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One of the components in the Balkan Enforcement Strengthening Project (BESP), relates to the improvement of the relationship between the profession of private enforcement and the media in the Western Balkan region. Activities, under supervision of two PR specialists, focused with sharing positive and negative PR experiences among the Chambers and trying to analysis them. It provided the much needed focus on communication and PR and addressed the issue of having to overcome the (unjustified) negative image and not so good reputation of each of the chambers of private enforcement agents in the different legal systems.

As a next step participants to the regional activities (mostly the presidents, Board members and staff of the different Chambers) developed a common vision, goals and messages to address to the general public. The Chambers jointly started drafting communication goals and strategy in the next workshops.

The prevailing goal was to improve the image of the profession to be perceived as a trusted and professional service. General messages were formulated and sharpened to represent short and clear statements emphasizing key words. Attention was also given to carry out interviews in practice with the assistance of journalists.

The most recent workshop was organized in Herceg Novi in Montenegro. During this workshop,  the participants had the opportunity to submit, through a pitch, clearly defined ideas for innovative, creative, and promising public relations (PR) ideas for furthering the understanding of enforcement among the general public in each of the legal systems of the Western Balkans. The pitches were done in the form of a competion that was named “Western Balkans PR Rockstar Award for Enforcement”. In addition to winning the award, this competition will provide the winning Chamber of Enforcement Agents with an opportunity to be supported in realizing the most innovative, creative, and promising public relations (PR) ideas through the BESP project.

The ideas that were submitted were evaluated by the participants, the project team and Marc Schmitz, president of UIHJ and Jos Uitdehaag, first president of UIHJ.

On 8 June the celebration of International Day of the Enforcement Agents was attended by representatives of the five Chambers of Private Enforcement Agents, the Ministries of Justice and the Judicial Academies and Judicial Training Centers from Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

During the celebration, the winner of the first “Western Balkans PR Rockstar Award for Enforcement” was announced: the Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents of Serbia. Announcement and award ceremony were done by the president of UIHJ, Marc Schmitz.