DPM Pažin: European Commission’s positive assessments oblige us to continue with reforms

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (17 April 2018) — Montenegro is a leader in the process of European integration, which is an incentive for us, but also an obligation and responsibility to meet, through establishing a credible track record, all the necessary standards, thus strengthening and confirming our European partners’ attitude, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin told a joint press conference with Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav on the occasion of the presentation of the European Commission’s report… DPM Pažin: European Commission

    Podgorica, Montenegro (17 April 2018) — Montenegro is a leader in the process of European integration, which is an incentive for us, but also an obligation and responsibility to meet, through establishing a credible track record, all the necessary standards, thus strengthening and confirming our European partners’ attitude, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin told a joint press conference with Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav on the occasion of the presentation of the European Commission’s report.

    He stressed that the progress made in the rule of law has conditioned Montenegro’s overall progress in the EU accession process. “If there had been no progress in the rule of law in the previous year, Montenegro would not have been in a position to open six new chapters and temporarily close one chapter.”

    He also noted readiness of Montenegro’s institutions to open negotiations in the remaining three negotiating chapters, as well as their willingness to start closing chapters, especially when it comes to negotiating chapter 7, which deals with intellectual property, and negotiating chapter 10, referring to the information society and the media.

    As to foreign policy, DPM Pažin stressed, the European Commission notes the significant contribution of Montenegro to developing good neighbourly relations in the region.

    “When it comes to foreign and security policy, it is noted that Montenegro, in its entirety, that is, one hundred percent, follows the European Union’s policy in this area and, in that regard, we could say that we are already sharing European values with our European partners in this area,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

    He underscored that Montenegro has made good progress, which is the highest annual rating, in the field of public administration reform, as well as in agriculture and rural development, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary development.

    The Deputy Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the fact that the European Commission’s report recognised Montenegro’s accelerated economic growth in the previous year, given the fact that it had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

    “Good results were also made in terms of fiscal consolidation, that is, the Government’s management of public finances,” he stated.

    Speaking about the fight against organised crime, DPM Pažin stressed that the Montenegrin institutions will be putting a high priority on uncompromising struggle for the safety of every citizen.

    “Regarding the fight against corruption, it is noted that an initial track record has been established, and that is precisely the temporary measure from chapters 23 and 24.”

    With regard to the European Commission’s assessment of the situation in the field of media freedom, the Deputy Prime Minister reiterated that this year’s Government’s Programme of Work envisages amendments to the media law and the law on national public broadcaster, underlining that it is of critical importance that representatives of the media and the civil society are actively involved in the drafting of these laws.

    “A significant aspect of media freedom is the issue of sustainable and effective self-regulation of the media. One part of the responsibility in that regard should be taken over by the media and the media community itself. And the Government will spare no effort to help them in that regard,” he added.

    He concluded by saying that the European Commission’s report is an encouragement, not only for the Government, but for the entire society as well, because it gives clear indications regarding the results achieved, but also represents a type of action plan of what should be done in the future in order to bring the Montenegrin society closer to the EU standards at an intense pace.

    OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

    Source: Government of Montenegro