Montenegro

Women’s political activism round table with the Women’s Club of the Montenegrin Parliament

Montenegro

Introduction
In September 2018, WFD launched the three-year Western Balkans Democracy Initiative to strengthen political parties, parliamentary practice and democratic institutions in the region. The program in Montenegro worked on inclusion of the less represented groups (youth and marginalized women), with the aim to engage them more in the public and political life. After these initiatives, the program focused on the improvement of transparency and accountability policies. EU accession negotiations are the primary focus for institutions in Montenegro. Progress under Chapters 23 and 24 are central to the process, requiring the implementation of certain reforms before negotiations in other areas are taken forward.
Support for Montenegrin political parties with cross-party dialogue and to civil society organizations on transparency, accountability and effective policymaking will contribute to this reform agenda.
Engaging young people in politics

As part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative, launched in January 2019, the program in Montenegro educated young people about the role they can play in democratic institutions.  We created space to promote issues that are important to young people in the media, and started a network that supported actions on issues that are important to young people. The network included youth from different sectors including national and local institutions, local organizations and academia.

Transparency and accountability

The focus of the program in Montenegro moved to transparency and accountability, through an initiative including ACA, and cooperation with the Parliament and State Audit Institution of Montenegro (SAI). In order to make the SAI’s reports more understandable and accessible, we have started a set of activities including the institutions, media and NGOs. In September 2021, work on reformatting of SAI’s annual report, and for the first time SAI used visuals in their reports and presentations. Gender in audit was for the first time discussed with SAI during this initiative.

Establishing a successful Parliamentary Budget Office within the Parliament of Montenegro significantly enhanced the culture of effective financial scrutiny, thus assisting the country in the process of European integration. In September 2016, the PBO had started functioning with two researchers, under the aegis of WFD, in the premises of the Parliament of Montenegro. PBO is now fully transferred to the Parliament of Montenegro, integrated into the parliamentary service structure as an independent unit and continuing to help the MPs analyze and scrutinize the state budget.

In its work so far, the PBO has been successful in helping MPs in deliberation of key financial and budgetary documents, such as the 2017 state budget law as well as 2017-2020 Fiscal Strategy. Cooperation with the SAI under a new initiative was strengthened through an Action Plan for cooperation between SAI and Parliament.

The website has been created, intended to make the PBO products and budgetary data visualizations available not only to the MPs but to the general public in Montenegro.

Marginalized women

After an intensive initiative including marginalized women, and cooperation with two municipalities, the recommendations from a WFD analysis of local policies were included in the National Gender Strategy 2021-2025.

City of Podgorica, Montenegro

General country data

GDP - 4,778.582.34

GDP per capita - 7,686.1

Overall 63/100 index freedom of media is 2/4 (Freedom House Report)

Democracy Index – overall score 5.77, rank 81 “Hybrid regime”

a woman giving a presentation next to a WBDI banner

Western Balkans Democracy Initiative

WFD’s programme in Montenegro is part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative, which seeks to contribute to the development of more resilient and legitimate democratic governance throughout the Western Balkan region. WFD is achieving this through engaging with actors and institutions across the democratic spectrum to strengthen their ability to fulfil their mandates and promote inclusive governance which delivers for citizens.

Contact us

 Country Representative
Ana Milutinovic

Studentska bb
Lamela 7
81000 Podgorica
Montenegro