Appointment of Vlahović for the ambassador undermines the reputation of state of Montenegro

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assesses that the decision of Government of Montenegro to appoint Sanja Vlahović for the ambassador of Montenegro to Italy indicates the relation of authorities to values it promotes and which are not based either on knowledge or academic honour.

Simultaneously, this indicates how the interest of one party overruled the interest of state. It is in the interest of state of Montenegro to be represented by people who have a set of undisputed qualities in addition to legal and formal requirements, not those who are unworthy of the position.

CCE reminds that the initial findings of commission at the University of Mediterranean were that Vlahović plagiarised almost three quarters of her work, or 63%, and Professor Milenko Popović publically spoke about it. Furthermore, professor Buhalis, whose work Vlahović plagiarised, spoke on that matter. Management of University of Mediterranean caused great damage to the reputation of that higher education institution with the case Vlahović, and prosecution failed to process this case adequately.

It is further concerning the standpoint of Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović in this regard. By explaining this decision on show «Načisto» on TV Vijesti, he stated that “university and courts did not confirm that Vlahović’s work is a plagiarism”. Darmanović himself comes from academic sphere and one would expect that he takes that into consideration during the selection of ambassador if this person has academic integrity if he/she comes from academic sphere.

CCE regretfully notes this tendency of awarding those who violate the rules of academic integrity, which is contrary to previously expressed principle of that same Government, in the part of amendments of Criminal Code, which recently introduced plagiarism as criminal offense.

Mira Popović, programme associate