INFORM National workshop in Montenegro
On 1 June 2017, the Riga Stradins University INFORM project team hosted its first National Workshop in Podgorica, Montenegro.
The goal of national workshops is to engage representatives of national offices for European integrations and other important stakeholders in order to raise awareness about the project, as well as to gather expert feedback on it.
Representatives of Montenegro’s Ministry of European Affairs (MEP) participated in the Podgorica workshop, along with INFORM researchers from Riga Stradins University (Latvia). The MEP representatives expressed their interest in the INFORM project, provided feedback, and stressed their openness to future conversations and meetings.
1. Ms Violeta Berisaj, Head of Department for the Political Criteraia and the Rule of Law - Directorate for European Affairs
2. Ms Mira Radulović, Head of Department for the Political System - Directorate for Legal Harmonisation with the Acquis
3. Ms Tatjana Tomić, Secretary of the working group for chapters 1 and 6 - Directorate for European Affairs
4. Dr Klavs Sedlenieks, Lead Investigator, INFORM, Riga Stradins University
5. Dr Ieva Puzo, Researcher, INFORM, Riga Stradins University
6. Ms Diana Dubrovska, Researcher, INFORM, Riga Stradins University
During the workshop, the Ministry representatives provided extensive feedback on the INFORM project and engaged in discussions both about the project as a whole and the ethnographic work conducted so far (by Dr Klavs Sedlenieks) and yet to be carried out (by Dr Ieva Puzo and Ms Diana Dubrovska) in Montenegro specifically.
The Ministry representatives stressed their interest in understanding the discrepancies between formal rules and their implementation, for instance, in the areas of transportation safety and agricultural practices. They also acknowledged the existence of a clash between the EU institutional way of accomplishing tasks and local traditions, expressing their wish to find out more about this issue from the INFORM project results.
The workshop participants from the Ministry of European Affairs stressed that the people of Montenegro need to invest a lot of resources in order to comply with various EU rules and regulations, for instance, in ensuring compliance with food safety regulations. The question of access to various resources – for example, computers that would allow farmers to even read local and EU regulations – was raised. Overall, the future of the country’s agriculture sector was the main concern for the Ministry representatives. Gender issues – for instance, preference for boys in Montenegro – were also raised as a topical question.
Regarding potential policy recommendations to be gained from the INFORM project, the Ministry representatives highlighted two issues:
- Suggestions for overcoming the difficulty of aligning (informal) practices with (formal) regulations;
- Suggestions for ensuring that Montenegro’s accession to the EU does not come at a too high price for the country’s citizens.
Location: EU Info Centre, 19 December 8, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro