A New Approach Imperative for the 28th Parliament Convocation

The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) and the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), with the support of the European Union (EU), have launched the “Inclusive Dialogue for Society’s Progress” project intending to intensify the work of the Parliament of Montenegro in achieving the necessary criteria for EU membership.

We have witnessed that the previous two convocations of the Parliament cannot boast significant results regarding European integration, and the actual outcomes in this extended period were more of an exception than the norm.

Therefore, at the beginning of the new convocation, we wish to contribute to the attempt of political elites to overcome established patterns of behavior and perceive political life and important decisions through the lens of public interest rather than partisan interests.

Furthermore, it is necessary to demonstrate a different approach by institutions to important topics such as Montenegro’s European integration, and to involve a wider range of diverse actors from our society who are not part of political entities. We believe that the Parliament is an ideal place for this. Inclusive dialogue is essential if we want to reach sustainable solutions.

Unfortunately, members of the Parliament of Montenegro have recently chosen to adopt unconstitutional acts as a means of doing politics and functioning of the institution itself. Through this project, CDT and CEDEM aim to urgently change this direction of the Parliament and, following the recent decisions of the Constitutional Court, ensure that no one ever thinks that it is a legitimate way of political struggle, as these decisions have significantly hindered our path to the EU.

In that sense, the Parliament still needs to demonstrate its commitment to the reform agenda, enhance coordination of legislative initiatives with the Government, and increase its capacity to analyze the compatibility of proposed laws with the EU acquis.

Additionally, CEDEM and CDT aspire to contribute to developing deliberative democracy. Important decisions must be made through more intensive communication not only with civil society but also with citizens. In this regard, within this project, we will continue to organize Citizens’ Parliament, with its debates fully focused on EU integration.

This project aims to contribute to the EU integration process by promoting democratic reforms and good governance. We firmly believe it is high time to sincerely and energetically move in this direction. Otherwise, our country and society will continue to to be caught between politicians’ unrealistic promises, empty rhetoric about the importance of EU integration, and finding excuses for what has not been done, which could ultimately lead to an irreparable situation.

Dragan Koprivica, Executive Director of CDT and Milena Bešić, Executive Director of CEDEM