IA researchers learned from Hungarian think tanks

Institute alternative public policy researchers, Ana Đurnić and Milica Ražnatović, visited think tank organizations in Budapest in order to exchange experiences and establish cooperation with organizations dealing with public policy research in Hungary.

Within the study visit, organized from 27 November to 2 December 2016, Institute Alternative researchers had the opportunity to meet with the researchers of think tanks in Budapest and discuss the state of play that characterize both Hungary and Montenegro, as well as the issues that they deal with in their research and barriers encountered during research.

During the visit, meetings were held with the researchers from Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis, K-Monitor, Corruption Research Centre, Government Transparency Institute and Átlátszó Centre for Investigative Reporting. Ana and Milica talked with the researchers of these organizations about their ongoing projects related to budget policy, budget transparency at the local level, public procurement, fight against corruption, as well as their efforts to increase transparency and accountability of public administration in Hungary.

This visit was an excellent opportunity to introduce our activities aimed at strengthening the democratic process and good governance in Montenegro through research and policy analysis, as well as the monitoring of public administration.

We discussed research methods, working methods and cooperation with public administration authorities with the researchers of the think tanks we visited. The visit also provided us with the opportunity to identify problems and issues of common interest for the two countries, which would in future open room for cooperation and joint projects.

The study visit was organized within the project Towards sustainable policy influence (Institutional Grant), supported by the Open Society Foundation Think Tank Fund.

Meeting with EU representatives: Provide more visible support to civil society

Stevo Muk, President of the Managing Board of IA, has met with Director for Western Balkans in DG NEAR, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, and ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of Delegation of European Union to Montenegro.

President of the Managing Board of IA has pointed out the need for improvement the transparency of the negotiation process, through open access to documents prepared by the Government and European Commission.

He also suggested that European Commission demands more of the Government in the process of preparation of reform plans, as well as focusing on results and substantial changes instead of numerous activities used to fill the reports on Action plans presented to the EU.

Regarding the reforms in the area of the rule of law, fight against corruption and organized crime, he emphasized the need of systematic revision of Action Plans for Chapters 23 and 24.

Additionally, he expressed concerns for further work of Special Prosecutor’s Office which has, in addition to earlier pressures and obstructions, now lost the support of the part of the public and continues to operate under the weight of problematic prosecutorial investigation of the alleged coup attempt.

Muk emphasized that the EU should provide more visible support to NGOs dealing with sensitive issues such as rule of law, fight against corruption, transparency and accountability of the Government.

When it comes to the position of NGOs, it is important that Government considers and adopts a new strategic policy regarding the development of NGOs, which will include a comprehensive approach to financing their programs and projects. In addition, it is needed to reform the current way of functioning, presidency and the composition of members in the Government’s Council for Development of NGOs.

He has also pinpointed that the EU should be involved more directly in the further dialogue between Government and opposition. He assessed that reports of local NGOs, opposition and upcoming OSCE/ODIHR report on elections could be solid base for future joint work of both political sides on amending the conditions for the next elections.

Institute Alternative Team

TV show “Okvir”

Stevo Muk, President of the Managing Board of the Institute Alternative, was a guest on the show “Okvir”, hosted by Zoran Lekovic, airing on public broadcasting service (RTCG).

The topic of the show were the priorities of a newly-formed Government of Montenegro. In addition to Stevo, guests were Srđan Vukadinovic, a sociologist, Đorđije Blažić, Dean of the Faculty for State and European Studies and Dragoljub Janković, Dean of the Faculty Montenegro Business Studies, Mediterranean University.

Show can be seen at the link below.