"Young people in Montenegro must believe that their activism creates a better future for themselves and the community to which they belong. The responsibility for improving the position of young people does not lie exclusively with the state and its institutions, but also with young people who need to mobilize, unite, show solidarity, and strive to contribute to solving many challenges they face every day. This project and the young people who are here today are just an example of how socially responsible young people of Montenegro behave, "said Nenad Koprivica, director of the Directorate for Youth, at the opening of the school" Youth as active citizens "which CEDEM realized from 22 to June 25 at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin.

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In his introductory address, CEDEM Program Manager Marko Pejović stated that “bearing in mind that one fifth of the Montenegrin population is young people, it is very important to emphasize the importance of their participation in the process of creating and implementing public policies and that it represents the principle of democratic organization. and a basic precondition for responsible and transparent work of the government ”, adding that“ young people often criticize the system, saying that it is not adaptable to them, ie that they cannot use their right in the decision-making process, because there are no good mechanisms ”.

During the four-day school, young people acquired skills and knowledge through four modules: "Youth policies and the development of a culture of participation", "Civic and political participation of young people", "Economic participation of young people" and "Participation and mobility in formal and non-formal education", which are contribute to encouraging young people to participate in civic, political and economic participation.

The first module was led by Aleksandra Gligorović and Andrea Mićanović, during which young people acquired knowledge and skills about the conditions and development of a culture of youth participation, prescribed and self-initiated mechanisms for participation at national and local level, and key competencies necessary for participation in decision making.

Dr. Olivera Komar analyzed the state of youth activities and why young people are (in) active, presented a set of recommendations for improving youth participation and encouraged discussion with young people, while Božena Jelušić emphasized the traditional legacy of manipulative strategies and new opportunities in the digital environment and cognitive-psychological conditions receiving information and misconceptions that may affect decision-making and civic participation in the digital environment. She paid special attention to checking information and false news (especially in the environment of social networks), as well as the importance of raising awareness of the problem and critical thinking among young people.

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On the third day, Jevrosima Pejović and Uroš Bulatović taught young people about economic participation of young people, with a special focus on career orientation, economic independence and job search, analyzing professional goals and personal representation on the labor market.

Vanja Rakočević talked to young people about the role and ways of participation in formal education, with the presentation of opportunities and examples of good practice for youth mobility in formal and non-formal education. At the end of the day, a survey of the needs of young people in the field of formal and non-formal education was conducted and ideas for improving youth participation were defined.

The closing of the school was attended by Edin Koljenović from the Regional Office for Cooperation with Youth, who spoke about the need for young people to participate in the decision-making process and presented the importance of this office in several aspects, with special reference to the cooperation of various organizations and institutions that contribute to greater participation and activism of young people.

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The school "Youth as active citizens" was realized within the project "Strengthening the competencies of young people to participate in the decision-making process", which is financially supported by the Ministry of Sports and Youth.

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The Center for Democracy and Human Rights - CEDEM held a two-day seminar "Gender Equality at the Local Level - Achieved Results, Key Achievements and Future Perspectives" aimed at improving Local Action Plans for achieving gender equality and greater integration of women at the local level.

The seminar was held at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin, and it was attended by representatives of local governments, primarily municipal secretariats, which are responsible for implementing activities in the field of gender equality. On the first day of the seminar, lectures were given by Dina Knežević, Advisor to the Ombudsman and Nada Drobnjak, President of the Committee for Gender Equality in the Parliament of Montenegro.

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In his introductory speech, Marko Pejović, CEDEM Program Manager, spoke about the results of research that confirm that the culture that makes women accept a dependent role in the family is still strongly present, even among young people, and that synergy of all actors in this process is necessary. It is especially necessary to pay attention to local self-governments and start the process from the bottom up, because we are witnessing that the achievement of key indicators and desired conditions is observed only at the national level, but if we want these indicators and the desired conditions to be really achieved, we must turn to the local level and make additional efforts in that direction.

In the first lecture, Dina Knežević referred to the international framework of gender issues, and in that sense reminded of the most important international documents that deal primarily with human rights and freedoms, and then issues of gender equality. She also spoke about the institutional mechanisms for achieving gender equality, emphasizing the importance of gender analysis at the local level and its methods. Nada Drobnjak emphasized the importance of integrating the gender perspective, and in this regard they talked about the most important principles of tooling, but also about gender-sensitive budgeting, and the need for greater involvement of women in the decision-making process. She reminded the participants of the principles of informing the local public about the policies of introducing gender equality, and therefore of the Law on Local Self-Government.

