“Grave mistakes” should be corrected

The Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes decision of the Government of Milo Đukanović to destroy undated resignation letters that he personally, when taking office, has asked from heads and deputies of all state bodies and institutions to sign. This act, which was entirely contrary to the rhetoric commitment of the Government to professionalization of the state administration, have among the first criticized non-governmental organizations and the media, so this represents a recognition of the merits of this critique, which was then by Đukanović and his fellows fiercely denied.

Undated resignation letters and insisting on them have evolved into a sort of political scandal that ended up in the Montenegro Progress Report 2013 through concerns of the European Commission over such a harmful practice. Talking on one level about professionalization of public administration, while requesting from managing people in the public administration to sign undated resignations is unacceptable, and in that part the EC has sent a rather serious message.

The CCE estimates that days when the Prime Minister could arbitrarily make decisions that are contrary to the principles of the rule of law, professionalism and de-politicization of public administration are over, as well as misuse of state institutions for party purposes. Therefore, “grave mistakes”, as the Prime Minister Đukanović hastily named the justified demands of Brussels, are not on the side of Brussels but exactly Podgorica, while Đukanović has in the year of 2014 finally been brought to the position that he must acknowledge his mistakes and correct them. This is a major breakthrough, which contributes to the process of the European integration, which is slowly but surely starting to limit the existing monopoles of power.

The CCE hopes that all this will be a lesson-learned as well as guidelines in further respect for principles of development of the public administration as a professional mechianism that must have capacity to respond to the upcoming challenges in the democratization of society. Efficient administration is not being built through the party employment, but through the employment of professional staff, in a transparent and merit-based procedure. By intensifying the negotiation process, requests to that administration will grow and only professional administration will be able to respond to them, and not party soldiers.

Nikola Djonović, Programme Coordinator