Enhancing Public Administration Reform

Rationalization and modernization of the state administration must be one of the priorities in the subsequent process of accession to the EU. Last year, the process of state administration reform was characterized by the adoption of new laws. These new laws, such as the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees, are a precondition for the functioning of the state administration. However, the adoption of these laws is still insufficient to produce a genuine reorganization of the state administration apparatus in Montenegro.

In its annual progress reports, the European Commission regularly highlights the problem of an oversized administration, which is weak and politicized. Therefore, the impression is that, despite continuous reminders from Brussels, the lack of political will for providing an adequate answer to this challenge is still present in Montenegro.

While attempting to tackle the problem of an ‘oversized and dysfunctional administration’, the government of Montenegro, in its Public Administration Reform Strategy 2011 – 2016, set the adoption of European standards for employment as a strategic goal, which includes measures for reducing the number of employees with the accompanying social programs. However, the Strategy itself does not address the question of how the number of employees will be reduced without harming the efficiency of the administration. It is also worth noting that little progress has been made in the past year (since the adoption of the Strategy on 31 March 2011) in achieving this goal. An additional problem is reflected in the lack of qualified personnel, capable of dealing with greater obligations stemming from the process of European integration.

Hence, it is necessary to harmonize the performance and organization of the public administration in Montenegro with the principles operating in the framework of European administrative area. To achieve that, the system of personal advancement should be enhanced on the basis of performance. Furthermore, implementation of clear and transparent employment procedures should be strengthened. Since a credible administration is founded upon these principles, we may expect that all complex obligations, stemming from the ‘European agenda’, will have an impact on solidifying the political will, leading to real progress as regards de-politicization and rationalization of the public administration in Montenegro.

Jovana Marović
Research coordinator

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