Again without criteria and against Budget and those who work

Centre for Civic education (CCE) since the beginning of the establishment of working groups for preparation of the negotiations with the EU pointed to the selectivity and lack of clearly defined criteria for the financing of the work of these working groups, and one centralized budget for these purposes, as the interested public could regularly monitor the costs.

Namely, we have claimed that it is inappropriate that some members of these groups are paid for their work, some do not, as well as that these payments are different, without essential measures of performance or other objective criteria. In addition, it should be recalled that all the representatives of the NGO sector completely voluntary contribute to the work of the working groups, whereby because of the bad normative solutions they are even denied to go to bilateral meetings, which are held in Brussels.

Practice has shown that this selectivity led to serious differences in the treatment and status of the working group members, and that the solution in which each member of the group can cover the cost at the body from which it comes is deeply manipulative and unfair.

The fee for the work of the working groups had to be defined on the basis of common understanding criteria, and special budget should cover the basic costs of operation of all the members of the working groups. Budget of the negotiations structure should be managed by Chief negotiator, in accordance with precisely defined criteria.

As a result of absence of such established structure and budget, we have serious differences in the cost of public authorities in relation to these working groups, and it appears that those closer to finances and influence are and remain to be in possibility to easily and in greater extent provide funds from other institutions/organizations. Also, at this moment there is no precise figure how much cost total current work of working groups, including travel and related expenses of all members.

We believe that these problems are the result of failures on which we, from the beginning, were pointing and for which there was no understanding by decision-makers. Therefore, it is not surprising that the working groups for the preparation of negotiations have become to many a new source of revenue. This means that Budget again lose and that members of working groups who are truly committed to work remain insufficiently valorized, which certainly in the coming more demanding negotiation process is not motivating message.

Boris Marić, Senior Legal Advisor