Interoperabiltiy MNE

ReSPA Interoperability Academy Montenegro: To Unlock the Potential of Data, People Need First Engage in Dialogue

01 April 2024 News

27-29 March 2024, Bar, Montenegro

ReSPA convened key interoperability and data exchange stakeholders in Montenegro at the Interoperability Academy 27-29th in Bar. The aim was to foster discussion regarding the main complexities and challenges in having a fully functional interoperability framework and possible avenues for enhancing interoperability and data exchange within the public administration.

Twenty-three operational-level public officials and policymakers from various ministries and agencies—including Public Administration, Interior Affairs, Justice, Education, Finance, Health, Labor and Social Welfare, Agency for Data Protection, and Cadaster and State Property Administration Office—alongside lecturers deliberated on optimizing existing legal provisions, policies, and practical developments. The goal was to determine key bottlenecks in the practice while referring to the existing National Interoperability Framework and layers of the European Interoperability Framework. The fruitful and dynamic discussion between key actors in the Montenegrin institutional framework of interoperability was an accentuated characteristic of this event. Through topical discussions, while being inspired by cases of good practice in  Montenegro, at the last day of the Academy decision-makers from key institutions confirmed that the measures proposed by participants need to be and will be a guide for undertaking impactful actions through existing structures within Montenegro government. 

"This event stems from insights gained through ReSPA’s previous activities in this domain and activities from other organizations such as RCC, UNDP, and GiZ, as it has become evident that organizing an Academy at the administrative level was necessary to delve deeper into challenges, identify areas for improvement, and foster concrete discussions specific to each administration. This Academy proved the importance of the needed inter-institutional communication as a key precondition for enhancing functioning Interoperability in all its layers and strands. Also this event, first of this nature, holds significant importance as part of a series of five planned academies across the ReSPA Member States," emphasized Maja HANDJISKA-TRENDAFILOVA, ReSPA Director.

"We seek not merely a 'One-Stop-Shop' but a 'No-stop-shop' solution, ensuring that for citizens data are provided only once, enabling institutions to deliver services proactively and automatically, leveraging data storage and utilisation. This vision aims to eliminate bureaucratic formulas, waiting times, and unnecessary expenses for citizens, simultaneously yielding substantial savings for our government," highlighted Bojana BAJIĆ, ReSPA Project Officer for Digitalization.

Through collaborative sessions, participants identified key challenges and proposed improvements within the legal and institutional aspects of the Interoperability framework, paying special attention to the role that personal data protection has in the exchange of data and development of e-services. The dynamic discussions resulted in the proposed lines of action:

  • Need for harmonisation in the legislative domain, addressing the law interpretations and importance of the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Personal Data;
  • Initiate evolvement of the Law on e-Identification Number;
  • Enhanced cooperation and coordination among key stakeholders are also imperative to expedite processes; it would need to include more rigorous Monitoring and Evaluation of the provisions of data exchange
  • Involving the Coordination Body on Digital Transformation with new sub-groups focused on interoperability, designating personnel in charge of interoperability within each institution;
  • Much can be done to improve the practices by developing administrative guides  for standards and specifications during the implementation and evolution of information systems and
  • Guidelines for organizational interoperability.

Stefan DEDOVIĆ, an expert, provided an overview of the EU's vision to enable citizens access to 100% of key electronic services and e-identification by 2030. To achieve this, the European Commission and EU Member States have emphasized the implementation of upgraded four crucial levels of EU interoperability as well as assessing the maturity of interoperability, one new obligation that will be endorsed via the recently adopted Interoperability Act. "EU Interoperability Act which comes into effect in April or May this year, holds paramount importance for EU and provides the measures that Montenegro could align with, especially during the accession process" emphasized Dedović.

Dedović highlighted the significant savings and additional income resulting from the functional interoperability: "Just by fully implementing interoperability of geolocation data the savings and economic effect would equal the costs of building railway construction from Paris to London. Similarly, the level of savings could be assessed for Montenegro, once the full interoperability and data exchanged are assured for the seamless provision of e-services to citizens and businesses.

Dušan POLOVIĆ, Director General of the Directorate for Infrastructure, Information Security, Digitization, and e-Services in the Ministry of Public Administration, stressed that Montenegro is aligned with EU regulations and its interoperability framework (EIF) with a target for Montenegro to achieve full interoperability and provide services to citizens using the Government Service Bus (GSB) by 2027. Polović has also underlined the significance of interoperability as its enhancement stands in the Growth Plan. 

Novica OBRADOVIĆ, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, highlighted the importance of clearly defining the end-users and their needs when designing e-services. "Simplifying processes and providing practical solutions such as digital newsagents can help citizens enter the digital world."

Željko RUTOVIĆ, President of the Council of the Agency for the Protection of Personal Data and Free Access to Information, emphasised that now is the appropriate momentum for improving exchanging of data, calling for bigger participation from the institutions that exchange data in the public consultations about new Personal Data Protection Law.

Goran PAŠTROVIĆ, an expert, presented group work results, identifying key challenges and proposing solutions for improvement across the four interoperability aspects. "Governments must act swiftly, listening to citizens' needs and remaining flexible to keep up with digitalisation trends and the simultaneous crisis we face. This is a demanding yet achievable task."

Olivera DAMJANOVIĆ, ReSPA Programme Manager, highlighted at the closing of the event, “Bearing in mind that the wellbeing of the citizens is highly connected with the provision of seamless e-services based on the needs of end users, reinforcing the cooperation around interoperability would help design and implement policies and practices in which these needs are considered from the start. With this Interoperability Academy, we believe that such cooperation has been strengthened. Additionally, we believe that the results of this event will be used as the starting points for some long-term initiatives, where ReSPA can further assist with its instruments of support.” highlighted Olivera DAMJANOVIĆ, ReSPA Programme Manager.


We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience. We also use analytics.