New Government should be at the service of citizens not party trades

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) estimates that the announced formation of new departments in Government does not correspond to the need for efficient and frugal approach. Government of Montenegro is already one of the most cumbersome governments in Europe with 24 members (Prime Minister, six vice presidents and 17 ministers), and CCE previously recommended some changes in the concept of Government during its formation in order to make it fewer in numbers, more compact and more efficient.

Namely, during past few days, media reported about the potential opening of three new departments within the formation of new Government of Montenegro – Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Sport and Ministry of Diaspora.

In a recently published study What type of Government organization do we need? – comparative analysis and proposal of new approach, CCE indicated that it is necessary to make significant changes in the organisational structure of ministries of Government of Montenegro, and to reduce the current number of 17 to optimal 10 ministries, as well as to reduce the number of six to one vice president.

More specifically, in line with current interior affairs and foreign policy priorities, the proposal is that the new Government of Montenegro has the following ministries: Ministry of Finances and Economic Affairs; Ministry of the Interior; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Ministry of Culture and Media; Ministry of Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Tourism and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

CCE assesses that Montenegro does not have the need to form special ministries of human and minority rights (that could be formed as a directorate within the Ministry of Justice); transport and maritime affairs (potentially a directorate within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Tourism); for information society and telecommunications (alternatively a directorate in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Tourism); and there is a part that could be merged in the area of economy and finances, as well as of sustainable development, agriculture and tourism, and finally education, science and sport.

Government of Montenegro must not become a place of “shelter” for coalitional partners or “balancing” of political party issues, but a contemporary, efficient and tangible-results based service of citizens. Once again, CCE indicates on the necessity of adoption of Law on Government that would be used to prevent the uncertainties before each new Government formation, in terms of the number of its departments and vice presidents.

Far more wealthier and developed countries than Montenegro have fewer and more efficient systems of public administration. Hence, there is no valid reason for Montenegrin citizens to pay the price of an unnecessary administration or coalitional agreements, when those funds could be allocated for far more urgent matters, among other, for those from the burning domain of social care and health protection, education and etc.

Vladimir Vučković, programme associate