The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addressed the conference on corporate social responsibility - CSR Serbia 2020.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE SPEECH OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IN ITS ENTIRETY:
First of all, I would like to thank the company Color Media for its persistence in organizing a conference on corporate social responsibility for the eighth year in a row. Not only because it is a way to demonstrate social responsibility, but also because it is really a very important part of our overall business environment, which is often only mentioned as an aside, without fully recognizing its importance for companies and, what it more, for our society.
Corporate social responsibility is something that should be taken for granted today, something without which business activity of any kind is simply unthinkable. However, is it really like that in Serbia, and not only in Serbia?
It is nice to see TV reports of how a company has equipped a classroom in a local school with computers or funded a mathematical champion’s trip to a competition abroad. To me, it is even better when something like that happens without any TV involvement at all, but alright, I understand that any business requires good publicity. However, it is neither nice nor fair if these actions and their like remain a one-time thing, when their goal is only to tick the box of social responsibility as a kind of obligation or burden.
We all expect our and especially foreign companies where corporate social responsibility is far more developed, to work much more and be more visible in this field. To compete in this discipline and with each other in who has done more for the community, who cares more about the environment, and especially in how it treats its employees. Every business must make profit, but it must never be the reason for the environment, human rights and the interests of the community where that profit is realized to suffer for it.
The state has made considerable progress in this regard, we are investing a great effort to stimulate employers to behave socially responsibly. Starting from the employment of persons with disabilities, numerous regulations for the prevention of labour discrimination, to incentives for various types of corporate social responsibility. This is our duty arising from the state’s social function and we will keep improving it even more. And we will especially take into account the further obligations of the business sector when it comes to sustainable development and respect for the most modern standards in this area, primarily environmental protection.
I am aware that investing in corporate social responsibility still seems like a considerable expense for many employers, which should be avoided wherever possible. But that is no longer possible. Not only because the state and society demand it, business itself demands it, it is no longer an expense but the best investment that a company can make. Everyone who invests in the community, in inclusion, in the good treatment of workers and especially in environmental conservation and sustainable development, in turn receives multiple benefits.
We, employers and unions and the state, must continue to cooperate in this field because we still have a lot of work to do to make sure our entire business environment has an even stronger social function. Our state institutions are more than ready to be your partners and you should take advantage of that.
Thank you again for the invitation and I wish you successful work at today's conference! "