Many confusions that require answers of relevant institutions

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) published the data on incomes of the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare in its research, “How much executives in public administration bodies earned in 2012?” based on the information which, on the request for free access for information, received from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare directly. Therefore, all confusions, and it seems that there are more of these than we, in the CCE, had primarily identified, in claims of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the former Minister of Labour and Social Welfare and the current Minister of Human and Minority Rights, Suad Numanović should be clarified amongst them. In addition, both the CCE and the public deserve a clear, evidence-based response, and taking of adequate responsibility of the party that did not provide truthful data in this case.

Namely, the CCE submitted, on 3 June 2013, as part of the research, “How much executives in public administration bodies earned in 2012?” simple questions to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, as follows:

  • How much executives within the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, e.g. Minister, Secretary of the Ministry, Assistant Ministers, Acting Assistant Ministers, chief of cabinet, spokesman, chief of departments etc. earned in net in 2012 – list of them with the total annual amounts or per month for the entire 2012;
  • A list of all other remunerations for the same persons in 2012, on any basis in net amounts (e.g. fees paid for work in the various working groups, commissions, etc.), per month or per year with an indication on what basis is the amount paid for, which the respected Ministry submitted in its response on 10/06/2013. »

Does Montenegrin judiciary have the capacity to ensure justice for victims of war crimes?

In the eve of public announcement of the sentence in the case of “Morinj”, scheduled for 31 July before the Higher Court in Podgorica, the Centre for Civic education (CCE) reminds that the victims of this and other war crimes committed at the territory of Montenegro are still waiting for justice, though it’s been more than 20 years from their suffering.

CCE has been pointing out for number of times that the war crimes trials last unacceptably long, resulting in non-performance of the evidence that cause unsuccessful indictments and for such an effect no one has ever claimed responsibility. So far, the praxis is indicating that these processes lasting for years only served to deliberate prolongation of the cases. Therefore, it is not surprising that victims and their families are losing confidence in the Montenegrin judiciary. This is evidenced also by the March protest of the prisoners from the camp Morinj at the Montenegrin-Croatian border in Karasovici, when they described the case, running for five years in Montenegro, as farcical. »

“Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance” – 247 participants at the consultative trainings

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in cooperation with partners, and with the support of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, within the project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance”, has conducted 14 consultative trainings in the period of 3-25 July, in the municipalities of: Tivat, Kotor, Bar, Herceg Novi, Budva, Pljevlja, Plužine, Rožaje, Mojkovac, Kolašin, Danilovgrad, Cetinje, Nikšić and Podgorica.

These meetings with chief administrators, councillors, members of local boards of economy, finance and budget, local government representatives, and representatives of local non-governmental organizations, within the broader framework of the project, aim at strengthening the role of civil society organizations, local government and state authorities in policy development, monitoring and implementation of the campaign to reduce corruption in local communities of Montenegro. During these meetings, special attention has been paid to issues such as public-private partnerships, public procurement, reducing corruption in employment at local level, work and possibilities of local parliaments, control of local budgets and political corruption. Introductory lectures on these topics gave: Jovana Marović, Research Coordinator at the Institute Alternative (IA), Damir Nikočević, Programme Associate at the CCE, Marko Sošić, Public Policy Researcher at the IA and Boris Marić, Senior Legal Advisor at the CCE. »

Pride and Shame

On Wednesday 24 July 2013, in Budva, a SeaSide Pride was held, the first pride parade in Montenegro, organized by the NGO LGBT Forum Progress. Although announced on short notice, in the middle of the tourist season and in a city that is considered to be the capital of Montenegrin tourism, recently been present in the media also within the black chronicles of crime fights, it ultimately went with a high degree of professionalism and commitment of members of the police forces. Around 400 of them, on that day, have been protecting around 30 of those who came to walk for human rights and against discrimination of the LGBT community, from about 2000 hostile citizens, out of which 500 were extremely aggressive and violent, among whom were those who, in addition to curses and calls for lynching, were also willing and equipped to throw on SeaSide Pride participants various rocks, bottles and whatever they got or they could find at hand. This was preceded by putting on, throughout the city, the death certificates with a photo and the name of the leader of the LGBT Forum Progress, who so far, unfortunately, is still the only publicly declared gay person in Montenegro, Zdravko Cimbaljević, which was criticized by the NGO activists, few officials at the national level and members of the international community. »

Pride parade was held in Budva, but there is still plenty to be done to affirm equal rights for all citizens

STEP Coalition, composed of eight NGOs from Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, strongly condemns the reckless acts of physical violence by the groups of citizens gathered in order to sabotage the first Montenegrin Pride Parade “Seaside Pride” held on 24 July 2013 in Budva, which were followed by hate speech towards the participants and organizers of this gathering.

Yesterday, in Budva, around 400 police officers were deployed to protect participants of the Parade, and the wider downtown was closed for traffic. STEP Coalition regretfully notices that at the very beginning of the Parade participants were thrown stones, glasses, bottles and other objects at by member of sport teams fun groups from the nearby restaurants, but even the individual citizens, which represents an open act of violence and evidence that Montenegrin society is still struggling high level of homophobia. »