Good decision of the Legislative Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the decision of the Legislative Committee of the Parliament which refused the Governments’ Proposal of the Law on Higher Education because of the numerous omissions that the CCE, with the other interested parties, pointed out during and after public debate on that text.

The fact that Proposal of the Law on Higher Education did not pass the Legislative Committee is encouraging because it indicates that there is a control mechanism and that it can be, although very rare in our practice, used. That this law was seriously analyzed by the primary Committee (in this case Education Committee), in the discussion based on arguments, it would also not get the required majority, and therefore wouldn’t have gone into further procedure. But, there is hope that at the plenary will be certain awareness about the poor quality of this law Proposal and that it will not receive the needed majority.

The competent Ministry of Education had to enable the opening of a broad public debate and to appreciate comments of interested parties based on the public interest, and there were plenty of these, which could only contribute to the quality legislation in this area. To remind, during the work on the Proposal of the Law on Higher Education the CCE pointed out to disrespect of regulations governing the manner and process of amending this law, as well as the insufficiency of the entire text. For this reason, CCE already emphasized that the proposed text, without being complied with Regulation should be withdrawn from the procedure. This, unfortunately, did not happen, since it previously passed the Government with ignorance of the attitudes of interested public. But, we hope that MPs will recognize the deficiencies of this proposal, which the CCE pointed out several times and once it comes to the regular parliamentary procedure that it will not be supported.

CCE was intended to act with amendments to the text of proposal of this law. However, after a detailed analysis of the proposed text, it was clear that the same as a whole missed the essence of the problem it is addressing. Text of the proposed law would have to define objective and impartial standards that would be applied equally to all higher education institutions in Montenegro, thus providing a framework for improving the quality of education and not serving to achieve any particular interests to the detriment of the public interest.

Tamara Milaš
Programme associate