On Wednesday, 25 January 2022, for the needs of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, EU TACSO 3 project organized an online meeting for the consultation regarding the Guidelines for the IPA Civil Society Facility (CSF) 2021 and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) 2021 for Montenegro. 

The consultation was attended by more than 70 participants, including representatives of civil society organisations, Delegation of the EU to Montenegro, National resource centre, and also representatives of UN system in Montenegro and ReLoaD project, Technical Assistance project to the Government for improving cooperation with civil society in Montenegro and others.

The session was opened by Ana Lorentzen, from the EUD to Montenegro who presented main priorities for CSOs support under the framework of CSF 2021. Richard Allen, the Team Leader of EU TACSO 3 who emphasised the importance of genuinely listening to civil society organisations, and ensuring that consultations are open as widely as possible to all interested to participate..

The key information shared at the event, was the fact CSOs can expect a funding support in total of EUR 3 million this year: EUR 2.5M from Civil Society Facility (CSF) 2021 programme and EUR 0.5M from European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) 2021 programme, for projects related to civil society development.

Ms Ana Lorentzen, the Programme Manager at EU Delegation to Montenegro presented main priorities for CSOs support under the framework of CSF 2021:

  • Support to CSOs and networks towards increased abilities to monitor and participate in reform processes in achieving an effective policy dialogue regarding the EU accession process including elements of advocacy and monitoring;
  • Support to small CSOs and civil society movements in different sectors, developing grassroots movements and local informal groups’ capacities through flexible financial support to third parties mechanisms in all fields relevant to the accession to the EU and
  • Support to different key stakeholders to contribute to local development.

Mladenka Tesic, Programme Manager for Human Rights and Democratisation, EU Delegation to Montenegro presented main priorities for support in the framework of EIDHR 2021:

  • Human Rights Defenders;
  • Promotion of Human Rights and
  • Promotion of the development of a democratic political culture

Meeting participants from civil society organisations offered many useful and insightful comments. and recommendations. Among the priorities recommended, there were requests for a clearer focus on CSO development and human rights, social inclusion and social services for underprivileged groups. There was a request to ensure that support was provided to projects led by local and national CSOs rooted in Montenegrin society rather than international CSOs; investing in capacity building of CSOs for monitoring public policies, especially those connected with the EU accession process; investing in projects directly focusing on gender equality and gender-based violence, as well as protection of women and LGBTQ rights; and more opportunities for social and cultural change actions.  Finally, considering that 2022 is the European Year of Youth, there was a request for a much bigger focus on young people.

Working languages were English and Montenegrin, including interpretation to sign language. 

For those that were not able to take part at the meeting, there is open possibility to send their comments or suggestions until Friday, 28 January, to the following email: TACSO-ME@tacso.eu. The main guiding questions are: 

  1. What are the main issues that you think we should focus on per priority area? And why? 
  2. What do you think could be modalities of implementation for each of the different priority areas? Please justify (in both answers, please specify whether you are referring to CSF or to EIDHR and to which priority areas.) 

Written contributions can be submitted both in Montenegrin and English language.