IMPLICIT MARGINALIZATION – Civil Society and Rule of Law in Negotiations

About publication

Author: Dina Bajramspahić

Publishing year: 2024.

Montenegro has a reputation as a country having an energetic civil society. The non-governmental sector has often been seen as playing an oppositional role, providing an alternative and critique to public policies during the decade-long rule of a dominant political party and its coalition partners. The political changes in 2020 had a multifaceted impact on civil society, which, among other things, was “affected” by the outflow of staff, but also by reduced alertness, critical approach and agility of a number of non-governmental organisations.

The European integration process is akin to a lasting state of emergency for any country, when, voluntarily and out of its own interest, the candidate country agrees to an external and intensive scanner, i.e. harmonizing its public policies with the European Union (EU). It was envisioned as an accelerated process of adoption of European standards through which reforms are, to a significant extent, shaped in a dynamic relationship between the candidate state and the EU, rather than solely based on internal ideas and needs. Furthermore, the process is intended to be inclusive, involving society as a whole to collectively achieve the best results and the fastest possible ultimate goal – full EU membership. However, the question remains: are the forces in Montenegro today united and working together on reforms?

This publication was produced within the framework of the programme “CSOs in Montenegro – from basic services to policy shaping – M’BASE” implemented by the CCE in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), NGO Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro (CZIP), and NGO Politikon Network, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of European Affairs of the Government of Montenegro. The project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the Ministry of Public Administration.