Response by Government of Montenegro concerning daily Dan’s article

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (28 September 2016) — On Tuesday, 27 September 2016, the Dan daily published in a sensational manner an article titled “Half the country does not believe Milo,” covering up a set of essential information from the Eurobarometre’s survey, which represents a flagrant violation of the Code of Journalists of Montenegro…

    Podgorica, Montenegro (28 September 2016) — On Tuesday, 27 September 2016, the Dan daily published in a sensational manner an article titled “Half the country does not believe Milo,” covering up a set of essential information from the Eurobarometre’s survey, which represents a flagrant violation of the Code of Journalists of Montenegro.

    In order to provide domestic and foreign public with true and comprehensive information, we present the details that were covered up in this article.

    The article is based on the results of the European Commission’s Standard Eurobarometre survey, conducted in July 2016 in 33 countries: 28 EU Member-States, five candidate countries (Albania, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey) and in the Turkish Community in Cyprus. The survey also shows average results for the EU members.

    What is the purpose of the survey? First of all, it aims to provide data concerning the topics that are directly related to the European Union, which is natural, since the survey was commissioned by the European Commission. In each country, respondents were asked about a number of issues. The survey shows that people in the countries where the opinion poll was conducted are primarily concerned about unemployment, increase in the cost of living, immigration, terrorism, etc. Respondents, inter alia, answered to questions about the perception of the European Union or of confidence or no confidence in the European Union in relation to national parliaments and governments of each country.

    Presentation of the results has emphasised that about a third of Europeans trust the European Union (33%). It also states that after a sharp decline registered by the survey conducted in the spring of 2015 (-8% between spring and autumn 2015), the downward trend has been stopped: trust in the EU has slightly increased (+ 1% since spring 2015). Meanwhile, confidence in national institutions remained stable, but at a lower level than the trust in the EU: 28% of Europeans trust their national parliaments (no change), whereas 27% of Europeans have confidence in their government (no change).

    How well is the Government of Montenegro positioned in comparison with other governments of the countries included in the survey?

    When it comes to the degree of citizens’ trust in national governments, Montenegro ranks 11th out of 33 countries. Therefore, 38% of respondents trust the Government of Montenegro, while 32 governments are ranked lower than Montenegro in terms of citizens’ trust, including the governments of Austria (36%), the UK (34%), the Czech Republic (27%), Italy (15%), France (14%), etc.

    When it comes to the degree of distrust of citizens, there are only six countries where distrust in national governments is less than in Montenegro. In other words, according to the Eurobarometre survey, 50% of the citizens do not trust the Government of Montenegro. However, in most European countries, the level of distrust in national governments is higher – in Sweden (51%), Finland (52%), Germany (55%), the United Kingdom (62%), Czech Republic (66%), Poland (68%), Italy (78%), Croatia (80%), France (81%), etc.

    Access to full results and their professional presentation to the public gives a true picture of the results and concludes that, when it comes to trust in governments of most European countries, the survey found out that in general citizens of most countries in which the survey was conducted do not trust their governments, which is understandable given the fact that governments should not pursue popular, especially not populist policy, but a responsible policy by making tough decisions, which sometimes or often are not popular.

    The fact that the daily Dan’s article resorted to cover-up of essential information should be primarily discussed by media self-regulation bodies.

    Source: Government of Montenegro