The Ministry of Interior, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Science, Sustainable Development and Tourism and Public Administration do not plan to allocate funds for projects of non-governmental organisations that could assist them in the implementation of public policies.
These ministries did not identify priority areas of public interest and the necessary funds for financing projects and programs of non-governmental organisations, from the state budget for 2018. This indicated that next year they do not plan project cooperation with the non-governmental sector in the significant areas of public interest.
Institute Alternative specifically calls upon the Ministry of Public Administration, as the competent Ministry for the consistent implementation of the Law on NGOs, but also other ministries, to urgently start preparing sector analysis in accordance with the Article 32 of the Law on Non-Governmental Organisations.
The Ministry of Public Administration was obliged to draft proposals of priority areas of public interest and necessary funds for financing, based on established strategic and planning documents and after consultations with interested NGOs, operating in the relevant area of public interest.
We emphasise that public administration reform in Montenegro is a priority area for the European Commission. Given the total cost of the public administration reform, which is planned to be at least EUR 15 million, the need for the civil sector to provide a contribution in monitoring the benefits this reform will have for the citizens, through independent research and activities, is specifically emphasised.
We remind the public that the Law on NGOs prescribes financial support in the amount of at least 0.3% of the current annual budget for projects implemented by non-governmental organisations.
According to our knowledge, ministries that have issued a public call or conducted consultations with the non-governmental sector in determining priority areas are: Ministry of European Affairs, Justice, Human and Minority Rights, Defence, Agriculture, Health, Labour and Social Welfare, Education, Culture, Sports and Economics.
It is particularly worrying that the Ministry of Public Administration, which is also the ministry that prepared the proposal of the applicable Law and in charge of its efficient implementation, is one of the first to disregard its legal provisions.
Considering that the deadline for submitting proposals for project financing has long ago expired, the Institute alternative appeals to the state authorities that have not yet determined the necessary funds for financing of NGO projects, to urgently do so, thus enabling full implementation of legal provisions and obligation of the state to provide funds for financing projects and programs in areas of public interest.