Financing of political parties and misuse of state resources: establishment of conditions for fair political competition in Montenegro
Aim of the project “Financing of political parties and misuse of state resources: establishment of conditions for fair political competition in Montenegro” is to improve strengthening of the impact of civil society on the process of integration of the European Union through participation in advocating new policies in the field of rule of law and fight against the corruption, as well as the decrease of misuse of state resources and adoption of adequate legal frameworks for financing political parties. Montenegro is still struggling with policies in the field of rule of law and one of the main requirements of the European Union in this regard was the reform of electoral legislation in accordance with international standards. Many issues in this area have reduced public confidence and led to a crisis of legitimacy of the election results in 2012 and 2013. The problems of abuse of state resources and irregularities in the financing of electoral campaigns have put the competitiveness and transparency of elections at risk. A number of recent amendments to the Law on Financing of Political Parties consisted of the unconstitutional provisions which were annulled by the Constitutional Court which left a significant legal gap. Therefore, the key objective of this project is the adoption of appropriate legal frameworks and reduction of misuse of resources, while the results that will be achieved within the project are: asking questions about political party financing and misuse of state resources on the agenda of policy-making, improving the quality of political analysis and debate on the issue of financing political parties and misuse of state resources and effective legal framework for control of party financing and misuse of state resources that are proposed and advocated.
Key activities that are being conducted during the period of 12 months include: holding regular meetings with the media and meetings with decision-makers, publishing of articles on this issue, the presentation of this issue at the sessions of the National Commission for the fight against corruption and organized crime, and among the members of the Working Group for raising public confidence in the electoral process, conducting analyzes on the effects of the previous legal framework, conducting comparative research of legislative solutions that regulate the financing of political parties in the region and the European Union, the implementation of 10 in-depth interviews with key decision makers, creating a study on the financing of political parties and preventing the misuse of state resources, creating briefs with specific recommendations for the new provisions of the Law on financing political parties, implementing the 10 internal meetings with key decision makers in order to present new legislation, organizing the panel discussion, dissemination and advocacy of policy studies and briefs through the mailing list and participating in the working group for drafting the new Law on financing of political parties.
The target groups of the project are members of political parties, members of Parliament, the State Election Commission, the National Commission for the fight against corruption and organized crime, the State Revision Institution and civil society organizations dealing with this issue (CDT, MANS and the Institute Alternative) and international organizations (Delegation of the EU to Montenegro, OSCE and UNDP). The project is funded by the European Fund for the Balkans within the Think and Link – Regional political program.