serbia. They have also shown that by debating passionately they have only one goal in mind, and that is for Serbia to progress economically, since economic progress is a condition for overall social development.

The Economic Caucus was formed in November 2014 on the initiative of NALED and IRI, as the first voluntary, informal parliamentary group of the National Assembly that opened the door to businesses, local governments and civil society to improve the regulatory framework for doing business. Why is this initiative important and unique?

I think the establishment and work of the Economic Caucus has contributed to the effectiveness of the National Assembly both in a qualitative and a quantitative manner, and has made the draft laws regulating economic issues more applicable in practice. The Economic Caucus has managed to achieve the impossible – to gather MPs from both ruling and opposition parties in the parliament and make them forget their differences and political alliances to work together on accomplishing goals of the highest importance for the country. As MPs, we have demonstrated huge responsibility and political will to work together with our partners from business associations to adopt the best possible laws that will promote new investment, new projects and new jobs. In the last 18 months of our work, we have had over 40 meetings, met with many businesspeople and representatives of local governments with the goal of better understanding their needs and showing that the state has improved its attitude towards the business community.

The main motto of the Caucus is economic patriotism – focusing on adopting the most advanced laws that will contribute positively to the development of a market economy, competitiveness, human skills and knowhow

What are the most important achievements of the Economic Caucus, and have they met your expectations?

The most important result achieved by the Economic Caucus is the fact that MPs (who are also members of the Caucus) have demonstrated that it is possible to reach consensus in Serbia about issues that are crucial for the country’s development and future, and that economic growth, investment, and entrepreneurial incentives should not come second to political and special interests.

The Economic Caucus has submitted 97 amendments to various draft laws, of which 90 were accepted. In this way we have improved the Law on Planning and Construction, Law on State Survey and Cadastre, Law on Conversion, Law on Inspection Oversight, Law on Enforcement and Security, Investment Law, Energy Law, Law on Fire Protection, Advertising Law and many others. It is very important for us to enjoy the support of NALED and the IRI, especially when it comes to matters of organisation, analytics, research and empirically proven solutions, which all together has helped us devise good proposals that are in the best interests of the state and the business community.