Based on the fact that the Action Plan for Chapter 23 is a document that concerns all citizens of Montenegro, the current approach to reporting prevents proper public understanding of what has been done and achieved and an objective assessment of changes made so far. This is one of the key findings of the Coalition of 16 NGOs for Monitoring the Accession Negotiations under Chapter 23 that prepared a detailed review of the report on the implementation of this document.
In fact, certain parts of the report lack measurable data on specific cases, on the basis of which it would be possible to assess the impact of undertaken measures, especially in regard to court statistics, records on anti-discrimination, or data in relation to exercising human and minority rights. Instead, the result and impact indicators refer to reports of competent state bodies for the implementation of measures (periodical and annual reports to the contracting authority), most of which are not available online, so it is impossible to verify whether they contain accurate and objective information.
On the other hand, the overall assessment of the implementation of the Action Plan (AP) for Chapter 23 so far is that there is continuity in the implementation of the AP, but the measures are not consistent enough and harmonized with other strategic documents and action plans (in particular, the Annual National Programme of the Government, the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy for Fighting Corruption and the Action Plan for the Integration of People with Disabilities).
We expect the Government of Montenegro to accept our recommendations for improving the quality of reporting, and thus allow the public to continue to objectively review the results achieved in the implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 23.
In addition, we announce that in April 2014, the Coalition will publish its second semi-annual Situation Report in the Area of Judicial Reform and Human Rights Reform for the period October 2013 – April 2014, with recommendations that will focus on improving the content of the Action Plan especially in regard to defining measurable indicators of success in the area of judicial reform, fight against corruption, human rights and cooperation with civil society organizations.
Comments of the Coalition on the first report of the Government of Montenegro on the implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights are available (in Montenegrin) here.
Members of the Coalition:
Human Rights Action (HRA)
Anima-Center for Women’s and Peace Education
Centre for Antidiscrimination “EQUISTA”
Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM)
Center for Civic Freedoms
Centre for Monitoring and Research (CEMI)
Center for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO)
Women’s Rights Center
European movement in Montenegro
Institute of Social Inclusion
LGBT Forum Progress
Women’s Safe House
SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence Nikšić
Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro