Centre for Democracy and Human Rights - CEDEM

CEDEM is the oldest political think tank in Montenegro, which was registered on July 15, 1998 with a mission to raise awareness on the importance of successful democratic transition; to research, analyze and follow process of transition; and to contribute to strengthening civil society and democratization process as a whole. Further, due to policy research and advocacy capacities, CEDEM provides accurate and easily accessible analysis, in-depth policy papers and needs assessments in the field of human and minority rights, rule of law and security sector reform. 

According to the Programme of Think-tanks and civil society research, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, CEDEM was ranked among 10 leading think-tank organizations from Central and Eastern Europe. CEDEM's work is divided along three basic program strands: Social Inclusion; Rule of Law and Human Rights, and Security and Defense Reform. CEDEM has a Steering Committee (three members), executive director and six employees (three of whom are female) as well as a wide network of associates and collaborators.
Security is one of the most important preconditions for the realization of democracy, rule of law and human rights. CEDEM deals with monitoring security sector reform as well as international and regional security dynamics, with special focus on Montenegro. Based on research findings, CEDEM publishes analysis and recommendations addressed to lawmakers, government officials, representatives of security institutions, civil society, etc. Within this department, CEDEM implemented two regional projects. "Civil Society Capacity Building for Mapping and Monitoring Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans 2008-2011" produced publications and reports in various areas of security sector reform (transparency, democratic control and oversight, representation, etc.). CEDEM had become one of the seven members of a regional consortium of independent research centers in Western Balkans, and with the cooperation of this consortium and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) from Oslo, CEDEM also implemented a second research project, "To what extent is a security community being built in the Western Balkans?" CEDEM has written a paper on Montenegrin intelligence service and its reforms, which was published in the journal of the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS).

CEDEM - Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
George Washington Boulevard 51/III, 48
81 000 Podgorica, Montenegro
Phone/fax: +382 20 234 114; +382 20 234 368

Milena Bešić has 16 years of professional experience in civil sector organizations in Montenegro and the region. She graduated Business and specialist studies of Management on Faculty of Economics, University of Montenegro.

Currently she is Director of Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), a think-tank NGO that is devoted to advance and spread conscience on importance of proper and successful democratic transition; conduct research, analyze and follow process of EU integration and NATO accession of Montenegro and contribute to the strengthening of civil society and democratization in general; support the legislative processes in Montenegro, informs the public about its activities and results through publications and media;  cooperate with other NGO's from Montenegro, the region and abroad, with similar areas of interest.

Bešić is the member of the Commission for monitoring the implementation of activities for gender equality 2017-2021 of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro; member of the Advisory Group within the Montenegrin component of the Regional Local Democracy Program (ReLOaD) in the Western Balkans; member of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee for Operational Program “Human Resource Development 2012-2013”, the Directorate for European Integration and EU Funds of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.