Changes in existing public policies and offers are necessary

With amendments to electoral legislation and the introduction of open lists, MPs and councilors would be more accountable to citizens, and change of power requires specific proposal of the opposition concerning social issues.

This was stated at the panel discussion Democracy and political parties: to whom are responsible councilors – citizens or parties??’, organized by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) and the NGO Active zone from Cetinje last night, as joint activity of the Coalition for Transparency and Fight against Corruption at the Local Level (KUM) and Democracy School.

Potrebne promjene postojećih javnih politika i ponuda »

Controlled chaos in regulation of electronic media

It is necessary to ensure non-selective application of Law on Electronic Media towards all broadcasters which have broadcast license, in order to protect public interest within the area of informing citizens on issues important for satisfying everyday life needs, as it was concluded today at the presentation of the study of Centre for Civic Education (CCE) on work of Agency for Electronic Media – Controlled Chaos in Regulation of Electronic Media.

CCE Development Coordinator, Damir Nikočević, stated that ’findings of the study indicate that AEM has not consistently respected Law on Electronic Media in its work, which consequently led to unfair competition on electronic media market, but also significant contamination of media environment with unprofessional and unethical contents.’

CGO - Kontrolisani haos u regulaciji elektronskih medija »

Councilors – representatives of citizens or interests of political parties?

The Coalition for Transparency and Fight against Corruption at the Local Level (KUM) notes that democracy at the local level in Montenegro is not sufficiently developed. Challenges are particularly identified in insufficient understanding of the role of councilors in local parliaments and the need for continuous communication with citizens even after the end of electoral procedures. However, last developments in Bar, Zabljak and Podgorica are announcing waking up of the awareness of citizens who insist on supremacy of public over political party interest.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing cases that warn that citizens’ participation in decision-making processes at the local level ends with elections. Surveys indicate that citizens do not sufficiently use mechanisms of local democracy (public hearings, civic initiatives, consultative referendums, local communities, citizens’ associations, etc.). On the other hand, local self-governments are not sufficiently proactive to involve citizens in consultation on important issues.

Koalicija KUM »

There is no significant progress in Roma inclusion into montenegrin society

The Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assesses that this International Roma Day in Montenegro is again welcomed without significant progress in the inclusion of Roma into Montenegrin society. Numerous prejudices and stereotypes towards Roma persist and aggravate the integration and full involvement of Roma in all spheres of society.

The CCE research on the perception of discrimination indicates that this group remains at the top of the scale of those who are most exposed to discrimination in our society. Ethnic and social distance, both among general and youth population, is most expressed towards Roma.

In the past years, there has been some degree of Roma inclusion into education, but it seems more formal than essential. Such is the attitude towards Roma inclusion in all areas of social life. Observed in figures, the biggest shifts are recorded in education, since that was the field where the start was from zero and today a large number of Roma children are enrolled in schools, although the coverage is still not complete. However, the number of Roma who have successfully complete their education is very small, and also only rare of those who enroll in elementary school get to the faculty.

The quality of education that Roma get is also questionable, because of the frequent occurrence, although insufficiently explored, that lower criteria are applied to pupils of Roma population, i.e. lower standards of knowledge and achievement are sought. The fact that something is wrong with the acquired formal education is evidenced by the high unemployment rates of Roma students with secondary school or university degrees. In order to provide an adequate results, further efforts are necessary in working with the community, promotion of the importance of education, more serious approach and cooperation with parents, working with children from other groups within the school to affirm mutual understanding and acceptance amongst children, improvement of the awareness of teaching staff, and their competencies to work with children from vulnerable groups, stronger promotion of the importance and achievements in the field of culture and the history of Roma through educational programmes, overcoming language barrier, which is often the cause of poorer educational achievements.

Without quality education there is no successful inclusion and movement into the labor market. The majority of Roma is not employed, and those who work most often are employed in the utilities sector. The problem of unemployment is also affecting the inability to solve housing issue and to satisfy whole range of elementary social and economic rights and needs. Poor education and unemployment entail the Roma into a vicious circle of poverty, i.e. social exclusion and vulnerability which, due to the failure of these problems, transmit to further generations and permanently marginalize this group.

The position of social deprivation of Roma is often abused for political purposes and political deals, while at the same time they do not have the opportunity to organize themselves politically and articulate their demands through representatives in the Parliament of Montenegro. Despite numerous initiatives, legal principle on the acquisition of the right to a guaranteed parliamentary mandate, already applied for members of Croat community, has not been provided to representatives of the Roma minority community in Montenegro.

Finally, despite the narrative of authorities and tricky statistics on how to achieve results in the inclusion of Roma, we can meet dozens of Roma children who beg daily, and who are on the streets instead of at the school. Most turn their head when they see these children. It is public secret that these children are exploited, but the institutions do not deal with the prevention of this phenomenon. Social and institutional neglect of this grave violation of children’s rights makes it “normalized” and turns into a dangerous attitude that we adopt and enroot in as a society. And it is quite clear that with this attitude we cannot progress as a society of human rights culture.

Petar Đukanović, Human Rights Programme Coordinator

The media are important factor in informing about violent extremism and radicalism

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) organized, today in Podgorica, training for journalists on the phenomenon of radicalization and violent extremism, providing specific guidelines for quality reporting and research on these issues, as well as monitoring of the security sector and relevant institutions work in this field.

During the training, the concepts of terrorism, radicalism and extremism and methods of reporting have been considered, i.e. what should and should not be done during reporting, the most common mistakes that occur in reporting about these complex and sensitive issues through practical examples. Furtheremore,  credibility of sources and reporting forms on radicalism and extremism were discussed. The work was interactive with examples of reporting that were carefully analyzed in order to understand the lessons learned when it comes to research and coverage of these topics.

CGO - Mediji su važan faktor u informisanju o nasilnom ekstremizmu i radikalizmu »