Upon the initiative and under a coordination of the Centre for Development of Non-governmental Ogranisations, the coalition of NGOs for monitoring the negotiations about the Chapter 23 was established. The long term goal of the coalition is to bring tangible improvement of standards of living of Montenegrin people.
Coalition is consisted from organisations, experienced in the fields covered by the Chapter 23: Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organisations (CRNVO), Centre for Civic Education (CCE – CGO), Juventas, Human Rights Action (HRA), Centre for Monitoring and Research (CEMI), Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), LGBT Forum Progress, Institute Alternative, European Movement in Montenegro, NGO Women’s Safe House, SOS Phone For Women And Children Violence Victims Niksic, Centre for Women’s Rights, Roma Scholarship Foundation, Montenegro’s Association of Youth With Disabilities, Centre for Anti-Discrimination “Equista“, and NGO Anima.
The coalition members have gone thourgh several months long trainings about the issues covered by the Chapter 23, about the monitoring and reporting methodologies and creation of communication strategy, having as a role model the Croatian coalition of NGOs for monitoring negotiations about the Chapter 23, which was the first coalition of that kind in the region. Also, they had an opportunity to talk to the most significant figures in Croatian civil and public sectors, as well as to the representatives of the EU Delegation in Croatia. Trainings and consultations are part of the project, jointly realised by the CRNVO and Centre for Peace Studies from Zagreb. The key result of the project is the Coalition’s establishment.
We welcome opening of the accession negotiations between the EU and Montenegro, and we announce that we will closely and continuously, during the entire negotiation process, monitor implementation of reforms in the fields composing the Chapter 23 – judiciary, fundamental human rights and freedoms, and anti-corruption policies. We will regularly inform the local and international public about all the deficiencies and improvements with regard to these issues. We will also advocate changes of legal, institutional and implementation framework, aiming at the long term improvement of human rights in the country and at establishment of the rule of law.
We also think that the Government of Montenegro should not repeat the mistakes of certain EU member states, whose membership talks were marked by the high level of secrecy. By contrast, Government should, since the very beginning of the accession negotiations, continuously inform people about the process and the reforms’ impact on the people’s every day lives.
Therefore, we urge the Government to respect the transparency principle, highlighted in its many strategic documents, and provides a timely information about the opening and closing benchmarks, the reports about implementation of obligations defined by the benchmarks and negotiating positions for the Chapter 23 but other chapters as well.
Coalition is open for all the NGOs, eager to share its knowledge and experience and thus contribute to the essential changes in the areas of human rights, fight against corruprtion and judiciary reform in Montenegro, while simultaneously sharing the current members’ values.