Case Pejović is the test for the institutions

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) appreciates the fact that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), in accordance with the Request for starting the procedure against Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Minister of European Affairs and Chief Negotiator-Ambassador, for determining conflicts of interest and limitations in the performing of public duties, has opened this case as priority and began to undertake legally prescribed actions. We express hope that the final decision of the ACA will be brought quickly and in compliance with the law and having in mind public interest as well as the clarity of Pejović case.

The CCE’s request to determine Pejović’s violation of Articles 7, 9 and 23 of the Anti-Corruption Law, as he simultaneously performs two public duties and receives revenues on both grounds, is supported by the documentation obtained from the official bodies. The foundation of that request has been confirmed to the CCE by the best Montenegrin lawyers that CCE has consulted during the processing of this case and who are professionally engaged within various structures. In order to make this case of undoubted public interest available for analysis to all stakehoders, the CCE has published the accompanying documentation.

The CCE reminds the public that our mission is to contribute to the development of an open society based on the rule of law and equal opportunities for all. During fifteen years of work, we have affirmed that through numerous activities and initiatives, including those related to documented examples of abuse of public authorities and other illegal acting of public officials in Montenegro.

In that context, attempts of the Minister of European Affairs and the Chief Negotiator – Ambassador Pejović to preach to us our mission in the absence of defense argumentation can also be perceived as a threat, which represents continuation of further pressures of authorities on non-governmental organizations that point to deviations of system.

CCE uses individual examples only when these indicate to the systemic phenomena and actions of public officials who are by abusing their duty directly causing harm to society and to the public interest. It is our responsibility to inform the competent authorities of such actions and we expect them to sanction unconstitutional and unlawful acts.

It is particularly problematic when we have such a situation related to those who need to promote European standards and best practices that will change our bad habits in relation to public and state interests. It is precisely the obligation of decision-makers, and in particular the bearers of the European integration process, to advocate the principles of the rule of law, depoliticization of state administration and transparency of the work of the Government, and not to abolish them by their actions in practice.

Finally, we ask the Minister of European Affairs and the Chief negotiator – Ambassador Pejović, as well as the Government of Montenegro to clarify Pejović’s statement that he has status which enables the revenues in line with the law as well as other titles within Montenegrin institutions “ by providing to the public precise information about who those persons are, what public duties they are performing and how much they earn on monthly basis.

Ana Nenezić, Democratization and Europeanization Programme Coordinator