Regional Initiative for Open and Accountable Governance

To reduce the possibility of corruption and ensure implementation of the rule of law, institutions in Montenegro must strive to be more transparent, accountable and efficient in their work.

There has been, in recent years, a notable trend of decreasing trust in institutions in Montenegro, and the same is in other regional countries.

The democracy is narrowed only to elections, while the citizens are not sufficiently involved in policy-making and have a limited impact in the decision-making processes.

Therefore, in the upcoming four years through a regional initiative, conducted with the financial support of the European Commission, the Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in South-East Europe (ACTION SEE) project will contribute to the implementation of the reforms and will follow up how much institutions in Montenegro and the region are transparent, accountable, and open to citizens, affecting thus compliance with the laws and principles of good governance.

Since 2010 CDT has researched to what extent separate institutions respect the standards of good governance, and three years ago it took part in the survey on transparency and accountability of governments and ministries at the regional level.

This year for the first time, we will conduct a comprehensive research in order to measure the level of openness and accountability of the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities, as well as local governments.

In addition, in cooperation with partner organizations Metamorphosis Foundation from Macedonia, Why Not from Bosnia and Herzegovina, CRTA from Serbia, Open Data Kosovo from Kosovo, and Mjaft from Albania we will establish research teams which will carry out this research in each country and thus provide to the public accurate and comparable data on the level of transparency and accountability of institutions in Montenegro and the region.

It is known that the progress of these countries in terms of negotiations with the EU depends on the progress achieved in respecting the rule of law, and their capacities to implement reforms and actions to prevent and fight corruption.

The adoption of laws just by itself is not enough, but it is necessary to ensure their full implementation and make impact on government institutions to be more responsible and better prepared to respond to citizens’ needs.

Although issues regarding the rule of law and fight against corruption receive constant public attention, there is still a lack of understanding of these topics, and the key themes and challenges are not treated adequately.

Therefore, the research will include the manner of how the media reports to citizens on good governance, i.e. the importance of these issues for the development of the society and for exercising their rights.

Regional Openness Index

In the six countries of the region, teams of researchers will simultaneously map the institutions, non-governmental organizations, and media which have a common goal – implementation of societal reforms that will lead to the creation of transparent institutions that are effective in their work, and have a responsible attitude towards citizens.

Given the fact that all these countries are at different stages of the EU accession process, researchers will analyze all relevant regulations on national and international level.

In this four-year period, based on more than 80 indicators, we will measure the level of transparency and accountability for around 600 institutions, and using the contemporary online database we will collect more than 40,000 data.

In order to better understand the conditions and characteristics of problems in each country a road maps will be created i.e. recommendations to the institutions and guidelines for enhancing compliance with good governance standards and the rule of law in Montenegro and the region.

Call for NGOs and the media

To enhance cooperation between civil society and media organizations in promoting the rule of law and good governance, we will initiate the establishment of networks in each country that will consist of at least 10 representatives of NGOs and media organizations.

In order to strengthen the capacity of civil society and media in advocacy, networking and cooperation with state authorities, they will become part of wider, regional network.

Within this four-year initiative CDT, with its partners, will support joint NGOs and media actions in Montenegro through funding of small scale projects.

In the second half of the year a public call for initiatives, focusing on anti-corruption, transparency, access to information, data protection and the use of public funds, will be announced.

Applicants will be provided mentoring and assistance to develop their proposals. The final decision on the award of grants will be made by Regional Committee and based on transparent process and precise criteria.

CDT is organizing a workshop on 15 April which will be attended by representatives of institutions, NGOs and the media, during which we will discuss the relevant issues and challenges in the areas of good governance.

Therefore, we invite all relevant stakeholders and interested parties to attend the workshop and to join the project and thus contribute to improving the system of good governance in all institutions of