Socio-political environment, growing distrust in institutions, and lack of concrete results, or rather, lack of revisions of public policy documents, as well as the lack of citizen participation in the creation of said documents are just some of the reasons why young people are further demotivated to participate in decision-making process at the local and national level.
This was announced at the first Academy for Civic and Political Participation, organized by Center for Democracy and Human Rights in cooperation with Hanns Seidel Foundation. The Academy was a unique event where the participants, the representatives of the political parties, and civil society organizations had the chance to talk to the representatives of the government.
Despite the general expectations that young people will use the different mechanisms that are available to them for the purpose of civic and political participation, they are still not sufficiently participating in the decision-making process.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro and the leader of GP URA, Dritan Abazović, spoke about the significance of civic and political participation of young people.
We are a very demotivating society. My message to you is one of optimism and motivation. There is nothing you cannot accomplish. Believe in yourself. Be participatory, be powerful in doing it, express and stand behind your ideas and have a vision,” said Abazović.
The Minister of Economic Development, Jakov Milatović, presented the programs and initiatives of the Government of Montenegro, whose main goal is to empower and support young people to remain in Montenegro adding that: “The biggest and first step of this Government in order to keep its young people and in order to create a better future for all of its citizens is Europe Now! Program and the Program for Young People which carry systemic reforms and additionally stimulate the economic growth of Montenegro as a safe country in which one can have a dignified life and occupation.”
“The message we are sending to young people today is clear; we want them to remain in Montenegro, and to be proud of their country. We have invested and we shall continue to invest, with particular sensibility, in development of young people and in the establishment of a partner relationship between the young people and the state in order to increase their active participation in the society,” concluded Minister Milatović.
The Government of Montenegro, particularly the line ministry, as well as the political subjects, have to invest an additional effort for the participation of youth in decision-making processes, while the political parties have to act on the statement that young people in their ranks must be proactive.
The Acting Director of Directorate for Sports and Youth, Marko Begović, said that they are planning the development of an application for young people in which they will be able to schedule meetings with decision-makers, express their opinions, influence the creation of policies that concern them, and in that way participate in the decision-making process.
“The fact that 70% of young people want to leave Montenegro obliges us to pay special attention in the coming period on models of keeping our young people in Montenegro. Research has shown that young people are losing confidence in the institutions and that the task that is ahead of us is by no means an easy one,” said Begović adding that the Directorate for Sport and Youth has reopened youth services all around Montenegro which now employ 14 young administrators which were, for the first time, elected by a 5 member commission, in a transparent way, according to the clear criteria and points system. Additionally, they will perform a reconstruction of youth services to make them accessible for the persons with disabilities.
The Acting Director for Effective Implementation of Good Public Administration, Miljana Vukotić Jelušić, and Head of Implementation of Principles of Good Public Administration, Analytics, and Reporting, Nina Blažić, spoke on the existing mechanisms for participation in the decision-making processes.
“The process of conducting public debates must not be a pure formality but instead, the policy makers must identify target groups, ensure greater participation by choosing adequate communication channels, and try to hear the views of those affected by the public policy with an aim not to turn public debates into expert discussions,” said Jelušić.
She added that young people and sensitive social groups are in this sense especially recognized by her Directorate, whose task is to monitor the quality of public consultations, and that she will especially demand, in reports from different organs, in what way young people and sensitive social groups are involved in the decision-making processes.
Blažić pointed out the necessity of concrete orientation of public administration towards the necessitates of citizens and the importance of creating a humane administration.
“Only a full and concrete application of the principle of participatory creation of public policies ensures their quality implementation, because only the policies that are created with and for their citizens solve their problems, ” said Blažić.
The Academy was held in Kolašin in the period between 14th and 17th of December as part of a project “Civic and Political Participation of Youth”, organized by CEDEM with the support of Hanns Seidel Foundation.