In order to make a more inclusive process of creating laws and strategies, it is necessary to expand the platform for the participation of public and civil society through the amendments of the Decree on the election of NGO representatives to the working bodies of state administration.
The Institute Alternative has sent an initiative to the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media to amend the Decree on the election of NGO representatives to the working bodies of state administration, with the aim of expanding the platform for gender perspective in public policymaking process.
The above-mentioned Decree regulates the criteria and procedure for the election of NGO representatives to working groups and other working bodies which are created by the ministries and public sector bodies in order to consider issues of common interest or for normative regulation on certain issues. However, although the intention of the Decree was to enable a multidisciplinary approach in finding the best solutions and to contribute by NGO-s with their experience and knowledge – the practice has shown certain limitations.
In our analysis Gender Mainstreaming: Examples from Montenegro, we have pointed out that the Decree limits the inclusion of NGO representatives who are dealing with gender equality or, at least it leaves space for different interpretations by the head of the bodies. Article 9 of the Decree limits the multidisciplinary of working groups, as it gives priority to non-governmental organizations that closely deal with the are regulated by law, therefore excluding organizations dealing with gender equality, but also with other cross-cutting issues such as environmental protection or social inclusion.
In order to create basic preconditions for gender mainstreaming of public policies, which is mandatory by the Law on Gender Equality, we suggested an amendment to the Decree in a way that, if the issue considered or regulated by the working group might have an effect on gender equality then, the participation of the NGO representatives dealing with gender equality should be possible.
At the meeting we held with the minister Tamara Srzentić and acting Director-General of the Directorate for the Effective Implementation of Good Public Administration Miljana Vukotić Jelušić, we called for reconsideration of the need for a more comprehensive change of the current legal framework, in order to better respond to the need for wider and more effective participation of public and civil society.
The initiative was created within the project ”Empowered: Public Policies for Gender Equality”, implemented by the Institute Alternative and supported by the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro.