Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congratulates 3 May – World Press Freedom Day – to all media and media workers in Montenegro. Unfortunately, there are no reasons for celebration this year as well. Still, this is an opportunity to point to complex position of media in Montenegro and to underline the importance of involvement of all actors in order to systematically start the recovery of the media scene.
Three weeks ago, Centre for Civic Education (CCE) submitted to Minister Sehovic Initiative for dismissal of director of Naval High School in Kotor due to abuse of official position and conscious violation of Articles 6 and 7 of General Law on Education. Despite the Urgency, there is no information to this day whether and with which outcome this initiative has been processed, and also neither for other directors of schools who have been abusing the official position for last two years which was determined also by Education Inspection.
As a reminder, director Veljko Botica has violated the law by permitting organisation and holding of pre-election gathering within political campaign prior to presidential elections scheduled for 15 April 2018 in sport hall of the School Centre in Dobrota in Kotor on 4 April 2018. CCE has enclosed evidences that premises of the school were used for party promotions, thus directly violating the Law. By aforementioned Initiative, CCE has requested for every director who allows abuse of school facilities for political purposes to be punished, regardless of which political party is holding gatherings in schools. CCE has after this Initiative, submitted also an Urgency for urgent conduct upon the same, but the authorised Ministry is still keeping silent.
The National Training Human Rights Education organized by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), was held in Podgorica from 19 to 22 April 2018, with the support of the Council of Europe – Department for Youth, within the framework of the Youth for Democracy programme.
The initial meeting of the Coalition for Transparency and Fight against corruption at the local level, which also included strategic planning and drafting of the Action plan of the Coalition, was held in Petrovac from 19 to 21 April 2018, within the project „Let’s put corruption into museum!“.
European Commission Report for Montenegro, in the part relating to civil society, has confirmed that there are formal preconditions for cooperation of government and NGO, but that alongside formal inclusion of NGO in various working bodies, conditions should be created for their substantial consultation. However, we assess that the document lacks some key findings which have marked the year behind us – foremost – increasingly intensive campaign against critically oriented NGOs and direct endangerment of their freedom of expression, and unprecedented illegal conduct of Parliament of Montenegro which stultified procedures for election of representatives of NGO to advisory bodies.
In simplest, EC has confirmed what we are speaking about for several years already, that Government is establishing formal preconditions for work of NGO, but that these laws, decisions and strategies are not being applied in continuity in the prescribed manner.