Five Montenegrin civil servants to start training at European colleges

PODGORICA, 29 November 2017 – Five young civil servants, selected in the second round of the EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans, will start their training in management and public policy next week in Paris. This training is part of an education programme designed for young professionals from six Balkan countries, through a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council.

At a send-off ceremony in Podgorica, the Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, congratulated the selected candidates, stressing the importance that the EU attaches to public administration reform and regional cooperation.

“We are sending you now to study the European Union’s institutions so that you can improve your skills, but there is also a very important regional component, because your peers from Belgrade, Sarajevo, Tirana, Pristina, and Skopje will be there as well, and this kind of relationship with all the Western Balkan countries is very important for the countries here, and also for us in the European Union. And finally, you are the next generation of policy makers!” said Orav.

The Minister of European Affairs, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, stressed the importance of this and similar schemes for further improvement of the country’s public administration and advancement in its EU integration. “The exchange of experiences, cooperation and dialogue are the only ways to reach our common goal – successful EU integration,” said Pejovic.

The opportunity to participate in the programme was given to Virgjina Zadrima from the Ministry of Finance, Nadja Bobicic from the Secretariat-General of the Government, Jelena Lekovic from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Neli Rasovic from the Ministry of the Interior and Katja Vukotic from the Ministry of Labour.

Rasovic voiced her appreciation for this opportunity on behalf of all the participants: “The fact that we are recognised as future creators of public policies and bearers of changes in Montenegro and the region represents a huge privilege, but an even greater responsibility to contribute to the strengthening of our institutions with the aim of creating a society tailored to the needs of its citizens.”

The director of the British Council in Montenegro, Vanja Madzgalj, explained that the selected civil servants would be attending two intensive training courses (lasting two weeks each), one at Sciences Po in Paris leading to an Executive Certificate in Management and Public Policy, and the other at the College of Europe in Bruges. They will also participate in a two-week Regional Exchange Programme to promote the regional cooperation element of the EU integration process at the level of the civil service.

Investing in young civil servants, as Ambassador Orav added, is a part of the overall EU support for reforming public administration in the countries of the region – turning it into an efficient, merit-based, transparent and accountable service for citizens and businesses. In Montenegro, this support amounts to almost €20 million.

More information about the EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans programme is available here.