Strengthened civil society can contribute to the europeanization of Montenegro

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) through the programme CSOs in Montenegro from basic services to policy shaping – M’BASE, funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration, successfully implements programme of support to NGO projects aimed at contributing to recognition by state institutions of an empowered civil society that actively shapes the EU integration process in Montenegro.

Except for the direct financial support for project implementation, organizations had the opportunity to foster their capacities by improving knowledge and skills for programme and financial project management, communicating projects in accordance with EU visibility rules, and monitoring the work of institutions to be involved in the decision-making process, as well as monitoring the implementation of local and national public policies in the areas they address. In addition, where applicable, the CCE provides ongoing mentoring support during project implementation.

M’BASE programme follows the great interest of non-governmental organizations. Thus, in two published Calls for Proposals so far, 189 project applications were submitted (103 in the first and 86 in the second CfP), and after the evaluation 40 projects were supported (20 in both calls) in the total amount of 1,185,000.23 EUR.

The mentoring and financial support programme covered 72 organizations, of which 40 lead applicants and 32 organizations involved in projects as partners. An additional 11 NGOs are involved in these projects in the capacity of associates, as well as 29 local and national institutions.

Most of the supported projects are implemented by organizations from the central region. So far, seven supported projects are completed, and 33 are active in various stages of implementation.

Supported projects mostly address environmental protection and sustainable development (7), the position of young people in society and youth policy (7), as well as gender equality and the fight against domestic violence (5). Also, three projects are focused on the inclusion of persons with disabilities, then on public administration reform, as well as culture and cultural policies. Media and European integration are within the scope of the two projects each, and there is one on monitoring and improving the work of local government. One project each aims to contribute to respect for the rights of LGBT people; children’s rights; consumer rights; and copyright. Finally, one project addresses the improvement of policies in the health area; the work of police and citizens’ rights; and the fight against corruption.

The programme CSOs in Montenegro – from basic services to policy shaping – M’BASE is implemented by the CCE, in partnership with the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), NGO Center for the Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP) and NGO Politikon Network (PIN) from Montenegro, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media and European Integration Office of the Government of Montenegro. The project is financed by the European Union and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media.

Monika Mrnjačević, Programme assistant