Government does not hear the remarks from European Parliament

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) did not receive data from National Commission for implementation of Strategy for fight against corruption and organised crime on the number of programmes and projects regarding the area of fight against corruption and organised crime, as well as on the amount of spent international and budget resources for those purposes.

Namely, acting chairman of National Commission, minister Raško Konjević, by interpreting the norm in narrow and formal manner, informed CCE that he is not obliged to provide such information. CCE assesses that such response from Konjević is contrary to need for efficient fight against corruption and organised crime and full transparency of all competent bodies. In addition, it would be natural for National Commission to publish these data without previous demands, based on which invested efforts and resources in fight against corruption and organised crime could be measured. Hiding of these data indicates on the awareness of authorities on devastating effects of former activities in this area.

Finally, an interesting fact is that National Commission, that has been led by Duško Marković, Deputy Prime Minister, treated an identical request in a completely different manner. Namely, two years ago, CCE received fast written feedback that National Commission does not possess information requested, but the request was not rejected. This indicates on tendency of shutting down the doors of Montenegrin institutions to public, and what is of special concern is that this is being done by those institutions that cope with gravest problems on path of Montenegro to EU. That contributes neither to solving of those problems nor to the increasing of trust of public into institutions.

During a research conducted in 2013, CCE established that from 2007 till 2012, app. 80 million EUR had been spent by Montenegrin institutions responsible for fight against corruption and organised crime, from budget of Montenegro, IPA funds on national and regional level, as well as from other sources (like the USA). When that figure surpassed 100 million EUR according to CCE’s estimates, neither then or now, had any final verdicts been reached regarding the fight against corruption on high level, which is the best indicator of authorities’ performance in this area.

Finally, in an recently adopted resolution of the European Parliament, it is stated that the European Parliament “is concerned that, despite the substantial financial resources channelled from international donors to the authorities, only limited progress was made in combating corruption which remains a threat to the proper functioning and stability of democratic institutions, the rule of law and economic development”. Precisely these remarks should serve as warnings to Montenegrin authorities to work more efficiently and to be more transparent. But, unfortunately for citizens of Montenegro, the Government remains deaf to messages from Brussels.

Boris Marić, senior legal advisor