Local elections in Montenegro: beyond political campaigns

Policy Recommendations

  1. Local self-governments need to actively use local governing mechanisms of citizen participation defined by the legal framework – citizens’ assemblies, civil initiatives, referendums, petitions and complaints.
  2. Montenegro should adopt a new Law on Local Elections – a single legislative act which would regulate the process of local elections. This new legal solution should primarily contain norms about local elections in all municipalities to be held on a single day to increase rationality, efficiency and legitimacy of the process. The new law should also allow for open lists and individual candidatures on the local level.
  3. Local self-governments should become more independent, autonomous and efficient in their role as local governing bodies. They need to be organised in a polytype rather than monotype model to better serve the needs of their local communities and to ensure more economic, social and cultural integration.

The rule of law in Montenegro between deep polarisation and an unstable majority – how to get back on track?

Policy Recommendations

  1. The government should develop precise roadmaps in the EU accession talks and a clear framework for strengthening the rule of law. The measures should include better defined indicators and activities while insisting on more specific tasks on an annual basis within the interim benchmarks to facilitate both performance assessment and monitoring of progress. A new model of reporting based on a simplified form, which would include an overview of key challenges in meeting the benchmarks and thus strengthening the rule of law, would be advisable as well.
  2. The new parliamentary majority and all parties in the parliament should strive to remove political influence from the judiciary and find solutions that will enable the strengthening of institutions and ensuring their impartiality. As the EU insists on a broad consensus on these issues, and society is in a state of deep polarisation, a kind of mediation between the two blocs, the majority and the opposition, is needed. In this way, the selection of the best candidates in the judiciary, especially where envisaged membership of the academy (civil society), which will not be close to any party, and thus impartial law enforcement will be ensured and politicisation avoided.
  3. The government should fully open the reforms to the public to allow public scrutiny and impartial evaluation.

Democracy without institutions

By Dragan Koprivica | Podgorica

What are the accomplishments of the European integration process in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia? Despite being at different stages, the process has still not been able to sufficiently affirm the constitutional commitment of the tripartite division of powers in these states and bring about an equal balance between them. Respect for this commitment is of fundamental importance for the operation of both the political and the overall social system.