Legal analysis “Protection of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities in Montenegro” published

Legal analysis “Protection of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities in Montenegro” published

Respect for basic human rights and protection of national minorities are fundamental factors in the stability and socio-economic development of any state. The principle of respect for uniqueness within unity and unity within diversity is defined at the level of the European Union as a clear integration condition, which manifests the degree of protection of minority rights and preservation of their identity, and thus the degree of democracy in a country.

According to the Constitution, Montenegro is a civil, ecological state of social justice, inhabited by various ethnic groups characterized by their identity, culture, religion and artistic heritage. Despite the differences between these ethnic groups and the fact that no ethnic group makes up the majority of the population, Montenegro has developed a model of coexistence based on general interethnic tolerance and constitutional guarantees for the protection of minority rights.

However, such ethnic heterogeneity, with differences in religion, gender, politics and other, carries a certain risk of conflict and affects the existence of discriminatory attitudes and practices that may disavow the application of adopted legal standards and jeopardize political and social consensus on substantive democratic issues. country development. Therefore, continuous monitoring of the phenomenon of discrimination and perception of the degree of discrimination on various grounds, as well as monitoring the implementation of regulations and assessing their impact on the creation of an equal society are an integral part of minority policy.

With this in mind, CEDEM regularly conducts research that seeks to point out certain changes in the political, legal and social spheres, but also persistent challenges and shortcomings that affect the protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities. The research conducted by CEDEM within the said project included the following segments: a) analysis of the domestic legal framework for the protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities, with reference to international legal documents and comparative practice; b) secondary analysis of data through which new hypotheses based on the same data sets have been set; and c) a meta-analysis that combined and synthesized different mutually independent studies, integrating their results into a common, unique result. Methodological objectives and instruments have been set to provide an adequate amount of data in relevant areas to make the research epistemologically valid.

Relevantni indikatori korišćeni za potrebe istraživanja pokazuju da je položaj manjinskih naroda i zajednica poboljšan (kako kada je riječ o kvantitativnim pokazateljima, tako i u odnosu na implementaciju mjera nadležnih institucija), ali da i dalje postoje normativno-pravni nedostaci koji se odnose na realizaciju politike multietničnosti i multikulturalizma, kao i problemi u ostvarivanju ustavom zagarantovanih prava. Tu se, prije svega misli na odsustvo zakonskih rješenja kojima se razrađuje primjena mjera afirmativne akcije, posebno u oblasti političke reprezentacije romske zajednice, kao jedne od brojčano najmanjih, ali socijalno i ekonomski najugroženijih manjinskih zajednica u Crnoj Gori.
Namely, in the normative-political sense, Montenegro is making efforts to establish a normative-legal framework for the protection of minority rights and the implementation of multiculturalism. The relevant legal framework consists of international agreements, the Constitution guaranteeing the protection of the rights and freedoms of minority peoples and other minority national communities and a set of legal regulations in certain areas: health, education, social and child protection, housing.

The Constitution also contains a provision on the supremacy and direct application of international legal norms in relation to domestic legislation. It should be noted that international documents contain numerous provisions relating to minorities, but not generally accepted international standards or universal rules that clearly regulate the rights of minorities, except for non-discrimination and the general right to preserve ethnic and religious identity. When it comes to the protection of minority rights within the EU, norms related to this area of ​​human rights do not have their direct basis in EU legislation, which sets certain limits in assessing the degree of realization of these rights, especially in countries aspiring to EU membership.

Although the analysis did not identify major legal shortcomings, ie conflicts with international standards, but more needs to operationalize and concretize certain constitutional and legal concepts and guarantees through appropriate legal norms, field research indicated the need for more efficient implementation of minority policies in practice. The reasons for this are multiple: vagueness / uncertainty of the formulation 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 characteristics of citizens on ethnic distancing.

The statistics that provide data at the municipal level, which were also analyzed during the survey, provided additional insight into the factors influencing ethnic distance. For this purpose, the so-called intraclass correlation coefficient which showed that municipalities, as specific environments, have a strong effect on ethnic distancing. In order to obtain valid data, each indicator was controlled through key demographic variables, using hierarchical linear modeling. According to the obtained data, the municipalities that are characterized by the highest degree of ethnic distancing are Plav, Savnik, Andrijevica and Berane.

