Civil society is important for the EU accession process

That the Government is aware of the importance of civil society in the process of joining the EU and that is oriented towards the continuous improvement of direct dialogue between the Government and civil society, said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at today’s round table of the Government and NGOs. 

“I firmly believe that your specific knowledge, practical experience and critical view of things, framed in concrete and constructive suggestions may improve the quality and speed of our negotiation process,” said Montenegrin Prime Minister Markovic. 

The round table entitled “Cooperation between the Government and NGOs in the EU accession process” took place on July 22, 2019, organized by the General Secretariat of the Government and the representative of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro attended to this event.

Speaking about the frequency of dialogue between the Government and NGOs, Markovic said that neither side was not completely satisfied with the level of cooperation. 

“I believe that the strategy and the commitment of the EU when it comes to enlargement to the Western Balkans remain unchanged, but the fact that sometimes a lot depends on the personal involvement and commitment of those who will get a chance to this strategy and this commitment conducted live,” said President Markovic. 

He reminded that Montenegro is first of all the countries that have negotiated with the EU and its negotiating structure involved NGOs to a significant extent and that the number of representatives of civil society has not been reduced during the recent streamlining of the negotiating structure.

“The government has shown that it is truly open to all representatives of civil society, through their direct participation in working groups for negotiations,” said Markovic. 

The Prime Minister in his speech pointed out that he had the impression that the representatives of Montenegrin NGOs to place transparent dam and represent each position of European negotiators, forgetting that they are members of, figuratively speaking, the Montenegrin team. 

“I’ll just remind you that the first consultations with non-governmental organizations held in January 2017 and then these meetings announced as future practice and the fact that we did not expect that we will not wait so long at the next meeting, but we believe it’s never too late,” she said Ana Novakovic, CRNVO, in its uvodonom exposure.

She recalled that the response to this event showed that dialogue and open discussion of values ​​that really practice and not for them only declaratively advocate.

“Cooperation between the Government and civil society in the process of European integration will undoubtedly morphed into a political criterion for membership. The attitude of the European Commission on this issue is clear, and clearly communicated in the last communication on the enlargement policy document which clearly highlights the deficiencies of the progress in the rule of law in connection with the unfavorable environment for civil society, “she said Novakovic. 

On cooperation with civil society is viewed with the same care as well as judicial reform and the fight against corruption. 

The report for Montenegro from year to year are given special attention, but the fact is that it is related to civil society in the last three reports almost the same.

“In recent years passed laws and bylaws relevant to the work of nongovernmental organizations. The amendments to the Law on NGOs adopted a regulation that allows the participation of NGOs in the regulation of public policy, regulation of co-financing projects supported by EU funds, the strategy, the Council for Cooperation between state administration and NGOs “, said Novakovic as the important steps taken by the Government taken. 

However, there was talk about inconsistencies.

Only five of the 15 ministries were obliged announced a competition for projects to NGOs in accordance with the statutory deadline for this year, “she said Novakovic. 

With such a delay in the publication of the competition and then the decision-making process has undermined the whole concept of law and that is that the projects are financed and implemented in a calendar year. 

It was pointed out that even after seven years of defining the obligation to publish the work program and report the work of the state administration, almost half of the total number of bodies still do not fulfill this obligation.

“The key issues are suggested in the report of the European Commission and are not regulated by: the question of the allocation of public space on the use of NGOs, capacity building of NGOs is excluded, and NGOs are not recognized as partners in any of the measures of the Strategy,” said Novakovic. 

The law on public procurement, it is also an area that is treated with special care by the European partners. At the beginning of this year’s report of the European Commission for Montenegro, it was emphasized that in the future other than competition policy, environmental protection and climate change, Montenegro must especially be paid to the area of public procurement.

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