Ministry of Culture violates the Government Regulation and continues Clash with Unsuitable NGO activitists

We call upon Ministry of Culture to publish the Decision on appointment of representative of NGO in the working group for Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio and Television of Montenegro. Ministry should have published this decision more than 15 days ago, and the working group for drafting this regulation held its first meeting already last week.

Candidates of NGO for membership in the working group were Kristina Cetkovic and Goran Djurovic. On 2 March, Ministry of Culture has published a List of candidates of NGO for membership in the working group, and a group of non-governmental organisation requested the Ministry to annul the list and repeat the procedure of selection of representatives of NGO on the basis of submitted candidacies.

Ministry ignored this call and continued the process of development of the Draft Law with no participation of NGO who fulfil conditions prescribed by the Government Regulation on manner and procedure of exercising the cooperation of the state administration organs and NGO. Namely, the Regulation, in Art. 11 clearly states that:

‘Candidate of a non-governmental organisation for member of the working body may be a person who:

– is Montenegrin citizen, with residence in Montenegro;
– possesses experience in relation to the task of the working body;
– is not a member of organs of political party, civil servant, state official, or employee.’

We are not familiar that Kristina Cetkovic has, in public appearances or in her activities, dealt with amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcaster, or that she was giving suggestions and proposed amendments to this regulation. On the other hand, candidate whom we have proposed, Goran Djurovic, has participated in previous working groups with the same task formed by Ministry of Culture and has been proposing concrete amendments to this regulation and other laws from the media area for years, of which there is record in reports and documents in possession of the Ministry of Culture. Only if a candidate fulfils the previous condition, i.e. possesses experience in relation to the task of working body, it is possible to count the support of NGOs which, also, should fulfil conditions prescribed by the Article 10 of the Regulation.

Our objective is for the process of amending the law to be conducted on as better and more quality level as possible. Thus, we believe that there can be no one’s interest for working group to be one more in a series of formal bodies, without substantial influence on the process of development of the Law. A quality representative of NGO should contribute to the substantial role of the Working Group, who is proposed to membership of this body by organisations engaged in the area of media regulations’ reform.

Simultaneously, while the Ministry of Culture is violating this Government’s Regulation, the Ministry of Public Administration is calling upon NGOs to give their suggestions and comments for improvement of provisions in this regulation. We convey to the Government and Ministry of Public Administration that consultations on amendments of regulations have no sense when the existing regulations are being violated by ministries themselves. It is clear that consultations with NGOs are being used as expression of alleged will for cooperation, while in the practice the decisions about the representatives of NGO are not made in line with the law and regulation, but apparently by will of ministers and his associates.

We invite the Ministry of Culture to publish the decision on appointment of representatives of NGO for member of working group for amendments to the Law on RTCG so that, due to obvious violation of this regulation on all aforementioned grounds, we could initiate the proceedings before the Administrative Court.

Daliborka Uljarevic, Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Ana Novakovic, Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organisations (CDNGO)
Milka Tadic Mijovic, Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIJ MNE)
Ivana Vujovic, NGO Juventas
Zlatko Vujovic, Centre for Monitoring and Research (CEMI)
Ruzdija Strujic, NGO Bonum
Milena Stanojevic, NGO Active Zone
Mustafa Canka, Ul Info
Stevo Muk, Institute Alternative
Zeljko Djukic, Multimedijal Montenegro

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