The NGO Coalition Cooperation to the Goal, today, sent to the Mayor of Kotor, Željko Aprcović, request for amendments to the draft Decision on Amendments to the Decision on the amount, criteria, method and procedure of allocation of funds to Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Decision on Amendments to the Decision on the amount, criteria, method and procedure of allocation of funds to Non-Governmental Organizations, which planned to halve the funds for NGO projects instead of the previous 1% of the current budget to 0.5%, is currently opened for public debate.
The proposed solutions seriously worsen the environment for the work and development of non-governmental organizations in the Municipality of Kotor, but also diminish the possibility of implementing local public policies through non-governmental organizations.
If we assume that the amount of funding for NGO projects and programmes is reduced from the current 1% to 0.5% of the municipal budget, it will be a step backward in relations between local self-government and NGOs, as it will jeopardize functioning of precisely those organizations of which citizens and local authorities benefit the most.
We are surprised by the fact that instead of further improvement of the good practice that Kotor Municipality had in the previous period, there is a change in direction to regression without any justification and supporting analysis for such a decision.
Also, the significance of the proposed changes to the decision is problematic. Namely, it envisages that traditional organizations will be allocated 60% instead of the current 20% of the total amount assigned for financing NGO projects and programmes. This practically means that traditional organizations (in total 3) will retain the present amount of guaranteed annual revenues from the municipal budget, while all other NGOs will apply for minimum funding. By this, the authorities in Kotor demonstrate misunderstanding of the role of non-governmental organizations and perhaps the intention to suppress the activities of NGOs. The questionable intentions of the Municipality of Kotor are also indicated by the fact that representatives of NGOs did not participate in the process of preparing changes to this Decision.
Due to all of the above, the NGO Cooperation to the Goal requires that the draft decision is amended and problematic Articles 2 and 4 deleted. BY doing so, the Municipality of Kotor would demonstrate decisiveness not to jeopardize the autonomous work of NGOs.
The Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal currently gathers 100 non-governmental organizations from all over Montenegro and represents the largest organized NGO coalition in Montenegro. The main goals of the Coalition are to: improve the framework for the development and work of the non-governmental sector in Montenegro; improve relations with the Government of Montenegro, local self-government, the Parliament of Montenegro and economic entities; improve programme and financial transparency of the work of the non-governmental sector.
Ana Novaković Đurović, President of the Management Board
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) is a member of a Coalition Cooperation to the Goal, and in that capacity has a representative in the Management Board.