OGP participating government, Montenegro launched an e-petitions platform this week (9 Oct), which will enable citizens to submit e-petitions to the Government.
The website, which is yet to be launched will be known as “Citizens Voice – e-Petitions.” Initiated by Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, and implemented with the support of UNDP Montenegro, the project marks a significant step towards promoting participatory democracy and the Government’s openness to active public participation in the policy-making process.
The “Citizens’ Voice – e-Petitions” platform will improve communication between the Government and citizens, involve more society stakeholders, and also promote the principles of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Prime Minister Igor Luksić said, “this will bring us closer to a narrow circle of the most developed democracies of the world, which make all the important and demanding economic and social decisions with the support and consultations with citizens and the civil society.”
Every adult citizen of Montenegro or a foreigner with permanent residence will be allowed to submit an e-petition in any field within the Government’s remit on the website. If supported by at least 6,000 signatures, the relevant ministry will be required to turn such a petition into a formal motion, which will be considered by the Government, and, if necessary, submitted to the Parliament.
This marks a major step not only for the Government of Montenegro, but also for the citizens who will benefit from the ability to set the policy agenda. It will be interesting to see how the citizens of Montenegro take advantage of this exciting new opportunity and how it will affect the level of participation in other areas of government. We look forward to following the progress of the platform to see how it develops in Montenegro and whether other countries, whether part of the OGP or not, will adopt similar measures.