Experience of NGOs in the negotiation process in Montenegro is an inspiring example for the entire region

Today in Belgrade, Vladimir Vučković, programme associate at Centre for Civic Education (CCE) had a presentation at the conference „The Role of Civil Society in the Process of European Integration”, which was organized by Center for Foreign Policy in cooperation with the Embassy of France in Belgrade.

The conference aims to present regional experiences concerning the roles of civil society in the process of European integration, by opening a constructive debate on the need of civil sector to participate equally with public sector in this process.

Besides Vladimir Vučković, who presented experiences of the civil sector in the negotiation process in Montenegro, the speakers on the panel were also Sonja Liht, president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Senada Šelo-Šabić, researcher at the Institute for Development and International Relations from Zagreb, Zoran Stoiljković, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences of University of Belgrade, Jelica Minić, representative of European Movement in Serbia and Vladimir Goati, president of Transparency Serbia.

In his presentation, Vučković emphasized the importance of civil sector involvement in the process of negotiation by explaining that Montenegrin civil sector got its place because of the long-term and dedicated work that has been recognized and appreciated by the citizens of Montenegro, which is confirmed by the high level of trust that citizen have in NGOs. He emphasized the need of establishing institutionalized and long-lasting mechanisms of cooperation between civil and public sector that should grow into functional and permanent partnership, aiming to achieve the public interest. He also stated that the contribution of the organizations of the civil sector may and must be much higher than the existing one, and that state institutions should show higher level of openness and readiness for the dialogue of the essential importance, while NGO sector should work on its further specialization. He presented in details negotiation structure of Montenegro to the conference participants, as well as the work of the working groups for the preparation of the EU accession negotiations in which NGO sector has its members, putting an accent to the experience that colleagues had while working on the Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. The experience of Montenegro was very interesting to the representatives of the organization of civil society from the countries in the region that are in the similar position as Montenegro, especially because of the way and the level of inclusion of NGO sector.

Svetlana Pešić, Programme Associate