Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal calls upon the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Montenegro to urgently fulfill their legal obligations and to adopt the Decree on co-funding of EU projects for domestic non-governmental organizations. Taking into the account that EU grants require co-financing from each beneficiary, the state has committed itself to support NGO projects that have successfully passed challenging and complex EU competitions.
The Ministry and the Government should have implemented this obligation immediately after the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, as early as January 2018. The draft of the Decree was at the public debate already in July 2017, meaning that the text of this Decree has been completed and that there is nothing, except the eventually political background, to delay its adoption for so long.
However, even after six months from the entry into force of the Law, the Ministry and the Government did not pass this bylaw related to co-funding, and which is mandatory for the Law to be fully applied. Hence, the Government directly jeopardizes the success of implementation of these projects and creates uncertainty for the necessary co-funding for NGOs.
We remind that all projects supported in Montenegro, at the EU calls for NGOs, are linked to resolving key issues in the field of the rule of law and human rights in Montenegro, which are, at least rhetorically, the priorities of the Government. The significance of the reforms in these areas has been addressed in detail by the European Commission in its latest report on Montenegro, which clearly outlines expectations for track record in the rule of law and human rights protection. Therefore, it is necessary for the Government to recognize the importance of these projects and, by co-financing, enable its full implementation and influence on the reforms within these key areas.
Hence, we expect the Government to adopt as soon as possible the Decree, which it was obliged to do almost six months ago. If the Government continues to hesitate in passing this Decree, it will raise doubts that Government in fact does not want to provide this support for NGO projects at all. That would be a clear sign that a political decision is in place, and that laws in this country are not binding its creators.
Koalicija NVO Saradnjom do cilja trenutno okuplja 99 nevladinih organizacija iz čitave Crne Gore i predstavlja najveću organizovanu koaliciju NVO u Crnoj Gori.
The Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal currently brings together 99 NGOs from entire Montenegro and represents a largest organized coalition of NGOs in Montenegro.
Ana Novaković, president of the Management Board
- Centre for Civic Education (CCE) is a member of the Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal, and in this capacity has a representative in the MB.