Brussels: Cooperation between government and civil society significant for successful negotiations

    PR BureauBrussels, Belgium (24 June 2015) — Sixth meeting of EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee was held in Brussels earlier today.

    The Committee members discussed the current results and further obligations in the negotiation process and stressed the importance of cooperation between the Government and civil society in making progress towards EU membership. The meeting also addressed the issues of persons with disabilities and trade unions’ representativeness.

    Montenegro’s Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejović said the civil society involvement is of immense value for Montenegro’s negotiation process.

    “Involving all available resources, knowledge and experience in the implementation of comprehensive social reforms is vital for Montenegrin small public administration,” Ambassador Pejović underlined.

    The ambassador informed the committee about legislative activities related to pursuing persons with disabilities policy, pointing out that the government is taking actions aimed at prohibiting discrimination in all spheres of social life, as well as towards solving the issue of accessibility to buildings, public and private goods, as well as information and communication services.

    Today’s meeting also addressed representativeness of trade unions at all levels in the field of social dialogue, focusing on the law on trade union representativeness.

    Director General for European Affairs Snežana Radović reiterated that Montenegro’s negotiation structure have one-third of all members from the civil sector and pointed out good cooperation and contribution they provide to the working groups.

    Ms Radović in particular referred to intensive cooperation in drafting and implementing the Information strategy on Montenegro’s accession to the EU 2014-2018. She pointed out that representatives of nongovernmental organisations, through the development and implementation of annual action plans, together with representatives of the Government, Parliament and the Union of Municipalities, are making efforts towards planning and implementing activities aimed at bringing EU and the negotiation process closer to the citizens and explaining them the accession benefits.

    Representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee commended the cooperation mechanisms enabling the engagement of civil society in the negotiations on Montenegro’s accession to the EU.

    The committee members stressed the importance of the body’s establishment allowing representatives of civil society in Montenegro to continuously cooperate and exchange experience with their partners from the EU, thus contributing to the negotiation process.

    Source: Government of Montenegro