Dear friends of liberty,
Passing year has been one of the most successful in these six years.
During 2013 we have strategically anchored three key areas of our activities – education, advocacy and research.
We have strengthened and significantly widened our network of domestic and international associates and partners.
Our representatives have participated in the most relevant international and regional conferences and seminars.
Activities that we undertook made us more visible in the media, a continuance in building an image of consistency and creativity of our organization.
Through program of the second Public Policy Academy we strived to accomplish a balance between different approaches to interpreting challenges with which a free individual faces in the contemporary society. Our lecturers have inspired participants with stimulating and often provocative approaches, in order to question without hesitation the settled and apparently vague political processes in which we all take part. Comparing the program to the first generation of the Academy, we have designed a new creative area of interpretation through deliberation of important literary works, movies and political documentaries.
Alongside the Academy, in the previous year we organized four seminars for high school students, Politics of the Individual, in Niš, Kragujevac and twice in Belgrade – highest number of high school seminars in a single year so far. After each of these seminars, I often share my feeling of awe that from year to year there is an increase in prepareness of these young people to participate in our programs and enrich their knowledge.
Vision of our educational program remains, above all, encouragement of young people to fortify their sense of individual liberty and responsibility, as well as to be as successful as possible in revealing the diagnosis of contemporary political and economic phenomena and follies.
Side to side with education, in the first half of the year we launched a video series called Pop Economics, somewhere in the crossing of education and advocacy. Eight videos that we published on our website not only explain the origin of many economic problems, but they also remind the viewers how these problems practically reflect on us and our wallets.
Realizing that a much wider public activity is needed in order to reach as many people as possible, we began the creation of Fiscal Coalition Defend Your Wallet. Peak of our advocacy for lower taxes, lower regulation and constraints on the increase of public debt are, of course, the Festival and March of Taxpayers held in June.
More than 400 citizens in the street, three reported public debates in Youth Hall and several thousand signatories of the Tax-Payers Charter, are visible political manifestations of a long, thorough and responsible planning. A team of dedicated associates who participated in these activities are mostly participants of our programs and confirmation of an authentic relation that Libek fosters with its participants and alumni.
Activities of the Fiscal Coalition Defend Your Wallet were continued by street actions during the following months and the wider public has specifically identified proposition of the Government of Serbia to increase lower rates of VAT. Cooperating with the Association of Hoteliers HORES and other interested individuals we made a joint pressure in public sphere that resulted in the decision of the Government to give up on the former decree, and increase the taxes on hotel services by only two percent, in comparison to the planned twelve percent.
In the last trimester of the year we elaborated plans for the launch of our Research Department and for acceptance of young economic researchers. Besides economics, we also began to sistematically explore day-to-day social problems within a special educational program.
We bring this year to a close by making a call for applications for the third generation of our Academy of Public Policy that will begin in February 2014.
On behalf of Libek team, I wish you liberated thinking about your visions and responsible overcoming all challenges that stand in the way of their realization.
President of Libertarian Club Libek