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The second day of the seminar focused on the practical aspect of gender equality. Maja Raičević, Executive Director of the NGO Center for Women's Rights, held two lectures aimed at explaining methods of gender mainstreaming and introducing participants to the necessary steps to integrate gender equality at the local level. She supported the lecture with many examples from the practice of European countries, which additionally inspired the participants to consider models of introducing similar measures in the action plans of Montenegrin municipalities, and additionally emphasized the importance of gender analysis in adopting strategic documents in this area.

The seminar was held within the project "Sharing responsibility - promotion of gender equality policies", which CEDEM is implementing with the support of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.


The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) held a two-day seminar "Multiculturalism in Montenegro: Status Quo and Future Perspectives" aimed at encouraging full equality and raising public awareness of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities and the importance of multiculturalism.

The seminar was held at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin, and was attended by representatives of minority peoples and other minority national communities, as well as representatives of the civil sector, with the aim of including actors working in this field. The lecturers at the training were the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms in Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, and a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, doc. Dr. Danijela Vukovic Calasan.

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CEDEM Director, Milena Bešič stated in her introductory speech that although Montenegro has developed a model of coexistence based on general interethnic tolerance and constitutional guarantees for the protection of minority rights, there is ethnic heterogeneity that carries a certain risk of conflict and affects discriminatory attitudes and practices. Besic also pointed out that the relevant indicators show that the position of minority peoples and communities has improved (both in terms of quantitative indicators and in relation to the implementation of measures of competent institutions), but that there are still normative and legal shortcomings related to realization of the policy of multiethnicity and multiculturalism, as well as problems in exercising the rights guaranteed by the constitution.

During the first lecture, on behalf of the Ombudsman Siniša Bjeković, his Advisor Milena Krsmanović spoke on the topic of protection against discrimination and the rights of members of minorities, with an emphasis on practice. Considering that discrimination is treated as a difficult social phenomenon that is difficult to prove and that especially affects certain social groups, she emphasized that the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination introduced numerous procedural reliefs when it comes to the protection procedure. She also spoke about the Montenegrin legal order and the specifics of protection against discrimination, referring to the rights provided by the Montenegrin legislator to national minorities.

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During the second day, doc. Dr. Danijela Vuković Ćalasan introduced the participants to the concept of identity and emphasized the importance of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, with special reference to Articles 1 and 2 which prescribe the value of ethnocultural pluralism. Vukovic Calasan emphasized the importance of achieving social cohesion, and approached this concept by referring to the strategies within the Council of Europe, but also the UN. In this regard, she especially emphasized how much this concept depends on the social context and pointed out the most important causes of the fluidity of social cohesion.

The training was held within the project "Strengthening the system for a society of equal rights", which was financially supported by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.

 


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The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) held a round table "The role of the media in encouraging civic participation in the decision-making process", with the aim of analyzing the current situation in the field of civic participation through the e-government portal and making a set of recommendations for media and the Ministry of Public administration in order to increase citizen participation in the decision-making process and raise awareness of the importance of participation in this process. The round table was held at the CentreVille Hotel and was attended by representatives of civil society organizations and public administration.The media play a key role in informing individuals, providing an inclusive and critical platform for public dialogue and debate, and creating policies that will benefit citizens. "By performing three types of roles, the media as disseminators of information on the decision-making process, a tool for education on the decision-making process and a platform for shaping public opinion can encourage citizen participation in the decision-making process," said Marko Pejovic, program manager at CEDEM.

There has been a special platform on the website www.euprava.me since 2015 - eParticipation and the obligation of the Ministry of Public Administration is to measure the extent to which institutions publish calls for public hearings, consultations, participation in working groups and public announcements, and on the other hand citizens' comments. "The process is much more transparent than it used to be, because on the eParticipation portal you can see all calls and public announcements of public administration institutions, as well as the reports that accompany them," said Mirjana Begović, Head of the Directorate for e-Government Development at the Ministry of public administration, and added that "in the period until 2018, there were only 4 comments on drafts and proposals of laws and strategic documents by citizens." Since April 2019, the version of this site has been improved and in 2019 there were 179 public calls, and in the first half of 2020 the number of public calls was already 169.

