Jun 26, 2024

Montenegro Takes on Chairing of the CEF Governing Board: Key Insights from Minister of Finance Novica Vuković's Address

As Montenegro takes on the chairing of the CEF Governing Board, we are pleased to share key insights from Minister of Finance Novica Vuković’s address to the Board members. Minister Vuković expressed appreciation for the opportunity to lead, recognizing the significant responsibilities and opportunities this role brings not only for Montenegro but for the entire region. He also emphasized Montenegro's commitment to continue enhancing public financial management (PFM) and public administration reforms (PAR), supported by the CEF’s innovative learning initiatives.

"Dear colleagues members of the Governing Board, Advisory Board, CEF Secretariat, dear friends, ladies and gentleman,

I would like to start with the thanking Ms. Anca-Dana Dragu, Governor of the National Bank of Moldova for sharing experiences and lessons learnt of the previous annual presidency, and advice for better performance.

As a newly appointed chairman I fully understand the importance of the role, its responsibilities and opportunities it brings, not only for Montenegro, but for the entire region and all constituent countries.

We consider this new role of Montenegro as a recognition of the work done at the national level, readiness of the country but also positive changes and results received.

We are very appreciative of the overall CEF work in Montenegro, especially being part of the different regional activities such as the WeLead project, numerous initiatives in auditing sector and constant capacity building opportunities offered to civil servants in the area of PFM.

In particular, I am thankful on the country-specific action currently being implemented in Montenegro by the CEF, supporting the coordination teams for the PAR and PFM reforms in their efforts to improve their collaborating, monitoring and reporting in these two crucial areas. I would like to invite all other members of the Governing Board to look deeper into this project and novelties it brings.

This initiative, with its different approach, focuses on people and teams, thus ultimately helping the organization grow and develop, and should be seen as a model of how also future technical assistances should be planned and implemented.

I would like to invite all interested to see or learn more about the project by also visiting my Ministry of Finance and the team working on these initiatives. Originality of this action starts from the very joint planning, discussion, brainstorming session on each learning activity (CEF and ministry’s team together), continues with the joint facilitation and implementation of learning journeys, ending with mutual reflections on results reached and conclusions how to plan further.

In the center of this action are people, professionals from the ministries, and starting from September 2022, their capacities and skills have been constantly improving. They are placed in different roles and experiences throughout these learning journeys, offered constant mentoring by CEF and coaching opportunities as well.

In this way project budget is used in a sustainable manner – EU funds are supporting individuals and teams, public officials and civil servants, different working groups, with their capacities strengthen and skills improves, in order to be able to continue the reform process even after the project is finalized. This project put in simple words is a joint team effort of two ministries, EU and CEF.

Moreover, this project also brings the expertise from EU member states, such as Slovenia, helping Montenegro understand better the reforms, negotiations and communication withthe EU. Already in September a specific learning activity is organized to help team prepare for the EU dialogue - the PAR and PFM dialogue taking place in Brussels.

In the end I would like to mention one very important issue for all counties from the region – the Reform Agenda. EU-funded FISR2 (Structural Reforms Better Integrated within Fiscal Frameworks) project has already been redesigned to help monitoring and reporting on Reform Agendas besides the assistance in drafting the Economic and Reform Programmes (ERPs). The European Commission has expectations from the CEF to play an active role in helping countries in monitoring and reporting process. Therefore, I would like to give strong recommendation to the CEF to be proactive in this process and initiate solutions for monitoring and reporting even before European Commission.

Finally, we see the CEF as a catalyst of processes, those internal, improving inner strengths of civil servants and different teams responsible for different reforms, but also external, supporting with innovative approaches the overall reforms processes, increasing the quality and efficiency of the process.

Wishing all of us one more successful and productive year!

Thank you!"