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18 May 2017

Meeting of the Inter-ministerial Body on Roma Integration in Montenegro

The second meeting of the Committee for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro 2016-2020 took place on 18 May 2017 in Podgorica, convened by the National Roma Contact Point of Montenegro, Mr Leon GJOKAJ, General Director at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights. RCCs Roma Integration 2020 Action Team was invited to participate, besides the members of the Committee that include representatives of the relevant ministries and the civil society. Additionally, at a request of the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team, the expert engaged within the project to assist Montenegrin government in improving the quality of the annual monitoring report was present at the meeting.

The meeting was opened by the NRCP by introducing the agenda. As the first item on the agenda, the forthcoming activities within the RCC Roma Integration 2020 project were discussed. The Action Team presented the available information to, and agreed with the participants on the activities being co-organized by the team and the NRCP, namely the National Platform for 2017 in Montenegro to be held on 5 July 2017 – exactly one year from the last Roma Seminar held in Montenegro, and the in-country replication of the Public Budgeting of Roma Integration Policies training planned for mid-June. The Action Team representatives briefly spoke about other forthcoming activities, particularly those at regional level (workshops and meetings), planned by the end of the year.

The representative from the civil society asked about the possibility to replicate the Monitoring and Reporting regional training in Montenegro, since not all representatives of relevant institutions, including those working on the monitoring and reporting of the implementation of the Strategy, were present at the regional training. The Action Team clarified that the engagement of the monitoring expert tasked to work with the authorities to improve the quality of the report and to advice on possible improvements of the monitoring and reporting process, as a hands-on-work model of training, responds to this need.

The Commission discussed its Rules of Procedures as the next item on the agenda. The item was discussed at length also during the previous Commission meeting when the document was returned to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights for including the recommendations of the Commission. At this meeting, the document was on the agenda for final comments and adoption. On demand by the civil society representative the Commission agreed to make its decision by consensus, and where not possible, by simple majority with a possibility for dissented opinion by any member(s) of the Commission, and adopted the Rules of Procedures with this amendment.

The regular agenda item for sharing information by each institution on the state of the implementation of the Strategy was considered covered with the submissions of all the institutions to the annual report collected by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights as the coordinating institution in this process.

Most time of the meeting was dedicated to the last agenda item on the monitoring report according to the RCC Roma Integration 2020 template, by which institutions previously submitted their inputs to the Ministry of Human and Minority. The ministry collected all the inputs and submitted the report to the Action Team, after which the Action Team engaged an expert, Ms Sanja ELEZOVIC, to work with the institutions on improvement of the quality and content of the report and of the monitoring and reporting process in general. The expert had a presentation prepared for the meeting that was presented and discussed among the members of the Commission. It focused on the most important challenges of the monitoring and reporting process including:

  • Difference in terminologies used in the template and by the institutions;
  • Missing baseline data from the Strategy’s action plan required by the template, both in terms of values of the indicators and other details of the plan (such as responsible institutions by strategic goals);
  • Coverage of the term ‘overall population’ depending on the definition of each indicator;
  • Difficulties in providing data on the budget, particularly in cases where budgets don’t include specific Roma integration item, but are rather general and measures from the Strategy are implemented as general activities.

Discussions on this item were explanatory for the Commission members. The presentation can be found for downloading below.

Expert presentation (EN)

Expert presentation (MO)