Critical Thinking Against Populism in Montenegro

Strengthening civic culture, especially of young people, and their education on dangers and risks of populism, are crucially important to further democratic consolidation in Montenegro, which remains a challenge to all of us, as it was assessed today at the conference Democracy at the Turning Point – Influence of Populism on Youth which was organised by the Centre for Civil Education (CCE) in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

CGO - Mladi i populizam »

Government of Montenegro must protect Montenegrin diplomas

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has again submitted the Request for URGENT resolving of problem of non-recognition of Montenegrin diplomas in Serbia to the Ministry of Education and Government of Montenegro. Since September 2017, CCE has been pointing out to this problem through communication with the relevant institutions. Unfortunately, it has not been solved but the escalation that we are witnessing nowadayas has occurred.

As a reminder, almost a year ago, we have opened the question of (non)recognition of diplomas of the Faculty of Law of the University of Montenegro in Serbia for the needs of the labour market. The Ministry of Education then replied that they were familiar with this situation, that they have excellent cooperation with ENIC centres in the region, including Serbia, as well as that they will contact the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia in order to solve this problem. Since in the meantime there was no progress, the CCE has sent the first Urgency to the Ministry of Education in November 2017.

Now, students are contacting the CCE with an additional problem – since June this year the recognition of Montenegrin diplomas even for continuation of education in the Republic of Serbia has been stopped, which is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the universities there. »

The Government of Montenegro supported RECOM initiative

The Coalition for RECOM welcomes the conclusion of the Government of Montenegro, from today’s 83rd session, which supported the Initiative for founding of RECOM (Regional commission for the establishment of facts about war crimes and other serious violations of human rights committed in the former Yugoslavia from 1 January 1991 until 31 December 2001), as announnced at the last week meeting of the Prime Minister with the delegation of Coalition for RECOM. We also welcome readiness of Prime Minister Dusko Markovic’s to express determination of Montenegro to take part in establishment of RECOM at the London summit within Berlin process, with signing of Declaration on establishment of RECOM, as well as to further vigorously support this process of great importance for reconciliation in the region.

We remind that the official Montenegro had continuously positive attitude towards the Initiative for RECOM, and direct support was firstly provided by then President Filip Vujanovic, which was significant within regional context. Likewise, during the campaign of collecting citizens’ signatures, then Prime Minister Igor Luksic personally gave his signature confirming by that positive attitude of the Government towards this Initiative. Finally, in the Parliament of Montenegro, consultations were organized, in which all the parliamentary clubs expressed the general positive attitude towards the formation of RECOM, and consultations were opened and the Initiative was supported by then President of the Parliament Ranko Krivokapic.

The Initiative for RECOM was recognized within the framework of the Berlin Process, i.e. by the EU’s Berlin Process holders as a unique regional mechanism that can contribute to regional cooperation and strengthening of partnership between decision-makers and civil society in the area of reconciliation. The Coalition for RECOM is advocating for initiating or signing an interstate Declaration on establishment of RECOM, at the forthcoming summit in London, by the prime ministers of the Western Balkan states that are in this very moment ready to start the procedure for establishment of RECOM. The Declaration was prepared by members of the Regional Expert Team of the Coalition for RECOM, composed  of the representatives of the presidents of states of former Yugoslavia, in accordance with the Amendments to the Statute of RECOM, as proposed by the delegates for RECOM in consultation with the presidents during 2014.

Hence, the conclusions of the Government of Montenegro can be powerful incentive for other governments in the region, and Montenegro can take even more proactive approach in advocating for boost of activities directed towards establishment of RECOM, especially considering the complexity of neighborly relations in the region and the fact that only Montenegro does not have serious open issues with any of the states of the former Yugoslavia to which the Initiative refers.

Natasa Kandic
Coordinator of the Initiative for RECOM

Daliborka Uljarevic
Executive Director of CCE

Dragoljub Dusko Vukovic
Public Advocate of the Initiative for RECOM in Montenegro

Free textbooks should be provided regardless of the Electoral years

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has been monitoring for years the manner in which local self-governments allocate free textbooks for elementary school pupils. That practice used to be rather uneven, but in the last two years some progress was noticed.

The CCE addressed all local selfgovernments, total of 23 in Montenegro, requesting data if they provided free textbooks for pupils of elementary schools within their respective municipalities, for which grades and how much funds was allocated from the municipality’s budget for the school year 2017/2018, which was recently finished.

All municipalities approved access to information requested by the CCE, although the procedure lasted long, as not all of theme were equally prompt.  Out of 23 municipalities, 19 submitted data on the number of allocated sets of textbooks, while 4 municipalities did not allocate funds for this purpose. »

Initiative for cessation of a proceeding for dismissal of Vanja Calovic-Markovic from the position of member of Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC)

Daliborka Pejovic, President of the Committee
Members of the Committee

Podgorica 18/6/2018

Subject: Initiative for cessation of a proceeding for dismissal of Vanja Calovic-Markovic from the position of member of Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC)

Dear MPs,

On 29/5/2018, Deputy Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption has passed a decision No. UPI-02-01-57/26-2017 by which was determined that Vanja Calovic Markovic has violated provisions of the Law on Prevention of Corruption. The Anti-Corruption Committee was informed of this decision, as an organ authorised for selection and appointment of members of Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption.

While the proceeding was being conducted, Calovic Markovic was offered no possibility whatsoever to declare herself about any circumstance or fact that is stated in the decision of the Assistant Director of the Agency.

Furthermore, the Constitutional Court has even on 30/1/2018 adopted a Decision U-II No. 4/16 and 19/16 by which it determined that Rules on work of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption in the part of prevention of conflict of interest of public officials are in contrary to the Constitution of Montenegro, and according to this decision the Deputy Director has no authorisation to pass such decisions.

The Article 42 Paragraph 1 of the Law on Prevention of Corruption stipulates that violation of provisions of this law that is determined by ultimate, i.e. the final court verdict shall be deemed a negligent exercise of a public function, of which the Agency shall inform the organ of powers in which the public official is performing the public function and the organ authorised for selection, appointment, i.e. assigning of a public official, in order to initiate proceeding for dismissal, suspension or imposing disciplinary measure. »