Opposition Defended the Public Interest, Whereas DPS Gave 3697 M2 to Three Privileged Ngos

We welcome the decision of 19 councillors of the opposition who have requested the dismissal of proposition regarding the ceding of 3697 m2 of urban land for the construction of the so called House of Civil Society from the agenda of yesterday’s session of Parliament of Capital City of Podgorica. This refers to the project of three non-governmental organisations – Civic Alliance (CA), Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) and FAKT.

Councillors from the opposition have unanimously voted for the dismissal of this issue from the agenda due to the lack of conditions to cede the Capital’s property in a legally prescribed manner, in line with clear criteria and procedure which would provide equal opportunities for all NGOs. Councillors from opposition have upheld the dismissal of this issue from the agenda, thus responding to our recently submitted request and demonstrating an accountable approach to public resources management and we welcome this decision.

Nevertheless, the councillors of ruling majority have passed the decision on the ceding of 3697 m2 of land, thus approving the project signed by Milo Đukanović, on behalf of the Government, and Ajša Hadžibegović, Development Director of Civic Alliance, on behalf of Foundation formed by CDT, Civic Alliance and FAKT. So far, there has not been any record of such disposal of state land, nor of such flagrant form of favouring the group of three NGOs, thereby circumventing fair and transparent procedures, or direct state intervention in the development of autonomous NGO sector.

Foundation of three NGOs – Civic Alliance, CDT and FAKT, will acquire 3.697 m2 of urban land under these circumstances, along with the exemption from utilities, which could make the final state investment up to some EUR 950.000.

sums up the value of that land to some EUR 950.000. Agreement to such arrangement of these NGOs sheds shadow to the credibility to hold institutions accountable, but also greatly questions the image of entire NGO sector.

We remind that Government and Capital have been refusing for years to adopt the Decree on the Criteria and Procedure of Ceding Space and State-owned Land to NGOs, violating the Strategy of Development of NGOs, as well as the recommendations of European Commission. Now, we have the proof that the interest of authorities regarding the creation of parallel NGO sector prevails over the public interest in terms of the responsible management of state land and enabling pluralism of functioning of various social actors.

Stevo Muk
President of the Managing Board

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