13-14 /11/2019

Podgorica, Montenegro

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, participated in the conference: “Back to basics: Informed citizens – an active society!”, hosted in the EU Info Centre of Podgorica.

International experts in the field of access to information expressed concern about the proposed provisions of the Draft Law on Free Access to Information, which were sharply criticized by a part of the non-governmental and media community in Montenegro.️ ️

“It is very important that government officials are held accountable for what they do because they manage our money. Citizens pay their taxes every day and need to know where their money is spent”, said Juanjo Cordero, co-director of Sustentia.

The Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro expects that the Ministry of Public Administration will hear and accept suggestions – They do not rule out this possibility in the Ministry, which has been analyzing the comments received since the end of October, when the public hearing was concluded.

“Montenegro has signed the Council of Europe Convention, therby comitting itself respecting international standards on free Access to information”, said Helen Darbishire.

The conference had two pannels, followed by open discussions with participants.

  • Free Access to Information: a star for Democracy, moderated by Akvile Normantiene, Policy Officer of the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

Juanjo Cordero, expert in Access to Information, Sustentia, Spain
Slavoljupka Pavlovic, Assistant General Secretary of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Serbia
Kristina Kotnik Sumah, Deputy Commissioner for Information, Slovenia
Lana Podgorsek, NGO Program for Croatia, Croatia

  • Announcements of new bans on Access to Information: the case of Montenegro, moderated by Marko Sosic, Public Policy Researcher at Institute Alternativa.

Daniela Nedeljkovic Vukcevic, General Director, Directorate for Public Administration, Ministry of Public Administration, Montenegro
Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe, Spain
Dejan Milenkovic, public administration expert, SIGMA
Dina Bajramspahic, Public Policy Researcher, Institute Alternativa, Montenegro

The event was organised in the framework of the project YOU4EU, which is implemented by Access Info Europe together with partners from Serbia (Belgrade Open School), Slovenia (PiNA), Croatia (GONG) and Montenegro (Institute Alternativa)

The project has the financial support of the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Program.