Ovaj efekat je najizraženiji kada je riječ o etničkom distanciranju prema onima koji se izjašnjavaju kao Srbi, tačnije, gotovo 25% distanciranja u odnosu na ovu etničku grupu zavisi od opštine u kojoj ljudi žive, a ne od njihovih ličnih karakteristika. Visok procenat u ovom pogledu je zabilježen i kada je riječ o Crnogorcima, dok je u vezi sa Albancima i Romima utvrđeno da ni jedna opštinska karakteristika ne utiče na stepen etničkog distanciranja prema pripadnicima ovih manjinskih zajednica. Kada je riječ o etničkom distanciranju prema Hrvatima, zaključeno je da povećanje kulturnog kapitala u opštini može očekivano dovesti do smanjenja etničke distance prema pripadnicima ove zajednice. Indikativno, porast ekonomski aktivnog stanovništva po opštinama smanjuje etničko distanciranje prema Crnogorcima i Srbima, ali ga povećava u odnosu na Bošnjake i Muslimane.
U drugom dijelu istraživanja je sprovedena kvalitativna analiza sadržaja 54 objavljena dokumenta koji su za temu imali nacionalne manjine i pitanja diskriminacije. Ukupna ekstenzija ovog materijala je obuhvatila preko 1200 stranica različitog formata, iz kojih je primjenom procedure otvorenog kodiranja dobijeno 20 fokusiranih kodova.
The analysis of available reports and materials pointed to normative shifts in terms of protection against discrimination, but also from the point of view of the application of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Namely, the Advisory Board noted the general progress in the legislative and institutional sense, as well as in the collection of data on persons with unresolved civil status and strengthening the system of financial support to minority councils and communities. The practice of using the language and script, and the education of members of minorities in their script was assessed as correct.

Montenegro’s efforts to strengthen intercultural relations and social cohesion were also noted. According to the relevant institutions, there is a good legal framework, including the institution of the Ombudsman, as well as legislation that prohibits and sanctions discrimination on various grounds. Funding for cultural projects and consultative mechanisms of minority communities (together with various state sources of funding open to national minorities) has been raised to a higher level than in the previous period.

One of the most common codes is the one related to Roma and Egyptians and which includes a large number of contents related to the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro and other strategic approaches and documents aimed at improving the position of Roma and Egyptian communities. These findings are in line with the results of the legal analysis and indicate the need to create normative conditions for the political representation of Roma.Based on the results of all three research segments, two priority areas for action have been defined. The first area includes employment (citizens clearly indicate that discrimination is very present in this area), ie adequate representation of members of minority peoples and minority national communities in the public sector, but also in other sectors. The second priority, ie the problem that requires urgent solution, is the problem of discrimination against political dissidents, which is present in Montenegrin society, as well as the possibility of facilitating the representation of all ethnic communities in the bodies that make the most important political decisions. in Parliament). This requires certain applications in the normative field, primarily through appropriate changes and adjustments to the Law on the Election of Councilors and Deputies.In addition, it is necessary to work on strengthening the underdeveloped political and general habitat of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro, which is conditioned by an underdeveloped political organization, which prevents this community from articulating and effectively representing its rights, nor to exert appropriate pressure on institutions in charge of protecting their rights. In that sense, enviable progress has been made in recent years in the formation and operation of various NGOs that bring together members of the Roma and Egyptian communities and actively advocate for the protection of their rights, but these organizations still lack adequate visibility and support for Montenegrin society and state. neither materially nor professionally.

A significant shortcoming is the fact that the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro 2016-2020, adopted in March 2016, does not prioritize the political representation of this community and the inclusion of its members in public affairs (res publica). On the other hand, NRIS, as a strategic framework of the EU until 2020, recommends that the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians include, among other things, the active participation of the Roma and Egyptian communities in the public life of countries.

In the end, we conclude that the full affirmation of the rights of minorities requires a systematic approach that will enable more efficient realization and protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities, and which goes beyond the normative efforts undertaken by the state. It is especially important that local governments take greater responsibility for the implementation of local public policies, and that they promote a democratic culture and develop a proactive approach to multiethnic governance.

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