The Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) held on 9 February 2015 its regular activity “Citizen hour”. Ms Vanja Calovic, Director of the Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector (MANS) was keynote speaker at the event. The event was dedicated to the topic rule of law and corruption, and included the presentation of SELDI Corruption Assessment Report of Montenegro. Mr. Dragan Koprivica, Director of CDT presented the SELDI survey results. He noted that 34.3% of the citizens of Montenegro declare that they have been asked for bribe, while 31% were involved in corruption or they gave bribes. In addition, the data shows that 75% of the citizens gave money or did a favor under corruption pressure, with only 21% of respondents resisting to do so. Ms Vanja Calovic pointed out that these figures are an indication of the fact that citizens of Montenegro are not free. “We are not talking about the corruption at the highest level. We are talking about whether people give money when they asked for a doctor, police officer or anyone in the state administration? Yes, they did, because they are afraid of authority, system and reporting of corruption.” Besides that fear, Calovic sees a problem in the lack of enforcement of the laws which, as pointed out at the Info Center, will be necessary for the further Euro Atlantic path of Montenegro. The SELDI survey has shown that there have been two significant changes in the approach to the fight against corruption: shift of attention from petty corruption (among traffic police or doctors in the public sector) to high level corruption (amongst members of Parliament or Ministers) and criminalization of a wider range of abuses of public office. However the authors underline that “the impact in punishing high-level corruption in the best case remains limited”. The report also states that specialized national anti-corruption institutions in the region have restricted functions such as supervision and control. Countries usually have national strategy to prevent corruption, however there is little evidence that they had any significant impact on the legislative agenda of the government. “When it comes to Parliament, there is little public confidence in their work. Also, wherever there is authority for the right against corruption in Parliament, it usually oversees an executive body, instead of dealing with corruption among its members.” The document points out that NGOs are among the most important driving forces in fight against corruption. “Yet their contribution depends largely on their ability to serve as a control and to encourage the government to anti-corruption reforms.”
The event had numerous guests and high national media coverage in the most prominent media outlets in Montenegro. CDT is preparing a campaign for the presentation of the national Corruption Assessment Report that will include several info graphs and articles, distributed via social networks.