RAI Secretariat and Youth Network of Montenegro promote whistleblowing and whistleblower protection in Montenegro

Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) Secretariat in partnership with the Youth Network of Montenegro (YNM) organized and supported a two day-day event titled ‘Youth Engagement in Fight Against Corruption’ (Budva, 31 March and 1 April), which gathered youth members of political parties and civil society organizations of Montenegro around the topic of whistleblowing as an effective anticorruption mechanism.

The event was opened by introductory speeches delivered on March 31 by EU Delegation in Montenegro Programme Manager Gianandrea Villa, Aneta Arnaudovska, Senior Anticorruption Advisor, RAI Secretariat’s Senior Anticorruption Advisor Aneta Arnaudovska, Youth Network of Montenegro Steering Committee President Milos Markovic and Montenegrin Association of Political Science Students representative Vladimir Perazic.

“The effective fight against corruption is a key accession requirement for Montenegro as EU candidate country. EU closely monitors progress achieved and recommends improvements where needed”, said Villa and added that the first precondition for effective whistleblowing and whistleblower protection is to have in place good laws. “Candidate countries, including Montenegro, are expected to align their legislation with EU acquis, such as the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection.”

After the opening ceremony RAI’s expert Arnaudovska delivered the first session dedicated to judicial integrity as an essential prerequisite in whistleblower protection, stressing out that all attributes of independent and unbiased judiciary anticipated by the Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights must be respected in cases of legal protection of whistleblowers. RAI’s Project Manager – Anticorruption Expert Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja, presented on whistleblowing and whistleblower protection in line with the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection.  The presentation included the screening of RAI’s social experiment video ‘Whistle for the Brave, which prompted lively discussion with youth representatives on challenges which whistleblowers face, but also what encourages whistleblowing and how to improve whistleblower protection.

The participants had the opportunity to discuss corruption in the education sector as well as the role of CSOs in supporting whistleblowers with CSO representatives, including Senior Legal Advisor at the Center for Civic Education Snezana Kaludjerovic, and CRNVO’s Zorana Markovic.

On the second day, participants met and discussed with representatives of public institutions, including a member of the Parliamentary Committee for Anti-Corruption Nikola Bajcetic who introduced the work of the Committee and the parliamentary efforts in fighting corruption in Montenegro, and Boris Vukasinovic, Deputy Director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption of Montenegro who presented on anti-corruption mechanisms and whistle-blower protection in Montenegro.

The youth event in Montenegro was organized in the framework of the EU-funded project Breaking the Silence: Enhancing the Whistleblowing Policies and Culture in WBs and Moldova.

During the visit to Montenegro, the RAI Secretariat delegation held a series of meetings with partners and representatives of institutions, including the EU Delegation in Montenegro, the Agency for Prevention of Corruption of Montenegro and the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority rights.