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  • Panel discussion: Think tanks in the age of post-truth politics: How to make facts matter (again)

    31 January, 2019 – The panel discussion Think tanks in the age of post-truth politics: How to make facts matter (again) was held today in the organisation of the European Policy Centre (CEP) in Belgrade. The event was attended by more than 60 representatives from civil society, embassies, and the academic, professional, and governmental sectors.

    At the event, the Go To Think Tanks Index Report for 2018 was presented. This report represents the annual assessment of think tanks around the world, and with its publication, events dedicated to its presentation were held in 80 countries and over 330 institutions and organisations on the same day. This year, at an event organised by CEP, the report was presented in Serbia for the second consecutive year.

    Highlights of the panel discussion 

    “It is necessary that the dialogue between the professional community and governing bodies be significantly improved. If experts are not trusted, then there is a serious problem with the reality and sustainability of the reforms that need to be implemented in the country,” Majstorović said in his opening address.

    “Today, the supply of credible and authentic facts is not particularly high,” Dan noted during the discussion. Dan added that facts do not say much for themselves, instead requiring analysis by expert public and research organisations, which then should propose to the government what kind of policy it should lead.

    Jović expressed his concern that “post-truth has been profoundly dominated, almost anything can happen in our society because there is no responsibility for what has been said: anyone can say anything and get the attention of the media,” Jović said. He also stated that it is unjust that the word “elite” has become unpopular in the public, and that society should not fall under the rule of amateurism; work should instead be done to strengthen the intellectual, social and economic elite in order to “at least establish a counterpart.”

    Vučković also spoke about establishing a counterpart. She believes that it is highly important to cultivate a culture of dialogue and truth, the skill of listening to different opinions, as well as opposition to policy based on lies. Vučković emphasized that it is necessary for citizens to have access to facts and that the public interest must be the primary concern of policy. 

    After these address, other participants also participated in a discussion that was moderated by Milena Lazarević, the CEP Programme Director.

    Photo: Beta / Milan Obradović

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