Concerning silence of prosecutions about the attack on the journalist

The Centre for Civic Education (CCE) condemns the attack on the journalist of the daily ‘Dan’, Vladimir Otasevic, which, according to this daily paper occurred on 3 December 2019, at shopping mall ‘Delta City’. Physical violence cannot and should not be a response to any act of a journalists, especially if it concerns public interest that guided that journalist. The CCE urges the Prosecutorial Council to urgently investigate whether behaviour of the prosecutor Milos Soskic is in accordance with the Code of Ethics for State Prosecutors and consenquently to process this case. Also, the CCE calls upon the management of the Police administration, as well as the Council for the civil control of the police work, to make their position towards the behavior of the police officer who was involved in this incident.

It is a public interest to inform citizens of Montenegro with whom state prosecutors are in company and to what extent it contributes to the integrity of the Prosecutor’s Office, particularly bearing in mind that there is a need to work on raising the extremely low level of trust into Prosecutor’s Office, as recently and rightly has been pointed out by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pazin. We express concern about the fact that one prosecutor silently observed the attack on a journalist, regardless of the form and intensity of the attack. From professional and ethical, as well as patriotic standpoint, it is the prosecutor who should at least try to prevent such a conflict. The question is: would such a prosecutor observe if, for example, someone attacking his colleague or the harassment of journalists became common in this country? Is the problem even greater when members of police forces are involved? And does this only contribute to the continuous decline of Montenegro in all international rankings that measure the level of media freedom, but also the manner in which the state and its institutions protect journalists? »

Increasing inclusion of people with disabilities by lowering barriers

On the occasion of December 3 – International Day of People with Disabilities, Centre for Civic Education (CCE) reminds on inadequate position of people with disabilities (PWD) in Montenegro, and above all in the exercise of basic rights in education, employment, health care and movement. The CCE calls on the relevant institutions to work together to find modalities for consistent implementation of the legal framework for the protection of people with disabilities in order to strengthen the inclusion of this group in Montenegrin society.

It is concerning that in 2019 we still receive warnings from the EU, but also from other international instances, that the legal framework for the protection of people with disabilities is not adequately implemented which puts significant number of persons with disabilities in the position of second-class citizens. CCE surveys confirm the worrying incidence, as 82% of citizens say that the position of people with disabilities in Montenegro is worse than that of average citizens. PWDs are an important resource, but a resource that is neglected due to prejudice against this group and denial of opportunity while hiding behind financial allocations for disability cash benefits. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the key points at which the position of the PWD can be improved and more strongly advocated for employment and the principle of independent living of the PWD. The European Commission also warns us in its 2019 Montenegro Report on the need to establish adequate and transparent system of spending funds from the Fund for the Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of PWD. »

It is time to refresh the negotiating structure

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assesses that the seven years of accession negotiations, the importance of the integration dynamics of Montenegro, and the quality of implemented reforms, especially in the period when stagnation and regression in some areas of strengthening the rule of law are noted, require consideration of the negotiating structure, and contributes through the study Negotiation Structure in Montenegro and Comparative Experiences – Did We Find Best Model?

For short time, Montenegro, as the EU candidate country, had positioned itself as the “leader in the European integration process” in the Western Balkans. During the seven years of negotiations, Montenegro opened 29 negotiation chapters and provisionally closed three. It is already clear that the negotiation process is taking much longer than it was the case with other member states. »

Recognition of foreign diplomas must be systematically and institutionally addressed

The Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assessed that the issue of recognition of foreign diplomas must be adequately and institutionally resolved, taking into account both the respect of international standards and the national interests of the state of Montenegro. This is especially important concerning the enormous and growing number of foreign educational documents coming from educational institutions in the region and broadly, whose reputation is highly questionable, as we have been warning the Ministry of Education for years.

For these reasons, the CCE also had a representative in the Working Group for drafting amendments to the Law on recognition of foreign educational certificates and qualifications equalization. »

Kaludjerski laz case – one in the series of failed war crimes indictments

The Centre for Civic Education (CCE), within the edition “Dealing with the past in Montenegro”,  has published second publication “Kaluđerski laz” case.  The edition has been founded by the publication on “Morinj” case.

Compiling key and authentic documents of the war crimes in Montenegro, this time of the Kaludjerski Laz case, the CCE wants to accelerate termination of the negative practices of inadequate war crimes processing, building of the necessary institutional framework and encouragement for constructive dealing with the past. It also enables future lawyers, researchers and other stakeholders to have easier integral insight into all aspects of the trial. This structure of the publication contributes to future actions that should lead to the revelation and processing of those responsible for this war crime. »