- Published: April 8, 2019
On 27 March 2019, a conference on the “Funding of political parties and elections: challenges and solutions” was held in Podgorica. The event was organised jointly by the non-governmental organisation MANS, which acts as a network supporting civil society in Montenegro, the EU Delegation in Montenegro, the British Embassy and the IRZ. The conference was opened by the Head of the EU Delegation, Aivo Orav, UK Ambassador Alison Kemp and Vanja Ćalović Marković from MANS. This was followed by three panel discussions and subsequent talks:
- During the first panel, international experts in party law and party funding started by making short statements and went on to answer questions from the moderator and the audience.
- In the second panel, politicians from various parties represented in the Montenegrin Parliament commented on the current situation in the country with regard to party funding.
- In the third panel, representatives of non-governmental organisations from Armenia, Latvia, Montenegro and Russia described party funding in their own countries, which they unanimously criticised.
The experts involved in the first panel discussion also included two Germans. As well as Dr. Magnus Ohmann from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Dr. Yukihido Hamda from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), other speakers included the Managing Director of the Institute for German and International Party Law and Party Research at the University of Düsseldorf, Dr. Heike Merten, who spoke as an IRZ expert, and Dr. Tilman Hoppe, an expert on anti-corruption at the German Bundestag. The latter had worked out some recommendations for changes and amendments to the Montenegrin party law, which were made available to participants in the conference. The MANS NGO also presented its study on the situation of party funding in Montenegro, which concludes that there is a considerable need for improvement in this area.
Attending the conference were a large number of media representatives, representatives from foreign embassies in Montenegro, parliamentarians and other interested parties.