Montenegro: Lost in Restrictions
On 28th of February, the Government of Montenegro started implementing its first measure intended to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic by prohibiting flights from and to the north of Italy. From this day on, the Government will through the National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases (NKT) publish a number of decisions that would amount to 83 measures and 19 recommendations usually adopted in late sittings of the now infamous body. However, as time has passed and as the danger from COVID-19 has been more worrying, so did the measures of NKT. In fact, the measures and the approach of NKT became more extreme and, according to many, more authoritarian. These new behaviors, show us how fragile the democratic system really is and should force us to create preventive mechanisms for misuse of it in any future crisis.
Enabling Environment in the Western Balkans and Turkey: Growing Pressure on Civil Society and Future Challenges
On 10 December 2019, the world celebrated the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through public gatherings, press statements and social media campaigns, the media and the CSO activists in our region celebrated the 71st anniversary of the human rights day. Despite the fact that the Universal Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights stands for “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, unfortunately the WBT region cannot testify for a comprehensive level of enabling environment for civil society. However, in the New Year, we hope for a more stable, thriving and enabling environments in the region, where the respect of basic freedoms will make significant progress, instead of the backsliding we have been witnessing. In the New Year, we want to see the start of a positive chapter in the decade that comes!
Global Accountability Week Ends – Our Work is Only Beginning
BCSDN celebrated the Global Accountability Week form the 1st till the 4th of October together with our counterparts on national level and with our partners on the global civil society scene. The Global Accountability Week seeks to gather civil society organizations around the world to promote how we are accountable to our constituencies but also aims to put the topic of accountability at the forefront of civil society development by promoting of our standard for work and ethics.
The Future of the Enlargement Process and Civil Society Support
Not opening the negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia sent a clear message that there is a need to change the Enlargement process, but such a decision shows no regard to the citizens of these countries. The enlargement is not only a technical procedure, but it has a real impact on the people, and the citizens of the Balkan countries are the ones that are losing the most. Citizens of the Western Balkans, as future EU citizens, need to be able to participate in the future processes of the EU and therefore they should be involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe discussions.