Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), organised a meeting today, within the «European café» project, with the representatives of non-governmental organisations and Zoran Pažin, Minister of Justice in Government of Montenegro. The meeting was based on the principle of World Café method, on the subject of “Rule of law in Montenegro – achievements and future challenges”.
Daliborka Uljarević opened the European café, with an overview on the Montenegro 2015 Report, made by the European Commission, reminding that «each year, all stakeholders in Montenegrin society assess this report in a different manner, as well as that every one of them agrees on one thing: the more Montenegro makes progress on its path to Europe, the more in depth the «scanner» of EC diagnose Montenegrin society». She emphasised that «this year’s report represents a warning in number of areas, and it is clear that EC will not have understanding for the lack of tangible results in 2016, as well as that the entire responsibility for the production of these results is in the hands of authorities and institutions that have to demonstrate that they are finally capable of working in professional manner and without the political influence, as it was the case so far».
In his introductory speech, Zoran Pažin, Minister of Justice, reflected on theoretic concept of rule of law, highlighting the importance of adequate interpretation of legal norms and education of lawyers, with an emphasis on case law of European court in Strasbourg. “I see non-governmental organisations as partners in the process of establishing the rule of law”, Pažin stated. He also estimated that “legal security is in the core of rule of law, and that without the proper legal security there can be no effective democracy”. Furthermore, Pažin discussed with representatives of non-governmental series of issues that they raised, such as sanctioning of domestic violence, improvement of system of fight against the corruption and organised crime, and other various issues from the area of protection of human rights.
European café on the subject of “Rule of law in Montenegro – achievements and future challenges” was the final event of its type in 2015, which the CCE organised quarterly with representatives of Montenegrin institutions, negotiating structures, EU institutions and diplomatic corps. In this regard, guests of previous three meetings were: ambassador Mitja Drobnič, Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, chief negotiator for the negotiations on the EU accession of Montenegro and Gudrun Elisabeth Steinacker, ambassador of FR Germany in Montenegro.
Aim of these meetings is to create a platform for open and fruitful informal discussions which would contribute, on one hand, in the improvement of cooperation between civil society organisations and institutions, diplomatic corps and international experts, and on the other, intensify the communication, identify the existing challenges and define the suggestions for their resolution, and information flow on specific aspects of process of EU accession of Montenegro, through the discussion with representatives of NGO in Montenegro and other actors of process.
In total, 25 representatives of civil society organisations attended the meeting.
Svetlana Pešić, programme associate