Participants of the Berlin Process Western Balkan Ministerial Meeting held in Warsaw underlined their commitment to reconciliation and welcomed support of the European Commission on way ahead with regard to RECOM (Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia from 1 January 1991 to 31 December 2001).
Within the framework of the Berlin Process Presidency, the Republic of Poland welcomed in Warsaw on 11-12 April 2019 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Berlin Process, the Presidency in the Council of the European Union, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the European External Action Service to discuss regional cooperation and the progress on outstanding bilateral issues.
During the meeting in Warsaw, Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, Christian Danielsson, underlined that over the last ten years, there been a significant amount of discussion about an approach to dealing with the past with the active involvement of governments and civil society through victim associations, noting the Initiative for RECOM as good example.
“We stand ready to support such actions – actions that come from the region and for the region. We have asked an ex-Director General of the Commission, Pierre Mirel, to reach out to you to see how you can best build consensus on a way forward”, he said.
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) organized Youth Intercultural Camp from 11 to 14 April, at Ivanova korita, within the framework of the project Education for Multiculturalism and Interculturalism, supported by the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Montenegro.
Youth Intercultural Camp was attended by 24 high schools pupils from nine Montenegrin municipalities as follows: Rozaje, Niksic, Podgorica, Plav, Bijelo Polje, Cetinje, Pluzine, Mojkovac and Gusinje.
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.
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.’
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.