Letter of the members of the Council for the Development of NGOs to the President of the Government, Duško Marković

Ten members of the Council for the Development of NGOs addressed a letter to the President of the Government, Duško Marković.

The letter was also signed by Stevo Muk, the President of the Managing Board of Institute Alternative.

Mr Prime Minister,

We adress this letter to you as members of the Council for Development of NGOs, in order to request the meeting as an opportunity to present to you our opinions and demands in regard to furhter work of this body. Also, we want to discuss key issues for further development of NGO sin Montenegro and the Government’s relation towards our work. We believe that the meeting would represent good opportunity to explain our proposals and to get clear feedback from the Government.

Dialogue between NGOs and Government should be led in the Council itself, which is the body established primarily to ensure regular discussion and exchange of opinions between these two sectors. If this body worked as it should, there would not be any need for the meeting we are hereby requesting. However, this is exactly where the problems that we point out to begin.

Council for Development of NGOs de facto does not work since July this year, from the moment we have decided to boycott its work. The reason behind it was the fact that the president of the Council, Ms Marija Vucinovic, delivered to the Government Opinion of the Council different from the one adopted at the Council’s meeting by consensus, thus rendering Council’s role meaningless. Besides, although the Council did not have any meeting since July, Government has been adopting public policies referring to development of NGO sector without its opinion, which is not in compliance with the Decision on establishment of the Council. By doing this, the position and the role of the Council has been additionally derogated. Our goal is to have the Council as a working body which will serve its purpose. We want to continue our work in the Council, but it will happen only after our requirements below have been fulfilled.

In relation to that, and in the light of the preparation of the meeting we are proposing, annexed is the proposal of our concrete demands for the new Government regarding the key issues for the development of the non-governmental sector in Montenegro, in order to have a clearer picture within the framework of our conversation.

Demands of the members of NGOs from the Council for the development of NGOs to the new Government:

1. To appoint a new president of the Council;

2. To appoint the members of the Council representing the government, at the level of assistants (of directors of directorates) or state secretaries;

3. To secure provision of Opinion on the Law on non-governmental organisations together with the Opinion of the EC at the first upcoming Council’s session;

4. To re-discuss the new text of the Decree (on the system and procedure of cooperation with non-governmental organisations and implementation of public consultation) at the Council for the development of NGO’s session, before its adoption by the Government;

5. To reallocate the Office for the Cooperation of the Government with non-governmental organisations at the Ministry of Public Administration, transform it into a Directorate, thus name the director of the new directorate for the registration, development and financing of NGOs;

6. To organise the process of public discussion on the Strategy for the development of civil society in a quality manner, so that the key issues regarding the strategic relation of the government to civil sector are resolved;

7. To adopt the action plan for the Open Government Partnership, revive the process and secure the resources for the full implementation of OGP;

8. To urgently adopt adequate rules for transparent management of state property, including the criteria for the distribution of space and property in the state ownership to non-governmental organisations;

9. Reconsider the modality of NGO representatives’ involvement in the Council for the rule of law, judiciary and public administration reforms;

10. To publish the annexes of reports on the implementation of measures from AP 23 and AP 24, remove the confidential stamps form the peer review report of the European Commission missions and opinions provided on the draft laws through TAIEX programme.

We are open to providing a detailed argumentation for all the above-mentioned demands during the meeting. The meeting would be attended by up to three representatives of the Council.

We are certain that the initiative to meet will be appreciated as necessary and important for further development of communication between the two sector, therefore we expect a timely response.

Members from NGOs:

Aleksandar Dedović, Alfa Centre

Ana Novaković, Centre for the Development of Non-Governmental Organisations

Anica Maja Boljević, Foundation for Active Citizenship

Veselin Šturanović, Fors Montenegro

Vladan Nikolić, Council of the Paraplegics Association of Montenegro

Igor Milošević, ADP Zid

Marina Vujačić, Association of Youth with Dissabilities

Mirela Korać, Council of the Association of Parents of Children and Youth with Developmental Difficulties “Our Initiative“

Snežana Kaluđerović, Centre for Civic Education

Stevo Muk, Institute Alternative

In the name of the members of the Council for Development of NGOs:

Ana Novaković, Deputy of the President of the Council

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