Meeting of the Network of Municipal Project Managers in Montenegro

projekt menadzeriA three-day workshop and plenary meeting of the Network of municipal project managers were organized in the period from 10 to 12 December 2014 in Budva. The meeting was organized by the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro and the Technical Assistance Project “Local government capacity building in the implementation of municipal development grants” funded by the European Union.
During a very meaningful three-day meeting, Network members (delegated by local self-government units), external experts, and representatives of the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro have discussed the Network Agenda 2015 as well as operational guidelines for Network effective functioning. On this occasion it was concluded that the Network is an important resource that trough the number of activities, which will primarily be focused on formulating municipal project proposals in the process of programming the European Union financial assistance (IPA) as well as the exchange of knowledge and skills among municipalities, would contribute to the higher local governments inclusion in the overall European Integration process of Montenegro.
The working methods and activities in the areas of programming and project preparation, procurement procedures according to the EU rules as well as financial management and reporting were discussed. It was concluded that the Network members experience could be useful to all local governments and other stakeholders at the national level (Union of Municipalities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Finance, and other national authorities) with respect to meeting their obligations in the negotiating process of Montenegro’s accession to the European Union.
European regional policy and financial instruments for its implementation that Montenegro will be able to use after gaining full EU membership were presented by Mr. Fabio Drago, Project Leader. He emphasized the background of this component important for the overall EU development and practical experiences and lessons learned from its decades implementation.
The project “Regional Development Management in Montenegro” or electronic development projects database where local governments entries completed projects, as well as those to be implemented in the forthcoming period according to the Law on Regional Development, were presented by Ministry of Economy representatives: Mr. Miodrag Latkovic and Mr. Amer Nokic. Participants have exchanged opinions on the practical challenges in daily database use by municipalities and the possibilities of its improvement in order to achieve information exchange and better inter-municipal projects planning. Also, Ministry representatives have briefly presented the Ministry current support forms to Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Network meeting was attended by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and the Ministry of the Interior delegations composed of General Director for Coordination of EU Assistance Programme Ms. Ivana Petricevic, Director for programming and monitoring IPA programs Ms. Ivana Vujosevic, Director of CBC programs Ms. Ivana Glisevic-Djurovic, and Head of the Project Implementation within Directorate for International Cooperation and European Integration in Ministry of the Interior Ms. Tanja Ostojic.
The results of previous EU support gained through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) for the period 2007-2013 as well as the possibilities for local government financing projects through the IPA fund II (2014-2020) were presented by distinguished guests. Special attention was paid to the local government absorption capacity improvement methods.
The joint conclusion by all participants was a recognized need for closer activities coordination in EU programming support and regarding the local government needs assessment. In this context, the cooperation on the specific activities in the coming year was agreed.
Mr. Darko Mrvaljevic, Head of the Project Management Team of the Municipality of Danilovgrad was elected for the Coordinator of the Network of Municipal Project Managers of Montenegro by municipal delegated representatives (project managers who deal with the preparation and implementation of EU projects in local self-government units). The Network also elected coordinators of groups for: programming and preparation of projects, public procurement procedures by EU rules, and financial management and reporting.