Lecture of Dragan Đurić held

Two hour lecture of Dragan Đurić, PhD, was held on Monday, May 26, 2014, within the framework of the Public Policy School. ProfessorĐurić spoke about coordination of public policies in the Montenegrin public administration.

This topic encompassed the question of concept of coordination, assessment of coordination system in the Government of Montenegro in the theoretical sense, with reference to SIGMA’s findings on the situation in this area, as well as the analysis of coordination through four specific examples:

  • Coordination of the process of European integration since 2003 until today (translation of Acquis, preparation of the Questionnaire, preparing for negotiations, etc;
  • Coordination of donor activities and IPA;
  • Development Strategy;
  • Public administration reform.

Special attention was given to the characteristics and importance of the concept of “good governance”.

Public Policy School is the project supported by the Commission for Allocation of Revenue from Games of Chance and implemented by Institute Alternative (IA) in collaboration with Centre for Research and Monitoring (CeMI).


Coordination and Institutional Set-Up in the EU Accession Process

Institute Alternative, alongside with colleagues from the Think for Europe (TEN), network of think tank organizations that are actively involved in the integration process of the WB countries to the EU, participated in preparation of the background document Coordination Requirements and Institutional Set-Up in the EU Accession Process and Negotiations.

IA’s research coordinator, Jovana Marović, has worked on the drafting of this document, which was prepared for the workshop of the network of institutions in charge of European integration in the countries of South East Europe. The workshop was held in Bečići, 23-25 April 2014, within the project of GIZ ORF (Open Regional Fund).

The document analyzes the various aspects of institutional arrangements and coordination processes in SEE countries, with a particular focus on the Western Balkans, in all stages of European integration. Special attention was given to the relations of the process of policy-making and coordination at the national level with the accession to the EU, as well as the role of civil society and national parliaments in the process of EU accession.

Download the paper here

Meeting with the COELA working group

Research Coordinator at Institute Alternative, Jovana Marović, participated at the meeting with members of the COELA working group, which was held in Podgorica, on May 26, 2014. Judicial reform, fight against corruption, elections held in 12 local self-governments, as well as other important issues in the context of the negotiation process on Chapters 23 and 24, were discussed at this meeting. Jovana presented in detail the challenges faced in fight against corruption, as well as her experience participating in the work of the Working Group on Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. In this regard, she referred to the limitations in coordination and monitoring of the negotiations, as well as in reporting on fulfillment of the obligations under the Action Plan for Chapter 23. Additionally, she highlighted the need for further improvement of transparency of the process.

Besides the representative of the Institute Alternative, the meeting was attended by the representatives of Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), Action for Human Rights, and Network for the Affirmation of NGO Sector (MANS).

Press conference of the Coalition for Chapter 23 held

Today we had a press conference at which the second semi-annual report of the Coalition of NGOs for monitoring negotiations with the EU in the framework of Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights – the situation in the areas of judicial reform and human rights in Montenegro (covering the period from 1 October 2013 to 10 April 2014).

Speakers at the press conference were:

  • Andrea Božić, Actions for Human Rights (HRA) lawyer, who presented the report section that applies to the reform of the judiciary
  • Dina Bajramspahić, Institute Alternative’s researcher, who presented the section of the Report related to the Prevention of Corruption
  • Milan Šaranović, general director of Center for Anti-Discrimination EKVISTA, who spoke about the state of human rights in Montenegro, which is the third segment of the Report of the Coalition.
  • Ana Novaković, executive director of the Center for Development of NGOs (CDNGO) who presented the final chapter of the report is dedicated to the development of civil society in Montenegro and cooperation between the NGO and Government.

Joint press statement of the Coalition with the most important findings from all of the four chapters can be downloaded here (only in Montenegrin)

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Press release: Municipalities unprepared for public- private partnerships

Current implementation of public-private partnerships at the local level in Montenegro is characterized by a number of problems. Not being familiar with the specifics of this model of filling the budget deficit, and thus rushing into its implementation, imprecise risk sharing between the public and private partners, violation of deadlines, are just some of these problems.

Municipalities do not have the necessary expertise in public-private partnerships. Professional support is not provided from the national (central) level, since there is no institutional framework set up that would help in the preparation and implementation of these types of projects, due to the lack of legal regulation.

Access to the concluded contracts on public-private partnership is hampered by the lack of an electronic database. When it comes to concessions, a registry that is updated by the Commission for Concessions does not contain information about the financial repayment plans, nor the contractual obligations between the concessionaire and the grantor. Municipalities still do not adopt annual plans for concessions although they are bound to do so by the Law on Concessions.

A particular problem in the implementation of the concession policy in Montenegro is the system of collecting concession fees applied by the Ministry of Finance in cooperation with the Tax Administration. Debts of concessionaires that measure in debts have a negative impact on the financial stability of local governments, which are also not able to monitor (or have an insight into) the financial plans for repayment of concessions that were granted in their territory. Local governments still do not have any insight into what is the subject of the concession on the basis of which the State Treasury executes payments, nor into the time frame for payments. The State Audit Institution pointed to this problem while conducting audits in four municipalities (Bar, Bijelo Polje, Kotor and Plav) since the adoption of the Law on Concessions in 2009.

The findings of the Institute of fulfilment alternative preconditions for the implementation of the PPP at the local level are part of the analysis “Local governments and public- private partnership” that is made in the framework of the project “Corruption at the local level – Zero Tolerance” . The project is supported by the European Union and implemented by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in partnership with the Institute Alternative (IA), NGO Bonum from Pljevlja and NGO Hope from Herceg Novi.

Jovana Marović
Research Coordinator

Working visit to Brussels

Our researcher, Dina Bajramspahić, participated in the meetings with Dirk Lange and other officials of the European Commission (EC), as one of the representatives of the Coalition for Monitoring the Accession Negotiations within the Chapter 23.

Within the working visit to Brussels organised between May 19 and 22, 2014, five representatives of the Coalition of NGOs for Monitoring the Accession Negotiations with the European Union in the framework of the Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights – presented the most important findings of the second semi-annual Report of the Coalition on the state of affairs in the area of judiciary and human rights in Montenegro (for the period between 01.10.2013. and 10.04.2014.)

For this purpose, the representatives had three meetings:

  • with Dirk Lange, Head of Unit for Montenegro within the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement and his associates,
  • with Michaela Matuella from the Cabinet of Stefan Fule, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy,
  • with Frederic Bernard, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union.

During the discussion the focus was placed on judicial reform, progress in combating corruption, human rights protection, and development NGOs in Montenegro, as well as other matters of special interest of the European Commission when it comes to Montenegro.

Dina presented the segment of the Report related to the state of the area of state audit, development of PIFC, activities in combating corruption at the local level, the problems in the system of public procurement, public-private partnerships and concessions in Montenegro, amendments to the Law on Budget, and the work of IA representatives in the Working Groups for the Chapters 23 and 32.

The visit was organized in the framework of the project “Let’s make the negotiating process public” implemented by the Centre for Development of NGOs (CRNVO), in partnership with the Center for Anti-discrimination EKVISTA, and funded by the European Union through the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

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