OF FOUNDING VALUES OF THE SOUTH EASTERN
EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS FORUM
(“The Budva Declaration”)
Affirming our commitment to democratic and European values, regional
cooperation, and good neighbourly relations based on the principles of, inter
alia, the UN Charter and other applicable international agreements;
Convinced of the importance of promoting networking, dialogue
and peer support for professional development of government communicators and
advancement of government communication profession in general;
Aware of the need to pursue the highest and most
contemporary standards of our profession;
Having regard to the increasingly important role of the
public in government policy making;
Recognising the need to foster two-way communication between
governments and citizens;
Emphasising the importance of government transparency, free
access to information, greater public participation in policy making, and the
use of modern technology and communication tools to achieve them;
Acknowledging the duty of government communicators to
provide the public with comprehensive, timely and accurate information about
government policies and projects;
We the government communication professionals of
the countries of South Eastern Europe, by
adopting this Declaration, express our private and professional endorsement of
and commitment to the following principles as the founding values of the South
Eastern European Government Communication Forum:
Transparency and Openness.
Government communication should provide easy access
to comprehensive, truthful and timely information on government activities and
should attempt to keep government open, accessible, and understandable to the
Government communication should promote government
openness by facilitating access to information on government activities through
all available means of communication and by taking full advantage of the
technological progress in so doing.
Inclusiveness and Participation.
Government communication should encourage citizen
participation in policy making, attract public interest in government work, and
enable direct communication between government and citizens.
Government communication should promote open
governance and open public administration and institutions.
An important role of government communicators is to
provide channels for the public to influence policy making processes.
Government communication should engage citizens
actively in the work of their government, and act towards ensuring citizens’
satisfaction with their involvement by providing, among other things: feedback
on the outcomes of citizens’ participation, promotion of results achieved
through collaboration, and advocacy for continued cooperation between
government and citizens.
Integrity, impartiality and public interest.
Government communication should be performed in a
way that preserves the integrity and impartiality of public institutions and
serves the public interest.
Government communicators should always act in a way
that sustains the public’s long-term trust and confidence in government
information and communication.
In order to be able to perform their duties,
government communicators should seek to enhance the level of internal
communication between government departments.
Internal communication should serve to enhance
timely exchange of information between departments, which should in turn result
in more effective communication with the public, and in other ways ensure the
above principles of Transparency and Openness and Inclusiveness and Participation.
Professional exchange and cooperation.
Considering that good government communication
practices are inextricably associated with good governance, government
communicators should aim to maintain regular and close interaction with their
peers from the region and the world by exchanging best communication practices.
The rising interconnectedness and shared interests
should guide communication professionals towards seeking and offering
assistance, providing best services, and joining forces in solving issues.
Government communicators should rely on innovations
and technological advancements to promote and enhance communication between people
This Declaration is a legally non-binding agreement
between the government communication professionals from the countries of South
Eastern Europe, whereby we vow to ensure commitment to the highest professional
standards and values of democratic governance, as contained in the principles
of this Declaration, and to convene periodically in this forum to discuss the
furthering of these principles and of our cooperation.
The founding South Eastern Europe Government
Communication Conference leaves us determined to implement the key principles
contained in this Declaration with a view to influencing government policies
towards greater transparency and openness, better access to information and
greater public participation in policy making, which we hope in turn to advance
the level of participatory democracy in the region.
By adopting this Declaration, we endorse the above
as the founding values of the Forum.
16 September 2012