Natko Vlahovic, CEO of Vlahovic Group, gave a statement for an article about the Croatian lobbying industry in a Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list. He pointed out that, according to preliminary calculations made by Vlahovic Group, the total worth of the Croatian lobbying industry at the moment is approximately €133 million. From that sum, about €40 million is spent annually on the event industry and advertising with the aim of creating political influence, about €10 million is spent annually by companies on their in-house lobbyists and associated activities, while professional consulting firms and lawyers gross about €20 million on lobbying services per year. The business associations (Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Employers’ Association, Croatian Banking Association, Croatian Tourism Association, and other foreign and professional chambers) spend approx. €60 million annually.
“Our rough estimate is that at least 500 people engage in lobbying and related activities in Croatia”, said Natko Vlahovic. However, out of only 6 professional Croatian consultants/lobbyists accredited within the EU’s Transparency Register for access to European Parliament premises, 5 are representatives of Vlahovic Group. The problem is in the lack of proper regulation of lobbying as a profession which opened the market for everyone. In Croatia today not only professional consultants/lobbyists lobby, but also business associations, NGOs, trade unions, lawyers, and in-house lobbyists.
Our rough estimate is that at least 500 people engage in lobbying and related activities in Croatia.
According to the assessment of the Croatian Society of Lobbyists, of which Natko Vlahovic is Vice-President, there are at least 30 companies in Croatia that provide lobbying services, but most of them do not publicly declare that. Only 9 of these companies are registered in the EU’s Transparency Register, while there are 72 registered subjects from Croatia in total.
One of the key reasons for such secrecy is the negative perception of the term lobbying, and domestic misunderstanding of the lobbying service. Therefore, according to Vlahovic, professional lobbying services in Croatia today are mostly used by foreign investors and multinational companies that require the highest level of legal compliance in articulating and advocating business interests. For these clients, any entry into the “gray zone” means intolerable reputational and legal risk.
Link to the entire article in Croatian: Jutarnji List
Public Affairs Director CEE, UPS
VG in Croatia has always supported us timely in a very professional manner. Great team with the right mindset and attitude.
Head of Government/Public Affairs for CEE and Russia, Philips
Vlahovic Group is a very engaged team of professionals with a high level of responsiveness and hands-on management. They help clients attain relevant information from business and political sectors in the Western Balkans.
VP CEE Public Policy, Mastercard
Working with VG for over 5 years we encountered many opportunities where strategic positioning and engagement support was essential. Each and every engagement was met with the highest level of professional dedication, energy and passion. Excellent understanding of the EU and national regulatory landscape as well as our company’s business objectives.
Chairman, CEC Group
We have been leading the government relations industry in CEE since the early 1990s, and would not be where we are today without strong, professional and reliable partners. The Vlahovic Group has always exceeded expectations, and we are only too pleased to recommend them to our clients.
CEO - Nextlaw Networks,
Senior Advisor - Dentons
Vlahovic Group is a charter member of the Nextlaw Public Affairs Network and we could not be more pleased with our association. Vlahovic Group is one of a very select group of leaders in the public affairs arena, not just in Croatia, but throughout the Balkans. We have worked on several projects with VG, all with great success and outstanding results.
Head Public Policy CEE, Uber
Uber CEE hired Vlahovic Group just before we entered the Croatian market in 2015. Their highly professional team helped us secure a successful launch and lay the foundations for a digital transformation of the entire taxi market in Croatia.
NEWS from Zagreb's St. Mark's Square
Vlahovic Group sends a biweekly political update on the activities of the Croatian Government (schedules and notable news). The update includes a listing of the activities of the PM and other members of the Government, new appointments, a selection of press releases by different Governmental departments and executive agencies. By subscribing, you agree to recieve this newsletter. You can unsubscribe anytime. The collected data is used only for registration and sending the newsletter and will not be used for other purposes.