Decisions concerning non-governmental sector should be made in broad consultation with civil society organizations

Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal today sent the letter to the Prime Minister Markovic regarding the initiative of one NGO on change of purpose of funds allocated to the NGO sector in 2020.


Dear Mr Markovic,

I am addressing you on behalf of the Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal regarding the initiative of one non-governmental organization that the Government ‘urgently pass a decision to dominantly re-allocate funds earmarked for the NGO sector, through calls of ministries for activities that can help eliminate the consequences of possible COVID19 epidemic, for the procurement of necessary medical equipment, return of citizens of Montenegro, as well as for NGO projects aimed at combating the consequences of the virus epidemic’. Hence, we urge that any Government decision regarding non-governmental sector should be made exclusively in the broad consultations with civil society organizations, which, if necessary, may be held under these new circumstances as well.

The proposed initiative would be violation of the Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, and any decision in this direction would require broader consensus and valid argumentation. As already expressed by the majority within the sector, such a measure can cause great harm to users of services provided by the NGOs, as well as to the entire NGO sector. We remind that the civil sector is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy. Therefore, supporting the abolition of the legally defined budgetary financing of NGO projects and programmes would be like supporting the proposal to abolish the financing of the judiciary, the Parliament or the Government.

It is extremely important that in this situation we have a model of communication that will continue even after solving the serious crisis we are currently facing. We believe that this communication should be based on a model of inclusive consultation, to which you have personally contributed in the last year.

With deep understanding of the situation in which our country is due to the danger of spreading the COVID-19 epidemic, members of the Coalition ‘Cooperation to the Goal’ and certainly majority of civil society organizations are already making their activities and volunteers available to society in these extraordinary circumstances and hence, place their significant communication channels at the service of adequate informing of public about this issue and distributing information and appeals from competent institutions. We have no doubt that in this situation, civil society will demonstrate solidarity, humanity and cooperation, in accordance with its capacities and capabilities.

The Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal currently gathers 100 non-governmental organizations from all over Montenegro and represents the largest organized NGO coalition in Montenegro.

Respectfully Yours,

Ana Novakovic Djurovic, President of the Management Board of the Coalition of NGOs Cooperation to the Goal

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) is a member of the Coalition Cooperation to the Goal, and in that capacity has a representative in the Management Board.