Government should enable free and independent work of NGOs, says German Ambassador
Podgorica, (MINA) – Montenegro needs an active civil society and a strong NGO sector, German Ambassador to Montenegro Peter Felten said, calling on the government to promote and protect an environment that allows NGOs to operate freely, free from fear and independently.
Felten noted with concern the implicit and explicit allegations against the NGO Centre for Civic Education (CGO) and other civil society organisations, seemingly linking them to organised crime and corruption.
“Germany has, in the past, on several occasions, financially supported individual CGO projects, most recently CGO’s analysis of Parliamentary elections from a gender perspective. Germany supports projects only if the organisations implementing them, according to due diligence done, are beyond doubt as to their civic and civilian character,” the German Ambassador wrote on Twitter.
He said that, like any vibrant democracy, Montenegro needed an active civil society and a strong NGO sector.
“We call upon the Government to promote and protect an environment that allows NGOs to operate freely, free from fear, and independently,” said Felten.
He also called upon any relevant actor to refrain from allegations, unless based on clear evidence, against civil society organisations, including NGOs, that might limit or endanger the space they need to exercise their civic role, or even put their representatives at risk.