Enable adequate participation of civil sector – letter to the Government and Ministry of European Affairs

GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
Duško Marković, Prime Minister


Ministry of European Affairs
Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Minister

Podgorica, 11/5/2017

Dear Mr Marković,
Dear Mr Pejović,

We are addressing you concerning the recent decision which was adopted by the Government of Montenegro, namely to leave out Vuk Maraš, representative of NGO MANS, from the Working group for the preparation and conduct of negotiations for Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental rights.

Upon looking into the Decision on the amendment of decision on the Formation of Working group for the preparation and conduct of negotiations on the accession of Montenegro to European Un-ion for the area of legal acqui related to negotiating Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental rights, we have been informed that the Government passed a conclusion on 13 April 2017, based on which Vuk Maraš was excluded from the Decision proposal.

It is the obligation of Government of Montenegro to conduct accession negotiation process with EU in transparent manner, as well as to make room for an adequate participation of civic sector. In that respect, it is our duty, as representatives of NGO sector, to contribute to transparency of that process. We believe that this is not possible if such decisions are made regardless of procedures and without any explanation.

Hence, we urge that you inform the public on reasons for leaving out the candidate of MANS from the membership in Working group for the monitoring of implementation of measures from Action plan for Chapter 23, to review that decision and appoint him as member of Working group based on the amendment of Conclusion 07-931, in order to continue the cooperation with civic sector in line with democratic principles for which you have publically advocated.

Respectfully,

Maja Raičević, Executive director, Women’s Rights Center

Stevo Muk, President of MB, Institute Alternative

Daliborka Uljarević, Executive director, Centre for Civic Education (CCE)

Ana Novaković, Executive director, Centre for Development of NGOs (CDNGO)

New questionnaires of Ministry of Education are in line with the remarks of CCE

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) commends the decision of Ministry of Education to seek the opinion of Agency for the Protection of Personal data and Free access to information during the creation of Proposal of Questionnaire for parents within the procedure of enrolment of children to first grade of primary school, in terms of their harmonisation with the provisions of Law on Protection of Personal Data. By doing so, Ministry of Education acknowledged, but also corrected, the mistake of previous management which designed the questionnaire that encroached right into the privacy of citizens and posed a potential mean of party misuse.

New questionnaire was improved compared to the previous, based on which CCE made a substantiated reaction and launched the Initiative for the monitoring over the compilation and dissemination of Questionnaire on basic information of pupils at the Ministry of Education and Primary schools „Štampar Makarije“ and „Radojica Perović”. »

State is obliged to ensure the development of media freedoms

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congratulates 3 May – World Press Freedom Day – to all media and media practitioners in Montenegro, though unfortunately they have no reason to celebrate it this year either. On the other side, this is a chance to indicate on difficult environment in which Montenegrin media work and operate, as well as on the fact that media freedoms have been downgraded on every ground, which has a limiting effect on the overall democratisation of society.

Role of media in the development of democratic society is immeasurable. However, in order for media to achieve their role, the state must ensure an ambient where journalists can work free, without any pressure and fear of aftermath of their work. Lack of progress in this respect is evidenced by numerous challenges which encumber media scene in Montenegro, to which CCE has been indicating for years, and which remain without the adequate reaction from competent state bodies, thereby without the solution. Political pressures, inadequate legislative framework, numerous unresolved cases of assault on journalists, media and their property, which investigation and processing is not in the interest of the state, uninspiring financial framework and opaque allocations from public funds which directly affect the media market, are just some of the causes of deep division on media scene and decrease of quality of media reporting. Media cannot exercise their role of watchdog over political officials in such surrounding, or inform the citizens of Montenegro in an objective, timely and professional manner. »

Through employment to inclusion

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has employed eight persons with disabilities during April, within the framework of the project Through employment to inclusion. Their working engagement will last six months, and they will be placed in seven NGOs and one independent institution. Project is implemented with the support of Employment Agency.

More precisely, partners from civil society and institutions which will hire those persons with disabilities for six months are from three Montenegrin municipalities. Namely, SOS Hotline for women and children victims of violence and the Association of paraplegics from Nikšić are participating in this part of project activities, then there is the Association of parents of children and young people with special educational needs of Montenegro «Let’s grow together» from Danilovgrad. When it comes to Podgorica, those persons will work in NGO Juventas, Human Rights Action (HRA), Centre for investigative journalism (CIJ) and in CCE. In addition, the Ombudsman is involved in this part of project activities, where one person will be also have working engagement. »

Successfully concluded work of IX cycle of Peace Education Programme

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) hosted the award of diplomas for the participants of Peace Education Programme. In total, 51 participant received the confirmation of attendance on PEP’s ninth cycle.

Same as before, PEP has enjoyed great level of interest, both by the citizens of Podgorica and other cities of Montenegro. It was marked by diverse and stimulating workshops with distinct materials which offered selection of key issues that were publically addressed in front of international audience by Prim Ravat, world renowned expert in that area. Each workshop consisted of several video footages, reflection time and accompanying reading material.

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