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In 2020, only 1 comment was submitted through this platform, which is why it is necessary for the media and the civil sector to inform citizens more through their communication channels, and on the other hand greater agility of public administration institutions because it happens that the report on public hearings is published. as a separate part, which further complicates the search. However, Begović stated that in the coming period, the Ministry of Public Administration will make additional efforts to educate officials and arrange the available content on this portal, but also appealed to civil society representatives to subscribe to the publication of public calls, in order to receive information by e-mail about holding public hearings.

The e-petition portal will be improved in the coming period, because one of the most common problems in the previous period was referring petitions for issues that are not within the competence of the Government, which is why the improved version of this portal will include the competences of local governments. Begović referred to the portal Sistem48, which is available in several cities of Montenegro, through which requests for the issuance of documents can be submitted, as well as to report problems within the competence of services, bodies and companies of local self-government.

The key challenges in the e-participation process are lack of interest of citizens, insufficient promotion, insufficient knowledge of IT tools, omissions in publishing procedures, while the recommendations are raising citizens' awareness, educating citizens to use IT tools, promotion, education of public administration officials and administrators.

After the presentation of the representative of the Ministry of Public Administration, the participants of the round table contributed to the preparation of recommendations for the media and the Ministry of Public Administration.

Recommendations for the Ministry of Public Administration: 1) publication of documents must be accessible to all, with attention to the ALT text; 2) work additionally on SEO optimization; 3) proactive role of the Ministry of Public Administration and promotion of services in cooperation with all relevant actors, with special emphasis on social networks; 4) websites or portals must be user friendly; 5) further work on the education of officials, especially those in charge of responding to comments; 6) greater respect for comments at public hearings will encourage citizens to participate.

Recommendations for the media: 1) proactive placement of information related to the decision-making process and promotion of mechanisms through which citizens can contribute to better policy policies; 2) together with non-governmental organizations, research organizations or public administration institutions, may organize projects, gatherings and other activities that have raised the awareness of citizens about the decision-making process; 3) effective intervention of large media was the opportunity to ensure citizens are favorably engaged in the decision-making process and thus improve the quality of strategic documents at national and local level and 4) the media should act as a catalyst to encourage citizen participation in this process in order to gather relevant groups for activities.

The round table was held within the project "E-democracy: civic participation in the digital age" which CEDEM is implementing with the support of the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.


The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) held a two-day training "Multiculturalism in Montenegro: Status Quo and Future Perspectives" aimed at promoting full equality and raising public awareness of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities and the importance of multiculturalism.

The training was held at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin, and was attended by representatives of minority peoples and other minority national communities, as well as representatives of the civil sector, with the aim of covering the actors working in this area. The lecturers at the training were the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms in Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, and a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, doc. Dr. Danijela Vukovic Calasan.

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In her introductory speech, Milena Bešić, Director of CEDEM, stated that CEDEM regularly conducts research that seeks to point out certain changes in the political, legal and social field, but also persistent challenges and shortcomings that affect the protection of minority rights and minority national communities. She pointed out that field research indicated the need for more efficient implementation of minority policies in practice, citing: vagueness / vagueness of formulations of certain legal standards, socio-cultural environment in which minority policy is implemented, but also the influence of economic factors and the effect of individual characteristic of citizens on ethnic distancing.

During the first lecture, the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, referred to universal legal standards in protection against discrimination, and in that sense reminded of the most important international instruments for human rights protection with special reference to minority rights. He also spoke about human rights in the context of general principles, implementation of international standards and equal treatment clause, where he pointed out that even today there is a problem of defining human rights, especially in terms of defining the victim of human rights violations.He specifically highlighted four criteria that must be met in order to meet the legitimacy requirement of any restriction on human rights and freedoms. These are: 1. legitimacy (if prescribed by law), 2. legitimacy of the goal for which a certain right is limited (public interest in the protection of goods) 3. necessary social need and 4. proportionality.

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On the second day of the training, doc. Dr. Danijela Vuković Ćalasan introduced the participants to the concept of multiculturalism and identity, where she emphasized that building a common political identity is an integral part of successful management of ethnocultural pluralism. She emphasized the importance of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, with particular reference to Articles 1 and 2, which prescribe the value of ethnocultural pluralism. She also stated that a stable multicultural society successfully integrates two key principles: respect and recognition of ethnocultural diversity at all levels and strengthening of a common political identity.

The training was held within the project "Strengthening the system for a society of equal rights", which CEDEM is implementing with the support of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.


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