Membership of NGO representatives in Government working bodies should not be conditioned by Montenegrin citizenship

NGOs Human Rights Action (HRA), Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), Women’s Rights Center and Juventas submitted initiative to the Deputy Prime Minister for political system, foreign and interior policy Mr. Dusko Markovic for amending the Decree on the manner of and procedure for establishing cooperation between state administration bodies and non-governmental organisations to the end of abolishing citizenship as a condition for NGO members participation in the Government appointed working bodies.

The initiative is for the conditions of possession of Montenegrin citizenship and residence to be deleted from Article 11 of the Decree, ordering NGO representatives need to satisfy in order to qualify for appointment in working bodies of the Government. This condition has to date prevented experts nominated by NGOs to participate in the work of these bodies drafting laws, strategies and other regulation just because they are not Montenegrin nationals.

We believe that discrimination of qualified and experienced people who are willing to contribute to the development of the country, i.e. excluding them from working in working groups, causes harm to Montenegro and deprives it from an essential resource for development.

Montenegro, although being one of the Council of Europe member states with the smallest population, needs to provide for all state functions, including quality laws and by-laws. Participation of NGO representatives in the working groups has so far contributed significantly to this objective and we believe that possession of Montenegrin passport is not a prerequisite for possessing expertise and knowledge necessary for the country’s progress.

The initiative (in Montenegrin) is available here.

Tea Gorjanc-Prelević, Executive director of Human Rights Action

Daliborka Uljarević, Executive director of Centre for Civic Education

Zlatko Vujović, President of the Centre for Monitoring and Research Management Board

Maja Raičević, Executive Director of Women’s Rights Center

Ivana Vujović, Executive Director of Juventas