Press release: Deployment to peacekeeping missions beyond the reach of the Parliament

The government decides independently on the participation of members of civil defense, police and government employees in peacekeeping missions and other activities abroad. The Parliament is completely excluded from this process. Committee for Security and Defense is neither consulted regarding deployment nor informed about the participation of these state representatives in peacekeeping missions.

At the yesterday’s session, the Government adopted a decision to send two police officers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus. Representatives of the Police Directorate are present in the mission in Cyprus since 2009. During the 2012, police officers were sent to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan as well.

In contrast to the deployment of Army, the Government does not need the consent of the Parliament when deployng the representatives of police, civil defense and public administration bodies to peacekeeping missions.

Parliametnary Committee for Security and Defense is not consulted when these decision are being made, nor has it so far been informed about the activities of the representatives of the Police Directorate in the peacekeeping missions. This is particularly worrying since the Law on parliamentary oversight in the area of security and defense explicitly states the duty of the Committee to review these reports, and therefore, the obligation of competent institutions to submit them regularly.

Law governing this area was adopted in 2008 (full name: the Law on the use of units of the Army of Montenegro in the international forces and the participation of members of civil defense, police and employees in state administration in peacekeeping missions and other activities abroad), It provides that the Parliament must approve the deployment of Army representatives to peacekeeping missions. When it comes to the participation of members of civil protection and others to peacekeeping missions, the Parliament has no jurisdiction. The executive is given the exclusive and unlimited authority to decide on this important issue.

We believe that it is needed to urgently initiate amendments to the Law on the use of units of the Army of Montenegro in the international force and the participation of members of civil protection (…) to make the approval of the Parliament required when deploying the members of civil defense, police and employees in the civil administration to missions abroad. Solution that is currently in force is outdated and made obsolete through the adoption of the Law on parliamentary oversight. Furthermore, it represents an obstacle to the further development of parliamentary oversight in the area ofsecurity and defense.

Marko Sošić
Policy Analyst

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