New legal framework should contribute to RTCG becoming a genuine public service


We call on the Ministry of Culture and Media to ensure, through the new Law on RTCG, that the appointment of new members of the RTCG Council takes place immediately after the expected rapid adoption in the Parliament of Montenegro, and the Parliament to halt the ongoing process of appointing two members of the RTCG Council under the current law.

Considering the escalation of controversies within RTCG, largely contributed by the current composition of the RTCG Council through disregard for court decisions, we believe it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Media, as well as the Parliament of Montenegro, to contribute to the urgent resolution of this situation within their respective authorities.

The latest version of the draft Law on RTCG (Law on the National Public Broadcaster – Public Media Service of Montenegro) sets clear criteria for the selection of RTCG Council members, requiring a level VII-1 of professional qualification and 10 years of work experience, while for the general director, a level VII-1 of professional qualification and a minimum of 10 years of experience are required. Additionally, the draft Law on RTCG foresees an increase in the number of RTCG Council members from the current 9 to 11. Furthermore, the draft Law outlines a procedure for the selection of RTCG Council members that limits the inappropriate influence of political parties on the selection process by ensuring that representatives of NGOs in this body are not elected by members of the Parliament’s Administrative Committee but rather by the NGOs that must meet rigorous criteria to demonstrate their activity. These provisions, along with the tightening of criteria for the selection of RTCG Council members, should lead to greater independence of the RTCG Council and consequently greater autonomy of the RTCG management.

The Ministry envisages a three-year delay in the implementation of the law to allow the current Council and management of RTCG to complete their mandate. This demonstrates the Ministry’s inappropriate dismissive attitude towards pressing issues and consciously undermines the necessary changes that should be induced by new media laws.

The current Council was elected through a procedure that allowed strong political influence through the Parliament of Montenegro’s Administrative Committee, which, according to their political preferences, selected representatives of NGOs, who constitute 4 out of 9 Council members. Such a Council twice illegally appointed the Director-Genera of RTCG twice, as confirmed by court judgments and the decision of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC).

The Parliament is currently conducting the procedure for the election of two Council members for a new term, although it is clear that the new legal text must be swiftly adopted for Montenegro to receive the IBAR in June, and one of the two candidates participated in the double illegal appointment of Raonić.

We remind that the process of amending media laws has been ongoing for almost 30 months, and that the key requirements of the European Union and the Council of Europe are to increase the autonomy of the governing bodies of RTCG and the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM). These are obligations of the state of Montenegro in the EU accession process. The final adoption of these legal texts is expected in the next month.

We believe there is no valid argument to delay the election of all governance structures of RTCG for three years, as this is the only way to create conditions for this institution to free itself from political parties influence and professionalize into a genuine public service.

Violating the law and disregard for court rulings in RTCG cannot contribute to the position of the Government, which claims to be committed to European integration and the rule of law. Therefore, we call on the Ministry of Culture and Media to consider this demand from the civil sector and to include in the provisions in the final version of the draft Law on RTCG that enable the implementation of the law immediately after its adoption, and for the Parliament of Montenegro to suspend the current procedure and elect all new Council members according to the new legal solution.


Initiative signatories:

  • Media Center, Goran Đurović
  • Centre for Civic Education (CCE/CGO), Daliborka Uljarević
  • NGO Prima, Aida Perović
  • Montenegrin PEN Center, Milan Marković
  • Association SPEKTRA, Jovan Ulićević
  • Center for Investigative Journalism CIN-CG, Milka Tadić Mijović
  • Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), Zlatko Vujović
  • Alliance for Equal Rights of LGBTI Persons ERA, Danijel Kalezić
  • Montenegrin Women’s Lobby, Aida Petrović
  • Association of Youth with Disabilities (UMHCG), Marina Vujačić
  • Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Queer Montenegro, Staša Baštrica
  • NGO Juventas, Ivana Vujović
  • Association of Montenegrin Publishers, Vladimir Vojinović
  • Trade Unuon of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), Radomir Kračković
  • Women Rights Center (WRC), Maja Raičević
  • Institute alternative, Stevo Muk
  • Centre for Development of non-governmental organizations (CRNVO), Zorana Marković

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