Good Government’s decision to dismiss Lakicevic Djuranovic from negotiating structure

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the decision of the Government of Montenegro to dismiss Associate Professor at the Law Faculty of University of Montenegro, Bojana Lakicevic- Djuranovic from the negotiating structure.

As a reminder, in mid-September, the CCE has sent a letter to the Chief Negotiator, Aleksandar Drljevic, to urgently submit a proposal to the Government of Montenegro to withdraw Lakicevic Djuranovic from the working groups for preparation of negotiations on Montenegro’s accession to the European Union in the field of the EU acquis related to Chapter 2 (Freedom of movement of workers) and Chapter 13 (Fisheries). A copy of this letter was also sent to the Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, the Deputy Prime Minister for Political System, Interior and Foreign Policy, Zoran Pazin, and the Rector of the University of Montenegro, Danilo Nikolic. Earlier, more precisely in mid-July, a similar letter was sent to Rector Nikolic, but he ignored our well-founded proposal, which, in our opinion, further erodes credibility of the University of Montenegro.

On the same day we sent a letter to the Government, Prime Minister Markovic assessed, in response to a journalist’s question, that a person with such a deviation in her professional career cannot be part of the Government team’, but also expressed his expectation that University of Montenegro will react. Also, the European Integration Office stated that the Government takes into account the professional integrity of the members of the negotiating structure. The competent authorities of the University of Montenegro have never publicly said what they think about the fact that they have been to date represented by Lakicevic Djuranovic in such important bodies of the Government, despite the fact that we published, three months ago, evidence opening doubt that she plagiarized the paper, or after clear report of the Law Faculty Commission that 97.77% of her work is undoubtedly plagiarism of the work of the student she mentored. Only on Monday, on 30 September 2019, Rector Nikolic ordered the suspension of Lakicevic Djuranovic until the completion of criminal proceedings against her, but this was not even put on the University of Montenegro website, although it is an important information.

The CCE will continue to contribute through its critical and constructive approach to the process of democratization, despite the challenges we face and frequent resistance within relevant institutions. Therefore, we very much appreciate this decision of the Government, because success in Europeanization of Montenegro is measured also by the credibility and professional integrity of the persons who are part of the negotiation process. And in those structures, there should be no space for those who have violated law and ethics.

Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior Legal Advisor