Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), organised a meeting today, within the «European café» project, with the representatives of non-governmental organisations and Zoran Pažin, Minister of Justice in Government of Montenegro. The meeting was based on the principle of World Café method, on the subject of “Rule of law in Montenegro – achievements and future challenges”.
Daliborka Uljarević opened the European café, with an overview on the Montenegro 2015 Report, made by the European Commission, reminding that «each year, all stakeholders in Montenegrin society assess this report in a different manner, as well as that every one of them agrees on one thing: the more Montenegro makes progress on its path to Europe, the more in depth the «scanner» of EC diagnose Montenegrin society». She emphasised that «this year’s report represents a warning in number of areas, and it is clear that EC will not have understanding for the lack of tangible results in 2016, as well as that the entire responsibility for the production of these results is in the hands of authorities and institutions that have to demonstrate that they are finally capable of working in professional manner and without the political influence, as it was the case so far».
Podgorica, Montenegro / Paris, France, 24 November 2015
‘Soft’ censorship is quickening an already serious decline in media independence in Montenegro. This is the conclusion of a new report published today by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and the Montenegrin based Centre for Civic Education (CCE).
“Eroding Freedoms: Media and Soft Censorship in Montenegro” [http://www.wan-ifra.org/node/144107/] outlines a selective approach to public funding that is misused to reward positive coverage of the work of authorities and otherwise withheld to punish media outlets that question official policies or practices. Media coverage is therefore polarised and encourages poor-quality journalism that is of little service to public discussion. As a result, media credibility has been severely diminished in the country.
Official soft censorship, or indirect censorship, is defined as “an array of official actions intended to influence media output, short of legal or extra-legal bans, direct censorship of specific content, or physical attacks on media outlets or media practitioners.”
Participants of XXI generation of Human Rights School, organised by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), paid a visit to PI “Komanski most”, Police department and afterwards they visited British Embassy in Podgorica. Human Rights School is one of the activities within the Youth build Montenegro project, supported by British Embassy.
Thus, within the practical part of the curriculum, participants had the opportunity to gain knowledge on the functioning, competencies and activities of institution for children and youth with moderate, heavy and severe difficulties in mental development, as well as on the work of Police department, more precisely, the work of the Security Centre Podgorica and Detention unit. Finally, participants of XXI generation of Human Rights School were hosted by charge d’affairs in British Embassy, Lyndon Radnedge, who, along with Daliborka Uljarević, CCE Executive Director, and Petar Đukanović, CCE Programme Coordinator, awarded the diplomas for successful participation at the School.
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) and Institute Alternative (IA) assess as be hasty and unfounded the reaction of the Supreme Court of Montenegro, which underlines that it shall “consider further cooperation” with Human Rights Action (HRA), as well as that the “trust in the professionalism and objectivity of work” of this non-governmental organisation has deteriorated.
In addition to undisputed contribution to democratisation of society by Human Rights Action (HRA), we find that the correspondence between the executive director of this NGO and representative of European Commission was precisely for the purpose of creating an independent, professional and efficient judiciary, within which the appraisal and the appointment of judges and prosecutors would be based solely on precise and objective criteria.
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) received a response from the Ministry of Interior and Public Administration (MoI) regarding the names of persons who were proposed by the president of Government of Montenegro for the honorary citizenship, as well as the number and list of the remaining persons who were not amongst those proposed for honorary citizenship by legally prescribed proposers.
Upon the publication of the CCE report “Honorary citizenships – awarded to whom and how?”, MoI reacted stating that Prime Minister did not propose 195 but 26 persons. We remind that the CCE obtained precise information from the President of state and President of Parliament on the number and names of proposed persons, which sums it up to 8 (eight), and when subtracted from 203 (the number of total awarded by the end of July of 2015), we come to 195. Given that the Law on Montenegrin Citizenship recognises only three proposers – presidents of state, Government and Parliament – the CCE came to the conclusion that the difference of 195 relates to the Prime Minister. MoI denied this in its reaction by stating that the Prime Minister proposed only 26 persons which raised the question – who are these persons who were not proposed in line with the Law.